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 Manning Park, where the snowpack is deep and rugged mountains create a dramatic setting for winter adventure. Our overnight camp will take place on a scenic ridge near the top of Gibson Pass Ski Area in Manning Park. The route has low avalanche risk, and the mountain top 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
$75 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. There will be lots of opportunities to rest and enjoy the surroundings as you climb. Terrain is moderate, ascending 100 metres over 1.5 km of distance to the camping site. Most elevation gain will take place via the Orange Chair at Gibson Pass Ski Area in Manning Park. Participants should be comfortable riding a chair lift.
We’re planning a “gear night” on Monday, March 11th, 7-9 pm, 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, March 16
8:30 AM – Gather in Hope, at the Recreation Centre
8:45 AM – Leave Hope and drive east 60 km on Highway-3 to Manning Park
9:45 AM – Arrive at Gibson Pass Ski Area in Manning Park
10:00 AM – Ride Orange Chair Lift to top of ski area
12:30 PM – Arrive at camp site, high on a mountain ridge. Overnight on the mountain!
Sunday, March 17
Morning – After breakfast, we’ll cover more winter safety skills before packing up camp and snowshoeing (or skiing) down to the Ski Area parking lot.
4:00 PM – Arrive back in Hope.
Participants must arrange their own transportation.
Participants will gather at the Recreation Centre and convoy in vehicles up Highway-3 to Manning Park. Car pooling is encouraged.
How to Find Gibson Pass Ski Area
Drive east out of Hope on Highway-3 for approximately 65 km. You’ll see the Manning Park Lodge and Restaurant on your right. Turn RIGHT off the highway here and follow the Gibson Pass Road for 10 km to the ski area parking lot. Meet at the Ski Rental Hut. Washrooms are available at the Ski Area parking lot.
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
- Waterproof matches and Bic lighter
- Cord and duct tape
- Pocket knife
- Small tarp (4′ x 6′)
- Map and compass (optional – leaders will bring)
- 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” 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.
Our outdoor programs
Hope Mountain Centre maintains an excellent safety record. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these events do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property. 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.
Special thanks to the UFV Kinesiology Department and individual donors whose generosity make this low cost winter program possible.
Snow shovels were provided by Mountain Equipment Co-op through their Grassroots Product Donations Program.