Valkyr Adventures -
Backcountry Skiing in Canada
Day 1 – Fly in and ski up Naumulten Mt.
A group of us reserve huts for trips once a year and this time we booked the lodge on Naumulten Mountain in the Valkyr Range of the Selkirk Mountains. Valkyr Adventures is a local family run collection of ski touring lodges. Naumulten Lodge, Hilda Lodge and the LQ Outpost. Naumulten Lodge is one of the deluxe accommodation lodges for ski touring. It has the coveted and rare luxury of an INDOOR toilet and shower and separate 2 person rooms sleeping a total of 12 (no dorm style here!). Iincluded also is bedding, electricity, running water in-lodge (hot and cold), on-demand hot showers, a sauna, Internet, and with options for catered and guided trips. All you need to do bring is your ski gear, clothes, a thirst for pow and personal alcohol if you don’t like what they offer.
Due to the boom in backcountry skiing Naumulten and all its sister lodges are at least a year in advance so if you want certainty in the high winter season then you have to commit at least that year (and possibly two or three!!) in advance. Naumulten also offers summer hiking and the alpine meadow shots certainly look amazing.
Sitting at 2210m Naumulten lodge’s location is about as high as it gets for BC backcountry lodges. Still even at that elevation (right at treeline), the terrain surrounds you. We were able to rip skins and ski back to the lodge almost every day which is a bonus! For some inexplicable reason the Naumulten Lodge area has a reputation for being more mellow and for more beginner-intermediates; a reputation we found was undeserved (more on that later). Instead we found that there is more then enough terrain to keep you occupied when there is no visibility, and when the skies clear there are plenty of alpine bowls to explore. Indeed, after 7 days of touring found that we could have explored for a good deal longer before exhausting possibilities.
Valkyr stages out of Burton BC , a small town just south of Nakusp. You can drive there through Vernon or via Revelstoke via relatively civilized paved roads. We arrived at the Burton staging at 8:00am. Hilda hut, the sister hut to Valkyr, also stages out of Burton so flights and loading are managed by Valkyr staff; and as it always seems with helicopters you should be prepared to wait your turn. Change-over day was problem-free and we were all at the lodge by early noon giving us a half-day to explore.
Our awesome cook Sarah and custodian Zoe gave us a run down of the lodge, we had some snacks and then we were off on a short exploratory tour of the area. Temps on on our fly in day was warm. Freezing levels for our first two days were 3000m. As the week went on the temps cooled to -10, we had consistent snowfall and enough wind transport to refresh the area.
On our first day we headed out with Greg, Mike and Andy to summit Naumulten Mt to see the views and bask in the sun as a temperature inversion flipped over temps from valley bottom at -5 and alpine temps at +2 making for exceptionally distinctive lake-effect fog. Our group is allergic to skiing together in large numbers (safety) so some other groups headed over to the Stoney Zone to meander.
Yellow track is Day1 via Naumulten Mt then dipping down to Fauquier Creek where melf-freeze took place at 1900m.
We picked our buddy Carl up in Vernon and took the Fauquier ferry across to Nakusp.
Staging at Burton – Robazzo Rd, south of Burton on the west side of the Highway.
Heli’s never get old!
Hail to the snow donkey!
Valkyr’s Naumulten Lodge sleeps 12 comfortably in separate rooms which each sleep 2-3 people, sauna in the back.
Looking from the Sauna towards Naumulten Mt.
Sarah and Zoe always working!
Goodbye Snow Donkey!
Skin to the Heart Bypass S of the lodge in the sun
Skinning up Naumulten Mt, Lookout Ridge in the background floating in a sea of clouds.
Heading back down Naumulten which is a gentle slope on the front but hairball on the back (there’s a theme here)
Snow was still good in the trees
Lee, Greg, Mike and Andy heading up for a sunset lap.
Back at the lodge we enjoyed our beer!
Lodge Living area
Carl in The Comfy Chair! So much seating area here
Image of all our tracks in Google Earth Image from Above
Map from Valkyr Adventures showing the Northern part of the tenure