The high alpine ski touring in Garibaldi Provincial Park features everything you want in a hut trip: easy access, a spectacular setting in the backcountry of Whistler/Blackcomb ski area, heavily glaciated terrain, and lodging at the new Kees and Claire hut! It seems incredible that terrain of such quality and easy access (we take the lift to the top of the Whistler ski area) can still offer so much solitude and such a wilderness experience.
The new Kees and Claire hut is situated above Russett Lake within Garibaldi Provincial Park, at the foot of Whirlwind Peak. For this trip it serves as a destination for day based ski touring in the fantastic Whistler backcountry. The hut is easily accessible via the "Musical bumps" and Singing Pass.
The touring possibilities from the hut are plentiful. You want mellow skiing? You got it. You want steep? No problem. You want to ski near tree line? But of course.
Easy access, a spectacular setting in the backcountry of Whistler / Blackcomb ski area, heavily glaciated terrain and even a hut make it a must for anybody who is serious about ski touring. It seems 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. What else do you need?
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Strenuous
Day 1: We will meet in Whistler (exact meeting times will be coordinated by the guides) and catch the lift up to the top of the Whistler ski area. From here we will ski and tour across the Musical Bumps and Singing Pass to the beautiful Kees and Claire hut. We will deposit our gear and should have time for an afternoon ski on the Overlord Glacier below the impressive Fissile walls.
Day 2: We have choices. We can ski up to the summit of Whirlwind Peak and go around to the top of the Overlord Glacier and have a ski down the Iago Glacier before going back to the hut.
Day 3: Who knows? Maybe Benvolio Peak, maybe even the Fissile if conditions allow. The Fissile is a ski mountaineering objective with some "classic extreme ski lines" right back down to the hut.
Day 4: The proximity to the Whistler ski area will allow for another half day tour before we head back to the Whistler ski area via the Musical Bumps or the more adventurous Singing Pass trail. After the ski descent down to Whistler, we should have enough time for a good lunch in the village before heading home.
- Guide fees and expenses for 4 days (includes partial wages for travel day)
- Group gear including ropes, Sat phone or inReach, and group first aid kit (please see equipment list)
- Hut fees
- Lift ticket: since so many people have the Epic Pass, Whistler vouchers, or other access tickets, we no longer include the one-up ticket in the trip price. It is easy to purchase the ticket on the morning of the first day of the tour. You can see information and prices HERE. The 2022/2023 price for this is approximately $33 USD.
- Lodging before or after the trip. We can help arrange lodging if you'd like, just let us know!
- Transportation to/from Whistler
- Parking: Parking has become challenging at Whistler and it is good to have a plan before you arrive. You are not 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 $20-40 per night).
- Gratuity for the guide
- Personal equipment and meals: please see the equipment list
Snow Travel Equipment
There are many lodging choices in Whistler Village and the surrounding area. Make sure you inquire about parking during your stay and leaving your vehicle in their lot while you are on the trip. Another option is to stay in Squamish the night before. Check out the Sea to Sky Hotel HERE, located about 3 miles north of the Squamish. Driving up the same day is possible but adds unnecessary stress especially if a border crossing is involved.
Parking has become challenging at Whistler and it is good to have a plan before you arrive. There are several designated parking spots for Garibaldi Park visitors and we will provide more information about that prior to your trip. Some hotels will let you pay to park in their lots. More information about overnight parking can be found on the Spearhead Huts Society page HERE.
No. If you prefer, we can add the price of the lift ticket to your trip and have the guide get it for you.
The Kees and Claire Hut is the first of 3 proposed huts along the Spearhead Traverse. You can see more details about the hut HERE.
You will be responsible for carrying your gear to the hut. Although you will likely take the lift system up, there will still be a couple of hours of skinning to reach the Kees and Claire Hut. Once there, however, you can unload much of your gear and tour the remaining days with a lighter pack.
We do not provide food. You are responsible for providing, carrying, and preparing your own food. You can find food suggestions HERE. Four 2-burner propane cooktops, complete with supplies and equipment for cooking and dining, such as pots, plates, utensils, mugs, glasses, Bodums, and teapots are available at the hut. (Personal cookstoves are not allowed within the hut.) They also have French presses and Bialetti stove top coffee makers so bringing ground fresh coffee is a great idea if you're a coffee person. The grounds have a special receptacle so wet grounds do not have to be packed out!
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 trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.