Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What time of year should I visit the backcountry lodge?
  2. What happens when the group is made up of different ability levels?
  3. What does the kitchen supply to self catered groups?
  4. Can we ski out (or in)?
  5. Can I join the group mid week?
  6. Can I charge my batteries?
  7. Can I drive to Heather Mountain Lodge instead of taking the bus?
  8. Are there radios we can use at the lodge?
  9. Can I book a flight from Calgary for the day we fly out of the lodge?

 

1. What time of year should I visit the backcountry lodge?

Winter

Sorcerer Lodge has a variety of terrain that allows us a great deal of flexibility in catering to people’s different ideas of a backcountry skiing holiday. If you are looking for "in your face" powder snow you should book earlier in the season. January, February and early March are the times when ski touring, and snowboarding folks in search of the deepest and the fluffiest come to visit. Temperatures early season in the Selkirk Mountains can drop as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-20 F?), but these days are usually accompanied by sunshine as they are related to our arctic high pressures. When the maritime low moves in, it can warm up to a balmy -5 degrees C and dump a meter of snow! Days are shorter then, but you'll get in plenty of skiing!

Spring

For those of you who are more interested in doing some bigger ski touring days out on the high glaciers, mountaineering, or peak bagging, the latter part of March, April and May might be better. You will experience fewer bad weather days, warmer temperatures, more hours of daylight and generally better travelling conditions. Spring is the time of year we play the aspect game. North faces stay cooler and offer great powder turns but we'll hunt out the afternoon corn snow on the south faces. It's also the best time to dig big sun pits, sit back and share a bottle of wine.

Having said all that however, we really don’t know what kind of weather you’ll encounter! It can rain January or be -25 in March. If you’re considering coming into Sorcerer, I’m sure you have enough mountain experience to know there ain’t no guarantees.... We are adaptable and you’ll have a great trip regardless.

Summer

We run a very short summer season since it frequently snows till June and then again in September. The driest time is generally late July till mid August but high in the mountains the weather is variable and you should come prepared for anything. Having said that, we don't get hurricanes or monsoons around here. (at least not yet) 

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2.What happens when the group is made up of different ability levels?

We do ask for descriptions of people’s ski abilities and expectations in advance. On full service trips, two guides will be on staff to accommodate each group along with an ACMG practicum student so we have no problem dividing the group up in case of a split in abilities. You will generally have an option to come home early and we have a lovely library if you decide to take a day off. It IS your holiday!

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3. What does the kitchen supply to self catered groups?

The kitchen at Sorcerer is fully equipped with a propane oven (that WILL hold the turkey) and all necessary pots and pans for a group of 18. We have all cutlery, dishes, cups and glasses. You will find dish soap, cleaners, scrubbies, t-towels, dish cloths, bleach etc... paper towel and toilet paper too. We usually have all the spices you could want but, as these do get used by each group, if there is something you really need you should bring it just in case. We try to keep up on this but if your meal hinges on some special flavour, it might not be there.

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4. Can we ski or hike to the lodge?

NO!!! The terrain in this area is some of the most rugged in the world. In winter the route out would feel like going to target practice with you as the target, as you have to ski along valley bottoms for about 10 kilometers, with huge slide paths looming above you on either side. Even in stable conditions, it would involve negotiating creek crossings and alder bashing. It's worse in the summer as you can add stinging nettles and devils club to the mix as well as cliffs and waterfalls. Meanwhile your buddies are flying overhead in a nice warm helicopter! It won’t cost you any less for the privilege of thrashing through all that either as the helicopter would be flying empty on a dovetail with the group going the opposite direction. You may as well be in the empty seat. (Or I’d have to double the other peoples heli costs... )

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5. Can I join the group mid week?

Certainly. It is not a problem to fly someone in at a later time however, it will be an additional heli charge. We can often keep the price down if the adjacent heliski company is in operation but the timing and cost will depend on the availability of a helicopter. Please ask us for details.

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6. Can I charge my batteries?

We have a regular 110 plug-in available during the day when you are out skiing and the generator is running. On sunny spring days this doesn't happen all the time. We also have USB ports you can use any time. However,we do encourage you to bring spare batteries for things if possible. 

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7. Can I drive to staging instead of taking the bus?

Yes – we can accommodate a few vehicles at staging. The parking is relatively safe but not secured. As parking space is limited MOST of the group will have to take the shuttle bus.

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8. Are there radios we can use at the lodge?

Sorcerer Lodge supplies three travelling radios that groups are encouraged to take with them each day. If you are bringing your own radios, please get in touch with us in advance for the appropriate frequencies.

9. Can I book a flight from Calgary for the day we fly out of the lodge?

We do not recommend that you schedule a flight home from Calgary on the day you depart the lodge. Roads in and out of Golden are notorious for closures and this isn't just in bad weather. Frequent accidents and construction cause even more delays. Although it is possible you will make a flight later in the day, it's far less stressful to have extra time and not have to worry about it.

 

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