Types: 10 Tallest Project, Canada/North America, Expeditions, Ski and Snowboarding, Touring
Region: British Columbia
For Spring 2023, as part of our 10 Tallest Project, we’re headed to the Fairweather area and BC’s highest point!
Tucked away in the NW corner of BC among the beautiful peaks of the St. Elias Range is Mt. Fairweather, the highest point in BC. At 15,300′, Fairweather is located a mere 20kms from the Gulf of Alaska and the waters of the Pacific Ocean. This gives the peak one of the most shear vertical rises of any mountain and places it as #26 of the most prominent peaks on earth!
The summit itself lies on the border between BC and Alaska on a cirque that’s also home to the 2nd (Mt. Quincy Adams) and 5th (Mt. Root) highest peaks in Canada! Given their locations around the Grand Plateau Glacier and our basecamp, we will be in striking distance of them all!
The name “Mt. Fairweather” is a bit misleading as it’s one of the snowiest places in Canada. Located right on the Pacific Ocean, Fairweather along with many other peaks of the St. Elias Range, take the brunt of any incoming storms. This can make these peaks challenging to summit but also makes the views of endless peaks, glaciers and ocean water that much more rewarding.
What is the 10 Tallest Project? Well it refers to BC’s peaks and is exactly what it sounds like: Climb the 10 highest peaks in BC. Some are easy to reach and not overly technical while others are quite involved and seldom climbed. But each and every peak is worthy! The plan is to offer trips on a few of these amazing peaks every year until we’ve done them all! For more information on the 10 Tallest Project can be found here.
This moderately technical ski mountaineering route climbs up from the Grand Plateau basecamp to gain the West Ridge at about 4000m. The ridge is then followed up steep snow and ice to the summit.
Mt. Quincy Adams (West Ridge):
The least technical of the three peaks, the west ridge of Quincy Adams can typically be ascended on skis.
Mt. Root (South Face):
Just to the north of the Grand Plateau basecamp, the South Face of Mt. Root. In the right snow conditions we can almost skin right to the summit! But it it’s a bit crunchy the peak would involve a long boot pack followed by a ski back down. The last little slope to the summit is a bit steeper and more technical.
We will be accessing this remote area ski place from Haines Alaska. Of course there are a few ways to get up there but I would recommend flying, at least for the way up. A cruise back down the coast would be an amazing way to wrap up the trip though!
Driving from Vancouver (or anywhere in southern BC for that matter): Hop on the Alaska Highway or the Dempster Highway and drive north for a long, long, loooong time. When you hit Whitehorse, you can either head south through Carcross to Skagway, a short ferry ride from Haines. Or, head west out of Whitehorse to Haines Junction and then down to Haines. Here’s a link to Google maps with directions from Vancouver for reference.
Flying from Vancouver: Catch a flight from Vancouver to Juneau AK followed by a local flight or ferry up to Haines.
Boat: There are a number of cruise lines that offer trips up and down the coast from Alaska to Vancouver or Seattle. They don’t work well for the schedule on the way up but they do for the way back down.
Regardless of your choice we can help you organize your trip up to Haines!
Custom Dates Available
The weather and conditions will have a direct effect on our exact itinerary. Having a little flexibility in your schedule will help.
– Day 0: Meet in Haines Alaska to review gear & prepare for the flight in
– Day 1: Fly into the Grand Plateau Glacier & establish basecamp
– Day 2: Acclimatization day skiing some of the slopes around basecamp
– Day 3 & 4: Climb Mount Fairweather
– Day 5: Rest Day
– Day 6: Climb Mt. Root or Quincy Adams
– Day 7, 8 & 9: Weather days (or another Summit?)
– Day 10: Fly back to Haines