Europe has the Haute Route. The Northwest has the Spearhead Traverse, a classic high alpine ski tour. This 3-day trip has easy access, a spectacular setting in the backcountry of the continent's best ski area, heavily glaciated terrain, and even a new state-of-the-art hut, making it a must for anybody who is serious about ski touring. It is incredible that a ski traverse of such quality and easy access (we take the lift to the top of the Blackcomb ski area) can still offer so much solitude and such a wilderness experience.
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Strenuous due to skiing with an overnight pack
Snow Travel Equipment
Parking has become challenging in Whistler Village and it is good to have a plan before you arrive. You are no longer allowed to leave your vehicle in the public pay lots for over 24 hours. Some hotels will let you pay to park in their lots while on the Spearhead for their nightly rate (US $20-30 per night).
On this 3-day trip you will meet your guide early on the first day, so most people need to find accommodations for the night before the trip. There are many hotels in Whistler so the choices are wide open. Make sure you inquire about parking during your stay and leaving your vehicle in their lot while you are on the traverse. Another option is to stay in Squamish the night before. Check out the Sea to Sky Hotel, located about 3 miles north of the Squamish downtown area.
No. If you prefer, we can add the price of the lift ticket to your trip and have the guide get it for you.
Possibly. The 3-day trip has longer days of touring, so skiing laps around camp will depend primarily on group fitness, ability, and the weather and snow conditions.
We have the new state-of-the-art Kees and Claire hut reserved for the 2nd night of the traverse for our pre-scheduled Spearhead trips. It is INCLUDED in the trip price for our prescheduled trips. It is heated, has propane stoves and cooking equipment, an indoor composting toilet, electricity, and lights. It has 38 sleeping spaces divided into 6 sleeping areas. If you choose different dates we will do our best to reserve the hut for your trip. If you are able to plan your trip so that the last night does not fall on a Saturday, and/or if you plan your trip early we can likely get space in the hut! If you are not on a prescheduled trip and the hut is full on the last night of the dates that work best for you, you can always use the old Russet Lake hut or camp for the 3rd night. The old hut consists of 4 walls and a roof, 2 large wooden sleeping platforms and 2 metal tables.
We are typically out in the early afternoon of the last day.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.