Frequently Asked Questions
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What time of year should I visit?
Sorcerer Lodge has a variety of terrain that allows us a great deal of flexibility in catering to people’s different ideas of a backcountry skiing holiday. If you are looking for “in your face” powder snow you should book earlier in the season. January, February and early March are the times when ski touring, and snowboarding folks in search of the deepest and the fluffiest come to visit. Temperatures early season in the Selkirk Mountains can drop as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-20 F), but these days are usually accompanied by sunshine as they are related to our arctic high pressures. When the maritime low moves in, it can warm up to a balmy -5 degrees C and dump a meter of snow! Days are shorter then, but you’ll get in plenty of skiing!
For those of you who are more interested in doing some bigger ski touring days out on the high glaciers, mountaineering, or peak bagging, the latter part of March, April and May might be better. You will experience fewer bad weather days, warmer temperatures, more hours of daylight and generally better travelling conditions. Spring is the time of year we play the aspect game. North faces stay cooler and offer great powder turns but we’ll hunt out the afternoon corn snow on the south faces. It’s also the best time to dig big sun pits, sit back and share a bottle of wine.
If you’re asking for a forecast more than a few days in advance however, we make no promises! We actually don’t have any idea what kind of weather you’ll encounter! It can rain January or be -20 in March. If you’re considering coming into Sorcerer, I’m sure you have enough mountain experience to know there ain’t no guarantees…. We are adaptable and you’ll have a great trip regardless.
We run a very short summer season since it frequently snows till June and then again in September. The driest time is generally late July till mid August but high in the mountains the weather is variable and you should come prepared for anything. Having said that, we don’t get hurricanes or monsoons around here. (at least not yet)
What happens when the group is made up of different ability levels?
We do our best to match the abilities and expectations of people in the groups but we find that sometimes even the strongest skiers want a light day and others may wish to bang out a big one. We have two ACMG certified guides per group as well as a practicum student to help out so we have no problem dividing the group up in those circumstances. There is generally an option to come home early and we have a good library if you decide to take a day off. It’s a holiday…
Can we hike or ski to the lodge?
NO!!! The terrain in this area is some of the most rugged in the world. In winter the route out would feel like going to target practice with you as the target, as you have to ski along valley bottoms for about 10 kilometers, with huge slide paths looming above you on either side. Even in stable conditions, it would involve negotiating creek crossings and alder bashing. It’s worse in the summer as you can add stinging nettles and devils club to the mix as well as cliffs and waterfalls. Meanwhile your buddies are flying overhead in a nice warm helicopter! It won’t cost you any less for the privilege of thrashing through all that either as the helicopter would be flying empty on a dovetail with the group going the opposite direction. You may as well be in the empty seat.
Can I join or leave the group mid-week?
Certainly. It is not a problem to fly someone in at a later time however, it will be an additional heli charge. We can often keep the price down if the adjacent heliski company is in operation but the timing and cost will depend on the availability of a helicopter. Please ask us for details. You also would not receive a discount on the week if you choose to come late or leave early.
Are there radios we can use at the lodge?
Yes. Sorcerer supplies six VHF radios that groups are encouraged to take with them each day. If you are bringing your own radios, please get in touch with us in advance for the appropriate frequencies.
Can we bring and charge our various battery operated devices?
Yes we have 24 110volt electricity in the guest bedrooms.
Is there an emergency phone number I can leave with my family so they can get in touch with me while I’m up in the lodge?
Yes. You can give them the office number in Golden 250-272-3394 or 250-371-7510, Alpine Helicopters number 250-344-7444, or Campbell Icefield Chalet at 250-344-4646. All of the numbers have radio access to the lodge and can pass a message up to you at any time. There is a satellite phone up there you can use to call home.