Whistler Blog

Discover Squamish Backcountry

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squamish backcountry

Squamish is in a pretty awesome location. Situated halfway between Whistler and Vancouver, it has the incredible recreational opportunities offered by the mountains, along with easy access to city amenities.

For those wanting to get their fix of snow, the logical option is to head up the Sea to Sky to Whistler, North America’s largest ski resort. But for many there is another, less crowded choice – Squamish backcountry!

Where to go

Backcountry skiing or split boarding in the Squamish backcountry is an incredible experience and the Coast Mountains have so much to offer.

Mount Garibaldi is possibly the most famous location for backcountry, and has been a local favourite since the 1940s! Here you will find long rewarding runs and lots of snow.

Just north of Squamish is the Diamond Head area characterized by beautiful ascents and open meadows.

If you’re looking for an overnight location then you can’t go wrong with Elfin Lakes. Here you will find a hut sleeping 34 people equipped with a stove, tables, sink and toilet.

In recent years the Sea-to-Sky Gondola has opened up access to a huge area of backcountry terrain that the experienced skier will greatly enjoy. There area too many locations to list, so why not book a guided trip?

When is it best?

It may be surprising to know that the Squamish backcountry receives more snow throughout that year than that of Whistler!

The ski season can run from around late October until June, with the highest levels of precipitation from November until April. The Squamish Valley usually receives fairly mild winters with a lot of rain, however, at higher altitudes this rain becomes snow and those venturing into the backcountry will be met with incredible powder conditions!

Staying safe

Staying safe in the backcountry is of the utmost importance. Do not head out unless you are properly equipped and educated to handle every possible situation.

In the backcountry your safety is in your own hands so be prepared for avalanches, crevasses and anything else that may occur. If you are unsure about the area then book a guided tour or speak to a knowledgeable local.