Category Archives: backcountry

Incredible Spring Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

With more and more bear sightings coming in, it’s hard to think about skiing and snowboarding….but you must!!! 2011 has so far been a record breaking year for snowfall and with the lower temperatures, the powder conditions are that of mid-winter. ¬†Environment Canada predicted a later spring which has so far proven to be true.

Where to head? Sunshine Village in Banff National Park is still rocking with incredible snow conditions and no crowds. Even Easter was quiet this year due to it being a little later in the year than usual. Sunshine Village will wrap things up for the season on May 23 2011 with the 83rd annual Slush Cup. There is lots more going on including the Sunshine Village 3rd annual Bikinis for Breast Cancer fundraiser.

The video footage below was taken in March and April this year in Sunshine Village’s backcountry. These skiers are experienced expert locals and have all the right backcountry gear so please do not imitate!

Enjoy these excellent extended ski conditions and be sure to look out for bears, wolves, deer, elk and big horn sheep (to name a few) on the spring ski bus to Sunshine Village from Banff!

Thanks for reading and feel free to share your spring skiing and boarding experiences with everyone below!

Heli-Hiking in the Canadian Rockies, Canada

We are excited to tell you about heli-hiking packages in Western Canada for summer 2011. You may think it is too early to be planning next year’s summer holiday in the Canadian Rockies and Western Canada, but there are limited departures for these popular three and six-day trips and so they usually book up quickly. You will have the opportunity to hike in the Purcell Mountain Range and the Bugaboos.

These heli-hiking tours are customised and so are suitable for families through to extremists! It’s not all about hiking either, with two luxury backcountry lodges in the Columbia Mountains of BC, there are many fun activities to take part in. For those of you who are into keeping your heart rate down, there is painting, photography and yoga available for you and your group. If you are looking for an adrenalin rush, there is via ferrata, ziplining, traversing a snow-covered glacier (whilst being roped to your fellow travellers) and rappelling a sheer rock-face to keep you entertained. There are of course plenty of spectacular hikes to do from both lodges (Bugaboo Lodge and Bobbie Burns Lodge).

The video below should get you excited.  If you want more information including rates, just click on the link below for this and other Rocky Mountain Holiday packages:

=>Heli-Hiking in Canada (External Link)

Prevent conflicts with wildlife

They may sometimes appear unconcerned by our presence, but all park animals are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Keep your distance from wildlife

Always keep your distance.

Do not approach or entice wildlife. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens instead.

Remain at least:

– 100 metres (10 bus lengths) away from BEARS, COUGARS and WOLVES

– 30 metres (3 bus lengths) away from ELK, DEER, SHEEP, GOATS and MOOSE

Never leave food attractants out for wildlife.

Food attractants include:

– coolers (they are NOT bearproof!)

– food scraps or leftovers

– dishwater

– dirty dishes, pots or barbecues

– empty bottles, cans or wrappers

– toothpaste, soap or other toiletries

– pets

– pet food dishes (full or empty)

Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Because it is impossible to predict how wildlife will react in any situation, avoiding encounters is the only sure way to keep people safe and wildlife wild.

– Always be on the lookout for animals or signs of their presence.

– Carefully supervise children whenever outdoors.

Source: Parks Canada

Heli-Hiking Canada

Heli-Hiking in the Canadian Rockies is a great way to see some backcountry under careful supervision of a qualified guide. I have written a bit about my recent Heli-Hike experience and included some photos for you to enjoy.

Helicopter

I went out last Tuesday, October 14, which is getting quite late for Heli-Hiking. As you can see by the pictures, there was already some snow. Once the snow really accumulates, you can take advantage of a Heli-Snowshoe tours which can also be booked through rocky-peak Ski Holidays.

The drive to the Helicopter start point is spectacular in itself as you have to drive along the magnificent Icefields Parkway from either Jasper, Banff or Lake Louise. The location makes this tour a great addition to many itineraries in Western Canada as it is right en-route and so minimises travel time.

Once you arrive at the Icefields Heliport, just outside of Banff National Park, you will be safety briefed, geared up, and then you board the helicopter.

heli-hike

The helicopter takes you into the backcountry where you can start your hike with the certified guide. Martha, the guide, was very knowledgeable and has the qualifications to back this up!

heli-hike

The walk in itself was easy, however, if you are a stronger hiker, slightly more challenging heli-hikes can be arranged. The home-made gourmet lunch was delicious and really satisfying. After a couple of hours of hiking, the guide will radio the helicopter pilot and you will be picked up. It really is that easy!

Helicopter Landing

I hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any questions, please feel free to post here and I will do my best to answer them, or you can contact rocky-peak Holidays direct.

Do you like Yoga? Why not try a Heli-Yoga tour?!

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Memorable hiking in the Canadian Rockies.

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There are many photo opportunities!

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The only things left behind: your footprints.

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Nature surrounds you. Opportunites to see wildlife.

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The guide knows the area better than anyone!

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Scenic mountain streams.

Abraham Lake
Abraham Lake greets you on your return flight.