Trip Dates

May 5-11, 2018

Price

$3400 CAD

Group Size

3 guests per guides

Skill Level

Advanced

Related Trips

Lodge Based Ski Touring
Ski the European Alps
Ski Mountaineering

Cathedral Glacier Basecamp

The essence of Canadian Ski Mountaineering...

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.

Itinerary

The main goal on this ski mountaineering program is ascending remote high elevation peaks. We will tailor the program to meet this goal while considering the weather and avalanche conditions.

Here is a sample itinerary:

  • Pre-Trip meeting (May 7th); Participants will meet the guide(s) at 4pm in Whitehorse Yukon. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following days. We will also sign a liability waiver and possibly do an avalanche beacon exercise
  • Day 1 (May 8th); We will drive to Haines Junction and fly to the Cathedral Glacier in Kluane National Park by helicopter at 07:00 AM. Our first day will involved setting up camp and exploring access to the various peak options
  • Day 2-7; We will do various day trips from our basecamp location. We will ski various glaciers and attempt Mount Kennedy (4250m), Mount Alverstone (4419m) & Mount Hubbard (4557m)
  • Day 7 (May 14); On the last day, we will be back in camp at 4pm in time for our flight back to Haines Junction

Prerequisites

This is an advanced ski mountaineering program. Participant must have previous experience in similar conditions and be proficient with ski & boot crampons, ice axe and roped travel. Ability to ski variable snow at altitude in terrain up to 45 degrees is required.

Equipment

Cathedral_Glacier_Equipment_List.pdf

Weather

The weather in the St-Elias Mountains can be very difficult to predict. Spring daily temperatures could rise to above freezing. Overnight temperatures will often dip below -20C.

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

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.

Services Included

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA guide and /or ACMG Ski guide service
  • Helicopter Access to Basecamp and back to Haines Junction
  • 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.