Thanks so much for deciding to visit Sorcerer Lodge this winter. The following information should help you to plan your backcountry lodge trip and get organized. If we miss anything or you have some questions, please contact us.
Take a look at the waiver provided. You don’t need to print one off, or fill it out, as we’ll have them here for you when you arrive. Legally though – you need to be provided with an opportunity to read through it ahead of time so that if you disagree or have difficulty with its contents, you can cancel your ski touring trip prior to traveling.
We ask that our backcountry skiers, snowboarders and ski mountaineers arrive in Golden BC Friday night prior to your trip. In the winter, highways into Golden are often closed due to avalanche hazard, road conditions and accidents. All that powder snow can cause havoc on the roads! As we meet very early Sat morning, planning to arrive the day of your trip is extremely risky. Golden just isn’t close to anywhere, so you’d be on the road very, very early... in the dark, in the winter – on HWY #1. Although we certainly CAN get you up to the lodge at a later time if you miss your helicopter flight, it will be an additional expense for you and you will most likely miss at least one day of skiing. We plan a Friday night meeting place (generally the Kicking Horse River Lodge at 8:00 pm) to clear up any questions about the timing or the trip and it helps flight day to go smoothly if people make it to the meeting. Please feel free to call as well.
Kicking Horse River Hostel is a great place to stay. They can handle a group with room rates that start from around $35/night. Sorcerer customers get a discount but in order to get that you must phone them directly. They cannot offer this if you book through an agency such as booking.com. It’s a nice timber frame building on the Kicking Horse River. We meet here Saturday night and breakfast is here Sunday morning so it is convenient. If you choose to stay here please book early. It fills quickly. http://www.khrl.com/aw 1-250-439-1112
We will meet the group Saturday night at Kicking Horse River Lodge 8pm sharp to sign waivers, go over the last minute details and discuss the next day’s flight plans. Remember that we are on Mountain Standard Time! That’s Alberta time to some people, despite the fact that we really are in B.C. (you will become very aware of that when you pay for your gas and alcohol). The time change almost always catches someone by surprise if they are coming from the west.
Breakfast will be available at 6:30 am at the Kicking Horse River Lodge. A shuttle service is provided for transportation from there to staging. It leaves from the River Lodge around 7:15
Our staging area is located at Heather Mountain Lodge, a 45 min drive (55km) West of Golden. Upon arrival at Heather Mountain Lodge we will need to quickly and efficiently unload our gear at the Heli pad and park any vehicles. The Heli safety talk is at 8:30, and flying starts immediately following the Heli talk.
Packing & Misc.:
We do not provide any alcoholic beverages, however you are welcome to bring some along with you. Bring beer in cans (sorry – but if you need recommendations, there ARE some good ones out there). Small kegs are fine – no giants. I do suggest you bring your alcohol with you to Golden, as it’s a tad expensive here in small town BC. We warn folks that alcohol spoils with loss of elevation and we are reluctant to fly much OUT of the range. So think about how much you take in ...... (we’ve noticed this effect is especially severe with good expensive scotch).
Pack your “stuff” directly into your daypack and a small – medium duffle bag, 60 litres max. Please avoid using the large duffle bags/packs and anything with wheels or hard sides, as they are awkward to handle and difficult to load into the helicopter. For the Self-Guided – Self Catered groups … NO COOLERS, they are difficult and an inefficient use of space in the helicopter. They aren’t necessary in the winter anyway as we have cold storage for the food up at the lodge. We supply all linen and quilts so you don’t need a sleeping bag. (BRING TOWELS) Skis are best left loose (not in bags). Make sure that all boxes come with lids and are taped closed. Shovels should be loose outside your pack if they don’t completely fit inside with the hard edges all covered. Ice axes are left loose and will go in the ski basket for transport. Please don’t attach them to your pack. They can punch holes in the thin skin of the helicopter’s cargo areas. People are advised to dress for skiing when they get on the helicopter so you should have your ski boots on and all other footwear packed safely in your bags. It’s too easy to lose a single boot in all the powder that will be blowing around and you want to start out with dry feet.
Feel free to call or email me any time if you need more information. I’m happy to give snow reports etc... Check in on our website for daily weather and snowpack updates.
For a full equipment list and information on what to bring and how to pack, please visit our "what to bring" page.