Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about…heli-skiing in the Canadian Rockies.

Untouched powder over millions of hectares of backcountry terrain offer skiing nirvana for travellers with a passion for adventure.

15 October 2014
Print

Suggested tweet: Making powder dreams come true for 50 years: celebrate heli-skiing in the Canadian Rockies http://ow.ly/BNeS1 #explorecanada @hellobc
 

In 1965, Canadian Mountain Holidays founder Hans Gmoser started using helicopters to transport skiers high into British Columbia’s mountains. Half a century later, the adventure sport that Gmoser practically invented remains the ultimate downhill dream for many avid skiers and riders. Here’s what to expect if you go heli-skiing in the Canadian Rockies—where it all began.

1) Into the wild: Imagine vast stretches of untracked powder, epic glacier descents and endless gladed forest runs. At operations such as Mike Wiegele Heliskiing, you have access to over 486,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of untracked terrain.

2) Location, location: Over 90% of the world’s heli-skiing operations call the Canadian Rockies home. While some are located in remote areas, others, such as Purcell Heli-skiing and TLH Heli-skiing, are only a few hours’ drive from Calgary, AB, and Vancouver, BC, respectively.

3) Piles of powder:  Ranges such as the Monashees and the Purcells offer perfect snow conditions. Eagle Pass Helisking and RK Heliskiing are based right in the heart of this champagne Shangri-la.

4) No lift lines or lifts: You can access untouched terrain with a helicopter that resort-bound skiers can only dream of. Operators such as TLH offer even more access via single group per helicopter packages.

5) You can do it:  Contrary to popular belief, heli-skiing is no longer the exclusive domain of downhill daredevils. If you’re a strong intermediate skier, there’s nothing stopping you. Today, most top operators, including Canadian Mountain Holidays, cater to a wide range of abilities.

6) No limits: Companies such as TLH and Northern Escape offer packages that include unlimited vertical. That means you can ski or ride as much as you can handle without incurring additional charges.

7) Flexible packages: Canadian heli-skiing trips range from half-day to multi-day adventures. For instance, Whistler Heliskiing and Coast Range Heliskiing mostly cater to day trippers from nearby Whistler Blackcomb.

8) Safety first: Due to the inherent risks involved in heli-skiing, Canada’s operators take safety extremely seriously. Many, such as Selkirk Tangiers Heliskiing and Canadian Mountain Holidays, also have decades of experience and employ the world’s most knowledgeable mountain guides.

9) Après-ski pampering: Just because many of Canada’s top heli-ski lodges are located in remote wilderness doesn’t mean heli-skiers will be roughing it in the bush. Operators like Mica Heliskiing, Mike Wiegele, Canadian Mountain Holidays and TLH offer deluxe accommodations, gourmet cuisine, spa treatments and even yoga classes.

10) No crowds: Having thousands of square kilometres of spectacular, snow-drenched wilderness all to yourself and your companions will change your concept of personal space forever.

Looking for more visual inspiration from Canadian winter experiences? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

Follow us on Twitter @DestinationCAN

Usage guidelines

We welcome you to use these story ideas as inspiration for your own stories about Canada. The CTC owns all rights worldwide. (Our images are also royalty-free and available for editorial print, broadcast and electronic use.) If you choose to reproduce these texts for editorial use only, please include the author's byline and "courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission." If you cut, edit or modify the text in any way, please include this note: "The text has been modified from the original." Thank you.

Tags: