The Lazy Boy is an epic alpine bowl skiing paradise 30km East of Pemberton BC. It’s ideal for intermediate & advanced skiers and offers a plethora of wonderful alpine descents suitable for all tastes and risk tolerances. The two most popular descents are known as the ‘Lazy Boy’ and the ‘Laziest Boy’ which both boast long descents with over 500m of open alpine vertical.
Even though it’s one of the busiest spots on the Duffey, it’s large enough that you will almost always be able to pluck some fresh tracks following a storm. There’s plenty of mellow tree skiing lines, some pillows to smash and some cliff drops if that’s what you fancy. The entire area is not glaciated which makes it fairly popular, and is the ideal target for your first visit to the Duffey Lake area.
If you would like to watch the video version of this adventure you can find it here.
The Backcountry Basics
- Carry your Survival Kit & Essentials
- Let someone know where you’re going with a Trip Plan
- Know how to avoid negative wildlife encounters
- Practice Leave No Trace to keep the wilderness pristine
- Carry a Satellite Communicator like SPOT X
Table of Contents
|Distance (Round Trip)||15km|
|Time Needed||6-7 hours|
|Pets Allowed||Great for Doggos|
|Terrain Type||Mixed Trees & Alpine Terrain|
The Lazy Boy zone is located in the one and only Duffy Lake Area. If you love ski touring and don’t know the Duffy, YOU SHOULD! It’s a magical zone Northeast of Pemberton and is home to a lifetime of backcountry skiing opportunities.
Parking is located approx 66km or 1 hour North of Whistler on the BC-99. The parking area is an open plowed area on the right side of the road past the Joffre lakes parking lot and before the Salt Shed. If it’s early or late in the season you might be able to chug your way up the logging road for a short period depending on your vehicle.
BC’s highways can get pretty gnarly in winter. In my opinion, the gnarlier the better, that means the powder is falling! However, you’re going to want to travel in a vehicle that is reliable and equipped with top of the line winter tires and safety gear. If you don’t own a vehicle or are visiting from out of town FarOut Wilderness offers some of the best 4×4 vehicle rentals in BC that are equipped to drive absolutely anywhere. They’ve got winter tires, chains, GPS communicators and ski/board racks. Check out their website and use code RISE5 to get 5% off your 4×4 vehicle booking.
Additional Safety Considerations For Ski Touring/Splitboarding
If you’re planning on doing some backcountry skiing or hiking, please make sure you leave prepared. Always carry a compass or GPS device like a Spot X and know how to use it. I personally always like carrying a hardcopy map. The two best maps for the area are “The Duffey Lake 1:50 000 by Joh Baldwin” or the “Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis: A Guide to Ski Mountaineering” by John Baldwin. Johnny B is always clutching up for boys in the backcountry. Ninety nine percent of the time I use my cell phone as my navigation tool, but you don’t ever want to rely on an iPhone or Android that is notorious for shutting off in the cold.
Please do not ski tour without avalanche gear and the appropriate training. Always check the weather forecast and avalanche forecast for the South Coast Inland area before embarking.
Since it’s such a popular zone you’ll likely see some other cars in the lot when you arrive. Like all good south coast ski tours your adventure is going to begin at the tree line on a forest service road.
There will likely be a well trod skin track up the forest road and continue to follow it as it moderately climbs until you reach a fork in the road. Either direction will get you into the Lazy Boy zone. I typically like to ascend to the right and descend down the higher logging road because I find there to be less bushes and brambles and it hurts getting whopped by branches while descending.
At 1500m you will reach what is known as the Ottoman slide path. In the early season this is a sweet pillow field, but since this is a well defined slide path, treat it with caution and don’t hang out and have coffee in the middle of it.
Head back into the trees and continue to follow the Cayoosh Creek up the main drainage. There is significant overhead hazard from the slopes to the south (the same side as the Ottoman slide path). Try to hang out as far to the right as possible to limit your exposure to these slide paths.
At about 1700m you will arrive at a small gully on the left and open steep slopes on the right. I’d recommend avoiding this terrain trap and pick a route to the right hand side.
After gaining another 150m you will be smack dab at the base of the bowl and have a fantastic view of all the line options (if the visibility is good). From here on out you are in avalanche terrain so be mindful of your route choice. Most parties tend to climb up the col to the climbers left. Once you gain the col you can head right up to the ridge on top of Lazy Boy or hang a left on the ridge and head for the Laziest Boy.
It’s not uncommon for groups to do a few party laps in the zone climbing back up their skin tracks for another pow slashing good time.
When you’re all skied out follow your tracks back down to the parking lot and make sure to be mindful of all the hazards you passed on the ascent.