Escape to Powder Mountain Backcountry and the art of getting away from it all just became a little bit more accessible with the November opening of the Powder Mountain Lakeside Lodge, located in the Mad River Nordic Centre at a 4500’ elevation. The Mad River area has always attracted backcountry attention from people looking for an isolated alpine setting with Nordic skiing and diverse terrain. Now it has a lodge providing warmth, food and shelter, as well as peace and quiet. You can get to the lodge by helicopter, snowcat, snowmobile or cross-country skis. The initial access road is about 15 miles south of Whistler Village. An increased Crown land lease led the owners to develop the property from its original tiny log cabin. Brad Sills and Rick Slater have been travelling into the area for the last 18 years and expanded operations there over the summer. Now the year-round backcountry lodge sleeps a maximum of 10 people in five bedrooms and has on-site catering. They even have comforters, so there are no sleeping bags or camping gear needed. The lodge is located in a sub alpine meadow, on its own private lake, and has combined the comforts of home with remote mountain wilderness. Outside the road to adventure for all ability levels has also been smoothed. In the summer the lodge is near enough to lakes for canoeing as well as hiking and biking. Aside from terrain suitable for experienced adventurists the area has a guaranteed snowpack from Nov. 15 to May 1. The area received nearly 9 feet of snow in nine days last month. Powder Lodge boasts 32 kilometres of groomed skate and cross-country ski trails. Speciality courses are also offered, including introductions to skate skiing, classic cross-country, telemark turning, telemarking in the rough, the fundamentals of alpine touring and avalanche awareness. Among the packages offered are evenings reserved for special events like the full moon cross-country sessions, Silver Fox Week and the spring skate ski festival.