On our last day in Whistler we went out on a snowshoe hike with whistlersnowshoe.com to Eagle Summit. This is the longest of the company’s three snowshoe routes. We were supposed to do this the day before but the company had to cancel because the entrance to their base had been snowed in. They had now managed to clear the road though so we were picked up by the shuttle bus bright and early to set off to their base in the Callaghan Valley. We were the only two snowshoers, everyone else was going on one of their dog sledding adventures. The base is simple- a hut for safety briefings, a portaloo and a massive block of dog kennels full of both working dogs and adorable puppies.
We left everyone else to it, got kitted out with our snowshoes and set out on our hike with our guide. Apparently group size does vary greatly from day to day, more tend to do the shorter walks, but with there being just the three of us we could set our own pace. We were also able to choose which route we took to the top- the slightly groomed path or off the beaten track. Not wanting to shy away from a challenge we opted for the harder track.
The way out was a constant climb through thick powder, even with the snowshoes on we sometimes sank well past knee deep. Although surrounded by snow we were soon boiling and highly thankful we had put on multiple layers so we could strip down to just our t-shirts (it did mean my arms got very cold when I toppled over though).
Eagle Summit is a slightly misleading name as we didn’t actually reach a peak however the views we did get, especially on the way back down when we could focus on them a bit more, were pretty spectacular. It was more than worth the effort. I had gone properly prepared this time (unlike when we snowshoed around Lost Lake) which meant it was all much more comfortable and I have now found a new favourite fitness activity. It’s just a shame I don’t live anywhere near snowy mountains so I can do this more regularly.
The trip with whistlersnowshoe.com wasn’t cheap (179 CAD each) but it is slightly less expensive to do one of the shorter hikes. For us, being new to snowshoeing, it was nice to be able to hire gear and have a guide to show us the way (and carve out a track through the snow). We had a slight issue in that because we had to change days the company charged us twice for the trip but as soon as we flagged this up we got a full reimbursement with no major issues.
Have you got any favourite snowshoe hikes? Would you pay for someone to take you out on a snowshoe trip?
P.s. Got any city breaks planned? Get a free code for a walking tour app on my giveaway here.