Canadian skiing offers a radically different experience from much of Europe, and in many ways even improves on that of its American neighbours. Time and again, you will hear people talk about the friendliness of the locals – it’s definitely no exaggeration. If you are looking for an authentic Canadian ski experience, look no further than Whitewater Ski Resort in British Columbia. With access to an array of chutes, bowls and glades, it’s no wonder this resort is hailed as one of the hidden gems in the Kootenay region. Following your visit to Whitewater, you will head over to Red Mountain Resort, with its 100+ runs, 2,682 skiable acres and 890 meters of vertical terrain spread over three mountains.
On the mountain, the terrain can be more varied and rugged compared to Europe, and often a lot snowier. One thing to be aware of is how the off-piste policy differs from the Alps. Whereas in European resorts you will have marked runs while everywhere else will be unpatrolled and potentially at risk of an avalanche this is not the case in Canada. Resorts will have an outer boundary, with everything that sits between this counted as patrolled and managed terrain. As part of this trip, you will be venturing beyond the resort boundaries under the guidance of Big Red Cats, where you will spend three days exploring the backcountry. They will have in-depth knowledge of local snow and avalanche conditions, ensuring you are in safe hands regardless.
During your BC Powder Adventure, you will visit Whitewater Ski Resort & Red Mountain. Whilst staying in Whitewater you’ll spend three days exploring the resort with your fellow skiers before heading over to your second destination, Red Mountain. Whilst based near Red Mountain you will get to ski this hidden gem of a resort with your group, as well as participate in three days of Cat Skiing to access even more of that legendary Canadian powder!This trip is run with cooperation with Ski Club of Great Britain and will be lead by Ski Club Rep in the resort.
Saturday 22nd February (Arrival Day)
Head to the arrivals hall at Kelowna airport where you will meet your Ski Club Rep for a private minibus transfer to Nelson. This journey will take approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Sunday 23rd February- Tuesday 25th February (Whitewater)Sunday 23rd February- Tuesday 25th February (Whitewater)
During your stay in Nelson, you will spend your three days skiing the Whitewater Ski Area with your Ski Club Rep.
Wednesday 26th February (Transfer Day)
You will depart Nelson and head towards your home for the next three days at the Prestige Mountain Resort in Rossland. This journey will take approximately one hour. You may have time to ski a half-day at either Whitewater or RED Mountain. This can be decided in resort with your ski club rep.
Thursday 27th & Friday 28th February (Big Red Cats)
You will spend your first two days in Rossland Cat skiing at Big Red Cats.
Saturday 29th February (RED Mountain)
Your first day at RED Mountain will be spent exploring the area alongside your Ski Club Rep.
Sunday 1st March (Big Red Cats)
Your third and final day Cat skiing day at Big Red Cats.
Monday 2nd March (RED Mountain)
On your last day of skiing, you will spend the day at RED Mountain.
Tuesday 3rd March (Departure Day)
Today is your departure day. Say farewell to those you have met on the trip. Your Ski Club Rep will drive the group minibus back to Kelowna Airport, in time for your flight home. This journey will take approximately 4 hours. Land back into the UK on the 4th March.
|Sat 22 Feb||Tue 03 Mar||Sat 22 Feb
- Tue 03 Mar
|Flexible||Flexible||From £2,999||PRIVATE GROUP||Enquire|
The price includes:
10 nights bed and breakfast on a twin share basis, Set group minibus, Three days Cat skiing, 9 days of social skiing
The price does not include:
Return flights, Lift pass, Evening meals & lunches, Equipment hire
You will need to purchase a three/four-day lift pass for the Whitewater area when in a resort. This will cost approximately CAD$95 a day.
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ABTOT provides protection for your booking as set out in Holiday Information.
Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
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This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Off-Piste Adventure trips. On all our weeks you’ll be staying in comfortable catered chalets or hotels. When skiing you need to carry just a day pack, which contains your safety equipment and any personal items or extra clothing layers you may need.
We continue to see big changes in ski, boot and binding design and technology, which make off-piste skiing and ski touring much more accessible. For our Adventure courses, we prefer you to ski with” freeride” skis, ski touring boots and ski touring bindings. If you have your own skis but they do not have ski touring bindings but are suitable for off-piste then you are welcome to bring them with you. Downhill boots are also acceptable but please bear in mind that you will do some touring on ALL our Off-Piste Adventure courses so you made need to hire suitable skis and boots in a resort.
There are many ‘all-mountain/freeride’ skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from Salomon, Dynastar, Movement, Black Crows, Trab Skis, Scott and Volkl. Look for a ski that is the right size for your height, typically the tip of the ski should be somewhere around your nose height. As for the width of the ski or “side cut” a mid-fat ski – 90-110mm under the foot is a good place to start; this offers plenty of flotation off-piste while remaining suitable for day tours and they should also handle reasonably well on piste and mixed terrain.
Dynastar Skis: www.dynastar.com
Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com
Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com/
Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us/
Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com
Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com
This winter our lead guides are using Salomon Explore MTN and Salomon QST touring skis. The MTN 95 is an award-winning ski with great stability at high speeds whilst the MTN 88 is a best-selling lightweight touring ski. The QST’s are slightly heavier and therefore suited to charging; perfect for day-touring.
Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor are supporting our guides and we suggest that if you’re interested in any of the MTN or QST skis, you should make Lockwoods your first point of call. This winter our lead guides are using Salomon Explore MTN and Salomon QST touring skis.
There are plenty of other great skis to choose from so if you’re planning on buying skis for ski touring or general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us, or Lockwoods, to discuss the options available.
If you are planning on buying skis for ski touring and general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us to discuss the options available to you.
For our Off-Piste Adventure courses its best to have a pair of ski touring boots – they have great skiing performance and with the vibram soles, they are much safer for scrambling around on the rocky or icy ground. However standard downhill ski boots are also acceptable. We do not recommend you come on a trip with brand new boots.
If you are going to be getting into off-piste and ski touring, then rather than having a pair of downhill boots and a pair of ski touring boots, we strongly suggest that you opt for a good pair of ski touring boots. With advances made in plastics, mouldings and materials in recent years you can now get a ‘hybrid’ touring boot that offers as much downhill performance and stiffness but they come with a walk mode and good flexibility for the uphill too. Many boots fall into the category "hike & ride" so a 3 or 4 buckle boot, walk mode, vibram/grippy sole and possible Pin binding compatible.
It just makes more sense - not only are they much more comfortable to walk in compared to ordinary ski boots, they are great to ski in too.
Scarpa has lead the way in touring boots for many years but they have been joined by other manufactures like Dynafit, Salomon, Scott, Black Diamond, Dalbello and K2; all producing their own versions of a ski touring boot.
The best of the rest are:
Fischer - Transalp
Black Diamond – Quadrant and Factor
K2 – Pinnacle boot
Dalbello – Lupo or Sherpa
Langue – XT series offer a ski boot with a walk mode in various flex options
These days many manufacturers offer ‘thermo-fit’ liners as standard equipment. You may also want to consider a custom liner. Heated and moulded to your foot and boot for a perfect fit, they can make all the difference especially if you have trouble finding really comfortable
‘off-the-shelf¹ boots. Zipfit liners are a great option for anyone seeking total customisation in fit and comfort. They will replace the original liner.
Essential kit – to provide additional comfort and ski control. If you want to get footbeds made or a pair of new boots fitted then we suggest you visit somewhere like Profeet for a professional fitting. Don’t forget if you have footbeds in your downhill boots but need to rent touring boots then you can bring the footbeds with you and put them in the hire boots.
We prefer you to have ski touring bindings on your skis for our adventure courses but if you have downhill bindings mounted on your skis then this is perfectly acceptable. The new touring bindings are every bit as safe for downhill as alpine bindings, yet you have the additional advantage of being able to walk uphill with them to access the real off-piste. Fritschi Diamir and Marker both have great bindings which can be used with ski touring boots and downhill boots. Many more people are seeing the advantage of the “pin” binding system now offered by a number of manufactures; they are light and offer ever improving security despite their minimalist looks!
Although Pin bindings have been around since the Dynafit Low Tech bindings over 30 years ago. Since their patent expired the technology has advanced substantially. Salomon, with their Shift Binding, are at the forefront; they’re ‘multi norm compatible’ so fit a selection of boots and are lighter than most freeride bindings. Our lead guides are using the Shift binding this winter, so if you’d like to know more about them give Lockwoods a ring.
Although our Off-Piste Adventure courses rely heavily on the lift systems in resorts, access to and egress from runs sometimes involve climbing and walking a short way and you may undertake 1 or 2 day ski tours, for this reason its best to have skis with ski touring bindings, skins and ski touring boots.
The “Safety Trilogy” - applicable for all our off-piste courses and ski tours.
We recommend simple and intuitive ORTOVOX AVALANCHE RESCUE KIT 3+.
Avalanche airbags/rucksacks – if you wish to ski with one of these on our courses you are welcome to do so, they are not mandatory but we always support the use of available safety items.
You can hire avalanche rucksacks in a lot of resorts, makes are usually Snowpulse/Mammut, ABS or Ortovox AVABAG. Prices vary from shop to shop and resort to resort but a guide line price would be from €20-30 per day or around €100-120 for 6/7 days.
Remember it is not enough just to carry this equipment; you have to know how to use it.
How about joining one of our specialist avalanche courses – check out https://mountaintracks.co.uk/discipline/winter-mountaincraft
For deep powder, tough terrain and minimal crowds, look no further than the resort of Red Mountain in British Columbia. Located above the former mining town of Rossland in the snowy Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, Red Mountain has a real reputation for its advanced and expert terrain. Over 8m of snowfall lands here annually, meaning fresh tracks are on offer more often than not – and they stick around for longer here too owing to the lack of crowds.
Although there has been some recent development at the base of the resort, the best place to stay is 4km away from the slopes in the old mining town of Rossland. Accommodation is really good value and the locals are very friendly, which adds to the appeal of this traditional Canadian town. Attractions away from the slopes are relatively limited – this is a place very much about the skiing. Après is also generally quiet, but Rafters Pub at the base of the slopes has a good happy hour and can get lively after a powder day in particular.
Canadian skiing offers a radically different experience from much of Europe, and in many ways even improves on that of its American neighbours. Time and again, you will hear people talk about the friendliness of the locals – it’s definitely no exaggeration. If you are looking for an authentic Canadian ski experience, look no further than Whitewater Ski Resort in British Columbia. With access to an array of chutes, bowls and glades, it’s no wonder this resort is hailed as one of the hidden gems in the Kootenay region. Following your visit to Whitewater you will head over to Red Mountain Resort, with its 100+ runs, 2,682 skiable acres and 890 meters of vertical terrain spread over three mountains.
WhitewaterIf you are looking for some serious Canadian powder, you will be hard-pressed to find somewhere that surpasses Whitewater Mountain! Its remote nature means that Whitewater is not a resort overrun with visitors; this enables those who do make the journey to enjoy great snow and quiet pistes. After a long day exploring some of the best parts of the Kootenay Mountain region, you can spend your evenings in the town of Nelson, a 15-minute drive from Whitewater. With a range of different restaurants to choose from, your Ski Club Rep will help the group decide where is best for the group to eat in the evenings.
Similar to Whitewater, Red is a resort that is only really known to those searching for some of the most challenging freeride terrain they can find. Its steep chutes, wide glades and powder-filled bowls will pose a challenge for even the most competent skiers. Due to an expansion in 2013, Red mountain allows lift access to a total of 2,787 acres of terrain, so you will be spoilt for choice when exploring this great mountain. Three of the days in the RED Mountain area will be spent at Big Red Cats, a Cat skiing company that is all about finding the best powder! You will spend three full days with their expert guides exploring the 19,300 acres on offer, and enjoying some of the best glades and tree skiing in the world. During your trip, you will be staying in the town of Rossland, which is a 20 minute drive from Red Mountain. Rossland is home to a number of great dining locations, as well as lots of small boutique shops that can found along the historic Columbia Avenue.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
This trip includes a group transfer from Kelowna and to each resort.
Suggested TravelSuggested Travel
22/02/20 - Air Canada AC851: Depart London Heathrow 1325 --- Arrive Calgary 1520
AC8407: Depart Calgary 1645 --- Arrive Kelowna 1707
03/03/20 – Air Canada AC8417: Depart Kelowna 1430 --- Arrive Vancouver 1529
AC854: Depart Vancouver 1800 --- Arrive London Heathrow 1120 (+1 day, land 4th March)
You are of course welcome to fly out early/come home late, but please aim to meet your Ski Club Rep at Kelowna airport on the 22nd February at 1730 or in the resort in Nelson on the same evening.
Please contact the Freshtracks team on 020 8410 2022 for further information on flights.
Our Introductory level is suitable for people who can ski red and black pistes in resorts without problems and you can deal with moguls and some ice. You will be new to off-piste skiing or maybe have dabbled a little on the sides of the piste or even attended a previous off-piste specific course. You would like to ski powder snow with confidence and learn to link turns off-piste in a variety of terrain as well as being able to control your speed and adjust your turn radius.
Introductory level ski touring trips are appropriate for people looking for their first touring experience. The pace is relaxed and typically we skin for 2-4hrs per day so ascents are about 500 - 800m vertical. You need to be a reasonable off-piste skier (at our Off-Piste Development level), able to link controlled parallel turns in powder snow and ski through trees in control. You need to be prepared to hike short sections on foot carrying your skis on your rucksack (though you won’t need any specific mountaineering knowledge, so crampons and an ice axe are usually not required).
Off-Piste Coaching and Adventure
For our Intermediate graded off-piste ski courses and trips you will have at least a couple of weeks off-piste skiing experience and /or received some previous instructions on an off-piste specific course. You can link 10-12 turns together in reasonable control, speed and style, following the fall line in most conditions. If you’re looking to improve your technique in deeper snow and steeper slopes then our Off-Piste Coaching Development trips are for you. These are instructor-led courses.
If you want to get some miles under your skis then look at our Off-Piste Adventure Intermediate trips which are led by our team of Mountain Guides. On the Adventure courses you can expect to hike or ski tour short distances to get to better snow and terrain, although no previous ski touring experience is required.
These tours will involve around 3-5hrs of skinning per day, achieving around 800 – 1000m of vertical ascent. We would expect you to be able skin to a pace of 300m of vertical ascent per hour. You need to be able to execute good uphill kick turns on steeper slopes and have some familiarity with use of crampons and ice axe. You need to be a reasonably strong off-piste skier able to deal with a variety of snow conditions (powder, crust, slush) and able to ski on steeper and narrower slopes with the requisite ability and confidence for exposed sections.
For our Advanced Off-Piste Coaching courses you should be an excellent piste skier and have many years experience of skiing off-piste. You should be able to ski off-piste in most conditions linking controlled parallel turns, ski bumpy terrain, trees, narrow gullies and enjoy pushing yourself to achieve new things. Your skiing should be reasonably fluid and autonomous i.e. you can already adapt your turn radius and speed to the terrain and snow conditions off-piste. This course will focus on the technical and tactical skills to ski steep terrain, jump turns and line choice as well as refreshing your avalanche skills and mountain safety. The mission is for your skiing to become more dynamic and reactive!
You are an experienced and confident off-piste skier able to handle most snow types and conditions, you can ski steep slopes (30 degrees+) and make short turns in gullies and ski through trees. These skills have been learned over a number of years of skiing off-piste with mountain guides or experienced groups of friends. You are happy to ski tour to access descents and better snow, so you will have previously used ski touring equipment and can do effective and safe uphill kick turns. You aspire to ski the best snow available and are happy to push yourself to reach the best snow and terrain.
Advanced-level tours are for experienced ski tourers who’ve previously completed another hut-to-hut trip or multiple day tours. A large proportion of the terrain may be steep and exposed; thus confidence in your uphill kick turns on 35+ degree slopes is a must, as is your ability to ski slopes of 40 degrees. You will be a strong, fluid off-piste skier able to handle all conditions. You will be confident of using crampons and an ice axe and happy scrambling/climbing on snow and rock on short climbs to summits, and in gullies to gain a col.
You can ski fluidly and autonomously on all terrain. You often ski couloirs and gullies and seek out steep slopes and you can jump turn in narrow couloirs and have experience of abseiling and sideslipping on steep terrain. You can ski fast with fluid ‘freeride’ style turns and can jump off small rocks and ski trees with no fear or problems. You are happy to ski tour and hike to reach the best snow and terrain and you should have some basic knowledge of using crampons and ice axe. Your aims are to push your skills and challenge yourself further.
Expert level ski tours are pure ski mountaineering journeys in the high mountains. You must be confident skiing steep exposed terrain and ski touring for at least 5 hours per day with long ascents. You will be expected to climb on your feet carrying your skis on your pack to summit mountains above 4000m in altitude. You must be completely confident with your crampon placement and use of an ice axe and you will have some basic rope skills and be happy walking along exposed ridges on mixed terrain to gain the summits of peaks.
You can ski all day comfortably off-piste with only short stops for food and drink, you can do this for multiple days on your holiday. If necessary you can ski tour for around 1-2 hrs up hill plus your happy to do a few short hikes to access good snow with your skis on your shoulder or rucksack. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
You can ski all day comfortably and will be expected to ascend on skis at around 400m/hr and be able to skin for at least 5hrs with up to 1000m to 1300m of ascent per day. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.