The Pacific Northwest's Spearhead Traverse is in a spectacular setting in the back country of the continent's best ski area. This 3-day trip has easy access, heavily glaciated terrain, and even a hut make it a must for anybody who is serious about ski touring. It seems incredible to me that a ski traverse of such quality and easy access (we take the lift to the top of the Blackcomb ski area) can still offer so much solitude and such a wilderness experience. The Spearhead Traverse Express follows the same route as the standard Spearhead Express, we just do it a bit faster.
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Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.
The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO WHISTLER AND HOW DO I GET THERE FROM THE SEATTLE AND VANCOUVER AREA? It takes about 4-5 hours from Seattle, and about 2 hours from Vancouver to get to Whistler.From the Seattle area, drive I-5 North towards the Canadian border. Many people prefer the border crossing near Lynden, since it is less crowded. Get there by taking Hwy 539 North in Bellingham. This turns into Hwy 13 once you are in Canada. Then go west on Hwy 1. This will get you around the city of Vancouver without too much trouble, then just continue on the Mountains to Sea Hwy all the way to Whistler.
WHERE CAN I LEAVE MY CAR?There is an overnight parking area in the base parking area (Lot 4). We have never had a problem with break-ins, but we certainly cannot guarantee anything. Try not to leave any valuables in your car during the trip.
WHERE CAN I STAY THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP? There are many hotels in Whistler, so the choices are wide open, but we actually prefer to stay in Squamish the night before. Check out the Sea to Sky Hotel, it is located about 3 miles north of the Squamish Downtown area on the right hand side. HTTP://WWW.SEATOSKYHOTEL.COM
IS THE LIFT TICKET INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE TRIP? Yes.
WILL WE HAVE TIME TO DO SOME SKIING WITHOUT THE BIG PACKS? Yes, the legs from camp to camp are short enough that this is possible.
I HEARD THAT WE GET TO STAY IN A HUT ONE NIGHT. WHAT IS IN IT? Well, not that much. You will get to stand up straight and be out of the weather, but it won't be warmer than inside the tent. It is also a first come, first serve hut without a hutkeeper, so there is not a guaranteed spot.
WHEN WILL WE BE OUT ON THE LAST DAY? We are typically out in the early afternoon of the last day.
SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THEM? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.