Break Your Own Trail

Make your mark. Break your own trail. Experience high alpine skiing in quiet solitude. Clip into your skis and slide through waist-deep powder so dry, it feels like you’re floating on air. Home of BC’s original heli-ski experience, skiing in Blue River is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ski Exceptional Powder and Endless Terrain

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 adventurous backcountry skiing. Experience winter the Blue River way, on a guided hut-to-hut Nordic skiing adventure, or with Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Ski tours, the pioneer of BC’s heli-skiing industry.

Mike Wiegele Heli & CAT Skiing

Epic. If ever there was one word to describe heli- and CAT-skiing in waist-deep powder in the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains surrounding Blue River, the word is epic. First to pioneer the heli-skiing industry, Mike Wiegele chose Blue River as his staging ground for backcountry ski touring because, simply put, he felt there is no better snow in the world.

Days begin before sunrise and end when you’ve had your fill of champagne powder. In between, soar in a Bell 212 helicopter over the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains, anticipating what you’re about to experience – skiing and snowboarding 4,500 sq km (2,800 sq mi) of virgin terrain with unlimited vertical lift, depending on the package you choose.

There are no chairlifts here. No crowds. Only unspoiled, untracked mountains, glaciers and snow-covered forests waiting for you to explore. A bucket-list experience if ever there was one, right here in the heart of Blue River.

Fill your days conquering the mountains and your nights re-telling tales of your alpine escapades over gourmet dinners with newfound friends back at the lodge, then retire for the night in luxurious log-cabins, complete with crackling, warm fires and all the comforts of home.

Hut-to-Hut Ski Mountaineering – Snowy Mountain Alpine Tours

Get waist-deep in fresh powder. Ski past trees so heavy with snow they look like ghosts on the horizon. Push your outer limits. Explore the snow-capped peaks of the Wavy Range in Wells Gray Park, the only way you can in winter: on a guided ski mountaineering tour. With an average snow pack of four to five metres in the tree line, this is one of BC’s newest and best backcountry ski destinations.

Snowy Mountain Alpine Tours offers multi-day guided backcountry ski touring expeditions. Arrive by CAT or helicopter. Spend your days ski touring through pillows of new-fallen snow. There’s plenty of technical on this ski tour: glades, chutes, and glaciers, and a descent of 1100m (3609 ft) from the summit, it’s designed with intermediate and expert skiers in mind.

If you’re interested in backcountry touring, but have no experience, you’ll want to enrol in the Monashee Chalet backcountry ski week. Ski or CAT in to the lodge, get your bearings and then hit the slopes. Before exploring the alpine, the guides will run you through mountain awareness and avalanche training to prepare you for the exploits ahead.

Ascend into the alpine. Make turns while taking in panoramic views. Blink at the blinding whiteness that surrounds you. Enjoy a picnic lunch slope-side, recounting your morning’s feats and fuelling up for an afternoon of more powder runs. Snowy Mountain Alpine offer single and multi-day guided tours, catering to your individual ski experience and comfort level.

Cross-Country Skiing

Blue River 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.

When to Go

Need to Know

  • Mike Wiegele’s heli-skiing and snowboarding is limited to experienced skiers (backcountry skiing experience not required)
  • Mike Wiegele’s offers practice runs on Saddle Mountain for those inexperienced with deep powder
  • Powder-specific ski/boarding equipment is provided only 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
  • Skiers interested in learning the techniques of backcountry skiing may enrol in Snowy Mountain’s Monashee Chalet ski tour
  • Snowy Mountain will customize a backcountry ski tour specific to your group’s experience and comfort level
  • There are no local ski rental outfitters
  • Blue River is located in avalanche country. Check for local and regional avalanche risk bulletins to get prepared before heading out to the backcountry

Top 10 Blue River Skiing Experiences

  1. Experience epic adventures heli- and CAT-skiingat Mike Wiegele Heli Ski Resort (http://www.wiegele.com) with the group that pioneered the whole industry
  2. Channel your inner-adventurer, learning to backcountry ski with a customized backcountry ski tour (http://www.snowymountain.ca/)
  3. Ski or snowboard 1.2 m acres of backcountry bowls, high alpine glaciers and forested glades in the world’s best powder
  4. Embrace winter’s chill, cross-country skiing Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Provincial Park (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/blue_rv_pine/) at your leisure
  5. Indulge in gourmet meals and great conversation after challenging days in the powder
  6. Treat yourself to pre-skiing yoga, and post-skiing saunas. Limbering up and winding down is an essential part of the Mike Wiegele experience
  7. Learn the critical skills needed to ski glaciated terrain at clinics provided by Snowy Mountain Alpine Tours (http://www.snowymountain.ca/clinic-glacier-travel.htm)
  8. Chat up the locals you’ll meet cross-country skiing at Eleanor Lake
  9. Sleep the kind of restful sleep you can only have after days spent playing in crisp, mountain air
  10. Make your mark, and break your own trail. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding is all about going where no one has gone before