Backcountry Skiing


View all backcountry skiing programs

Private Ski and Ice Climbing Guiding

Join one of our ACMG-certified guides for a day or more of guided backcountry skiing, ice climbing, or instructional content. This can be an extremely cost-effective way to get you and your friends out in the hills with a qualified professional!

Please contact us for a complete quote. Maximum ratios will vary depending on the chosen objective.

Rates begin at $575 per day for one guest, with an additional $50 for each additional guest to a maximum of six guests per guide. Guests will also be responsible for Guide expenses, such as mileage, or for transporting the guide to the program venue. Guests will also be responsible for expenses such as hut and camping fees, guides' food, and backcountry passes for overnight trips. Certain very long objectives completed in a single day may have an additional surcharge applied.

Please contact ocprograms@ucalgary.cafor a detailed quote.

Rogers Pass Boutique Ski Week

Rogers Pass is one of the best ski touring destinations in North America and is host to as many steep and deep runs as your legs can handle! Join us for 5 days filled with shredding powder lines at the Pass and come "home" to soak in the hot tub and relax at the luxurious Moberley Lodge, located near Golden, BC. Accomodations, meals and certified guide provided. This trip is suitable for those who have backcountry skiing experience and are comfortable skiing black runs at the local ski resort. 

Intro to Backcountry Skiing and Riding Weekend

Do you dream of venturing away from the ski resort crowds and hustle to explore the limitless ski runs and fresh powder snow of the Canadian Rockies backcountry? If you are an intermediate skier who is confident navigating variable and off-piste terrain at the resort then this is the course for you. Join us for a weekend of foundation-level instruction on the essential skills for backcountry skiing, including climbing efficiently with skins, basic companion rescue, and track setting, with a second day tour to get some great powder turns

Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Riding Day

Do you dream of venturing away from the ski resort crowds and hustle to explore the limitless ski runs and fresh powder snow of the Canadian Rockies backcountry? If you are an intermediate skier who is confident navigating variable and off-piste terrain at the resort then this is the course for you. Join us for a day of foundation-level instruction on the essential skills for backcountry skiing, including climbing efficiently with skins, basic companion rescue, and track setting.

Backcountry Bonus Tours

Add a Monday Bonus Tour to your introductory weekend. Join us for a guided ski tour focused on building travel and safety skills while enjoying great terrain. 
This is the perfect extra day to practice with our experienced guides following a weekend Avalanche Safety Training 1 or Introduction to Backcountry Skiing, but also great for those who want to continue to build beginner to intermediate backcountry skills before taking on larger objectives. Our guides will model and discuss good decision-making and share helpful tips to get the most out of your day.
Prerequisite: basic backcountry skiing or splitboarding skills and avalanche companion rescue training.

Powder Days

Are you a powder wizard? Lay down fresh tracks at a location in the Canadian Rockies selected by your experienced, local guide. Our experienced guides will lead you on a fun, safe day of backcountry touring and turns in some of Alberta’s best powder, with each date's location chosen to take advantage of the best conditions.
Prerequisites: 18+, strong physical fitness, ability to ski/ride under control in all snow conditions and training in avalanche companion rescue. Includes: ACMG guides.

First Track Fridays

Beat the crowds out to the fresh snow. Lay down first tracks at a location in the Canadian Rockies selected by your experienced, local guide. Our experienced guides will lead you on a fun, safe day of backcountry touring and turns in some of Alberta’s best powder, with locations chosen to take advantage of the best conditions.
Prerequisites: 18+, strong physical fitness, ability to ski/ride under control in all snow conditions and training in avalanche companion rescue. Includes: ACMG guides.

Ski Summit Series

These classic 1-day backcountry Rocky Mountain ascents are great workouts with the good possibility of astounding powder runs. Skiers must be in good shape as all trips involve a minimum 900-metre elevation gain. Be prepared for big challenges and even bigger rewards. Prerequisites: 18+, strong physical fitness, ability to ski/ride under control in all snow conditions and training in avalanche companion rescue. Includes: ACMG guides.

Crevasse Rescue 1

Spend a day learning the equipment and techniques used in crevasse rescue.
We will use a site in the Bow Valley that allows us to practice skills essential to safe travel on a glacier, as well as basic rescue systems.

This course teaches fundamental crevasse rescue skills, including: 
- glacier topography and safe navigation 
- roping up for glacier travel 
- rope management 
- holding a load 
- tractor pull rescue technique 
- drop loop assisted rescue 
- transferring a load 
- hauling systems  
- self-rescue techniques 

Wapta Traverse

The Wapta Traverse is a classic hut-to-hut ski tour in one of the most popular areas for ski mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies. We will traverse vast expanses of glacier, surrounded by attainable ski-mountaineering objectives. Spending nights in the famous Alpine Club of Canada hut network allows us to travel relatively lightly and get a quick start each morning. Every backcountry skier who comes to the Canadian Rockies will want to experience the Wapta Traverse at least once!

For Winter 2021/2022 we offer two versions of the Wapta Traverse:
  • 4 day Condensed Wapta (39 km) starting at Peyto Lake and spending a night in each of the Peyto, Balfour, and Scott Duncan Huts. This trip is ideal for experienced and physically fit skiers.
  • 5 day Intro to Ski Traversing on the Wapta Icefields (35 km plus side trips) starting with 2 nights in the Bow Hut to give us an opportunity to ease into the traverse, learn some skills and attempt a ski mountaineering objective. We will then ski the Wapta traverse with a night each in Balfour and Scott Duncan Huts. This trip is ideal for avid backcountry skiers who are comfortable with transitions and skiing with a large pack.

19 yrs and up (or 16+ if accompanied by a parent). Prerequisite: strong intermediate skier in good physical condition. Includes: ACMG guides, hut fees, backcountry access fees, specialized glacier travel equipment (harness, ropes, crampons, etc.).

Bow Yoho Traverse

This classic, multi-day backcountry traverse gives access to tremendous views and great skiing or boarding. The first night is spent at Bow Hut. On the second and third nights we will stay in the new Louise and Richard Guy Hut. The fourth and fifth are at the beautiful Stanley Mitchell Hut, and on the last day we will make an incredible descent to Emerald Lake (conditions permitting). Our bonus nights in the Louise and Richard Guy Hut and the Stanley Mitchel Hut will set us up nicely to attempt some of the excellent ski mountaineering along the way! 

Prerequisite: strong intermediate-expert skier/splitboarder in good physical condition. Includes: ACMG guide, hut fees, backcountry access fees, specialized glacier travel equipment (harness, ropes, crampons, etc.), evening meals.

Private Instruction or Guiding

Many of our instructors and guides are available for individual lessons or private guided trips. We have the ability to customize an experience based on skillset and needs. If you have something specific in mind, email ocprograms@ucalgary.ca and we'll do our best to accommodate your request.