We ski from the top and the top is the summit…

Ski mountaineering is the merging of backcountry ski touring and the sport of mountaineering. It combines all the joy and hardship of earning your turns along with the rewards of basic mountaineering peak ascents. A typical ski mountaineering objective primarily involves a long ski ascent and descent on high alpine and glaciated terrain. Where it becomes mountaineering is that to reach the summit proper, one has to climb on foot over basic rock and/or ice on an exposed summit ridge or mountain face. Ski mountaineering is most rewarding to the skier who likes the added challenge of reaching a significant summit while ski touring.

Both Western Canada and the European Alps offer outstanding ski mountaineering venues for the intermediate to advance ski tourer. Spring is the optimal season for such trips. The deeper snowpack, more reliable weather conditions along with longer and warmer days all contribute to a more successful trip during spring season. 

Whether you are an advanced mountaineer with specific goals or interested in exploring a new discipline, Summit Mountain Guides has a ski mountaineering program from you. Choose from one of our programs below and contact us if you are interested in a custom trip.

Ski Mountaineering 101

An introduction to ski mountaineering covering the skills to plan & execute big mountain objectives. Learn a safe progressive approach to get after big peaks, glaciers, steeps, couloirs & high summits! This 3 day course will take your backcountry skiing skills to the next level.  Join ACMG/IFMGA mountain guide David Lussier for structured and supportive learning atmosphere.

Topics include; equipment required, understanding the alpine environment, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, trip planning, navigation, steep snow climbing, steep skiing, crampons, ice axe, rappelling & anchor basics.

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Svalbard Ski & Sail

A unique ski touring expedition in the rugged mountains of the Svalbard/Spitsbergen archipelago in the arctic ocean. Located at 79º latitude & north of Norway, this area provides an amazing opportunity to discover a remote alpine range, arctic wildlife, glaciated peaks and world class skiing.

Our base, the “Noorderlicht“, is a comfortable 2 mast sailing yacht from where we will sample the best ski touring spots along the west coast of Spitsbergen. The high latitude and long Spring days will provide 24hr daylight. Due to the presence of polar bears, the guides will be carrying bear deterrents and firearms during the ski touring days.

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Antarctic Peninsula

SMG is excited to have teamed up with ice axe expedition to offer this trip of a lifetime. Ski-touring on the antarctic peninsula will provide a unique opportunity to scale & ski some of the white continent’s untamed peaks. We will journey deep into the rugged landscape of one of earth’s last frontiers while enjoying the convenience, safety and comfort of the Sea Adventurer expedition ship. To access this remote venue, we will sail past Cape Horn, across the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula with an exclusive group of intrepid travelers inspired by the legacy of Antarctic discovery.

This is an incredible opportunity to experience true modern exploration as you travel to a land covered by glaciers, seldom visited by man. Travel through alleys of icebergs and study the blue mystery of such extraordinary formations of nature. Explore harbors and bays while surrounded by clouds of seabirds and become enveloped in the raw magnificence. Witness the profound beauty and isolation of a land covered by ice. Listen to glaciers calve and observe with wonder minke whales, black-browed albatross, snow petrels, penguins and seals.

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Mount Logan (from Cdn side)

Mount Logan, 5960m above see level,  is located in the remote St. Elias Range of North Western Canada in the Yukon Territory. It is the crown jewel of Kluane National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Logan is the highest peak in Canada, and though second in North America only to Mount McKinley, is a more spectacular mountain without the crowds. This 20 to 25 day ski mountaineering expedition is serious and rewarding, it is best done in May and early June.

The Ski Mountaineering route of choice up Mount Logan is the famous King’s trench. This route features generally straightforward ski touring terrain on large broken glaciers and involves winter camping at high altitude. The ascent gradually climbs 3500m over 23kms, from base camp to summit, and offers a fantastic panorama on some of the biggest glaciers in the world. Mount Logan is for advanced ski mountaineers wishing to push their skills on a challenging summit.

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Mount Columbia

At 3747m, Mount Columbia is the tallest summit in Alberta, and second highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. This classic ski mountaineering peak is located across the majestic Columbia Icefields.

This 4 day trip is a like a mini expedition in the heart of a remote region, it is best suited for intermediate to advanced ski mountaineers. We also offer a 5 day summer ascent programs on foot for intermediate mountaineers.

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Mount Waddington (NW Summit)

Mount Waddington, 4019m above see level, is the highest peak in the Coast mountain range of British Columbia. While the main summit is technical and only accessible in summer by advanced mountaineers, the North West summit (4000m high) provides one of the most interesting and aesthetic ski mountaineering challenge in the coast mountains. It is a Canadian Classic!

While Waddington is the main goal on this trip, the area offers many other interesting peak ascents/descents including; Mount Munday, Jester, Cavalier & Finality Mountains. Join us and discover the massive scale of the Waddington Icecap area while ski-mountaineering on some of the largest glaciers & peaks in British Columbia. This 7 day trip is offered by Summit Mountain Guides from mid April to late May.

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Cathedral Glacier Basecamp

This remote, tent based, ski mountaineering trip is ideal for those looking at attempting high elevation ski peaks far from the crowds. It is an exciting heli access program similar to a ski traverse however, the focus here is on peak bagging while skiing with a lighter day pack from a well located basecamp. 

The Cathedral Glacier is located in a remote corner of the St-Elias Mountains in Kluane National Park in Southwestern Yukon. Our backcountry base camp will be strategically located at 3200m from where we will make ski mountaineering attempts on Mount Kennedy (4250m), Mount Alverstone (4419m) & Mount Hubbard (4557m). Many other “smaller” peaks are also possible. This area offers exciting glacier and ski mountaineering terrain along with numerous high alpine ski peaks. Join us on this exclusive adventure and discover a touring paradise while skiing with a small group.

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