The final stop along the Sea to Sky will bring you to the quaint farming town of Pemberton. But don’t let the town’s unassuming vibe deceive you. It’s the gateway to some of the best (and gnarliest) backcountry skiing in North America. There’s no wonder it’s populated with a smattering of professional skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers. But don’t worry, it’s not all extreme skiing, there are also some really fun day touring trips accessed via Duffey Lake Rd.
Continue along Hwy 99, about 20 minutes past Pemberton, and ‘The Duffey’ will begin. Pass Lillooet Lake and you will notice the road begins to climb steep windy switchbacks – this is where the Duffey starts. Word of warning, download your maps/ GPS co-ordinates etc., before you start the drive, as you will loose cell phone reception at this point.
Heart Strings: Access to this aesthetic 700m run is from the Joffre Lakes car park. Finding the entrance can be a little tricky, but well worth the adventure. A great choice if you are not looking to do a mega day.
Rohr Ridge: Access is from the Marriot Basin parking area. The trail head is opposite the obvious white sand shed on the side of the hwy. Once you make it to the ridge, there are a number of fun runs you can take down, including; Rocky Horrow Powder Show, Stellar Bowl, and Southern Comfort. You’ll likely be able to fit a few laps in to a day!
Joffre Shoulder: Great for touring accessible pillows and tress. Turn off at the hwy at the Cayoosh Mountain parking lot, which is made obvious from the roadside weather station. Travel is mostly through forest, which gives way to more open glades and tree skiing.
Snacks and coffee: Mt. Currie Coffee Co.
Après: The Pony
- Note that these descriptions have been made purposefully vague to encourage greater research and trip planning into each area of interest. A great resource for this is the book ‘Exploring the Coast Mountains On Skis‘, by John Baldwin, which provides more detailed descriptions and maps for each of these zones.
- Use promo code: WHITECAP5 for a discount on Far Out Wilderness 4×4 Winter Vehicle Rentals.