British Columbia has something that no other place in the world has: incredible, remote lodges that provide unique access to wild backcountry terrain. Sure, Europe has plenty of refuges that provide access to the mountains, Colorado has a few pretty plush huts, and California has some incredible huts as well. None of these options provide the remote feel of British Columbia.
A typcal Client Room in a British Columbia backcountry Lodge.
Most BC lodges are accessed by helicopter, from staging areas that feel like wilderness even before you fly 60 klicks into the sticks. In Europe, huts are quite comfortable as well, but they're easily accessed from lifts and other means and often lack the feeling of being completely removed from civilization as they are open to passersby wandering in for an expresso and a slice of pie. Which is not to say they're bad, this is actually an amazing feature of travelling in the alps and other ranges of Europe. But it doesn't give off that "you have to fly in or skin in for days to get here" vibe that you get from BC Lodges.
Lodge trips in British Columbia are a basecamp for ski touring and ski mountaineering. Instead of acting as a quick stop over for a night or two while guests tick off an objective in the Alps, guests stay at Lodges in BC for a whole week, exploring deeper in the terrain as the snowpack and weather allows. The goals less about gaining a peak than it is about skiing the best snow quality you can find and discovering all the features the terrain has to offer.
The feeling of teamwork is always at the forefront on BC Lodge trips. The group flies in together and lives together in an off the grid "hut" powered by micro-hydro generators and solar and heated with propane and wood. Each day, groups of skiers choose a group to tackle their objective with, whether it's one huge singular ski line or a day of linking multiple smaller lines. Groups flex with the desires of the and can range from a couple thousand vertical feet to over 6,000' per day.
Better than breakfast in your ski town?...Snowfall Lodge, BC
Some Lodges are fully plumbed and have fancy creature comforts, while others are rustic and require a bit more work from guests. Snowfall Lodge and Icefall Lodge both have great micro hydro power and running water, while Sunrise lodge requires buckets of water to be drawn at a nearby lake. Not as bad as it sounds, but definitely a bit more rugged!
Yeah, that can make for a cold morning... Snowfall Lodge BC.
Lodges in BC definitely are not hotels, they’re about as close as you can get being off the grid in the middle of nowhere.
Typical create comforts include:
- Heated boot and gear drying room
- Full sized, commercial or residential style kitchens
- Large dining room for meals and chilling after skiing
- Commonly double occupancy rooms
- Indoor pee toilets for women
- Sauna and gravity fed showers (usually a watering can style arrangement with hot water heated by the sauna stove - much better than it sounds!!)
Some Lodges have:
- Running Water with Flush toilets
- Wi-Fi for purchase
Beautiful views and incredible snow at Sol Mountain Lodge, BC
Suffice it to say, if you're a skier or rider first and a hotel connoisseur second, you will have an awesome time at a British Columbia Ski Lodge! It's exactly the kind of trip you want to go on if an expedition sounds appealing, but you don't like tents, being cold, or having to cook for yourself! It's exactly why this is our favorite way to ski tour!