Explore some utterly brilliant moderate terrain above Duffey Lake, whilst steering clear of the steep lines for which the area is best known.
Despite its reputation for big peaks and steep skiing, Duffey Lake Road offers an equal amount of incredible moderate terrain. Long, sustained runs in open alpine bowls and tree-line gullies are easily accessed straight from the highway. In this guidebook you will find mellow slopes to ski after a storm, stunning peaks that don’t require glacier travel or mountaineering techniques and some of the best fall line skiing in the area. Couple this with beautiful low density snow and a deep mid winter snowpack and you will be coming back to these zones year after year.
Situated at the northern end of the Sea to Sky corridor, Duffey Lake Road is the name of a particular section of Highway 99. Starting at Lillooet Lake, about 20km east of Pemberton, the pass climbs to an average of 1200m elevation above sea level. It weaves its way past Cayoosh Mountain, Slalok Mountain, Joffre Peak and Mt Matier before skirting the south shores of Duffey Lake. Driving up from Vancouver to the trailhead in winter takes around 3 hours, and leaving from Whistler will take just over an hour.
The majority of the ski descents on this list do not exceed 35 degrees and should not require any ropes, glacier kit, crampons or ice axes. They do, however, involve a significant amount of travel in challenging avalanche terrain and should only be attempted in a suitably stable snowpack. You should also consider what communication devices you have with you, as there will be no cell signal once you pass Lillooet Lake and begin the climb up to the pass.
If you have skied all of these zones and are looking to step it up a notch into more complex terrain, check out our other Duffey Lake guidebook, Big BC Lines: Steep Skiing on Duffey Lake Road - https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/24461/big-bc-lines-:-steep-skiing-on-duffey-lake-road