Pure, simple & real..Deep

Backcountry Access


The BC Selkirk Mountains, with their huge annual snowfall of light, dry powder, are a mecca for backcountry enthusiasts.  Nestled within these mountains is Whitewater Ski Resort, and with a base elevation of 1,626m (5,333 ft), we are able to offer up some of the best lift access backcountry on the planet. Whitewater Ski Resort - Ski BC Powder!

The supernatural backcountry surrounding Whitewater Ski Resort is a place for adventure, peace and above all - RESPECT.  Before venturing beyond the ski area boundaries Whitewater management strongly recommends all skiers and snowboarders be equipped with a transceiver, probe and shovel, and be educated in backcountry knowledge and up-to-date avalanche conditions. Take the time to practice your beacon knowledge at Whitewaters  Beacon Basin, located just steps away from the lodge. Check in with our Snow Safety Patrol before you leave.  Be aware that man-made and natural hazards exist; these include tree-wells, stumps, cliff bands, rocks, trails and roadways.  These rules are absolute: CLOSED MEANS CLOSED.  Beyond the ski area boundary is not patrolled.  If you require a rescue beyond the ski area boundary, you pay the entire bill.  If you do not have the knowledge or skills to go into the backcountry, before heading out there it is highly recommended that you take an Avalanche Course from a certified Avalanche Professional. It is important that you look into the certification and experience of the instructor, to ensure that you are getting quality instruction. Whitewater also offers a Discover Whitewater Backcountry program which is an educational program that covers the knowledge, equipment and skills required to travel in the backcountry while showcasing the expansive backcountry routes available from Whitewater Ski Resort. 

If you are guiding or teaching an AST course, and your program requires lift use, please contact Whitewater to provide proof of insurance. We can be reached by telephone at 250-354-4944 or by email at info@skiwhitewater.com   


Whitewater Ski Resort - Ski BC Powder

 This sign means that you are leaving the ski area boundary and there is no avalanche control or first aid.



The ski resort is closed. Sledding, Tobogganing and Tubing are NOT PERMITTED within the ski area boundary.Hiking and touring in the off season is Not Recommended as a variety of natural and manmade hazards exist such as avalanches, heavy duty equipment, lift maintenance, etc. 

Once the resort is open for the season, there will be no sledding, tobogganing, tubing and hiking or ski touring allowed within the Whitewater Ski Area boundary before, during or after operating hours through April 6, 2014This is due to avalanche and other operational hazards.
For lift access to the backcountry within the season and during operation hours, single ride lift tickets are available at the Guest  Services desk in the lodge.  You will be required to sign a backcountry waiver.  All other hiking/touring must be done outside our ski area boundary.  Skiing/snowboarding privileges will be suspended if this policy is not respected.

If you are wanting to explore the incredible backcountry at Whitewater Ski Resort and are unfamilar with the terrain the best way to explore is with a guide who knows the area. Check out the local guiding companies available in Nelson, BC, talk to Snow Safety about the Discover Whitewater Backcountry program or head over to Backcountry Skiing Canada to purchase the West Kootenay Ski Touring Guide Book. 

To park and hike into the backcountry, information on recommended ascent routes outside the ski area boundary are posted on the wall in the main foyer of the Day Lodge in the avalanche information cabinet, and are outlined on the map below.  Please note if you are skiing/riding down after operational hours you are required to take the ascent route down. 

Ski Area Boundaries

Before heading into the backcountry ask yourself and your sking/riding partners the following:

Whitewater Ski Resort - Ski BC Powder

  1. Do we have knowledge of Avalanche terrain and phenomena?
  2. Do we have the necessary rescue and safety equipment and the skills to use them?
  3. Do we have a competent partner?
  4. Do we have a map/compass and skills to use it in all weather conditions?
  5. Did we get a weather forecast? (past and future)
  6. Are we prepared to do our own rescue?
  7. Have I talked to locals or the Snow Safety Staff about the area and conditions?                          

If you cannot answer YES to all seven of these questions you should stay in the ski area boundary!   
For more information on Avalanche conditions, please visit Avalanche Canada  avalanche canada

Thanks to our sponsor, Backcountry Access, Whitewater Ski Resort is able to offer a beacon training ground to enable backcountry enthusiasts, from beginners to advanced, an opportunity to practice simple single beacon searches or a multiple beacon search with up to 8 transceivers.  The beacon park is located between Lot D and Lot B in the meadow area.  If you are interested in practicing your beacon/transceiver searching, sign in at the guest services desk.  This service is offered free of charge; however we encourage users to make a donation towards the AABBS (Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundary Society). Happy Searching!

If you are interested in honing in on your backcountry skills or just want to show off your backcountry safety know-how, consider taking part in the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival!

Beacon Basin 
Enjoy the mountains in a safe, controlled environment at Whitewater. Within the area boundary, Kirk Jensen and his professionally trained and certified snow safety crew work hard to ensure that safety comes first. Avalanche control, first aid, public safety and awareness are all part of their day. If you are interested in learning more about Avalanche Awareness, try our one day introductory course. Offered throughout the season, this course starts in the classroom and then moves out onto the mountain where you will learn the basic technique for transceiver use and how to dig and understand a snow pit. No lift ticket is required for this day.

"Been skiing here for a few years now and it never disappoints, Fresh powder, piles of steep tree runs and little to no lift lines. There is also some awesome back country accessible terrain all around. One of the best places to ski in the world for sure!"
Doug LePage on the snow