What if the group is made up of different ability levels?
This is one of the most common questions that we get and is something CAC is able to manage very easily.
With CAC’s very small group size of 8 guests maximum, along with a huge variety of terrain and route options readily accessible from the lodge, it is very easy to manage different skier abilities and desires. CAC staff will often join guests as well to assist the guide, giving even more options to the group.
CAC also runs introductory weeks at the lodge throughout the season, dedicated specifically to guests that are new to backcountry ski touring. Please click here for more details.
Can I join a group mid week?
Yes. CAC runs 3, 4 and 7 night trips. It is possible to join a trip a trip mid week.
Please ask us for more details if there are specific dates or trips you are interested in.
Does CAC offer backcountry ski and snowboard tour courses?
Yes. We call these vacations “AT101 – Introduction to Alpine Touring”. We are really keen on these vacations.
Over the years the desire to get into the backcountry has grown. Equipment has become much better, and knowledge of the appeal of the backcountry has grown. These AT 101 vacations help fill the need for guests to actually learn how to ski and snowboard tour in the backcountry.
Here are some additional comments.
- Our Mallard Mountain Lodge specializes in a uniquely small group size. This makes the Intro programs a natural fit. It is much easier for someone learning about backcountry touring to do so in a group of 8 guests, rather than the usual lodge size of 15 to 25 guests.
- Everyone in the AT 101 group is roughly at the same level of expertise – learning about the backcountry – so no one feels pushed or that they are holding anyone back.
- One of the reasons we chose the area where we built Mallard Mountain Lodge, is its huge variety of terrain. In that terrain, we can accommodate any level of expertise. This makes it very easy and comfortable for guests on an Intro Program like this. We can start close to the Lodge on very gentle terrain. As your confidence and skills increase, we can go into terrain that is further, higher, and more challenging – all the while having fun and keeping a smile on your face!
What size of pack do you recommend I take?
A small to medium sized day pack is all that will be needed for daily skiing and hiking. For packing to arrive at the Lodge, smaller more compact bags are best, maximum 50L.
Additional information is provided to you by CAC when we set up your reservation.
What is the best time to go on a vacation with CAC?
This is one of the more frequently asked questions we get, and we always answer the same: “Every part of the winter and summer seasons have their own appeal, and every year is different.”
The late spring, after the end of the ski season, brings the changing of the seasons, with the snow melting and the creeks and waterfalls bubbling over and roaring into action. By mid summer we are into the long warm sunny days and the blossoming of flowers and fauna in the valleys. As we move into early fall, the temperature is perfect for longer hikes and watching the first snow start to dust the mountain tops.
Snow arrives fast in the fall. The early winter season is perfect for those who have been chomping at the bit all summer to get back on snow! By mid-December and early January the winter is in full swing, bringing a constant supply of dry pristine powder. As we move into late winter and early spring, we get longer days and more blue bird skies, perfect for bigger tours and getting a tan!
What amenities are at the Lodge? Can I charge my batteries?
Electricity at the Lodge is from our solar power system, with generator backup. The Lodge is fully powered and has plenty of areas for charging batteries or other electronic devices. The Lodge also has wifi internet for guests that would like it.
The second floor has a separate room for changing, counter and sink for wash-up etc, and a mountain shower. The shower is a full size stall and curtain, with a hot water in an elevated container. All water drains to our grey water purification system.
What does the price include?
CAC offers All-Inclusive, Self-Guided, Self-Catered, and Self-Catered/Self-Guided packages.
- All packages include helicopter flights to and from the Lodge and accommodation at the Lodge.
- The All-Inclusive package includes guiding and catering.
- The Self-Guided package includes catering.
- The Self-Catered package includes guiding.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes. We take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Is there an age limit?
Generally, guests are required to be at least 12 years old. However, it is possible that other arrangements can be made. Please contact us directly to discuss the details of your trip.
Our current age range for guests to date at the lodge has been 12 to 83 years old! Never stop believing!
Does CAC work with the guides who want to book the Lodge for their own guests?
Yes. We are very keen to work with guides this way. We provide special terms to allow a guide to reserve a date and build the trip. Click here for more details on organizing trips with guides.
What fitness level do I need to go on an adventure with CAC?
One of the biggest misconceptions we come across is that backcountry ski touring and hiking is only for the super fit. This is simply not true. Yes, you must be at a reasonable fitness level as most days will be out skiing or hiking for most of the day.
That said, our goal is first and foremost to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience possible, not to test their limits of physical exertion!
As well, a huge variety of terrain and route options, and a small guest group size of 8, allows guests of all fitness levels and abilities to get the most out of every trip.
What does the kitchen supply to self catered groups?
There is a full kitchen in the Lodge for self-catered groups to use. The kitchen includes a large fridge and freezer, propane stove and oven, a BBQ outside, all cooking equipment, pots pans etc., as well as general utensils, cups, plates, cutlery etc.
CAC staff will show you how everything works.
As part of setting up your reservation, CAC will advise you of food weight and volume limits.
I have dietary restrictions. Is that OK?
Yes. CAC is very used to accommodating different dietary restrictions and needs.
As part of setting up your reservation, CAC will gather all dietary information needed.
What are the sleeping arrangements like in the Lodge?
The second floor of the Lodge has sleeping bays along the outside walls, divided by interior walls. The beds (one upper & lower in each bay) are custom made oversize twins for lots of space, each fronted by individual black-out privacy curtains, as well as a solar light in every bed.
Are there trails in the summer?
Although we have many standard routes that we follow in the summer, there are very few actual trails around the Lodge.
The majority of the summer terrain is sub-alpine or alpine and allows for pristine hiking without having to put in trails. This provides a true backcountry experience for our guests. It also keeps the area as pristine and untouched as possible.
Can you ski/hike in/out of the Lodge?
The Lodge is located in a very remote area of the Rocky Mountains and has no road access. A 30 minute helicopter flight from Valemount is the only way to reach the Lodge. This provides for a truly unique backcountry experience for our guests who have the entire area to enjoy for themselves.
How many guests are at the Lodge at one time?
CAC has one of the smallest group sizes in the industry. Our maximum guest group size is 8. This provides an extremely intimate and unique experience for guests, who have the entire Lodge and area to themselves.This also allows groups to book the entire Lodge for themselves, with family or friends alike.
Please ask about special packages for booking the entire Lodge.
Can I make a tentative booking to hold a date while I check with my group to see who can come?
Yes. Please contact CAC to set this up.
Feel free to call us at 250-835-4516 or fill out our form here.
How far in advance should I make a reservation?
To get your best choice of dates, you should make your reservation as far in advance as your schedule will allow. We have some guests making reservations two seasons in advance. If you make your reservation more than one year in advance, we allow you to pay the deposit in two equal installments (the first at the time of reservation, and the second one year in advance).
Does CAC arrange for rentals?
There are two ways we do this:
- One way is for us to help you get set up with a retailer where you live.
- The other way is for us to help you get set up with a retailer near us. We can do this a number of ways, including the following.
A few items come into play when you decide which way to go:
- It is essential that your boots fit properly. For this to happen, it helps to be able to wear your boots around the house periodically for a few days before heading into the backcountry.
- It is helpful to be able to familiarize yourself with your equipment before you leave home.
- Most backcountry gear retailers provide rental packages: boots, skiis/boards, poles, safety equipment.
- Flying with ski or snowboard gear is easy and commonplace.
- Flying with avalanche bags always requires some care and planning relative to commercial airline regulations. Bags that use “jetforce” technology are usually acceptable. Bags using other technologies require some planning and care. (All avalanche bags are acceptable in the helicopters we use.)
When we set up your reservation, we can help you decide what is best for you.
Book Your Experience.
We can’t wait to show you our beautiful neck of the woods. We just need you to fill out a little bit of information to lock in your dates.