Credit: David Webb
Are you looking to venture off-piste this winter? With near-unlimited options for backcountry skiing in our country, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. Here are seven options for easy-access backcountry, starting in the East:
Chic Chocs, QC
The best known and the best quality of the eastern backcountry, these snowy peaks on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec boast varied terrain — including alpine bowls and chutes — and stellar views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The best base is out of Chic Choc Mountain Lodge, but day trips are also possible.
Gros Morne National Park, NL
While the “Tablelands” may not sound like it offers much in the way of exciting descents, when you’re slicing turns in the East’s deepest snow you won’t care what it’s called. Check out two backcountry huts inside Gros Morne National Park or ski from the road along The Rock’s west coast.
Algoma Highlands, ON
Backcountry skiing in Ontario? Yup. The north side of King Mountain in the Algoma Highland’s Conservancy, north of Sault St. Marie, has a pitch of perfectly spaced hardwoods and plenty of winter snow.
Banff National Park, AB
The Trans Canada Highway and Icefields Parkway provide roadside access to dozens of backcountry objectives, from short yo-yo skiing slopes to multi-week tours.
Rogers Pass, BC
No surprise, the snowiest section of Highway in BC is also a great skiing destination. Where the Trans-Canada Highway tops out in the Selkirk Mountains, Rogers Pass has it all: epic tree skiing, grand traverses, ski mountaineering objectives and long glacier runs.
Duffy Lake Road, BC
The “sky” in the Sea to Sky Highway is not Whistler, it is an hour further north where Highway 99 tops out in the subalpine of the Coast Range, far enough from the coast to escape its notorious melt-downs, but close enough to enjoy its abundant snowfalls.
Out of Bounds, BC & AB
Pick a ski resort in the West and you’ll likely find excellent untracked terrain just outside its boundary. Most resorts have an open-gate policy: ski through one of the marked exits and the backcountry is your oyster.