Those, who have experienced heli-skiing, enjoyed an absolutely extraordinary snow adventure. It’s cool! It’s class!
- “The ultimate experience of my life”
- “The best drug I have ever taken”
- “Forget the cost and experience the trip of a lifetime”
- “Worth it in every sense”
- “Simply awesome!”
- “Best skiing ever!”
- “Has to be included in your bucket list”
It’s what people say about heli-skiing.
What is heli skiing?
Heli-skiing is off-trail, downhill skiing or snowboarding reached by helicopter, instead of a ski lift. Without any doubts, Canada is the major heli skiing destination in the heliskiing world and British Columbia is certainly the capital of it.
Why heli-skiing is phenomenally exciting?
- First and foremost, perfect snow conditions. Fluffy powder is the stuff that many skiers’ dreams are made of. Powder skiing is just like you are making the moguls as you ski. Skiers and snowboarders who spend lots of time in the Canadian Rockies have a love affair with powder. It feels like you are the first one to step on the moon.
- You are treated like a VIP. It’s just pleasant: flying by a chopper over to the inaccessible and least crowded peaks; staying in a cozy lodge; being taken care of your guide and pampered with such exclusive services.
- No crowd. You are far from crowded slopes and lift lineups.
- Ultimate connection with nature. Pristine mountains, fairytale winter forests, breathtaking views, crystal clear air … serenity and beauty.
- Small group of skiers. Sharing the lodging involves plenty of fire-side conversations and embellished stories of the heli skiing experience with a group of people soon-to-be best friends.
Typical heliskiing packages
Most Canadian heliskiing operators offer private and / or standard group packages. Most of the trips consist of 3, 4 or 7 days. Only a few companies offer the option of single day heli skiing; obviously, it’s much more affordable and provides the opportunity to give heliskiing a try. Multi-day packages include meals and accommodation, which is typically in a remote dedicated lodge.
How much does heli-ski cost?
Heliskiing is an expensive adventure and prices vary. There are many factors that influence the price of the heli skiing package:
- the season (high, shoulder or low)
- the number of days
- the number of people per helicopter and per guide
- the number of runs per day
- the type of the lodge (some lodges are incredibly luxurious with fine dining, hot tubs, and SPA services, some are more basic)
- whether transport to the lodge (via road, cat or air) is included in the price
Usually, the use of an avalanche transceiver and the rental powder fat skis are included in the price.
Typically, a single day 3-run package costs about $1000, and 5-run about $1,000 – $1,200. A multi-day package that includes accommodation and meals costs about $1,400 to $2,100 per day. Private packages cost much more.
Heli-skiing safety is #1 priority
There are risks associated with helicopter skiing, considering that it’s undertaken in the uncontrolled backcountry. Avalanche risk is one of the primary safety concerns. That’s why for the majority of the Canadian heli ski operators, heliskiing safety is the highest priority. They are incredibly safety conscious and are happy to provide skiers with a safe and enjoyable Canadian snow adventure.
The heli ski operators have many years of experience and significant expertise. Guides and pilots work their utmost to mitigate these risks which includes monitoring of weather, snow packs and choosing the right terrain on any given day. The guides are licensed with appropriate bodies such as the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), the Association of British Columbia Heliski and Snowcat Operators, and/or IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations).
You will be equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art heli skiing safety gear and accompanied by certified heli ski guides. An avalanche transceivers or avalanche beacon is a must-have for everyone (it’s a class of emergency locator beacons, active radio transceivers operating at 457 kHz and specialized for the purpose of finding people buried under snow).
Heli-skiing and snowboarding in Canada
The coolest snow adventure, heliskiing, was originated in Canada. Hans Gmoser, an Austrian Mountain Guide, had a pioneering role in heli-skiing: in 1965 he commercialized the activity in Canada by founding Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) that combined lodging, transport and guiding.
In no particular order, these are 7 perfect heli-ski spots:
CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures (Banff, Alberta, Canada)
“We invented heli-skiing”
If you are an advanced skier or snowboarder but have never experienced magnificent backcountry powder, this trip is for you. Or if you are thirsty for but not sure you can ski it, there are low-stress terrain where you can ski on your own terms. There is a huge variety of the most accessible and remote lodges for those who like their snow big and a group of people small.
Bella Coola Heli Sports (Stuie, British Columbia, Canada)
Two times winner of the World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator Award – 2018 & 2017
The Magnificent 7: luxury wilderness lodges of Canada.
“Sure, we have incredible heli-skiing, easy access, nice lodges, small groups, tons of snow etc etc but what really sets us apart is the amazing staff and the rave reviews they have been receiving on sites like TripAdvisor. Our goal is to keep you safe and ensure that you have the time of your life.”
Last Frontier Heliskiing (Vernon, British Columbia, Canada)
The company was founded in 1996 in Northern BC, Canada.
“The passion for exploration and adventure lives on in our DNA. Everything we do at Last Frontier revolves around the mountains and the journey of chasing snow. In this wild place up in the mountains, far away from four walls, routine and repetition, our family is dedicated to the craft of producing one-of-a-kind heli skiing experiences for our guests.”
Northern Escape Heli Skiing (Terrace, British Columbia, Canada)
“At Northern Escape Heli Skiing we look forward to meeting you and sharing some amazing turns together!”
5,500 square km’s of British Columbia Heli Skiing Terrain. The Unlimited Vertical Heli Skiing Option offers the industry’s leading vertical. Small group heli skiing combined with fast helicopters result in more vertical per day.
Whistler Blackcomb (Whistler, British Columbia, Canada)
“Leading the world in day-trip heli skiing & snowboarding”
Whistler Heli-Skiing is celebrating 39 years of service. It’s Whistler’s most popular heli-ski company. The exclusive tenure consists of 432,000 acres of classic, big mountain terrain that every skier or snowboarder must experience at least once in a lifetime.
Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing / Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia, Canada)
“With over 40 years of experience, we know these mountains better than anyone. Let us show you around on the ultimate powder day.”
Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts North America’s greatest vertical at 1,713 metres (5,620 ft) along with an average snowfall of 10.5 metres (34.4 ft). The resort also offers 3,121 acres of fall line skiing, high alpine bowls, renowned gladed terrain and endless groomers.
Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing Resort (Blue River, British Columbia, Canada)
Founded in 1970 by Mike Wiegele, this heli-skiing and snowboarding operator offers one of the world’s finest powder options. Here, you can choose from 3, 5 and 7 day trips with unlimited vertical and luxury accommodation for all tastes.
“At Mike Wiegele Heliskiing, we are more than just a team, we are family. It starts with Mike himself, who has brought his passion for skiing and close knit family together, here. Family is at the core of who we are, and it’s what sets us apart. We bring quality service to our valued heliskiing friends that create lasting bonds.”
Heli skiing is expensive, but it’s the skiing experience of a lifetime.