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Though still in its infancy, the Adventure Tourism Coalition (ATC) is already recognized as a major stakeholder in B.C.’s robust tourism industry.
Get Informed. Be Inspired. Avalanche Awareness 101
Join presenter Brad Harrison, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional Member and Executive Director, Backcountry Lodges of BC Association. Brad regularly delivers AST, MAT & CRS courses for Avalanche Canada. Join us on Nov 17th at the MEC Vancouver Store.
By the end of the session, you will be familiar with:
Because you are a backcountry traveler, these are things you need to know.
2018 Snowfest Sponsor.
This clinic has been made possible with the support of our sponsor, the Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association.
We’re at the Banff Mountain Film Festival from Friday, Nov. 2nd to Sunday, Nov. 4th.
Stop by our booth in the Mountain Marketplace to learn more about our backcountry network, ask a question about avalanche awareness or just to say hi!
Mountain biking should take place in well, the mountains, and there’s something special about sharing that experience with friends and family. Unique vistas, with layers of unadulterated peaks definitely will help you put down that phone and capture real moments in time.
True Mountain biking has long been a coveted experience for the sports elitist. What I mean by this is that, as a rider you used to flip over a magazine cover and dream of being that pro, somewhere high in the mountains, exploring alpine terrain and returning to a remote lodge with scrumptious food, tasty beverages and clean, crisp sheets. These trails were often hard to find, local secrets, that took a massive amount of fitness to explore. Over the last 5 years, this scene has changed, from heli-biking to the growth of easily accessible alpine single-track, and here in Beautiful British Columbia, we’re leading the charge.
The Backcountry Lodges of BC Association has a number of lodges that provide quick and easy access to the alpine, true mountainside access, all situated around riding hand-built single-track. In this article we’ll be highlighting Sol Mountain Lodge throughout our imagery and point-of-view video footage.
Sol Mountain Lodge is a family friendly lodge that you can drive to! Albeit the road is suitable only for 4×4 vehicles with favourable ground clearance. Be forewarned, it definitely feels like cheating when you open your car door and set your eyes on the immaculate lodge. Since this article is mainly about the trails, I’ll skip all the general info (you can view it on their website) and cut to the goods!
Sol Mountain Lodge is a family run business, this means all hands on-deck, all-the-time! The trails here are built with the utmost care for the environment and even more impressive is that lodge owner Aaron Cooperman, has his teenage son, Seth, working full-time, hand clearing, and hand laying rocks for your riding pleasure. Seth is also an absolute shredder, so if you’re up at the lodge and he’s done working for the day, be sure to ask him to go for a pedal.
I first heard about the trails at Sol Mountain Lodge from Seth, he’s a young junior racer in my event series (the Canadian National Enduro Series), when he told me about the steep rock rolls, expansive views and technical climbs, I was hooked! One thing to be weary of here at Sol, is that it takes almost double the riding time to get anywhere, the reason, the views. It took us almost three hours to ride fifteen kilometers as we couldn’t help but stop at every opportunity to bask in the humbling glory and serenity of the alpine.
The best time for a ride, is right now, go early in the morning or late in the evening for the best light, and it’s best to book a few nights at the lodge so you can ensure that you get those Instagram shots, you’ll want to ride and re-ride the trails to claim your favourites.
Alpine trails are unique, and although the map shows many blue square trails, there are a few black diamond moves and a wee-bit of an exposure to keep you honest.
Why not bring the whole family for some alpine fun in the sun!? This area boasts lots to do from hiking, biking to simply hanging out at this premier lodge, there’s something for everyone. A massive thanks to Seth Cooperman (the son) and Aaron Cooperman for showing us around the trails. I don’t want to give all their stories away, but be sure to leave a donation at the trailhead, you’ll find a pleasant surprise for you at the lake!
Bernie Schiesser calls it fate, but the cast of characters in his bio reads like a who’s who of Rockies history. Over the course of his long life, Schiesser’s positive energy and remarkable contributions to many aspects of mountain life have firmly established him on that same roster. Here’s the story behind the man – the pioneer, guide, and backcountry host – who will forever have a legacy in the Canadian Rockies.
“Bernie Schiesser,” says long-time friend Randy Heppell, “taught me how to pace myself. Working, logging, skiing or just walking in the mountains, life became a meditation. He was always trying to get me to find that focus, that energy that put me in tune with what I was doing and the environment around me.”
Read the complete article at Crowfoot Media
Note: Bernie has been a longtime and active member of the Backcountry Lodges of BC Association. We are pleased that Meghan Ward and her staff at Crowfoot Media have helped to recognize Bernie’s immense contribution to Canada’s mountaineering community with this article.
Growth is in the Forecast – Tourism Engagement Council
The Backcountry Lodges of BC Association (BLBCA) has one of the most extensive backcountry accommodation networks in North America. Its membership includes thirty-one (31) backcountry lodges located in some of the most pristine wilderness locations in BC with headquarters in Kamloops. BLBCA lodge owners pride themselves in offering incredible multi-season opportunities to explore some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, from the comfort and safety of a cozy mountain lodge.
BLBCA just hosted its fifteenth Annual General Meeting at Thompson Rivers University. Our team of backcountry operators boasts many years of combined experience hosting tourists in BC’s natural environment. A number of lodges are in fact celebrating over 30 years in operation this season.
“The popularity of people wanting to #unpluginbc and indulge in remote mountain locations has resulted in increased visitation and the association members have responded by offering quality backcountry experiences,” says Brad Harrison, BLBCA Executive Director.
As a result of this combined experience and growth in the adventure tourism sector, the Adventure Tourism Coalition of which the BLBCA is a member, was one of five prestigious tourism organizations invited to the Legislature in celebration and support of Tourism Week in BC.
A notable announcement during Tourism Week was the formation of The Honourable Lisa Beare’s new Tourism Engagement Council formed to “help guide government’s tourism policy, strategy and program implementation”. BLBCA’s Executive Director Brad Harrison was honoured to be named to the Council.
To enable Association lodges to touch the lives of guests with awe-inspiring adventures throughout British Columbia’s inimitable backcountry
I have always loved the act of being in motion from the time I was a small girl on skis at 18 months, through my teen years as a competitive speed skater and now as a multi-sport athlete. The drive to go higher, faster, longer is never fully quenched, and neither is my love for beautiful views and natural landscapes.
Zoya Lynch and her family got hooked on Golden’s backcountry lifestyle in the early 1990s.
Her parents took a leap of faith and invested in the Amiskwi lodge in the back of the Blaeberry Valley.
As long time residents of Calgary, and with four young children, becoming a part of the backcountry lodge was quite the change for the family.
Now, Lynch and her sister Izzy are producing a short documentary to show how the little lodge in the backcountry changed their lives. They also received a $40,000 grant from STORYHIVE to create a virtual reality 360 degree immersive look at a typical backcountry winter trip.
The sisters have been working with Lululemon film creative Andrea Wing to create the virtual reality experience part of the two pieces they are creating.
In 1994, the Lynch family had an opportunity to invest and build the Amiskwi Lodge, and they quickly jumped on it.
“We ended up having this really cool side life in the mountains. It really shaped our lives now in a big way,” Lynch said, adding that her sister is now a professional skier and she is a professional adventure photographer. “Our path now has definitely been shaped by that split decision of my parents to take on the Amiskwi Lodge.”
The family’s story will be told in a video documentary that is less than 10 minutes long.
“2018 marks the 90th Anniversary of Assiniboine Lodge!
It is a very special time for the iconic mountain pioneers and the many guests who remain such an integral part of Assiniboine’s history.”
“As we hiked the 7½ miles to Purcell Mountain Lodge, we skipped straight over the small talk. With our phones tucked discreetly in our packs, we got to know each other on the kind of deep level that’s unique to the backcountry, where time slows and an hour feels like a day.”
Experience hut magic through a virtual reality trip to Burnie Glacier Lodge with Arc’teryx athletes Christina Lustenberger & Greg Hill.
Stop by any Arc’teryx store for the full VR experience. Find more hut magic at www.arcteryx.com.
*To watch 360° videos you need the latest version of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, or MS Edge. To watch 360° videos on your phone you need the latest version of the YouTube app.
The clinic provided an intro on avalanche awareness and safety basics. Attendees learned how to recognize avalanche terrain and avoid hazards, test essential survival equipment used in companion rescue, and received tips on prepping for a backcountry trip.
Harrison, a Canadian Avalanche Association Professional Member, regularly delivers AST, MAT & CRS courses for Avalanche Canada.
What is MEC Snowfest:
MEC Snowfest Facts & Features:
The BLBCA and our 30 member-lodges are active in our local communities, attending industry events, devoting time to notable advocacy work in the community, and participating in local government planning and strategy sessions.
More from the BLBCA:
It’s almost that time of year, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is right around the corner, and the BLBCA will be there!
Look for our booth in the Mountain Marketplace from Friday, Nov. 3rd to Sunday, Nov. 5th. Learn about our backcountry lodge network, ask about avalanche awareness, or come for a free sticker!
We’ll also have a gnarly contest running, swing by our booth for your chance to win great backcountry prizing from True Outdoors!
Dreaming a Life, Boulder Hut.
Against much good, solid advice we said, “Why not?” And the choice to follow a dream and not good advice has defined our lives ever since.
The BLBCA held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past week on June 7th – 8th, in Kamloops, BC. Members of the Association gathered for two days packed with industry-related information, updates from both the staff and BOD.
The BLBCA is excited to be participating in the Plaid Goat Mountain Bike Fest this June 23 -25 in Canmore, AB!
Plaid Goat Mountain Bike Fest is a three-day festival with a buffet of for-fun activities.
Bike to Work Week started 23 years ago in Victoria! From humble beginnings it has grown to include more than 52 communities and 37,000 participants BC-wide in 2016 and it continues to grow.
The Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association is joining communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week—May 28 to June 3, 2017.
Dave Birnie, owner of Mistaya Lodge in the Canadian Rockies near the British Columbia/Alberta border north of Yoho National Park, discusses his passion for the remote wilderness.
BC is place where raw wilderness thrives, and culture is shaped by nature. It’s time to share these stories. Over 4 months, our crew captured stunning scenery and local narratives from across the province. Nearly 1,000 km were trekked, to add wilderness terrain to Google Maps Street View, and to highlight BC’s expansive and pristine nature. Through video profiles, 360˚ footage and Google Street View technology, we want travellers to discover the diverse landscapes and intimate stories of BC locals. Explore at http://www.bcexplorer.com/journeys.
Ever wondered why every single backcountry lodge has a special feel to it? I’ve visited many of them and am trying to get to more because they are always carefully placed by people who understand a human desire for wilderness.
4 Ways to Experience BC’s Backcountry Lodges in Summer
Explore BC blog
March 8, 2017
It’s been an incredible winter season in BC, and before long, the snow will melt and thoughts will shift from winter to summer. That doesn’t mean BC’s backcountry lodges should be forgotten. There are plenty of other ways to experience these alpine retreats in summer.
Nestled in the Monashee Mountains, 2.5 hours south of Revelstoke, there is a growing network of alpine single-track trails right out the door of Sol Mountain Lodge. Primarily operating as a ski touring lodge since 2005, Sol has expanded its summer offerings. There are 20 kilometres (12 miles) of flowy, single-track trails that run through meadows and forests, along alpine ridges, and over rock slabs that wind in and out of Monashee Provincial Park. The lodge opens in August for mountain biking, with options to book an overnight stay or just a day trip. Access to the lodge and terrain is via the 1.9-kilometre (1.1-mile) “Park N Ride” trail from the parking lot.
Another lodge just outside Revelstoke is also offering mountain biking this summer. Marty Schaffer, owner and guide at Blanket Glacier Chalet, explored the terrain surrounding the lodge last summer and found a biking paradise. Plans are in the works to offer 3- and 4-day mountain biking trips with access by helicopter. Keep an eye on the Blanket Glacier Chalet website for upcoming details on new summer operations.
A family-run lodge sits above the treeline in the Valhalla Range of the Selkirk Mountains, just outside Nelson. Ice Creek Lodge is accessed via the eight-km (five-mile) Ice Creek Trail, or by 20-km (12-mi) Drinnon Pass through Valhalla Provincial Park. Standup paddleboard packages are available in summer, where guided, self-guided, and “choose your own adventure” options cater to all abilities and interests. These alpine paddleboard excursions offer full use of the main lodge and sauna, and can include paddleboard rentals so you don’t have to lug your own. Porter and guiding services are available to deliver gear and lead guests around this alpine paradise.
Many of BC’s backcountry lodges offer hiking adventures in the summer months. Experiences can range from fully guided and catered multi-day trips, to self-guided and self-catered excursions. These give flexibility to groups of friends, families, or couples to choose how they experience the lodges and backcountry hiking opportunities in BC. Custom packages include themed getaways focusing on wildlife viewing, family experiences, artist retreats, and hut-to-hut adventures.
After all that hiking, stretching is a must. A few backcountry lodges in BC are beginning to offer special yoga retreats. At Sol Mountain Lodge, daily hiking, yoga classes, vegetarian meals, and interactive workshops are all offered over four days this August. The program is hosted by Beth Purser, an ACMG (Association of Certified Mountain Guides) guide, natural health practitioner, and registered yoga instructor. Beth is also hosting a yoga retreat at Purcell Mountain Lodge, which will include a helicopter transfer to the lodge, accommodation, and meals. More details on that experience to follow on the lodge’s website.
By the time late March and April roll around, most of us are thinking about summer. But this also happens to be a great time to book a backcountry ski trip. Many of the lodges in BC still have availability come spring, so you can take a few more turns in the sunshine before packing in the gear for the season.
Learn more about BC’s backcountry lodges and find the an alpine retreat that offers your favourite summer and winter activities.
Article written by Destination British Columbia with collaboration from the BLBCA.
More from the BLBCA:
The backcountry community is buzzing after some interesting events in a search and rescue effort at Sun Peaks this past week. For the first time in BC, a drone was used to assist in locating missing skiers and snowboarders.
Lifetime backcountry guides Evan Stevens (IFMGA) and Jasmin Caton (ACMG) have learned a lot about what makes or breaks a good backcountry ski experience at Valhalla Mountain Touring. They each enjoy the daily lessons they get from a day in the mountains and enjoy sharing it with skiers who join them along the way.
Join BLBCA and True Outdoors for a FREE Backcountry 101 clinic!
Whether you’ve already spent long days carving turns in backcountry powder, or you’re just considering venturing out for the first time, Backcountry 101 will have something for everyone.
We’re at the Banff Mountain Film Festival from Friday, Nov. 4th to Sunday, Nov. 6th.
Stop by our booth in the Mountain Marketplace to learn more about our backcountry network, ask a question about avalanche awareness or just to say hi!
We’ll also have a sweet contest running for your chance to win great backcountry prizing from True Outdoors!
It was another gorgeous summer at Purcell Mountain Lodge, filled with long hikes and stunning backcountry. There’s over 3,000 acres of rolling alpine meadows, endless fields of wildflowers and countless peaks and ridges, set against a backdrop of tumbling glaciers and alpine vistas.
Take a peek at the past summer season
It was a beauty-filled summer in the backcountry at Valhalla Mountain Touring.
In summer, guests can stroll on paths and trails to access flower filled ridges with big mountain views, peaks and alpine lakes. It’s perfect for hikers, photographers, wildlife and wildflower viewing.
The backcountry beckons! Perhaps your guests are rock climbing, upgrading skills in a course or hiking the Alpine. As a backcountry enthusiast they’re prepared and probably have several back up plans. Those plans should include travel medical insurance and evacuation coverage.
Mountain history is alive and well at Assiniboine Lodge. Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is a place of pristine wilderness with its shimmering lakes, glacier clad mountains and flower-filled alpine meadows.
Summer is always a beautiful time of year at Selkirk Mountain Experience.
Featuring amazing hikes, wildlife, swimming, beautiful sunsets and more, there’s something for everyone.
Riding BC’s alpine singletrack is the coveted jewel of all mountain riding – but its not great all of the time.
The fine folks at Talus Lodge have been busy this spring and summer.
Gain insight into the story of Canadian Adventure Company in this great look at Mallard Mountain Lodge.
Wildflowers are in full bloom at Sorcerer Lodge!
A great look at Ice Creek Lodge in this clip from The Powder Highway.