Why: Epic powder, fully-guided alpine touring, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, relaxing

When: Skiing season runs from December to April, snow dependent

Where: Accessed via helicopter from Golden, BC

Web: Purcell Mountain Lodge 

Purcell Lodge is having your own personal mountain chalet — complete with houseguests. It is totally self-sufficient, and operated like you’d run a cabin: family style dinners, single, double and triple-occupancy rooms, nighttime board and card games and good times. Oh, yeah, and tons of powder within near-boundless terrain.

Purcell Mountain Lodge’s raison d’etre is telemark skiing. In the early 1980s, co-founders Paul Leeson an Russ Younger were already telemarking into the deep Purcells, leading avid skiers on day-trips from alpine yurts. In 1989, they decided to step it up a notch and began construction of today’s lodge.

Although it’s open year-round, Purcell Lodge is known for snowsports. Alpine touring, Nordic skiing, snowboarding (split boards), snowshoeing and, of course, telemark skiing tours are organized daily and suited to any skill level. Guides instruct all on the safe use of avalanche rescue equipment, and readily offer tips on how to shred deep Purcell powder.

Power comes from a hydroelectric system built by lodge co-founder Paul Leeson. His goal was to create a generating station that would provide enough energy to run everything guests wanted — except hairdryers — without adversely affecting the ecosystem. Harnessing the power of a nearby stream, and adhering to minimal flow requirements, his system now creates eight kilowatts of energy. The lodge also operates its own wastewater treatment plant, and sticks to a strict policy of composting and waste limitation.

It’s eco-ski touring at its finest!