Frequently Asked Questions
Approximately 500 inches (1,270 centimeters)
-15ºC (5ºF) to +15ºC (59ºF). Average daily temperature is from -5ºC to -1ºC (in the 20ºs F)
Mid-December to mid-April
Four Pisten Bully PB200's and One Bombardier 400+
Baldface is located in the Selkirk range in British Columbia's West Kootenay area
7,678 feet (2,340 meters)
6,750 feet (2,057 meters)
Nocturnal Mission: 3,100 vertical feet
Average Daily Vertical
All of our guides are certified with ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) or CSGA (Canadian Ski Guide Association), and Wilderness First Responder, CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association)
What does pricing include?
Prices include transportation from Nelson, BC to the lodge, accommodations, all meals, safety equipment, and skiing and snowboarding with our certified guides. Not included in the trip cost are: massage, ski rentals, retail purchases or alcoholic beverages. Any additional purchases will be added to your final invoice and paid for upon check-out.
Do I have to pay for the whole trip upon booking?
A 50% deposit is required to confirm your reservation and the balance is due on October 1st. Trips booked after October 1st must be paid in full. We accept MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Are there refunds for cancellations?
If you must cancel less than 90 days prior to your trip, we cannot provide a refund. We recommend guests research travel insurance options before arriving. Please review our fine print policies prior to booking.
Is it customary to leave a tip for our Baldface guides and staff?
If you have been well taken care of on your trip, tipping is customary in this industry and greatly appreciated by our staff. Our policy is to distribute all tips equally among staff unless specified by the guest. There is a tip box in the lodge for cash or checks, or you can use your on-file credit card.
What clothing and equipment should I bring?
Bring your own ski or snowboarding boots and winter clothing, including goggles, hat, and winter walking boots. Water and lunch are provided in the cat - check out our detailed packing list on the Guest Login page.
Does Baldface have a photography program?
Yes, a photographer will join your group in the snowcat. At 5:30 each night a slideshow will showcase your powder day. Interested guests can select photos for purchase or buy an entire CD filled with shots of their trip.
Do I need to bring my own safety equipment?
We provide all the safety equipment you need. Shovels and probes are carried by the guides and in a guest pack. Before your first day in the backcountry, every skier and snowboarder will receive an avalanche transceiver and personal instruction on how to use it.
Aside from skiing, what do guests do?
Once at the lodge guests spend their days skiing and riding powder and their evenings enjoying gourmet meals, our full-service bar, massages, a wood-fired sauna and the company of old and new friends.
What time are we on-snow in the morning?
Skiers and snowboarders leave the lodge via twelve-person snowcats at 8:30 every morning. Depending on group abilities, guests should expect six to twelve + runs per day covering 12,000 to 20,000 vertical feet. Two certified guides accompany each group.
Where do we stay?
Our timber-frame lodge houses the dining room, bar, massage and lounge areas plus six double-occupancy guest rooms with a shared bathroom. Six timber-frame chalets, a short walk from the lodge, accommodate four guests. Each chalet has two bedrooms with a queen and long twin bed and one bathroom. All beds at Baldface have goose-down comforters and high-quality cotton sheets.
Are meals included? Where do we eat?
All meals are included in the price of your trip. A breakfast buffet and gourmet dinner are served daily in the lodge, as well as hot soup and hearty appetizers when you return from skiing. Sandwiches, snacks and cold drinks are provided in the snowcats. We are happy to accommodate any special dietary requirements.
What ability level do I need to be to ski or snowboard at Baldface?
Guests must be advanced-intermediate to expert level skiers and snowboarders in the powder. We do not groom any runs! Our terrain and conditions vary depending on the time of your trip. We recommend that all guests be in good physical condition. Prior to arriving at Baldface, we suggest you get in a number of days of skiing or snowboarding — especially if you are not able to ski regularly during the season. You may want to arrive in Nelson one or two days in advance and ski at the local ski areas.
What do I need to bring?
Your passport if crossing the border. Everything you normally wear to ski/board plus slippers, snow boots, and a bathing suit for the sauna - all packed in a soft-sided duffel bag (50 pounds or less, no larger than 16” x 16” x 28”).
What do I wear on arrival day?
Warm jacket, snow boots, hat and gloves.
Is there a size or weight limit on my bags since we fly in on a helicopter?
Guests are restricted to a 50-pound (22 Kg) soft-sided duffle bag so that the helicopter isn’t too heavy and can fly safely to the lodge. Please be sure that all of your clothing and equipment fits into your duffel. Ski and snowboard bags are NOT allowed on the helicopter.
Can I rent skis or snowboards at Baldface?
Fat powder skis and snowboards are available for $25/day. We do not rent ski or snowboard boots; please bring your own.
Is there Internet and phone service at the Lodge?
There are no public phones at Baldface Lodge. We have intermittent cell phone and Internet service depending on the weather. Please respect the vacation environment by turning your ringers off and using laptops sparingly.
What's the best way to travel to Baldface?
Guests out of driving range arriving from the United States usually fly to Spokane, Washington and take a shuttle to Nelson. Canadian and European guests find it easier to fly through Calgary or Vancouver to Castlegar, BC. A variety of alternate travel options are available in our travel section.
How do I get to Nelson?
For Driving Dreictions - see our Google maps on the travel page
What time should I arrive at the Nelson airport?
2:00 p.m. for trips before February 15. 3:00 p.m. for trips after February 15.
How do I get to the Nelson airport for our helicopter transfer?
Once you have arrived in Nelson and found your way to Front Street, turn north – towards the lake – onto Hall Street then cross the railway tracks and turn left at the first stop sign onto Lakeside Drive. Continue for 1/2 mile and before you cross the bridge, you will see to your right the Norman Stibbs Airport (grey building with red roof). Pull into the parking lot, unload your gear, then park on either side of the road along the chain-link fence. Note: There is no place to store extra gear so please leave it in your car or at your hotel.
At the Nelson airport, where do I park?
You may leave your vehicle along either side of the road just before the airport parking lot.
How will I get up to the lodge?
On clear, sunny days, a 10-minute helicopter flight transports guests right to the lodge. If it is stormy, cloudy, or foggy, guests will travel across Kootenay Lake then up to the lodge by ground.
What if I am late?
Passengers who miss their scheduled departure times from Nelson will be charged a $200 late fee without exception. If you are going to be late, call 250-509-0409 OR 250-509-1409. Late arriving passengers are typically transferred to the lodge by boat and snowmobile – due to darkness and weather, late guests may be required to spend the night in Nelson before traveling up the next morning. There is no guarantee that passengers arriving late will make it to the Lodge in time for a full day of skiing. (Yes, this is meant to scare you!)
When will I be back in Nelson?
Guests will return to Nelson after the final day of skiing. December 15 - February 14: In Nelson by 4:30 p.m. February 15 - April 15: In Nelson by 5:30 p.m.
Can Baldface help with custom travel plans?
For those who want the convenience of custom travel plans, we can arrange private air transport by plane or helicopter. If your trip to Baldface is being made in conjunction with other skiing, either at local ski areas or with another snowcat or helicopter skiing operation in the area, we may be able to help with your travel plans — just give us a call!
Is Baldface open in the Winter and Summer?
Baldface winter season is open from mid-December to mid-April. High season rates apply from mid-January to mid-March. Some of our biggest snowfalls occur during the shoulder season (early January and late March). Currently, we offer limited summer programs from July to October; we are working to expand our summer offerings from freeride mountain bike weekends, corporate functions, weddings and private parties to reunions or personalized, exclusive mountain getaways.
When was Baldface Lodge's first season?
Baldface has been operating for the past decade. The idea of Baldface was conceived in 1998, with its 1st exploratory season and media release in 1999-2000. Baldface Lodge celebrated it's 1st official season in 2000-2001.
Are there any local ski areas worth checking out while I'm in the area?
Whitewater and Red Mountain ski areas are both located within an hour of Nelson. A daily shuttle is available from Nelson to Whitewater.