Sol Mountain Lodge – Backcountry Skiing in BC
In 2017 we were able to book a week at Sol Mountain Lodge as a Self Guided group. As these lodges are filling up fast we were unable to book a spot for 2018, but we did for 2019! Then two spots came up for a Guided Catered 6 day trip in February 2018. After looking at the forecast and seeing a temperature spike in BC we decided that heading to a lodge at 1920m would be the place to be. It appears our dice roll was right as we were blessed with bountiful pow!
We didn’t know who we would be skiing with, but we knew the snow would be good, a guide would be breaking trail for Lee, and we would see how local knowledge maneuvered through the terrain. Since we normally go unguided, we don’t always go up or enter terrain the most efficient way possible. Not that this is always important since part of our adventure is exploring. But we felt it would be a treat to just follow for a week. While we did climb an average of 1500m/day, the pace was set to those who haven’t skied 40 days already this season. We had to dress a bit warmer, eat a bit more food, but the company was great since the guests, who tended to travel from afar, were not as familiar with this area as we were so their stokage was high.
Our guides this week were Aaron Cooperman, the man behind Sol Mountain Lodge and James from Skookum Backcountry Adventures out of the Yukon. A third Guide, Audrey, was also there, and graciously accommodated the short tour preference people. There was also Simon, the powder slave and Dave who is one of the main caretakers of the Lodge who also provided tail-guiding. The take home is that Sol’s fully-guided operation is magnificently well-staffed in its ability to manage guests of differing abilities and experience.
The advantage of going on a Guided Caterered trip is that the staff does ALL the cooking and cleaning for you, so you just need to sit around, drink coffee in the morning and get served breakfast, then drink beer in the afternoon and get served apres and dinner! Not bad for being in the middle of no where!
Snowing at staging.
Our Group – Lee, Fran, Dave, Sydney, Betsy, Fred, Wit, Amy, Daniel, Mac, Dominique, Chris. Three others from Calgary were already at the Lodge – Sue, Janet and Rick
Each day Dom and Irene prepared a great breakfast and very good Revelstoke coffee.
So it was good there were FIVE toilets to choose from to do your business. And three showers for the end of the day!
Getting ready in the boot room.
Lee checking out the snow levels
The skis stayed up away from the hut and that is where we prepared to go up or down at the start of the day. This is where you watch your guide and do what he does!
Day one we skied Crystal Vision, back up to Barkerville, over to Burnt Knob then back up to Blind Faith then up Bill Fraser Lake to the Lodge ( GUIDE NOTE – Exit Bill Fraser Lake at the creek, follow until you get to a bench at 1800m THEN traverse over to the Lodge for maximum efficiency ).
Today we skin away from the hut towards Crystal Vision and Barkerville
Skinning towards Fostall
Compare and contrast summer and winter!
Skiing down Crystal Vision
Amy from Duluth
Aaron our guide!
Fred from Seattle
Chris and Amy from Duluth
We skin back up to Barkerville – Dave from Washington, Mac from Winthrop, Fred from Seattle
We get ready to go back down!
Back at the Lodge Dave gets out the 5 meter marker!
Dave looking for beer, and the guides checking out stuff on the computer.
Dinner board, food prepared by Dom
Dom the Chef
Day 2 we skied up to Merlot, down Greenpeace up to the Bear Bump, then over to Chicken Knob for a couple of laps. Temperatures warmed at the end of this day so we only did two runs on Chicken Knob.
The steeds await
Top of Merlot – you can see French Connection on the background ridge
Once down Premium Red we go back up!
The snow begins
Chris getting deep!
So do I
So does Lee
And Amy too!
Back at the Lodge the staff prepares for dinner!
Moves count for Day 2 Chicken Knob. ( Day 1 didn’t work)