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WHITEWATER SKI RESORT

To share any info your have on backcountry skiing at Whitewater, or to get the lowdown from others, check out our backcountry skiing forums on the region. As well as being one of the least commercial ski areas in North America, Whitewater enjoys huge dumps of snow throughout the winter season. Cold smoke, blower, champagne—call it what you will, it all means the same thing: amazing powder skiing. As a resort, Whitewater is interested in promoting the safety of all skiers accessing the backcountry and has some basic rules which must be followed. An overarching rule is that no hiking or ski touring is allowed within the Whitewater ski area boundary before, during or after operating hours. This must be respected.

Pay particular attention to any signs posted at common ski area boundary exit points. There is no avalanche control or ski patrol once you leave the area and you must cover any costs for your rescue—if required. Check the daily CAA avy bulletin posted outside the Ski Patrol room, ask a patroller about inbound conditions, and signout by filling in the information requested. Look to Whitewater’s web site (www.skiwhitewater. com) for more info on their policies and up-to-date notices. The mountain’s relaxed atmosphere depends on the cooperation and common sense of backcountry skiers like us. Respect the guidelines and enjoy some of the best lift-assisted backcountry skiing anywhere.

We touch upon a wide-ranging selection of routes here. Most—but not all—are accessible by either the Silver King or Summit Chairs. There are some truly hairball, “no exit” options as well as some which are more moderate. If you want to buy a day ticket and ski sidecountry laps, no problema. If you’re looking for a longer harder tour, those too are available. 

Make certain to check out the Fresh Tracks Café and Coal Oil Johnny’s Pub to get the full Whitewater experience.

(This map is not meant to be used as a navigational aid but rather a visual indication of the route description.)

SUMMIT SIDE:
1. Trash Chutes
2. Prospector A Shaft
3. Prospector B Shaft
4. Hummer A Shaft
5. Hummer B Shaft
6. West Ymir
7. First Choice
8. Dog’s Leg
9. Ymir Peak Bench

SILVER KING SIDE:
10. Scob’s Knob
11. Goat Slide
12. Five Mile
13. Acidophilus
14. White Queen
15. Black Queen

WHITEWATER ACCESS ROAD:
16. Evening Ridge
17. Whale’s Back


For a full listing of backcountry huts, cabins and lodges check out the Interior Mountain cabins/huts/lodges page over here. If you are looking for maps and guides to the area then check out the following publications in our Backcountry Skiing Canada Store:

West Kootenay Touring Guide West Kootenay Touring Guide: $16.95

Whitewater Backcountry Ski Touring Map

 Whitewater Backcountry Ski Touring Map: $19.00

 

 


Backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel safely. Any of the routes on this site may be dangerous depending on conditions. You are responsible for your own safety in the backcounty—the team behind backcountryskiingcanada.com disclaim any responsibility for any injury resulting from people travelling on routes described on this site.  To read our Terms of Use and get all the details, read HERE. 


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SUMMIT SIDE:  

Note that we have included condensed versions of the various route descriptions below. For a more detailed description of the routes—including details on access, ascents and descents—pick up a copy of the “offline” West Kootenay Touring Ski Touring Guide. Just click on this shortcut! 

TRASH CHUTES
This is a nice and quick loop with excellent yo-yo potential. It’s also not far from the area boundary and allows for a taste of the Whitewater side-country without investing a lot of time.

ROUTE: #1
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 1.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 457m /1500’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)

ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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PROSPECTOR A+B SHAFT
The Prospector program is popular with exhibitionists thanks to clear sightlines from the Whitewater lodge. These lines should only be attempted in stable conditions. Hit them early as they tend to get tracked out if you wait too long.

ROUTE: #2, #3
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 518m /1700’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)

ATES RATING: Challenging (2)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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HUMMER A+B SHAFT
Hummer Shafts are “no exit” routes and can only be skied by advanced skiers when conditions permit.

ROUTE: #4, #5
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 548m /1800’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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WEST YMIR
West Ymir includes everything from cliff drops to rock bands, to more mellow lines. The descent lies about halfway between Hummer Shafts and First Choice and should only be skied when conditions are right

ROUTE: #6
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 2.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 487m /1600’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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FIRST CHOICE
As the photo shows, First Choice is an advanced route with little margin for error. If conditions are good and you have the skills, it’ll be a route you’ll never forget.

ROUTE: #7
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 3 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 670m /2200’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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DOG’S LEG
Like its neighbour First Choice, Dog’s Leg is a “no exit”, hi-vert route for advanced skiers only. Only hit it when the time is right and you are feeling confident.

ROUTE: #8
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 3 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 701m /2300’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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YMIR PEAK BENCH
Clocking-in at around four hours, the Ymir Peak Bench route is one of the longer (and more difficult) of the Whitewater sidecountry options featured on the site. It’s a major commitment with major rewards.

ROUTE: #9
ACCESS: Top of Summit Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 731m /2400’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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WHITEWATER SILVER KING SIDE:

Note that we have included condensed versions of the various route descriptions below. For a more detailed description of the routes—including details on access, ascents and descents—pick up a copy of the “offline” West Kootenay Touring Ski Touring Guide. Just click on this shortcut! 

SCOB’S KNOB
Access to Scob’s Knob can be tricky but the snow is often worth the effort. The descent down Scob’s is through nicely spaced trees into the bottom of Ymir Bowl. It’s a classic Whitewater sidecountry tour.

ROUTE: #10
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 3.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 640m /2100’
(including 273m/900’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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GOAT SLIDE
The Goat Slide tour is only about an hour and a half, allowing for multiple laps on a good day. The main line is a wide-open slope, steeper at first then mellowing out as it brings you to the bottom of Ymir Bowl.

ROUTE: #11
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 1.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 396m /1300’
(including 273m/900’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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FIVE MILE
Getting into Five Mile Basin, and out, is a near day-long project (depending on the length of your day). The tour requires excellent route finding skills but the payback in skiing is excellent.

ROUTE: #12
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 701m /2300’
(including 274m/900’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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ACIDOPHILUS
Because it’s north facing, Acidophilus offers up good protection from the sun and wind. When other lines are tracked out, or the snow hasn’t fallen in a few days, consider this tour.

ROUTE: #13
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 396m /1300’
(including 274m/900’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Complex (3)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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WHITE QUEEN
On a good day, White Queen can be a quick and rewarding lap with long sustained vertical. Because it’s south facing, be aware that it tends to get cooked off on sunny, warm days.

ROUTE: #14
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 3 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 548m /1800’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Challenging (2)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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BLACK QUEEN
This tour is for more advanced skiers because of its distance from the ski area and the route finding skills required. Try to find someone who has already done the tour to avoid complications. Black Queen north, White Queen south.

ROUTE: #15
ACCESS: Top of Silver King Chair
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 4.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 548m /1800’
(including 396m/1300’ chair ride)
ATES RATING: Challenging (2)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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WHITEWATER ACCESS ROAD:

Note that we have included condensed versions of the various route descriptions below. For a more detailed description of the routes—including details on access, ascents and descents—pick up a copy of the “offline” West Kootenay Touring Ski Touring Guide. Just click on this shortcut! 

EVENING RIDGE
For the best of Evening Ridge, drop in off the ridge’s low point and ski down the way you came up, avoiding the gullies. You’ll ski some of the best mature, evenly spaced trees around.

ROUTE: #16
ACCESS: Hummingbird Parking lot on
north side of Whitewater access road
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 3.5 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 548m /1800’
ATES RATING: Challenging (2)

 

 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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WHALE’S BACK
Because of the tendency to get pulled left or right into avy terrain, this tour—which is tremendous—can be a little tricky and should be skied with an experienced person in the group and in stable conditions.

ROUTE: #17
ACCESS: Hummingbird Parking lot on
north side of Whitewater access road
MAP: 82 F/6
TIME: 4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 579m /1900’
ATES RATING: Challenging (2)



 

 

 

Full route description—including details on access, ascents and descents—in the Guide

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