Just got back from a wonderful trip to the Durrand Glacier Chalet with Selkirk Mtn Experience and wanted to share!
Our journey started in Revelstoke where we watched a helicopter safety video at the hotel, then took a taxi about 45 minutes outside of Revelstoke to catch our helicopter. This was all included in fees and everything ran like clockwork.
We stayed for a week at the chalet and hiked 6 - 7 hours daily. The hikes were spectacular and we saw glaciers, alpine flowers, mountain goats, lakes, etc. They also offer 4 day packages, but I would have been really sad to leave after only 4 days!
There are two guided hikes to choose from each day; one is a bit shorter (potentially easier) and then the second is longer and often more difficult. You also have the option of venturing out on your own as long as you let the staff know your whereabouts and plan for the day.
The family that runs the chalet is warm, friendly, accomodating and welcoming. The guides were experienced, friendly and knowledgeable (one guide is the family's 18 year old daughter). All the staff were amazing, from the admin/office staff, to the trail builder, hiking guides, chef, owner, etc. Staff are encouraged to sit at a different table each night at dinner and mingle with the guests, so we got to learn lots about them over the course of the week.
Food was plentiful, delicious and you never had to worry about portion sizes. I'm not a picky eater and don't have any dietary needs, but they seemed to do a great job of accommodating for other guests that were lactose intolerant, vegetarian, etc. We had salmon, lamb, butter chicken, roast pork, risotto, lasagna, etc for dinner. Amazing desserts were served each night including old-fashioned hand-churned ice cream. Wine and beer are available for purchase. Lunch is put out each morning around 7:00 am and you "build your own sandwich" along with cookies, fruit, cake, veggies and other snacks.
The chalet is cozy and comfortable with a beautiful deck overlooking the mountains and valley. There's a reading room and a chest full of games to play in the evenings.
Many of the guests that we met at the chalet were returning for their second, third and even ninth stay. That says a lot!
There is one indoor toilet for "pee only" and then three clean outhouses behind the lodge. There is also a separate shower building that has warm showers though you need to be conscious about your shower time and limit your shower to 4 minutes.
Things to Note
- Bring earplugs - the baby mountain goats are really noisy at night!
- Don't forget your hiking poles. They will come in handy for steep downhill grades, snow hiking and loose shale.
- Remember that this is a backcountry chalet that is completely off the grid. Everything needs to be brought in/out with a chopper including the waste from the outhouses and the propane tanks that heat the showers.
- Respect the luggage weight limitations (25 lbs), the shower times and the fact that this is a small scale, family run chalet.
- Tips are optional, but are well deserved and are split amongst the staff.
- There is a small "shop" where you can purchase hats, jackets, merino wool shirts, vests, water bottles, etc that are branded with the Durrand Glacier Chalet logo.
- There is a beautiful film recently produced about the family called A Life Ascending. Watch it - it’s a wonderful film.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Selkirk Mountain Experience is one of the world's finest hiking, ski touring & mountaineering companies. Selkirk Mountain Experience offers a wide variety of programs to cater to alpine adventurers around the world. The superb skiing on the pristine glaciers & countless alpine peaks surrounding the Durrand Glacier, in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains, are highly popular with skiers & snowboarders. In the summer, over 100 varieties of wildflowers, crystal clear mountain lakes, huge waterfalls & snow-capped peaks attract hikers & climbers. The chalet offers all the amenities for a comfortable stay for up to 18 people. Each day the chalet chef prepares delicious meals. ... more less