Trip Dates

Custom dates on demand for small groups, late June through September ideal.


Contact us

Group Size

1:5 maximum

Skill Level

Beginner to Advanced

Related Trips

Overnight Alpine Hikes
Snow & Ice Course
Introduction to Mountaineering
Off Trail Trekking
Introduction to Backpacking Course

Glacier Hikes

Expand your hiking adventure onto ancient ice, trek on glaciers with an alpine guide…

We explore onto ice in Kokanee Glacier, Woodbury Glacier, Whitewater Pass, Starbird Pass, MacBeth Icefield, Horseshoe Glacier and more.  Programs for very advanced hikers can be done in a two day program, usually three for more enjoyment in the alpine.

With a certified alpine guide you’ll learn how to rope up and walk on the glacier and move safely around crevasses, learn to use an ice axe, may use crampons and perhaps even summit a small peak! Glacier trekking can be a fun experience with a group or family and gives a window into the high mountain alpine terrain.

We offer a number of backpacking hikes that access glaciers, each different from one another, choose from one of our classics below or visit our favorite trails page for inspiration.

Tent Based

Whitewater Glacier
Mt. Brennan Glacier
MacBeth Icefield
Horseshoe Glacier

Hut Based

Kokanee Glacier



The complete itinerary is somewhat flexible and will vary depending on participant needs, weather, conditions and course location. To maximize your learning, this course will either be based at a remote mountain hut or a back country camp.

Below is a sample itinerary for a four day program. 

Day 1: Pre-trip meeting 5 PM in Nelson (2 hours)

  • Welcome, introduction, goals & agenda, waiver.
  • Review of planed itinerary and current conditions
  • Gear & meals check; session on packing strategy
  • Day 2 Hike in to remote mountain hut or back country camp location

  • early morning meet a predetermined location or trail head
  • 3-7 hour hike to base camp, varies on trail difficulty
  • set up tents, evening meal and optional session
  • For students on a course skills sessions covered include pacing and walking tips, navigation (maps, compass and GPS skills), preparedness, safe route selection and more.

    Day 3 Walking on Glacial Ice

  • early camp breakfast
  • skills sessions on ice including knots, rope management, pacing, crampon/ice axe use and hike to summit or view point
  • evening meal and optional session
  • Day 4 Hike out

  • early camp breakfast
  • small morning hike & camp pack up
  • 3-7 hour hike out & return to town
  • Prerequisites

    Programs are beginner to advanced.  Good physical fitness, comfort and experience with hiking and carrying a pack. Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability. 

    Please contact us to discuss your background and which location would suit you best.  No previous climbing or mountaineering experience is required for this experience but is useful, consider a beginner rock climbing course.




    Due to the higher elevations, proximity to dominant winds and weather conditions, mountain weather is difficult to predict. It is most often worse than the weather in the surrounding valleys and can change quickly as it is really hard to predict for more than 24hrs ahead. 

    In summer you expect temperatures to be from 10 C to 28C in the day while overnight temperature can drop dramatically in the high alpine, even below zero.  Temperatures are much colder at higher elevations, even in the summer. It is not uncommon to have overnight freezing temperatures in the alpine, outside a mountain hut or near a back country camp. 

    It is always an interesting challenge to know exactly what you are going to get, therefore is important to be flexible with timing and not too attached to a particular goal or objective.  Be prepared by bringing all required items, this ensure you will be dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind, precipitation.


    Our backpacking glacier hikes programs occur in the Valhalla Mountains, Goat Range, Selkirk and Purcell Mountains near Kaslo, Nelson and New Denver.

    Contact your guide by phone or email the week before for meeting location.  Your guide will do a two hour briefing and packing demonstration the night in Nelson.

    Services Included

    • Pre-course planning support
    • Fully certified IFMGA and/or ACMG Hiking Guide, Alpine Guide or Mountain Guide services
    • 20 years of experience in the area
    • Alternative plan based on current conditions
    • technical mountain equipment (crampons, ice axe, rope, harness)
    • group kitchen, cooking supplies
    • hut costs
    • Park permits and Liability Insurance
    • Emergency response plan
    • Group safety equipment

    Services NOT included:

    • 5% gst tax
    • dinners & breakfast meals on trip, available for $45/night
    • national park wilderness pass $10/night
    • personal clothing, overnight equipment, hiking/mountaineering boots *see equipment list for more details
    • personal lunch & snacks
    • travel to meeting location and accommodation prior to field portion trip
    • transportation to trailhead
    • gratuities
    • trip interruption, cancellation insurance or medical insurance
    • additional costs incurred if changes made to itinerary due to weather


    How experienced do I need to be?

    On this backpacking and glacier walking program will benefit from previous hiking experience.  Good physical fitness is a must, comfort and experience with carrying an overnight pack is very useful.

    Is it safe?

    On all back country programs, we provide you with fully certified IFMGA / ACMG Mountain, alpine and hiking guides. This gives you the highest safety standards in the industry. While it is impossible to eliminate all the hazards, our guides will maximize your experience and greatly minimize the risks involved.

    Can I rent some of the equipment needed during the programs?

    On the overnight tenting programs we offer participants access to hiking or camping equipment at no extra charge, however you are welcome to bring your own.  This includes:  glacier trekking equipment, hiking poles, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, stove, pots etc. Contact us for specifics and availability.

    Where can I purchase personal and safety equipment?

    We have some equipment available for rent, contact us.  If you’d like to buy gear consider outdoor stores in Nelson that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent/buy gear well in advance.

    Rivers Oceans and Mountains 354-2056
    Valhalla Pure Outfitters 354-1006