Who we are
Created in 1991, the Canadian Wilderness Training Centre (CWTC) is based at Chilcotin Holidays, a Licenced Guide Outfitter with a very diverse year-round operation that includes the following wilderness-tourism products: guided pack trips, wildlife viewing trips, hiking trips, fishing trips, mountain biking, and more.
We are located in the sunny South Chilcotin Moutains, near the town of Gold Bridge, North of Pemberton / Whisler and West of Lillooet, approximately 6 hours drive from Vancouver and 4h from Kamloops. Our remote location in the Canadian wilderness provides anyone interested with the opportunity to experience the wilderness lifestyle on the long term or as a temporary break from their current lifestyle.
Our 5 000 sq km (or 2000 sq miles) operating territory has been in existence since the late 1800’s with only minor boundary changes taking place over the years. It is being used and managed through a system of licenses, leases and permits, in compliance with the rules and regulations applicable to this type of business in British Columbia, and pursuant to Management Plans established between the Licensed Guide Outfitter and government agencies.
At the CWTC, our aim is to provide individuals interested in nature, horses and the outdoors with the training they require to develop their ability and become competent when in the wilderness. For over two decades, we have been training individuals from all over the world, from all ages and walks of life, men and women with and without previous experience. We have passed on our extensive and unique knowledge to our students and provide them altogether with a fantastic wilderness experience.
Our graduates have gone on to fulfill personal and vocational ambitions in Canada and throughout the world after increasing their confidence and ability in the wilderness.
Why Train With Us
Chilcotin Holidays is heavily involved at both local and regional levels with industry associations that are responsible for setting policies and trends for wilderness tourism, i.e. Guide Outfitters Association of BC, Fishing Resort and Outfitters Association of BC, Guest Ranch Association of BC, Wilderness Tourism Association of BC, Council of Tourism Association of BC, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, and the Vancouver Cost Mountains Tourism Association to name a few. Due to its involvement, Chilcotin Holidays is an influential actor in the industry at a decision-making level.
Twenty-five years of training experience
We first developed our training programs in 1991. Since that time we have provided wilderness training to hundreds of students who wanted to develop a variety of different skills from horsemanship to wilderness survival, backcountry living to wildlife tracking and the ability to lead a pack trip into the mountains.
At the CWTC, we aim to promote top standards, safety being a top priority and critical issue for a business like ours. Our written policies and procedures are the backbone of the Chilcotin Holidays operation and the foundation of our wilderness training programs. Our guide instructors apply these procedures at every level and the importance of safety considerations when in the wilderness is incorporated into all aspects of our training programs,
Structurally, our courses are a combination of learning knowledge and practical skills. We cover the spectrum of training on-site from actual hands-on practicum to internships and co-op programs. Our training methods ensure that students will learn and retain their new knowledge and skills in the most effective manner.
Our instructors have many years of experience working in a wilderness setting. They have extensive guiding experience and in-depth knowledge of our operating territory. Chosen for their character, work ethic and expertise, they are all eager to pass on their knowledge and supervise students for the entire duration of their time at the ranch.
Valuable resources on our territory
Our exceptional location makes Chilcotin Holidays an ideal setting for anyone interested in rejoining the adventure tourism industry or simply looking for an educational holiday.
Located in the South Chilcotin mountains, our 5000 sq km operating territory is our campus where students can learn and practice their newly acquired skills and get hands-on experience in the field. We enjoy a dry-non-windy climate with tolerable winter temperatures and reasonable summer heat. Our area is mountaineous with mountain peaks reaching up to 3000 m. Shale and granite are the dominant bedrock types; lava and fossiliferous sandstones can also be found in certain parts. We have numerous lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks.
A great diversity of pine trees and few leaf trees such as Aspens and Birch Trees grow in our alpine valleys. Wildlife is abundant and diverse: black bear, grizzly bear, coyote, deer, moose, sheep, mountain goat and others are often encountered while on the trail, or can be tracked and stalked for the most adventurous.
We have about 3000 miles of historic trails to ride, hike, bike on, most of which were opened by the pioneers during the Gold Rush Era, in the early 1900’s. Our ranch is located in the Bralorne / Gold Bridge area which used to be a mining hub and where there is presently active mining extraction.
Our training facilities consist in our main lodge – the ranch itself – and our 25 mountain camps scattered on our territory. Our base camps are all equiped with a rustic log cabin and wooden-frame tents. We also have numerous alpine spike camps.
We offer our students the opportunity to gain experience in this challenging setting which provides them with an authentic wilderness adventure while teaching them unique and valuable skills. Over the course of their training, students are constantly placed in real-life situations which help them develop their ability to cope with difficulties while in the wilderness.
At the CWTC, we strive to set standards and guidelines for our instructors and graduates. Our Log Book allows our students to record their progress and skill development with the purpose of helping our graduates register all related training, experience, licenses and tickets as graduates work towards becoming competent and capable in the wilderness. Upon successful completion of a course, students are awarded a Certificate.
We give priority for internships to the graduates of our training program and are able to offer them the chance to gain additional wilderness experience.