Escape the summer heat and crowds by taking a trip of a lifetime into B.C.’s vast mountain wilderness.
Mountain adventure outfit Whitecap Alpine, located in the legendary McGillivray Pass Lodge just North of Pemberton, offers epic backcountry hiking tours.
Summer hiking trips with Whitecap are an opportunity to access and connect to the beauty of B.C.’s rugged mountains without the effort or preparation of a camping trip.
Whitecap takes care of all the details and logistics of the trip, so you can relax and enjoy the experience knowing you’re in the safe hands of the fully qualified Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG).
You don’t need to be an expert hiker to enjoy a trip to Whitecap, either.
The guides can cater to all different skill levels, and the trips are family-friendly too.
“We love having kids,” marketing manager Anna Segal says.
The optional Alpine Adventurers Program for kids ages six to 13 years old rewards children for completing guided activities.
Not sure if a backcountry lodge trip is for you? Here are five great reasons to take a unique journey to Whitecap Alpine this summer.
Wake up to mountain views
The elevation of the McGillivray Pass Lodge is close to 1,800 metres, so you’re up in the mountains, surrounded by clear mountain air. The alpenglow on the mountain tops is visible in the morning and evening.
Enjoy stunning summer sunsets and sunrises, and take in a spectacular view of the stars away from light pollution.
“When you take a hiking day trip, generally, you try to get out of the mountains before the sun sets. But because you’re staying in a lodge in the mountains, you get to have those stunning views every morning and every night,” Segal says.
Summit a mountain safely, with no chance of getting lost
You’ll know you’re in safe hands because all tours are led by ACMG-certified guides, who must pass rigorous outdoor and navigational training to qualify.
“You can spend your energy on hiking and taking in the views, rather than worrying about route finding,” Segal says.
Guides carry all the first air gear and are trained to deal with emergencies.
“All aspects of safety are taken care of, so you can just concentrate on challenging yourself and reaching mountain summits,” Segal adds.
Escape the crowds
There are no lemming lines up the trails on a Whitecap adventure. The maximum number of people allowed on a hiking trip is 12, with six people per guide. Sometimes the groups are even smaller.
“Hiking in the outdoor space has become really popular in the last few years. That’s great, but it’s resulted in trailheads getting really crowded,” Segal says.
“A lot of people find it takes away from the experience of getting out in nature.”
The lodge is in a remote backcountry location accessible by a 15-minute helicopter ride through the mountains from Pemberton.
“We very rarely see people who are not guests in the area,” Segal says.
Avoid getting hangry
All freshly prepared healthy meals and snacks during your stay are taken care of by the in-house chef. That means there’s no need to worry about food supplies and cooking gear like you would on a camping trip.
Using local ingredients whenever possible, the in-house chef prepares various delicious meals and snacks, including pour-over coffee in the morning and an après spread to satisfy hungry hikers when they return to the lodge.
“All the food is taken care of. Our guests get to relax and enjoy other people’s company, without the worry of cooking after a long day,” Segal says.
Access a secret alpine sauna
Finish off an adventure-filled day by enjoying a stunning hand-built sauna on the alpine lake.
Alternate between the heat of the sauna and the cool of the lake for a refreshing and invigorating experience, surrounded by beautiful mountain views.
Video: Whitecap Alpine
For more information, prices and booking, visit whitecapalpine.ca/summer.