The Spearhead Traverse Field Guide is a comprehensive photographic guide to one of North America’s premier mountain adventures.
Unquestionably one of the classic tours of the South Coast, the Spearhead Traverse is a spectacular route linking the Blackcomb and Whistler ski resorts via a horseshoe of glacier-clad alpine terrain. The traverse connects 11 glaciers while weaving around 17 peaks.
Learn more (link): Spearhead Traverse Online Guide
The Spearhead Traverse Field Guide covers the traverse in extensive detail using images, maps and route descriptions in an innovative, user-friendly format that will allow groups to familiarize themselves with the terrain prior to embarking on their journey.
The Spearhead Traverse Field Guide is lightweight (~90 grams) and suitable for carrying during the traverse. The book is 9 x 6.5 inches and 32 pages.
How long is the Spearhead Traverse?
The Spearhead Traverse is approximately 34 km long and involves approximately 1700 m of elevation gain. The route is regularly completed as both a multi-day trip and as a long day trip. Overnight groups typically take 2-4 days; a three-day trip breaks the daily effort required into reasonable sections and aligns well with high quality campsite locations.
When is the best time to complete the Spearhead Traverse?
March and April are likely some of the best months of the year to completed the Spearhead Traverse, given the increased snow cover over glaciers and crevasses later in the season. May can also provide excellent travel conditions and better weather; however, solar impacts on the snowpack can be more significant at this time of year. For more about seasons in the Spearhead Range click here.
How hard is the Spearhead Traverse?
The Spearhead Traverse crosses numerous heavily -crevassed glaciers and requires extended travel in a complex avalanche terrain. The route requires excellent navigation skills both to manage the avalanche and glacier hazards and to continually navigate through specific terrain features. Weather can create very challenging travel and route finding conditions at any time of the year. A high level of skills, training and experience in ski mountaineering, route finding, glacier travel and avalanche decision making are required. For more information about hazards in the Spearhead Range click here.
Excellent fitness is required whether groups are completing multi-day or one-day trips given the significant elevation gain and distance involved. Backcountry snow conditions can vary significantly from powder to ice and from wind crust to isothermal slush. The traverse involves numerous descents including steep terrain over cliffs and short runs down rocky chutes, depending on the route selected. Groups should have strong downhill skiing or boarding skills.