We’ve Got Winter Covered (in Powder, that is)

Discover an entire mountain range worth of winter adventures in Blue River and Avola. It’s here, amidst 1.2 million acres of pristine wilderness, that you can make your mark and break your own trail. Experience pure winter in quiet solitude. Clip into your skis and slide through waist-deep powder so dry it feels like you’re floating on air. Play “follow the leader” through wilderness trails and backcountry bowls glimmering in fresh fallen snow. Sledboard. Heli-, or CAT ski at Mike Wiegele’s Heli-Ski Resort, with the pioneers of the industry. Strap on your Nordic skies, exploring Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Park. Learn to backcountry ski on a hut-to-hut ski adventure. Snowmobile or sledboard 60 km (37 mi) of maintained and groomed trails. When it comes to winter recreation, we’ve got you covered (in powder), in Blue River and Avola.

When moist, warm coastal air collides with the cold, dry northern climate of Blue River, it creates exceptional conditions for dry, powder snow, up to 10 m (32 ft) of the white stuff each year. Add two mountain ranges and 1.2 million acres of pristine wilderness – you’ve got ski conditions you cannot find anywhere else in the BC, making Blue River an internationally renowned destination for winter recreation.

Extreme Skiing – Guided Helicopter & CAT Skiing Adventures

Experience winter the Blue River way, on a guided hut-to-hut skiing adventure, or with Mike Wiegele’s Heli Ski tours, the pioneer of BC’s backcountry skiing industry. Whether you ascend by helicopter or CAT, local guiding outfitters cater to your individual ski experience and comfort level.

There are no chairlifts here. No crowds. Only unspoiled, untracked mountains, glaciers and snow-covered forests waiting for you to explore. Get waist-deep in fresh powder. Ski past trees so heavy with snow they look like ghosts on the horizon. Push your outer limits. Skiing Blue River is a bucket-list experience if ever there was one.

Cross-country Skiing

We may be famous for heli and backcountry skiing, but you need not be an adrenaline-junky to ski here. Breathe in crisp alpine air, gliding along a shimmering trail in winter sunshine. Click into your bindings, and head to Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Provincial Park where set track trails provide plenty of cold weather exercise to keep you warm all winter, or spend your days exploring unmarked wilderness trails – locals can tip you off to a trail that’s just right for you.

Snowmobiling

There are 60 km (37 mi) of maintain and groom trails ribboning Blue River, and even more untracked trails, creating a vast wonderland just right for riding, whether you’re on the machine or riding behind, sledboarding. From Groundhog East to Groundhog West, the trails around Avola, and mountains in between, there’s plenty of room to play in our legendary powder. Explore on your own, or sign-up for a guided excursion through avalanche-free trails on a family-friendly ride in the mountains.

Ice Fishing

Take a break from all the powder and try your hand at a quintessentially Canadian winter pastime, ice-fishing our frozen lakes. Eleanor Lake in the heart of Blue River is one of the best spots to set up your gear and where we hold the annual fishing derby in February. Or, for directions to fishing spots a bit more off the beaten path, just chat up a local – they’ll direct you to where the fish are biting!

When to Go

  • The snow flies from November to April
  • Heli and CAT skiing take place from December through March or April
  • Snowmobile season runs from November to April, however, trails are groomed from December to March

Need to Know

  • Mike Wiegele’s heli-skiing and snowboarding is limited to experienced skiers (backcountry experience not required)
  • Mike Wiegele’s offers practice runs at Saddle Mountain for those inexperienced with deep powder
  • There are no local ski rental outfitters, however, powder-specific ski/boarding equipment is provided by Mike Wiegele
  • Prepare for extremely cold conditions for all skiing excursions. Pack and dress accordingly
  • Snowy Mountain’s back-country ski mountaineering is geared toward experienced backcountry skiers
  • No previous experience is necessary to snowmobile in Blue River
  • Blue River Sledz offers both guided trips and snowmobile, trailer and avalanche gear rentals
  • A trail pass is required for users sledding the more than 60 km (37 mi) of groomed and marked trails. Visit Sled Blue River for up-to-date rates

Top 10 Winter Experiences

  1. Ski or snowboard 1.2 million acres of backcountry bowls, high alpine glaciers and forested glades in the world’s best powder
  2. Put some thrills in your winter – snowmobiling our legendary terrain with Blue River Sledz (http://blueriversledz.com/)
  3. Experience epic adventures heli- and CAT-skiing at Mike Wiegele’s Heli Ski Resort (Play/Skiing) with the group that pioneered the whole industry
  4. Channel your inner-adventurer, learning to backcountry ski with a customized backcountry ski tour (Play/Skiing)
  5. Embrace winter’s chill, cross-country skiing Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Provincial Park (Play/Skiing)
  6. Stop by for the “mother of all burgers” at the Log Inn Pub in Avola, then fire up your snowmobile, riding nearby trails
  7. Learn the critical skills needed to ski glaciated terrain at clinics provided by Snowy Mountain Alpine (http://www.snowymountain.ca/clinic-glacier-travel.htm)
  8. Play follow-the-leader to Pancake Creek for some free-styling sledding (Play/Snowmobiling)
  9. Ice-fish Eleanor Lake for lake trout, in the middle of winter at our annual Fishing Derby (Events)
  10. Hang out with other sledders at our local haunts (Dining), reliving each day’s ride
  11. Make your mark, and break your own trail. Backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling is all about going where no one has gone before