Rogers Pass offers some of the most exciting and challenging terrain in North America. From high glaciers to beautiful open bowls, tree skiing to small chutes and steep adrenalin-fuelled couloirs, the list is endless. Its proximity to the highway also gives you the flexibility to ski a range of different aspects and altitudes, providing a multitude of options for the intermediate to expert skier whatever the weather.
Our Rogers Pass ski touring guides aim to find the best snow in the area while keeping safety as our priority. At the same time, you’ll be provided tips on how to improve your powder skiing technique and widen your knowledge about travel in complex mountain terrain. Most importantly, we want to challenge you and have fun!
Can’t make our weekend Rogers Pass backcountry skiing dates? Our ACMG ski guides are available for private ski guiding in Roger’s Pass and surrounding areas. Visit our private skiing package page for more flexible options.
Day 1: Meet at the Rogers Pass Visitor Information Centre at 9:00 am (PST). We will check the weather and avalanche forecasts, then head out for an appropriate ski touring objective. Today we’ll likely do something around Connaught Creek where there are several short but terrific ski tours.
Days 2 and 3: There’s a multitude of backcountry ski options available in Roger’s Pass and we will select objectives that fit the group’s ability and energy. Perhaps the Sapphire Col – Lily Glacier loop or one of the routes from Bostock Creek.
More skiing: If these dates do not work for you or you prefer to ski privately with a guide we can customize a ski touring and backcountry skiing trip for you in Roger’s Pass. There are two backcountry huts that we can base ourselves out of in Rogers Pass or several hotel accommodations in Golden or Revelstoke, BC.
Although Rogers Pass ski touring is world-renowned, the terrain is very serious. Hiring a ski guide will increase your overall experience since they are familiar with the terrain, are avalanche professionals and certified to travel on glaciers. The average annual snowfall in Rogers Pass is close to 10 meters. Several runs have over 1000 meters of ascent and descent. There is a reason why this area is considered the backcountry skiing capital of Canada.
We ask that you read the ‘Is it For You’ section on the sidebar to the right. Participants in this program must be advanced or high intermediate skiers in very good physical shape. If your skiing or fitness level is below the requirement but you still want to experience skiing in Rogers Pass you should consider hiring a private ski guide who will tailor a program to your abilities. We would be pleased to do this for you with one of our ski guides. Please call us if you have questions or concerns about your fitness or experience. If your physical fitness level or skiing ability is not to standard, we cannot guarantee you will be able to complete the full program.
This should not be your first ski touring and backcountry ski trip. You MUST have previous ski touring experience.
Meeting Time and Place
Meet at the Rogers Pass Visitor Information Centre at 9:00 am (PST) on the first day. Please be dressed and ready for ski touring with skins on your skis. As soon as we hit the trail, we will do an avalanche companion rescue refresher.
- Introduce participants to ski touring at Rogers Pass
- Find as much good powder skiing as possible
- Refresh backcountry techniques and knowledge
- Have fun and do a lot of skiing
Guides and Group Size
Our Roger’s Pass ski groups tend to be small.
Our instructors are certified professional ski guides who are licenced and trained to guide and instruct in the backcountry. There will be a maximum of 6 participants per guide and a maximum of 12 participants on the program. The program will require 4 participants to run.
Transport to Roger’s Pass is not included in this program.
Rogers Pass is 350km west of Calgary on the Trans Canada (#1) Highway in Glacier National Park. Calgary International Airport is regularly serviced by flights from Europe and throughout North America.
During the trip, we stay in the Wheeler Hut. Sleeping areas are communal and facilities basic. We cook on propane stoves and melt snow to get water for drinking, cooking and washing.
Wheeler Hut is heated with two wood stoves. There are sleeping pads in the hut as well as eating utensils and cooking gear.
Accommodation in Canmore, Golden or Revelstoke is not included.
Evening meals and hot drinks will be supplied by Yamnuska. Breakfasts, lunches and trail snacks are NOT included but can be purchased with the full backcountry food package.
Food Package $72 (additional 3 lunches and snacks, and 2 breakfasts)
Those taking the food package will have lightweight, nutritious and delicious breakfasts, lunches and trail snacks supplied. Meals are prepared by our in-house chef from fresh, nutritious ingredients and then dehydrated to make them suitable for backcountry travel. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the food pack to meet your individual needs. As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges. For vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, nut-free or any similar type of single restriction menu requests, there will be a $16/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply. For any 3 restrictions, a $30/day surcharge will apply. Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged. For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would apply. To minimize weight and the risk of you not properly planning food, we recommend the full meal package.
Equipment and Clothing
You will need to bring your own clothing, avalanche beacon, snow shovel, probe, alpine touring or telemark skis, poles, climbing skins and a daypack. We have many of these items available to rent when available. We supply other group safety items. The equipment and clothing you bring to Roger’s Pass will have a big impact on the quality of your ski touring experience. Please be sure to bring all the items listed. If unsure about anything please don’t hesitate to call and ask us!
There are two ski touring systems you can use: System 1 Alpine Touring skis are essentially downhill skis with a special ski 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 in downhill skiing. System 2 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 other.
Which should you use? If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine Ski Touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier should you bring Telemark gear.
Both types of gear can be rented in Calgary and Canmore prior to the trip
You need to bring:
- Skis We recommend a short (160 – 185cm) wide ski designed for powder skiing and ski touring. Please see note under rental information if you are renting ski equipment.
- Climbing skins ‘Stick-on type’
- Ski Poles
- Ski boots
- Avalanche Transceiver – digital transceiver with a triple antennae rentals available
- Avalanche shovel – collapsible metal shovel designed for companion rescue rentals available
- Collapsible probe rentals available
- Backpack (at least 65L, large enough for a sleeping bag, spare clothes, and your share of group food & equipment) rentals available
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothes, lunch & equipment) rentals available
- Sleeping Bag We recommend a 3-season bag
- Sunglasses and ski goggles
- Thermos flask and water bottle
- Sunblock & Lip Cream
- Pocket knife
- Small Flashlight or Headlamp with fresh batteries
- Small Blister & 1st-Aid Kit
- Personal Toilet Items
- Ear Plugs
- Family FRS radio (short-range, multi-frequency) (optional)
- Small repair kit for bindings, skis or splitboard (this may include straps, nuts, bolts, small leatherman)
Additional gear info:
- Skis/splitboard: There are three viable backcountry systems, Alpine Touring, Telemark, and Splitboard.
- Alpine Touring: Essentially downhill skis with a special touring binding which allows the heel to lift when going uphill and then locks down to become an alpine binding for the downhill.
- Telemark: Free-heel telemark bindings should only be used for this program if you are at least an intermediate/advanced telemark skier with backcountry experience.
- Splitboard: Snowboarders sometimes use a splitboard in the backcountry. This system is enjoyable on the descent, but frustrating on the flats. The transitions between uphill and downhill can also be very time-consuming. If using this system, please ensure that you are proficient at switching your bindings.
- Boots: Backcountry boots are different from regular alpine ski boots. In the backcountry, boots need to have an uphill mode that allows a free range of motion in the upper part of the boot. You should not use your regular ski boots for touring and walking uphill.
- Climbing skins: The glue on the base of the skin should be in good condition and the skins need to be properly fitted. Try the skins on your skis/splitboard to make sure they are the right length and width before you arrive.
- Ski poles: Backcountry poles need powder baskets on the tips.
- Avalanche beacon: A three antennae transceiver is required. Yamnuska uses the Backcountry Access Tracker 2 for all of our winter programs.
- Probe: A minimum of 240 cm in length.
- Shovel: A metal blade shovel is required.
We suggest bringing light clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility. The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest and from the ascent to the descent.
- Long underwear top and bottoms (lightweight synthetic or wool)
- Warm pants (nylon blend, insulated or fleece)
- Warm shirts (synthetic or wool)
- Medium weight fleece sweater
- Fleece Jacket
- Light insulated jacket or vest
- Waterproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or nylon)
- Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex or nylon, with side zippers
- Socks – ski socks (wool or synthetic), several sets
- Wool or fleece hat
- Waterproof ski mountaineering gloves or mitts
- Neck tube
- Casual clothing to wear in the hut
Skis, Boots, Skins & Poles for ski touring can be rented from:
- Canmore: Gear Up – (403 678-1636)
- Calgary: M.E.C. – 830-10 Ave. S.W. Calgary (Tel: 403 363-0122)
- Lake Louise: Wilson Mountain Sports – (1-866-929-3636)
*Please note that your ‘DIN’ or ‘Release Value’ settings on your ski bindings are critical to your safety while skiing. Our expectation is that everyone arrives on programs with their ski binding’s release value correctly set. We have noted that some ski rental shops will not set release values on touring bindings. We advise you to rent from a shop that will set release values on your ski touring bindings unless you are proficient and comfortable setting your own DIN/release value. Failure to have Release Values correctly set could result in a serious injury.
Yamnuska has avalanche beacons, shovels and probes for rent. Rental Gear
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long term care and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.
$795 CDN includes ski guiding in Roger’s Pass, hut accommodation for 2 nights, wilderness passes, 2 evening dinners . Goods & Services Tax (GST) is extra. Not included: ski equipment, avalanche safety equipment, transportation, breakfast or lunches (an optional meals package with 3 lunches and snacks and 2 breakfast is available for an additional $72 plus tax).
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Is it for you?
This complex backcountry ski program is limited to participants 19 years and older unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and in which case approval must be given by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures’ chief guide.
Roger’s Pass skiers must have backcountry skiing and ski touring experience and be advanced or high intermediate skiers in very good physical condition. In the Yamnuska context, a minimum would be prior participation on ‘Intro to Backcountry Skiing‘, or ‘AST 2‘ or equivalent training and experience.
‘Advanced or high intermediate’ means that you are comfortable making parallel turns on most terrain at a ski hill and that you have enough ski skills to deal safely with all but the most extreme terrain found at a ski hill (that is to say you can stop, turn around, then traverse out of areas you can’t handle).
You must be in very good aerobic shape, as you will have to ‘skin’ up everything you ski down. You will get a good workout each day from ski touring uphill so you need to be ready for big elevation days. You will be skiing with a daypack containing your lunch, water, avalanche gear, and spare clothing. This program is not suitable for those new to ski touring. There may be steep uphill turns and traverses that the novice ski tourer will no doubt find challenging.
Skiers and Splitboarders should be competent with their transitions (switching from ski tour mode to downhill mode). Splitboarders should be comfortable skiing downhill in split mode.
Splitboarders should have their downhill kick turns dialled, as this skill will be used frequently to traverse downhill and across slopes at mellow angles.
We strongly urge skiers and Splitboarders to bring spare parts for their setups. Most of our guides are familiar with splitboarding sets ups, but each system is different, and our expectation is that guests will have basic knowledge on common Splitboard concerns (i.e. replacing toe straps on Splitboard bindings).