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FAQ's about the backcountry

Q: What types of lodges are available?
A: You name it. The BLBCA has lodges from rustic to luxurious and everything in between.

Q: What type of areas are the lodges located in?
A: All lodges are located in mountainous regions of B.C., generally situated at or above treeline in what is generally referred to as the “alpine”.

Q: I don’t have much experience in the backcountry. Will this be a problem?
A: Quite the opposite. Guides are available at most lodges, which are situated in excellent areas to hone your mountain safety skills and expand your backcountry knowledge.

Q: What seasons do the lodges operate in?
A: Year round. Summer operations are from June-September, while winter operations are from December-April.

Q: When is high season?
A: During the winter season, occupancy at the lodges is highest in February and March. In the summer, July is the busiest month.

Q: Where are the lodges located geographically?
A: Across British Columbia. For specific lodge locations, please refer to the Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association (BLBCA) Map in the Media Resources section of the website.

Q: How would I get to the lodge?
A: Due to their remoteness, lodge access is mechanized in the winter (mostly by helicopter). In the summer several lodges are accessible by hiking. Once at the lodge, all activities are non-mechanized, falling in line with our commitment to leave as small a footprint as possible.

Q: How do meals work at the lodges?
A: Lodges are listed as either self-catered or fully catered, so you decide if you’d like to do the cooking or have someone do it for you! The catered lodges have excellent options available no matter your culinary preferences.

Q: What sizes of groups often go into a lodge?
A: This completely depends as we see the full spectrum ranging from single travelers to groups booked the entire lodge. Each individual lodge operator will happily guide you through your options and let you know the best choices based on your interests.

Q: How many can be accommodated at a lodge?
A: This varies lodge to lodge, as they each have from eight to 30 beds, with an average of 12 beds per lodge.

Q: Are backcountry lodges for hard-core mountain enthusiasts only?
A: Not at all! A BLBCA lodge is an excellent vacation option no matter your interests or age, so long as you enjoy the outdoors and “getting away from it all”. You’ll be surprised at the many comforts you can find at a backcountry lodge. Many people even hold special events at the lodges with many attending never having been before.

Q: What types of outdoor activities are available?
A: WINTER: self-propelled skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
    SUMMER: hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, wildlife/nature observing, fishing, canoeing, bird watching and mountain biking.

Q: What types of indoor activities are available?
A: Our lodges can also be booked in full for family retreats, celebrations such as weddings or for businesses seeking a quiet setting for activities such as strategic planning, leadership development, team building and more. Other activities include: yoga, meditation, cooking, art, reading… you get the idea… any form of pure relaxation.

Q: How can we experience the activities?
A: Independent, interpretive and guided options are available at most lodges. Educational and training programs on safety, mountain skills development, the environment, art and photography are offered, as well as retreats and team-building programs.

Q: Isn’t going to a backcountry lodge expensive?
A: It’s less expensive than you think. Catered and guided trips start at $1,200 a week or $199 per night per person. That factors in delicious food, guiding and a ski resort’s worth of terrain to share with just 12 to 16 other people. Not to mention breathtaking vistas and moments of surreal quiet found nowhere else!

Q: Is visiting a backcountry lodge a green travel option?
A: After you arrive it’s hard to imagine a more carbon neutral holiday — where else would you not drive while on vacation? Because of their location, those who run backcountry lodges are experts in treating water and using alternative energy systems such as harnessing wind, water and sun for power. Treading lightly on the fragile alpine environment is just the way things are done up here.

If you can’t find your question answered here, then please contact us at colwest@shaw.ca.


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