Burnie Glacier Chalet - March 30th-April 6th 2018
Spring time has arrived (or so we thought!), so it was time to head North to Smithers to check out the Burnie Glacier Chalet. Back in December, five spots had opened up for this last week of operation so I rounded up a crew and got the ball rolling. The crew consisted of Joe Morabito, an old pal from Vermont in his last year of anesthesiology residency; Emily Bodner, a nurse from Jackson, WY and all around shredder; Erme Catino, also an old pal from back East and freelance ski writer now living in Little Cottonwood Canyon; and Louis Arevalo, a photographer from Salt Lake City. The goal for the trip: Check out the unique mountains of the Howson Range and write a feature length article for Backcountry Magazine with the help of Erme and Louis.
The Burnie Chalet was the brainchild of Christoph Dietzfelbinger, IFMGA and was built by an amazing group of volunteers out of Smithers, BC. Located on the Wet'suwet'en First Nation territory, it is nestled on the Eastern side of the Howson Range at 1013m. The relief is massive with the peaks around soaring to 2700m above sea level. The area also has some of the lowest elevation glaciers on the East side of the Coast Range. The Burnie Glacier's toe reaches down to 950m just a few hundred meters from the lodge. Right out the door there are amazing 600m naturally gladed runs for storm skiing and when the weather clears and snow settles out, the glaciers and steep lines abound.
The lodge is powered by a micro hydro project and receives supplemental electricity from 2 solar panels. It sleeps up to 12 guests, 1 cook and 2 guides. The beauty of it comes in the simplicity. The kitchen, dining room and living room are all open concept on the main floor which brings everyone together in an amazingly cozy atmosphere. One of the best features at Burnie is the downstairs sauna and cold shower. We got this thing cranking to 130 Celsius during our trip! Eat, ski, sauna, sleep, repeat. Nothing better than that!
I'll let the pictures and video speak for themselves. We got lucky with some stellar April conditions, 35cm upon our arrival and about 50cm of cold smoke and calm to light winds during the course of our trip. All in all, an amazing time, already looking forward to returning!
Contact me if you and your group would like to book a trip at the Burnie Lodge.
For more info: http://bearmountaineering.ca/about/the-chalet/