We’re finally hosting a Whitecap women’s focused lodge trip to encourage, inspire, and enhance connections amongst the women’s backcountry ski and snowboard community. Watching powerful women in the mountains is no new thing to us. Many of our star guides and staff fit this bill. However, we haven’t yet created a space or dedicated a trip for our guests to connect with these inspiring ladies purposefully… Until now.
As this curated trip is new for the 23/24 Season, we’d like to answer some key questions that have been put on our radar. To ensure we give you our most thorough response, Christine Feleki and Holly Walker, the two ACMG guides that will be leading the Women’s Trip, weigh in on our answers.
What level skier/ snowboarder should you be for this?
Christine: You should be comfortable skiing or snowboarding in all snow conditions and down the equivalent of a black run. You don’t need to be an expert, but you can make it down safely and in control.
Do you need previous basic avalanche training?
Christine: We recommend a minimum level of AST 1 or AIRE Level 1 training.
How fit do we need to be (i.e. how much vertical will we climb each day)?
Christine: As it’s the start of the season and we are all getting our legs back, we won’t be packing in mind-blowing vertical ascents, but you want to be able to climb several 300m climbs in a day (approximately 1000 – 1500m of elevation).
Holly: If you want to do some pre-ski season dry-land training, I recommend balancing a minimum of two days a week at the gym, lifting weights to build strength and prepare you for downhill skiing. And another two days a week, going on long walks or shorter runs to increase your cardio and stamina for ski touring.
Christine: This trip is both. We will try to get as much shredding in as we can; however, since it is early season and days are shorter, we may use some of that time to delve into topics of interest to the group, to set people up for a successful winter of touring.
Holly: Like Christine said, if the powder is deep, the majority of time will be spent shredding our hearts out, increasing our touring fitness and getting ready for the long winter season ahead. If conditions don’t align for the best early-season skiing, we will spend a little extra time focusing on safe travel practices, companion rescue and avalanche terrain assessment, practicing packing our gear and honing in on our transitions from skinning to skiing/boarding and vice versa.
What is included in the trip price?
Whitecap: The trip price includes return helicopter flight, accommodation, all food, and expert guiding. We’ll also be adding a little extra pizzazz to this special women’s trip with an all female guide team, skiing with the pros, evening Q&A sessions with the athletes and prizes from sponsors.
Can I share a room with my friend?
Whitecap: Yes. If you have a roommate request, please let us know when completing your Registration Form. It’s like school camp all over again.
Can I come alone?
Whitecap: Yes! Whether you come solo, with other friends, or a partner, this trip will be the perfect place to connect with other like-minded women. Maybe you’ll meet your new favourite adventure buddy!
What should I pack?
Whitecap: Check out our Backcountry Lodge Winter Packing List. Christine and Holly also have some personal packing tips of their own.
Christine: I like to have a thermos in the winter to keep warm beverages with me to encourage myself to hydrate.
Holly: I find that in the early season, my body hasn’t adjusted to the cold temperatures of winter yet, so packing an extra warm layer (puffy coat or synthetic layer) will make descents and transitions far more comfortable. And due to my previous frostbitten toes, heated socks are a must for me.
I’ve never been in a helicopter before. What should I expect?
Whitecap: The helicopter ride up to Whitecap is spectacular and, for many, a highlight of the trip. We fly with Blackcomb Helicopters and meet at their Pemberton base. Here you will check in for your trip and participate in a helicopter safety briefing with the pilot. From there we convoy to the Whitecap staging area in D’Arcy, approximately a 45-minute drive east of Pemberton. It will be an impressive 10-minute flight into the Lodge in an A-Star helicopter. This machine takes 5 passengers at a time. You will fly in your ski gear and boots ready to land in snowy conditions and crack on with your day! The helicopter ground crew and Whitecap staff will take care of all the loading and unloading of your luggage so all you need to do is get on and enjoy the flight.
How many people will be on the trip?
Whitecap: There will be up to 14 like minded ladies participating on the trip, along with 5 Whitecap staff to make sure you have an amazing time during your experience up at the Lodge.
Will there be good snow this early in the season?
Holly: As Christine said, we can’t predict the weather and winter forecast. But last early December, Christine and I found that the skiing at Whitecap was amazing in zones with grassy slopes, and there are lots of options to choose from.