Where to Ski Tour and Splitboard Near Calgary
As a specialty splitboard retailer we often field the question of where to ski tour and splitboard near Calgary. This is not an easy answer as we are blessed with a plethora of options within a 2 hour or so drive of our mid-sized prairie city.
We find that most backcountry skiers and splitboarders gravitate to certain regions, whether it be due to proximity, terrain preference, crowds, familiarity or comfort level, it is an often overheard conversation of people verbally jousting over where to splitboard near Calgary.
With all that in mind we have made an attempt below to break the regions down, highlight the characteristics, when to go, where to find more information and share some of the more commonly visited areas. You will have to research, explore and go on adventures to find your own epic zones. That is one of the most enjoyable parts of being in the backcountry (IMHO).
This large zone is one of the closest to Calgary. The bulk of the riding can be found on the west and east side of the Smith Dorrien Highway spanning from Spray Lakes in the north to Pocaterra Junction to the south.
This area is popular with day hikers and snowshoers. This is a great place for new backcountry users as the transition from non avalanche terrain to avalanche terrain typically happens very gradually.
This area is anything accessed from Sunshine Ski Resort, Healy Creek, Mt Bourgeau or Redearth Creek Trailheads (on the Trans Canada).
If you have a season pass at Sunshine there are a bunch of options for day tours right off the top of the resort. The Redearth and Bourgeau drainages offer some long walk-ins to classic steep and wind scoured rockies riding. There are some gems if you don’t mind walking a long way and going on a bit of an adventure
LAKE LOUISE BACKCOUNTRY
This region includes the backcountry accessed from Lake Louise Ski resort and terrain accessed from the Chateau Lake Louise parking lot (across the valley from the resort).
Mt Fairview, Surprise Pass and that area are always favorites. There are also plenty of little nooks and crannies to explore in this region.
HIGHWAY 93 SOUTH
Highway 93 south has been growing ever more popular over the past few years. For splitboarders this region holds the appeal of a lot of vertical relief right from the highway. So, in short, if you are a splitboarder who doesn’t like skiing for long periods of time, there are lots of zones that climb right out of the parking lot.
This area includes Castle Mountain Junction to as far south as Vermillion Crossing.
HIGHWAY 93 NORTH
Splitboarding on Highway 93 North is certainly one of the better zones to find snow in the Rockies. Located north of Lake Louise, this region (93N/Hwy 1 Junction to Saskatchewan River Crossing) sees more snow than the other touring areas around Calgary. It is also the main access point to the ultra impressive Wapta Icefields, a spectacular environment with endless multi-day adventure options.
Access to the alpine is quick and easy in many zones, this is one of the greatest appeals of 93 North. There are also plenty of shorter gladed runs for when visibility or avalanche hazard is not cooperating.
YOHO & KICKING HORSE PASS
This region extends from West Louise Lodge on the Trans Canada to Field, BC. All the areas stretching north and south from that stretch of Highway are what this zone is referencing.
Splitboarding in Yoho and Kicking Horse Pass is diverse and wide ranging. From big alpine style days in areas like Mt Field, to the tree riding of Narao glades, from the bowls, chutes and varied terrain of Sherbrooke Lake to the ever popular Emerald Lake Avalanche Path, this region is as large as it is varied and holds a lifetime of backcountry adventures.
There are also multiple access points to the icefields from this region and some incredible traverses and circuits to explore.
SKI TOURING AND SPLITBOARDING NEAR CALGARY SUMMARY
In a nutshell, in response to the question of ‘Where to Splitboard near Calgary’, the options are limitless. So much depends on your experience, time available and preferred style of riding. We have access to everything from short gladed runs to multi day icefield based missions, steep couloirs to low angle powderfields.
All it takes is the motivation, time to learn how to do it safely and you can have a lifetime of adventures within a 2 hour drive from a major Canadian City.
If you are keen for splitboard instruction, avalanche safety, and/ or guided trips, be sure to check out our Splitboard HQ Courses.
See you on the mountain!
Splitboard HQ Contact
Edmonton: (p) 780 463-4892 (e) firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary: (p) 403 288-9283 (e) email@example.com