Whether you’re arriving by boat, plane or helicopter, the sight of Silvertip Lodge is welcome after the inevitable long journey to reach it. Classic, rustic, authentic, Silvertip appears, surrounded by trees, on a bench above a lake, like the Canadian wilderness lodge you’ve always imagined—or seen in a movie. Unsurprisingly, it’s indeed one of the most remote and exclusive powder-skiing destinations on the planet.
Story by Leslie Anthony. Photo by Alain Sleigher.
As we descend past a large moose to land on a late February day following a scenic 45-minute chopper ride from Williams Lake, it immediately feels like home.
Abutting B.C.’s storied Cariboo Mountains at the end of the East Arm of 100-kilometre-long Quesnel Lake (a rare, inland fjord some of which never freezes), Silvertip is a one-of-a-kind heliskiing destination.
Although all B.C. heli-ops offer variation, most are known or celebrated for a certain type of terrain. The calling card for Silvertip’s 1,440 square km of tenure would be its extreme diversity—and proximity to the lodge of some of its best terrain. Here, serrated peaks rise above long ridges harbouring exceptional tree skiing that spiral below, the radiating arms of an alpine octopus. Whether steep or mellow, the trees here form perfectly spaced glades, almost preternaturally so.
Our bags have barely hit the floor when we’ve downed a hot lunch, geared up, and marched right back out to the heli-pad. Silvertips’s best and deepest turns are only moments away. Big glaciers, wide-open alpine, naturally spaced trees, and reliable powder all speak for themselves, and we waste no time letting them talk.
“Your group then has a virtual skiing menu to choose from: select your own runs; have runs that suit you recommended; maximize vertical or minimize stress; stay in one place or explore distant peaks; ski morning, afternoon, or both.”