Backcountry skiers must be able to ski up and down in a variety of terrain and in all conditions. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but we recommend skiers be able to navigate a black diamond level run on a ski hill. Talus is a great place for an introduction to backcountry skiing. For first time backcountry skiers, recommend practicing transitions in advance.
Folks should have the fitness
Attitude is number one.
A big day at Talus is 1000 metres of elevation. Average runs range between 100-300 meters. The longest tree run is 650 meters. The terrain is a mix of high alpine, gladed trees and tree skiing. The historical average height of snow is 1.5-2.0 meters. Talus runs a safety conscious ski program led by ACMG ski guides for alpine touring, telemarking and split boarders. Split boarders must be prepared for transitions and flats.
At Talus, we specialize in exploratory backcountry skiing with incredible vistas. We count wolverine tracks, not vertical feet. We promise, the skiing is either going to be fun, funny or both! Mother nature is the boss of winter. We can’t predict snow conditions but for skier with the right expectations, we can guarantee a whoop worthy good time. We are not humble braggers and might be easy to please but when we ski at Talus, we can’t get the smile off our faces. Our goal, whether you are a beginner with grit or a relaxed powder hound, is for you to have your best day, everyday.
Talus Lodge is situated at tree line and surrounded by a rocky plateau. Talus is aptly named as there is an 100% chance of walking on and/or traversing talus slopes or scree. Talus has few established trails and no marked trails. We often follow routes as opposed to established trails. Due to the natural topography, don’t expect a fluffed and buffed trail network or hands in the pocket walking. The hiking is considered challenging as it involves moving over uneven terrain. The hiking terrain includes meadows, high plateau walking and, if the conditions permit, ridge walking.
Depending on the groups ability and energy levels, the guided hikes range from 5 kilometers to 20 kilometers. Elevation gain ranges are from 200 meters to 1000 meters. The guiding program caters to the average level of the hiker in each group. There are often turn back options for those who want shorter days or aren’t keen on ridge walking.
Talus Lodge provides an ACMG ski guide led experience. We do not allow guests to be self-guided.
Talus Lodge provides an ACMG led hiking guide experience. We do not allow guests to be self-guided. Summer guests may hike within sight of the lodge and under the direction of the guiding team. Guests hiking alone must carry a radio and bear spray.
We typically have 10-14 guests at Talus. All level of hikers are welcome. The guiding program is determined each morning based on weather, conditions and the groups ambitions. There is often a group that goes longer, farther and higher. The other group might have a nap in a meadow after lunch with turn around points for folks who want to stay closer to home. The guiding program caters to the average level of the hiker in each group. Please keep in mind that we prioritize the groups needs and safety over individual aspirations.
Below are recommended maps if you wish to purchase a map prior to arrival. A heads up. There are no established trails at Talus. As a result, the maps have no marked trails. A map is not required for your trip to Talus as we offer a fully guided experience. For those wanting to get the lay of the land, we also have maps for guest use.
Kananaskis Lakes Topo Map 82J11: click here
This map is often not available for purchase in the Bow Valley. We recommend purchasing this map well in advance of your trip departure.
Gem Trek Banff/Assiniboine: click here
Easily purchased in the Bow Valley. Due to the scale of this map, the detail of the Talus area on this map is limited.
Yes and no. Wine and beer is available for purchase at the lodge. Due to space restrictions on the helicopter, please do not bring your own beer and wine. Feel free to bring your own spirits but transfer to a plastic container for the helicopter flight. Payment for wine and beer can be made credit card on your booking file or cash.
The closest weather forecast for the Talus area is the Kootenay National Park Weather Forecast. The overall weather in the mountains can be extremely variable. Expect temperatures from -5 °C to 30°C. Come prepared for hiking in the snow, wind, sun and bugs! We recommend bringing layers that will keep you warm and dry and clothing that offers sun and bug protection. For a summer gear list: click here
Backcountry or regional restriction/closure or evacuation, due to state of emergency or civil authority, that cause trip interruption or cancellation are not covered by insurance and will not be reimbursed or refunded by Talus Lodge operator.
Talus Lodge will not issue refunds for cancellations due to smoke in the area.
Drones can pose risks to visitors, disturb wildlife and lead to negative experiences for other visitors. For these reasons, Talus Lodge strictly limits the use of drones.
Lunch is provided on arrival. It is a good idea to bring snacks and water to the Mount Shark Helipad in case of flight delays.
There is no guest access to WiFi. Enjoy being unplugged for your Talus Lodge visit.
Talus Lodge is a helicopter access operation and adverse weather conditions may result in flight delays and/or cancellations. It is possible that clients may be delayed flying in or out of Talus Lodge. Talus Lodge will accommodate guests delayed at Talus Lodge as a result of flight delays or cancellations, however, clients delayed on their flight into Talus Lodge will not be refunded the lost night(s) of accommodation at Talus Lodge. Delayed incoming clients are responsible for their own full expenses (such as meals and accommodation). Talus Lodge recommends not booking commercial flights on your departure day from Talus.
No refunds will be issued for cancellations or delays due to adverse weather conditions. Talus Lodge is not responsible costs incurred due to delayed or cancelled helicopter flights.
Helicopter flights are more often delayed, than cancelled. Since 2001, two helicopter flights days have been cancelled in the summer and three helicopter flight days cancelled in the winter. Talus Lodge recommends not booking commercial flights on your departure day from Talus.
Helicopter flights depart from Canmore Municipal Heliport (located in the Town of Canmore) or Mount Shark Helipad (one hour drive from Canmore). Guests arriving on public transport are priority passengers for the Canmore flight. Depending on logistics you (and your group) may be flying from Canmore Municipal Heliport or Mount Shark Helipad. Helicopter staging areas will be confirmed one week prior to trip departure. A confirmed Canmore flight is an additional $100.00 per person for a roundtrip.
For more information on helicopter access: click here
The wash house is attached to the main lodge by a ten meter wooden pathway. The wash house has watering can showers, sinks, sauna and the urine diversion toilets. There are no toilets in the main lodge. We provide pee buckets for night time use.
Talus provides the bedding, towels, down duvets and Rocky Mountain Soap Company products (Bodywash, Shampoo and Conditioner). For a gear list, click here
NO. Our solar panels generate power for low wattage items such as camera batteries. Our system is not able to generate the high power required to run hair dryers/curlers.