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Discover the Aurora Backcountry Pass: Your Ultimate Guide to Backcountry Skiing in Whistler and the Sea to Sky

Ski to the Kees and Clair Hut in the Whistler backcountry
Kees and Clair Hut

What is the Aurora Backcountry Pass?

Great question. The Aurora Backcountry Pass is like the Mountain Collective Pass or the Epic Pass, but instead of gaining access to ski resorts, you gain access to certified Ski or Mountain Guides who are all members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Think of it like a season's pass to the backcountry!

With the Aurora Backcountry Pass, you can choose a specific plan that suits your schedule. Most people combine the Aurora Backcountry Pass with a midweek resort pass or a 10-day Edge Card at Whistler Blackcomb. Downloading the APP is vital to getting the most out of our program. From the app, you can interact with guides, other pass holders, and members. Downloading the app is FREE, and you can benefit from many features such as Mountain Conditions, Snow Science, and Emergency Support checklists without spending any money.

How It Works

Basecamp: A social forum where you can see what trips are being planned, ask the lead guides questions, and eventually commit to joining a trip.

Joining a Trip: Simply choose the date that the trip is happening in the "Join a Trip" feature of the app. You will get an email with your confirmation along with meeting locations and any other instructions. Canceling can happen up to 24 hours before your trip start without any penalty! Your day automatically gets credited back to you. The full Cancellation Policy is located at the bottom of the home page.

Pass Benefits: Buying a pass also gives you benefits with our pass partners. Every year we may add or change a pass partner. The discounts are quite good, so make sure you inquire. If you take advantage of all these discounts, your pass essentially becomes free. If you have any other questions, feel free to download the app and hit the call button. You will be directed straight to a Lead Guide or the Guide Manager.

What Ability Do I Need to Be to Join a Group or Buy a Pass?

If you can ski or snowboard confidently in powder snow down a blue run at the ski hill and easily get down a black diamond, then you can join us in the backcountry. Fitness levels always vary in any group. Guides have a magic ability to help people achieve more than they think. If you are capable of 600m of vertical in a day, then you can join the Aurora Backcountry Pass. In your profile, let your guide know what your ability is so they can prepare a day that suits your experience.

Why Choose the Aurora Backcountry Pass?

The Aurora Backcountry Pass is designed for intermediate to advanced skiers who are looking to spend more time in the backcountry. Here are some reasons why it stands out:

  1. Mentorship: Receive mentorship from experienced ACMG guides throughout the entire season. Real backcountry knowledge is acquired over a lifetime, not just a few days on a course.

  2. Flexibility: Whether you want to join a last-minute heli drop, sled access day, or an overnight trip, we do the planning for you. Just book and show up!

  3. Community: Connect with a reliable crew through our app and Basecamp. Meet new friends who share your passion for backcountry skiing.

  4. Convenience: Visiting for a holiday? The Aurora Backcountry Pass lets you enjoy a mix of resort and backcountry days. The day pass is fully refundable if you don't use it.

  5. Affordability: Take advantage of discounts with our pass partners. If you maximize these benefits, your pass can essentially become free.

Getting Started

Ready to join the adventure? Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download the App: It’s free and essential for getting the most out of your Aurora Backcountry Pass.

  2. Choose Your Plan: Select the pass that fits your schedule and skiing goals.

  3. Join a Trip: Use the app to see upcoming trips, interact with guides, and book your spot.

  4. Prepare for Adventure: Make sure your profile is up-to-date with your skiing ability and fitness level so guides can tailor the experience to you.


Q: What equipment do I need?

A: You'll need standard backcountry skiing or splitboarding gear, including avalanche safety equipment (beacon, probe, shovel). Lack of proper equipment does not warrant last-minute cancellations or refunds. There will be NO REFUND or CANCELLATION CREDIT due to you showing up with inappropriate, defective, or lack of required equipment. It is your responsibility as a passholder to have all the equipment listed on the equipment list. This equipment list is available on the Aurora Backcountry App in member services and on the website here.

Q: What if I need to cancel?

A: You can cancel up to 24 hours before the trip without any penalty. Your day will automatically be credited back to you. Upgrade Trips, such as Overnights, Road Trips, Heli Assist, Sled Access, etc., are defined as ANY trip that requires additional payment plus the use of a day from your Aurora Backcountry Pass. All upgrade trips cannot be canceled and are non-refundable once booked and paid for.

Q: Are there any additional costs?

A: Yes, upgrade trips require additional payment and the use of a day from your Aurora Backcountry Pass. For instance, Heli Assist Ski Touring must be paid in full for the day. Heli Assisted Ski Touring cannot be canceled and is non-refundable unless Aurora Backcountry cancels the day, in which case a full refund or credit will be issued. Ensure you secure your place properly to avoid forfeiting your space. Additional costs may also include personal gear rentals or extra services requested.

For more detailed FAQs, visit our FAQ section. Why Buy Your Pass Early?

Purchasing your Aurora Backcountry Pass early comes with several fantastic benefits:

  1. Loyalty Program: Our loyalty program rewards early purchasers with extra points. The earlier you buy, the more points you earn. These points can be redeemed for various benefits, including discounts, exclusive trip access, and special gear offers.

  2. Referral Program: If you are already a member you have benefit to refer friends. When they buy their pass, you both receive additional points. These points can be used for discounts on future trips or other perks. The earlier you and your friends buy, the more points you can accumulate.

  3. Program Tiers: As you earn more points, you can reach new tiers and earn points faster:

  • One Star Passholder: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on upgrades. Join the community and order a plan to earn additional points.

  • Two Star Passholder: Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on upgrades and get more points for ordering plans.

  • Three Star Passholder: Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on upgrades and enjoy premium discounts. For more detailed information, visit our Loyalty Program.

Take advantage of these benefits by securing your Aurora Backcountry Pass today. Visit our website for more details and start earning your points!

Download the Aurora Backcountry Pass app now! Get ready to explore the stunning backcountry of Whistler and the Sea to Sky with expert guidance and an awesome community!


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