Selkirk Mountain Experience (informally known as the chalet at Durrand Glacier) is a wilderness lodge located in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, a short helicopter ride from Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. The only access is by helicopter and you are unlikely to encounter anyone who is not staying at the chalet.
The chalet is clean and beautiful, but slightly rustic, as there is no plumbing in the rooms, just one indoor bathroom with a cold-water sink and a pee-only toilet. There is an outhouse accessible via the porch, which is kept extremely clean at all times. There is a shower building near the chalet, with hot and cold water. They ask that you keep showers brief due to the cost of bringing in propane by helicopter. The same building houses a sauna, which is only used in winter (maybe due to the hazard of fire in summer). The rooms are small but very comfortable and clean. The chalet has its own small private hydroelectric generator and there is a 110-volt 60-cycle AC power strip in the changing room, which guests can use to recharge batteries for portable devices. There is no cell phone coverage, but there is free WiFi for guests, who are requested to use computers only in their rooms, and not in the common areas. There is a small but comfortable sitting room, and a large and comfortable dining area. A wide porch surrounds three sides of the chalet, and on the back side gives access to the outhouse, which is clean and spacious.
The food is excellent and plentiful, and they will accommodate a vegetarian diet if requested in advance. The chalet is run by the owners, who live in a separate house about a one-minute walk up the hill from the chalet.
Selkirk Mountain Experience holds exclusive rights to a considerable area of land surrounding the chalet, and it is the most spectacularly beautiful place I've ever seen. Thus the hiking here is beyond compare. It is surrounded by glaciers and the land is cut by torrents of snow-melt and glacier-melt water, the best water I've ever tasted. The hiking is by and large fairly extreme, as the land is steep, so many of the trails are steep. Normally there will be two guides, offering a long hike and a short hike each day, and all the guides I've had there in a cumulative total of four weeks have been very competent and friendly. Although you can walk to a nearby lake and relax all day long in beautiful surroundings, I recommend this place mainly to people who like hiking up and down the sides of mountains.
They also offer technical climbing, which should be booked in advance, as one of the owners is the mountain guide so availability may be limited. The other guides, for hiking, are hiking guides and do not lead technical climbing. My experience is only the hiking.
The chalet offers skiing in winter, but I do not ski and so cannot comment on conditions, though I am sure that if you ski at the requisite level (contact them for details) it would be a fabulous place for it.
If you like hiking in the mountains, I recommend them without the slightest hesitation.
- 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