Western Canada is home to some of the world's most majestic mountains and pristine wilderness. The climbing and skiing are peerless. Here's just a small sampling of Canada's many venues to choose from.
Ghost River Valley, Alberta
Tall cliffs made of porous limestone seep and ooze water all winter, forming some of Canada's premiere ice climbs in this rugged and remote area. Climbs range from single-pitch crags to easy multi-pitch routes to hard, free-hanging pillars. When avalanche danger is high in the Rockies, this front-range area is a great choice due to comparatively little snowfall. However, simply getting to the trailhead is half the adventure, requiring 4-wheel drive and off-roading knowhow.
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
Situated a little north of Lake Louise, Hwy 93N offers some excellent roadside ski tours. From single-day yo-yo tours to winter summits to multi-day hut trips on the Wapta Icefields, skiing off the Parkway offers something for everyone. Some of the classic tours are in the Crowfoot Glades, around Cirque and Observation Peaks, the Bow Summit area, and in the West Nile area below Bow Peak. But those are just naming a few, there are many more venues to explore and soak up amazing Rockies views. And if skiing isn't your thing, there's an amazing amount of ice climbing as well: Murchison Falls, Polar Circus and the Weeping Wall are just a few of the world-class ice routes here.
The Bugaboos, British Columbia
This amazing provincial park is home to some of North America's premier alpine climbing. Comprised of high-quality granite, these nunataks hold something for everyone from scrambles to mountaineering objectives to long, technical rock climbs and aid routes. With so much variety and potential, there are still good options when the weather chooses to not cooperate. Without losing any of its wilderness feel, the Bugaboos are surprisingly accessible; this is a great venue for a "domestic" expedition.
Rogers Pass, British Columbia
This ski-touring epicenter is on the Trans-Canada Hwy about an equal distance between Golden and Revelstoke. Meters of snow and huge terrain make Rogers Pass one of the "must ski" locations for any backcountry skier. Low-angle bowls, trees galore, amazing views from the summits and steep couloirs (something for everyone in all weather) abound here, making for the perfect leg-powered ski venue. This place is hard to beat!
Squamish, British Columbia
When the rain stops in Spring, the clouds lift to reveal one of North America's best free-climbing areas. Thousand-foot tall granite walls holding hundreds of routes that may seem impossible at first are actually quite accessible. From learning the basics, to dialing in your crack-climbing skills, to honing the craft of multi-pitch trad routes, Squamish has it all. After a day or two of climbing some of the local classics, it becomes little wonder why this place is an international climbing destination. Simply put, the combination of the quality of rock, views, climbs, accessibility and location make this place a climbers' paradise.