A culturally modified tree along the trail from lake to lodge.


There are many terrain options including tree skiing.


Burnie Glacier Chalet is easy to get to - leave Vancouver in the morning and ski in the afternoon!


The ultimate backcountry experience in the mountains of northwestern BC.

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing

Tempted by the big lines and adventure of backcountry skiing? Intimidated by all the scary stories about avalanches, crevasses and storms? Find out for yourself! This course will leave you with a solid knowledge of what you’re getting into – and memories of incredible runs, wonderful food, the magic of lodge living, and backcountry adventure coached by an experienced mountain guide and CAA instructor.

In a week based at the Burnie Glacier Chalet, you will learn to contents of CAA certified Avalanche Skills Training I and II Course, and get those tickets. You also get a Companion Rescue course. But that’s just where it starts. There is much more to ski mountaineering than that! From efficient skinning to making kickturns that work in steep terrain, from glacier travel to crevasse rescue and from map reading to whiteout navigation, this full week of training and skiing will give you an appreciation of the complexity and magic of the winter mountains.

All you’ll have to bring is ski mountaineering boots, and I have a few pairs of those should all else fail. We provide skis, skins, bindings, avalanche beacons, probes and shovels, all at no extra cost. It is of course preferable if you have your own.

Each day will focus on a particular topic, trained in the field in small groups with certified guides. In the evenings, there are presentations to provide background and to answer questions. Don’t worry, there will be time for some great powder skiing (that’s what it’s all about, after all), our famous saunas and our even more famous dinners.

Cost: $2650 per person


My husband and I did the second half of the Donjek River route with Christoph Dietzfelbinger of Bear Mountaineering in 2010. This was our first trip with him but not our last, as we intend to do another in 2011. The trip was a complete success thanks to his expertise, organization, and personality. The equipment and food were great, his enthusiasm and experience inspire confidence, and Christoph is a charming and interesting fireside companion. We both unreservedly recommend Bear Mountaineering to anyone wanting guided wilderness travel in western Canada. 

Noni Fenwick-Wilson and Stirling Fraser, Comox BC