FATMAP by Strava
Skiing Cowboy ridge

Epic Intermediate Ski Tours around Whistler Blackcomb

Take the step up from beginner routes and begin exploring Whistler Blackcomb's incredible backcountry!

Ski Touring Moderate

Skiing Cowboy ridge
Skiing Cowboy ridge Photo: Matt Gun


Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is renowned for its amazing terrain, huge snowfalls and modern infrastructure. Luckily, the in bounds area only takes advantage of a tiny portion of the region's skiable terrain. Whistler and Blackcomb resorts are situated at either end of a horseshoe shaped formation known as the Spearhead range. The peaks throughout this iconic range offer world class ski touring with the added accessibility of having chairlifts and gondolas that greatly reduce your approach. If you are here for the more than a few weeks then your best bet is to invest in a season pass, however if you are just passing through or have a smaller budget you can make use of the backcountry lift passes offered by the resort. These passes allow use of up to 4 lifts that will take you from either village up to any of the backcountry access gates.

For those newer to ski touring, the Whistler side will offer plenty of mellow sub-alpine options. There are no glaciers until you pass Russet Lake, you have multiple ways to enter and exit and if the weather turns you can escape into the trees for shelter and better visibility.

Blackcomb, on the other hand, offers bigger, steeper more glaciated terrain. Both areas tend to get similar conditions in terms of weather and snowfall, however it’s useful to keep an eye on the resort webcams when planning a route for the day. Wherever you decide to explore you will be greeted by stunning views and epic terrain, only to return home with a to-do list longer than you had at the start of the day. There truly is an enormous amount of skiing to be done here. All of the routes described will bring you back into the ski resort at the end of your tour.

This guidebook is focussed on intermediate ski tours, providing a mixture of glaciated and non glaciated options. None of the routes included involve mandatory slopes steeper than 35 degrees. It is important to remember that once you leave the resort you are no longer in controlled terrain. This means no avalanche bombing, no trail markers and no ski patrol assistance. Just because you can see the resort doesn’t mean that anybody will come and help you in the case of an emergency. Act accordingly!

For those with the requisite skill and experience, there is a lifetime of fun to be had at Whistler Blackcomb!

Routes included

Related guidebooks