Trip Dates

Freshfield Icefield Basecamp
April 23-27, 2018

Price

$2400 (based on group of 4)

Group Size

Maximum of 5 Guests per Guides

Skill Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Related Trips

Lodge Based Ski Touring
Ski the European Alps
Ski Mountaineering

Backcountry Basecamp

Fly into an exclusive ski touring paradise, explore new terrain far from the crowds...

This remote, tent based, backcountry trip is ideal for those looking at ski touring in seldom visited terrain far from the crowds. It is an exciting heli access program similar to a ski traverse however, here you will enjoy skiing with a light day pack while touring from a well located camp site. 

This year, our backcountry base camp will be in the Freshfield Icefieilds near Banff National Park. This area offers exciting glacier and ski mountaineering alpine terrain, numerous high alpine ski peaks along with some tree skiing. Join us on this exclusive adventure and discover a touring paradise while skiing with a small group. The average yearly snowpack in this area exceeds 4 meters!

Itinerary

The main goal on this program is to have a much fun as possible while skiing a variety of terrain and submitting remote alpine peaks..

We will try tailor the program to meet the guests skiing interests while considering the weather and avalanche conditions.

Here is a sample itinerary:

  • Pre-Trip meeting; Participants will meet the guide(s) at 4pm in Golden, BC before the trip starts. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following days. We will also sign a liability waiver and do an avalanche beacon exercise
  • Day 1; We will fly to the South boundary of Banff National Park near the Freshfield Icefields at 07:00 AM. Our first day will involved setting up camp and skiing as much a possible
  • Day 2-6; We will do various day trips from our basecamp location. We will ski various glaciers and peaks and explore various valley in the area
  • Day 6; On the last day, we will be back in camp at 4pm in time for our short flight back to Golden

Prerequisites

This is an intermediate to advance ski program. Prior overnight backcountry ski touring experience, preferably winter camping, and a minimum of intermediate to advanced backcountry skiing skills is required.

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 options.

Equipment

Click here for the Equipment_List.pdf

Weather

The Canadian Rockies weather can vary drastically, specially in the Spring time.  In Winter you can expect temperatures to be from -20C to –10C in the day while in Spring daily temperatures could rise well above zero. Overnight temperatures will often dip below -20C, even in the Spring. Visibility may be poor or whiteout conditions when snowing heavily or clear on bluebird days. Ensure you are dressed and equipped for all variations as temperatures, wind and precipitation can change rapidly.

Location

This trip is located on the Freshfield icefield in the Canadian Rockies in the Western section of Banff National Park along the BC Alberta border. You will be meeting with your guide the evening before the trip starts in Golden for a final gear check. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following days. We will also sign a liability waiver.

Services Included

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA guide and /or ACMG Ski guide service
  • Helicopter Access to Basecamp and back to Golden
  • All Breakfasts and Dinners while on the trip
  • Tents, Group shelter and Cooking equipment for winter camping
  • Group safety equipment (communication device, rescue kit, first aid supplies, GPS, maps)

Not included in price:

  • individual lunches, snacks
  • GST 5% tax
  • Personal ski touring boots, skis, skins or splitboard
  • personal avalanche safety equipment *SMG rentals available $25/day for beacon ($15), shovel ($5) & probe ($5)
  • Transportation to meeting location
  • additional charges to due changes in itinerary or group number
  • Trip cancellation, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance

FAQ

Where can I rent Ski touring and safety equipment?

Summit Mountain Guides has a limited amount of winter safety equipment available for rental. Contact us for availability. Here are a few outdoor stores in Nelson that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.

Rivers Oceans and Mountains 354-2056 www.roamshop.com
Valhalla Pure Outfitters 354-1006 www.shop.vpo.ca
Gericks   354-4622 www.gericks.com

Skis, Telemark or Split Boards?

Which should you use? If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine Touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier or Snowboarder should you bring Telemark or Split Board gear. All types of gear can be rented in Nelson prior to your day trip.  There are three types of backcountry systems you can use:

Alpine Touring skis are essentially downhill skis with a special touring binding which allows the heel to lift whilst going uphill or across the flats and then ‘locks down’ to become a regular downhill safety binding. We recommend this system to anyone with a background of downhill skiing who is not already an advanced telemark skier. 

Telemark skis. These should only be used for this program if you are at least an advanced-intermediate telemark skier with some backcountry experience. This system is more difficult and less forgiving than the others.

Snowboarding with a Split Board is the most effective way to snowboard in the back country. We recommend this system to advanced snowboarder over snowshoeing.