Spend the night on a spectacular mountain ridge and build your winter survival skills in the company of experienced guides.
This two-day program takes place in the dramatic landscape of Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area, where the snowpack is deep and rugged mountains create a dramatic setting for winter adventure.
Our overnight camp will take place on the scenic “Ottomite Trail” (see map). The route has low avalanche risk, and the mountaintop offers excellent views of nearby peaks.
Participants must have previous camping and backpacking experience, however, winter camping experience is not necessary. Trip leaders will demonstrate appropriate clothing and gear, and some gear can be rented. You can choose to travel by snowshoe or backcountry ski, depending on your preference.
Things You’ll Learn:
- How to build a strong, safe, warm snow cave
- How to combine tents, tarps and various snow structures for winter camping
- How to cook and what to cook
- Essential clothing and gear
- Recognizing and avoiding avalanche risk
- Group leadership skills
Comments from previous Winter Camp programs:
“I really enjoyed this outing and had a great time and learned what I hoped to about snow shelters. I am looking forward to next winter and trying to make my own.”
“Kelly & Stan did a great job! Informative, knowledgeable, & Fun!”
“Safety clearly was a priority and the experience and knowledge of the guides was very impressive. Every one worked together well as a team and there was a great feeling of camaraderie that was initiated by the way the guides treated each participant. Well done!”
“I would definitely attend more events with the Hope Mountain Center in the future and will recommend them to friends.”
“Quality of guides was excellent. It was nice to have Kelly to discuss trees, plants, animal tracks, etc and Stan to share his knowledge of his work as an avalanche technician. Felt very safe during the trip. Adequate information provided to be successful building a snow cave, but still allowed for creativity. Had a great time, THANK YOU!!!”
“Very well done. Thank-you all very much.”
$175 per adult
$100 for youth, aged 18 and under if accompanied by parent or guardian
Snowshoes and camp gear are available for rent.
- Tent: $50
- Snowshoes: $10
- Snow Shovel: $5
- Stove and Fuel: $20
- Backpack: $18
- Sleeping Bag: $30
- Thermarest Foamy: $8
Participants must be in reasonably good physical condition, and there will be lots of opportunities to rest and enjoy the surroundings as you climb. Terrain is moderate, ascending 166 metres over 3 km of distance to the camping site.
Participants must have previous camping and backpacking experience, however, winter camping experience is not necessary. Trip leaders will demonstrate appropriate clothing and gear, and some gear can be rented.
You can choose to travel by snowshoe or backcountry ski (with skins), depending on your preference.
We’re planning a “gear night” on Thursday, March 30th, to get together and make sure everyone’s got the right clothing, equipment, and food needed for a successful trip. Location to be announced.
Saturday, April 8
8:30 AM – Gather in Hope, at the Recreation Centre (see map).
8:45 AM – Leave Hope and drive northeast 50 km on Highway-5 to Zopkios Rest Area
9:30 AM – Arrive at Zopkios Rest Area
10:00 AM – Begin snowshoeing up Ottomite Trail
12:30 PM – Arrive at camp site, build shelter and cooking area. Overnight on the mountain!
Sunday, April 9
Morning – After breakfast, we’ll cover more winter safety skills before packing up camp and snowshoeing (or skiing) down to Zopkios Rest Area.
4:00 PM – Arrive back in Hope.
Hope & District Recreation Centre parking lot (1005 – 6th Avenue in Hope).
Participants will gather at the Rec. Centre and convoy in vehicles up Highway-5 to Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area (see map below).
How to Find Zopkios Rest Area Parking Lot:
Drive northeast out of Hope on Highway-5 for approximately 50 km.
After driving through the Great Bear Snow Shed, start looking on your right for the highway exit into the Zopkios Rest Area – NOTE – THE EXIT SIGN IS MISSING DURING WINTER MONTHS, so the exit will be unmarked by any sign! Be sure to take the FIRST EXIT you see on your RIGHT after driving through the Great Bear Snow Shed.
Washrooms are available at the Zopkios Rest Area.
Participants must arrange their own transportation and carpooling is encouraged. Tires with a snowflake rating are recommended for highway driving.
List of clothing and other items you should bring.
- Waterproof boots. Whether skiing or snowshoeing, your boots must keep your feet warm and dry in the snow over 2 days. You may need to seal them before the trip.
- Socks — A thin synthetic (not cotton) inner sock and a thick outer sock (preferably wool). Bring back-up socks.
- Gators — Nylon leggings that go over your boot, keeping snow out.
- Long johns.
- Pants made of fleece or wool (no cotton jeans).
- Nylon shell or ski pants (to repel snow and precipitation).
- Synthetic undershirt.
- Sweaters — at least 2, so you can dress in layers.
- Winter jacket with waterproof nylon exterior.
- Gloves — 2 pairs.
- Toques — 2
- Sleeping bag — rated for at least -10 celsius.
- Foamy — Thermarest or any closed-cell foamy
- Snowshoes or backcountry skis, poles.
- Snow shovel.
- Stove, fuel, pots.
- Cup, plate, cutlery.
- Sun glasses.
- Chapstick and sun block.
- Toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
- Head lamp.
- 2 litres of water.
- Hi-energy snack food (gorp or Power Bars)
- 2 lunches on the trail
- 1 dinner in camp
- 1 breakfast in camp
Also, we’re planning a “gear night” on Thursday, March 30th, to get together and make sure everyone’s got the right clothing, equipment, and food needed for a successful trip.
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Stan Clark (continued biography)
Stan retired from the military in 2009 and pursued 2 years of training and certification to become a BC Park Ranger. He enjoyed a season of patrolling in Garibaldi and another season in Seymour and Cypress Provincial Parks. Highlights of this rewarding backcountry work included educating the public on backcountry safety, search and rescue operations, and providing observations for the North Shore Avalanche Advisory.
Stan volunteers with the BC Army Cadet Program and is employed as a contract outdoor instructor for youth and corporate groups in the Lower Mainland.
If a registration is cancelled 7 days or more before a program starts, HMCOL will refund the program fee and equipment rental fees (as applicable) minus an administrative cost of $20 per person. Program and equipment rental fees will not be refunded if a cancellation is received less than 7 days before the start of a program. A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.
Please be aware that our programs run regardless of weather conditions, unless we determine that it will affect the safety of participants and/or equipment.
A NOTE ABOUT LIABILITY
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants.
While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.
Snow shovels were also provided by Mountain Equipment Co-op through their Grassroots Product Donations Program.