Ever wondered why every single backcountry lodge has a special feel to it? I’ve visited many of them and am trying to get to more, because they are always carefully placed by people who
understand a human desire for wilderness. They are remote, beautiful and welcoming and they encourage a relationship with the people we play with and the land we are privileged to visit.
We look for the basics for sure, good skiing or hiking, water, access (it can’t be easy) and safety, but after that it's something entirely different that affects the final decision as to where we build.
It’s a sense of belonging to a particularly beautiful piece of our world, a feeling of place. This decision is a big one and it’s not something that can be changed easily. It is a long-term commitment requiring a huge investment in time, energy and resources.
So of course, they are special – all of them.
When you visit a backcountry lodge you feel protected from the busy world and all its problems, challenges and get a glimpse of the value of wild places in our changing world. You may also gain some insight into how remarkably fragile they are. Despite the rugged landscape, the mountains, ice and old forests that look like they have been there forever, things are changing.
This is where the backcountry people have an opportunity that few others can match. We are well placed to observe change in our natural world. We can see the ice melting, tree species changing, and animal populations rising and falling. We have a convenient collection of people who are keen
to record these changes and we can facilitate the scientific studies needed to document them.
There have been several opportunities for the backcountry lodges to become involved in studies. Parks have been reaching out, environmental groups have approached us, universities, and individual researchers are looking for help. Sometimes money is required, but often we can contribute in other ways as well.
Shared helicopter time, local knowledge, muscle, and a warm safe base station in the alpine all help. Most of all, we can educate people. Customers want to learn & whether it’s conversation on the up track, displays in lodge, referrals to experts or an opportunity to chip in, they're keen to be involved.
has been searching out ways to contribute to environmental studies of all sorts. We have been actively involved in a project on Whitebark pine
for several years now providing shared heli, accommodation, and some time & energy for inventories. The lodge is ideally located in an area with a particularly high population of Whitebark.
Our staff & clients have also been monitoring and reporting on several species of interest, to many research groups. Mountain goats (which are not really goats, but in the same sub-family as antelopes and musk-ox), wolverines, marmot, pika and white-tailed ptarmigan, are on the list of localized high-elevation species, identified as at risk or becoming vulnerable. There are many more.
Our location at the base of Nordic Glacier has helped us to become heavily involved in a study of the effects of climate change on glaciers in the Columbia Basin. UNBC, UBC and the Columbia Basin Trust, all contribute to a valuable study that will help predict the impact of ice loss on water in rivers & creeks that feed the reservoirs of the Columbia River Treaty. This intensive study of changes in the glaciers involves mass balance work, LIDAR, radar, water monitoring & weather data collection.
Backcountry lodge owners take our shared responsibility to ensure healthy ecosystems and to protect species at risk very seriously. We are in a
unique situation to contribute and understand that the lives we have chosen depend on the wild places we live in. Sorcerer Lodge is available to research groups and organizations needing a place in the alpine wilderness.
If you would like to learn more about any of these studies, check out the full blog here.
Owner, Sorcerer Lodge
It’s been an incredible winter season in BC, and before long, the snow will melt and thoughts will shift from winter to summer. That doesn’t mean BC’s backcountry lodges
should be forgotten. There are plenty of other ways to experience these comfortable alpine retreats in summer.
The association is comprised of three levels of membership—Full, Associate and Affiliate—allowing members of the local community, aligned to similar backcountry goals, to support
and participate in the BLBCA. Learn about the criteria and benefits of membership or how to join today!
Interested in membership? Want to discuss it further with a member of our Board of Directors? We’d love to hear from you, contact us today!
We’ve already got a great group of members and partners!
The largest Trekker mapping project ever undertaken in Canada between a provincial tourism marketing organization and Google is now a reality in BC.
Through the partnership, imagery from BC’s wilderness has now been added to Google Maps. The scenery is complemented with interviews with BC locals, photography, drone footage, immersive 360° video, and featured businesses on the new
BC Journeys platform.
As you can see from these great snaps, folks have been enjoying the comfortable adventure in
#myBCbackcountry so far this 2017. For more amazing pics & vids, check out the BLBCA’s social feeds. Get the latest from our lodges, conditions & activities, availability and much more!
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