British Columbia is one of those places that consistently leaves you breathless from it's incredible beauty, and the area of McGillvray Pass is no exception. Nestled in the heart of Canada's Coast Range and the Southern Chilcotin Mountains, a small backcountry lodge named after the pass it calls home is an outdoor-lover's base camp for year-round exploration - and it would be an understatement to say that the surrounding peaks and limitless options stun all who have the pleasure of visiting. Because this place is truly a heaven on earth. Craving some 'pinch me' moments? Look no further...
Built in 1972, the McGillvray Pass Lodge was always intended to serve as a base for a year-round outdoor recreation. Given the plentiful ski touring, summer trekking, and mountaineering opportunities, McGillvray Pass gained a reputation as a premier backcountry experience no matter the time of year. The wildlife and blooms that called this range home brought the McGillvray Pass Lodge to the top of many a nature lover's bucket list, as well.
As popularity grew, the lodge expanded to include four outbuildings and three sleeping yurts for visitors to reserve. Today guest amenities include double and four-person rooms, hot showers, a sauna, a wood burning fireplace, heated outhouses, a fully-equipped kitchen, and plenty of outlets to stay fully charged throughout a stay.
Recently the McGillvray Pass Lodge also became home to Whitecap, a mountain adventure company created by and for passionate mountaineers. Run by Lars Andrews, who has literally grown up in the lodge and knows all of its secret stashes, Whitecap offers amazing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts looking for unique, international exploration. They've found some of the world's best backcountry locations, tapped into their years of experience and local knowledge in each region, and covered all of the logistical guesswork and trip coordination to create unparalleled journeys into the heart of each native mountain culture. Perhaps their site summarizes it best: "At Whitecap, we're in the business of 'trips of a lifetime'."
In addition to incredible, professionally-guided and fully-catered stays at the McGillvray Pass Lodge, Whitecap offers guided tours and international trips to their favorite locales around the globe. It's only natural that Whitecap offers multiple options showcasing the legendary and jaw-dropping geography of western Canada, but they also take charge and lead clientele through the epic backcountry terrain of Japan, Norway, the Swiss and French Alps, and more! Learn more about their adventures and start planning your "trip of a lifetime" today. No matter the time of year or location of choice, you won't be disappointed. Plus, all trip pricing is in Canadian dollars (CAD) so Americans will have the exchange rate working in their favor!
Whitecap offers stand-out services in it's own right, and yet Lars and his team have joined forces with Seattle-based, outdoor-gear retailer, evo, to step things up a notch for the adventurous-at-heart. evo has recently broken into the business of trip guiding through evoTrip, offering the ultimate international experiences by both ski and bike. The pictures featured in this post are from the most recent evoTrip, a five-day Women's-specific Whitecap trip at the end of March; other trips offered include mountain biking through South America, pow-hunting around Japan (with the help of Whitecap Alpine Adventures), and experiencing the iconic skiing and legendary food of Austria - all while immersing yourself into the small towns and indigenous cultures, ensuring the complete package.
British Columbia has an incredible system of backcountry huts, cabins, and lodging choices all over the vast province, and there are ample options as to how remote, inclusive or luxurious you want your vacation to be. While the McGillvray Pass Lodge offers an incredible, rustic atmosphere - off the grid yet still modern - we realize that backcountry adventure can mean many things to different people.
Another great lodge option in the Coast Range that offers incredible terrain access with a bit more in the way of amenities and guest comforts is the Journeyman Lodge, located in the Whistler backcountry. More of a mountain inn, Journeyman can accommodate much larger groups, and the staff prides themselves on their exquisite meals, proximity and convenience, and diverse adventure offerings for everyone in the family. Visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, ski tours, day hikes, snowshoeing, dog- and kid-friendly day trips, and more!
We also recommend checking out the Alpine Club of Canada for more primitive (and affordable) trip ideas; ACC boasts the largest network of backcountry huts in North America and offers "family-friendly huts in alpine meadows, backcountry powder paradises, remote climbers’ refuges and everything in between."
All-in-all, no matter what you're looking for in a Canadian escape, there is something for you in British Columbia. Join in on a pre-planned, fully-guided vacation or customize your very own trip to fit your needs and ideas; it's up to you - just make sure to add this incredible region to your bucket list and find out what all the fuss is about!