Yamnuska offers a full schedule of winter adventure programs. The snow brings new beauty and challenges to the mountains, but with the correct equipment and knowledge, it also can make travel in the backcountry easier and return trips down the slopes much more fun!
Winter is a beautiful time of year to be out exploring the natural wonders that are found in the mountains. The programs we offer will teach you how to deal with the natural hazards that exist at this time of year as well as how to improve your skills for efficient snow travel. Our trips and courses can be arranged for private groups if our dates don't suit you.
About Yamnuska's Winter Programs
Our winter programs break down into three main categories: Avalanche Safety Training, Backcountry Skiing and Boarding, and Ice Climbing. These programs are designed to take you from being a complete beginner in these winter sports all the way through advanced training where it is possible to spend multiple nights exploring the backcountry.
Avalanche Skills Training: Avalanche is the greatest hazard facing 'out of bounds' backcountry skiers and boarders, snowshoers, 'sledders' and ice climbers. The knowledge gained from Yamnuska avalanche courses will significantly improve your safety margins. Yamnuska courses are taught by a core staff of senior full time certified guides and professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association.
Backcountry Skiing: Learning how to use skis to explore the backcountry can be an incredibly rewarding experience! If you are already skiing at the hill and would like to learn to take your skills into the backcountry and away from the lift lines, these programs are for you! Our programs range from introductory instruction in how to use the equipment and travel safely, to fully guided hut-to-hut ski traverse trips which are suitable for fit, experienced downhill skiers. Skiing is the best way to get off the beaten trail, both for those searching out that perfect untouched slope to ski some lines, or those looking to enjoy a day out in the beautiful forests and mountain scenery that abound in the area.
Ice Climbing: Our climbing programs are leading edge with fully certified, top-notch climbers who spend most of their free time on their own Ice routes when they are not instructing you in how to climb better, stronger, and safer. If you enjoy challenging experiences or just want to try out the sport, these programs are for you! A full or half day is a great way to spend time with your family or group of friends.
Custom Trips: Organized for you and your group specifically, when and where to suit.
Winter Program FAQs
How old are participants?
We get people from all age groups, parents with teenagers to fit adults in their sixties.
Which is the easiest trip, which is the hardest?
Depending on the sport you decide to focus on this winter and your previous experience, we have options available for all levels. The best way to start is to take one of our Avalanche Skills Training 1 weekend courses. This will give you a good foundation in winter hazards and how to best avoid them no matter how you are planning to travel into the backcountry. Our more difficult trips are our Ski Mountaineering programs and our Ice Climbing courses. These programs focus on specific skills to get you out and enjoying the sport.
How fit do you need to be?
These programs are designed for people who live normal healthy lifestyles that include regular exercise. Our trips vary in difficulty and you don't have to be exceedingly fit for many of them. Most people who join us live in cities. For most of our ski programs, you do need to be an experienced skier at the resort. Usually people who are comfortable on "Blue" or intermediate runs can join us for our ski programs and have a great time.
Please consult us if you have any doubts.
What type of food do we provide?
We try to keep the food as light and tasty as possible without jeopardizing nutritional needs. It tends to be a mixture of pre-dried meals and meals constructed from basic ingredients. We cater to vegetarians and those with food allergies (e.g.. peanut allergy). In case of more complicated diets a surcharge may apply. You need to let us know your special needs when you book. Meals are typically provided on all of the overnight backcountry trips based out of lodges or huts. For weekend programs and hotel-based programs, you will be responsible for your own meals.
What gear does Yamnuska supply?
For most programs we supply all technical tools and gear, (with the exception of Skis or Snowshoes which greatly vary between individuals) and anything that is used by the entire group.
What do participants need to bring?
You will need to bring your own clothing, backpack, skis/snowshoes, and for some overnight programs a sleeping bag. Lists are attached to each program page. Equipment can also be rented our purchased.
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures has the following items for rent: sleeping bag, sleeping mat, backpack, avalanche safety equipment, ice tools, crampons, glacier travel equipment. Make sure to order these from us when you book or well in advance. Please visit our Rental Gear page.
What do you have to carry?
On multi-day trips you have to carry your own personal gear (sleeping bag, clothing, personal effects) plus a share of group food and equipment (ropes, anchors, ice tools, etc.). Typically we are based out of a central lodge or hut for our programs and so most days you will only have to carry a day pack with some lunch, water, and extra layers.
Can Yamnuska organize a private trips on demand?
Yes. Please visit our Custom Tours page.