Heli Skiing Canada

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Heli skiing in Canada is about as much fun as you can have with your pants on! (Bella Coola)
Heli skiing in Canada is about as much fun as you can have with your pants on! (Bella Coola)
There is nothing like a heli pickup to get the excitement levels going! (Stellar Heli)
There is nothing like a heli pickup to get the excitement levels going! (Stellar Heli)
Some Canadian heli ski companies offer day-heli tours however most are multi-day (Northern Escape Heli)
Some Canadian heli ski companies offer day-heli tours however most are multi-day (Northern Escape Heli)
Superb scenery goes hand-in-hand with Canada heli skiing (Eagle Pass Heli)
Superb scenery goes hand-in-hand with Canada heli skiing (Eagle Pass Heli)
Some Canada heli skiing terrain is super steep with chutes, cliffs & boulders (Eagle Pass Heli)
Some Canada heli skiing terrain is super steep with chutes, cliffs & boulders (Eagle Pass Heli)
Sometimes if you are lucky you can score super deep powder heli skiing in Canada (Northern Escape Heli)
Sometimes if you are lucky you can score super deep powder heli skiing in Canada (Northern Escape Heli)
But Canadian heli skiing terrain is also suited to intermediate skiers & boarders (RK Heli)
But Canadian heli skiing terrain is also suited to intermediate skiers & boarders (RK Heli)
Getting back to the top of the hill is as much fun as riding down it (Last Frontier Heli)
Getting back to the top of the hill is as much fun as riding down it (Last Frontier Heli)
The A-Star is a powerful & fast machine often used by heli operators in Canada (Bella Coola)
The A-Star is a powerful & fast machine often used by heli operators in Canada (Bella Coola)
The Bell 407 is also popular and spacious inside compared to the A-Star (Northern Escape Heli)
The Bell 407 is also popular and spacious inside compared to the A-Star (Northern Escape Heli)
There are still many Bell Huey
There are still many Bell Huey's used by Canada heli operations due to their large load capacity (Selkirk Tangiers)
Some Canadian heli operators have back-up snowcat skiing for bad weather days (Northern Escape)
Some Canadian heli operators have back-up snowcat skiing for bad weather days (Northern Escape)
Lodging is sometimes in private cabins like Bell 2 Lodge (Last Frontier Heli)
Lodging is sometimes in private cabins like Bell 2 Lodge (Last Frontier Heli)
Or fly-to-door lodging (many are super deluxe) like this one at Great Canadian Heliskiing
Or fly-to-door lodging (many are super deluxe) like this one at Great Canadian Heliskiing
Some use local hotels & guest houses in funky local towns (Ripley Creek - Last Frontier Heli)
Some use local hotels & guest houses in funky local towns (Ripley Creek - Last Frontier Heli)
Apres is a common activity after a day of heli skiing in Canada (Northern Escape Heli)
Apres is a common activity after a day of heli skiing in Canada (Northern Escape Heli)
Communal meals are fabulously social & there is a buzz from the day
Communal meals are fabulously social & there is a buzz from the day's heli just gone (Last Frontier Heli)
Food is usually chef prepared and nothing short of sublime (Bella Coola Heli)
Food is usually chef prepared and nothing short of sublime (Bella Coola Heli)
A dip in the hot tub after a day of heli skiing is standard issue (Last Frontier Heli)
A dip in the hot tub after a day of heli skiing is standard issue (Last Frontier Heli)
A few bevvies at the bar is a relaxing way to end the day (Last Frontier Heli)
A few bevvies at the bar is a relaxing way to end the day (Last Frontier Heli)

Heli Skiing Canada

Heli Skiing Canada

Heli skiing in Canada is the ultimate experience for powder hounds, although you don’t have to be a true powder hound because there’s no need to sniff out the powder. Helicopters drop you right in amongst it. After that, all you have to do is follow the guide and enjoy the remote backcountry terrain that you normally only get to look at from afar.

BC Canada is the capital of the heli skiing world. Hans Gmoser, an Austrian Mountain Guide, had a major pioneering role in heli-skiing in the 1960s and formed Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). Mike Wiegele was also a pioneer in heliskiing Canada, with his operation commencing in 1970. The profile of heli skiing Canada has continued to increase, and there are now more than 35 heli skiing outfits.

Heliskiing BC

The province of British Columbia is perfect for heli skiing (and heli boarding), with millions of hectares of backcountry terrain that are covered in legendary powder. Heli skiing BC is prolific, and most of the Canada heli skiing operators are in British Columbia.

In the Central Interior of BC to the west of the Rocky Mountains are the Columbia Mountains, which comprise the Purcell Mountains, and then moving in a NW direction the Selkirk, Monashee and Cariboo Mountains. These mountains are heli skiing BC havens, and the snowfall in some of these areas is world famous, with reported annual snowfalls of 12-18 metres. The dry powder is a distinct advantage for heli skiing in this region.

Further west in the Coastal Mountains there are various BC heli skiing outfits, and whilst the powder might not be as dry, the volumes of snowfall per season are in the 20 to 25 metre realm, and another advantage is a stronger snowpack which enables steeper slopes to be tackled.

Revelstoke Heli Skiing Canada

Revelstoke on the BC Powder Highway is an epicentre of heli skiing in Canada.

Eagle Pass Heliski offers day heli skiing if you can pull together a group of 4, and unlike some day heli operators that are ideal for those new to heli skiing, Eagle Pass can provide some great expert terrain. Eagle Pass Heliski also offers multi-day packages staying at the lodge just outside Revelstoke, and with unlimited vertical, these packages are open to solos wanting to join a mixed group.

Kingfisher Heli has partnered with Eleven Experience to offer 3+ night bespoke heli ski packages, staying in a luxe lodge in Revelstoke. Lots of other activities can be added including snowmobiling, cross country skiing, dog sledding, fishing, ice fishing and distillery sampling.

Great Canadian Heli Skiing is located half way between Revelstoke and Golden, and offers the ultimate flexibility with multi-day unlimited vertical packages from 2 to 10 days, or more if you think you’ve got the stamina. Great Canadian pride themselves on a very low number of no-fly days.

Other Interior BC Heliskiing

Another BC heli skiing operator in the powder belt of BC that has the combination of light dry powder and abundant snowfall is Stellar Heli Skiing. Stellar operates in the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges of the Kootenays in British Columbia. Stellar Heli Skiing offers small group day heli skiing (for strong intermediates to experts) as well as flexible duration multi-day packages based out of a deluxe hotel in the town of Kaslo, with unlimited vertical.

Silvertip Heli-Skiing specializes in exclusive private packages, although solos and small groups can join some dates. It’s delightfully remote, yet easily accessible via a charter flight from Vancouver and then a helicopter flight.

Whistler Heli Skiing & Coast Range

There are a couple of Whistler heli skiing operators (Coast Mountain Range) such as Whistler Heliski and nearby Phantom Heli Skiing, which allow the possibility to combine resort and heli skiing. A 2.5 hour drive north of Whistler is Tyax Heli Skiing. Tyax has massive terrain and offers multi-day unlimited vertical packages (3 to 7 days).

Much further north is Bella Coola Heli Sports, which has enormous terrain which scores 25 meters of snow on average per season, with a relatively stable snowpack, which equates to being able to ski more challenging terrain. Eagle Lodge hosts a maximum of 12 guests per week, whilst Tweedsmuir Lodge has a maximum of 20 guests per week. Whilst it’s a very remote area, it’s easy to access via a 70 minute flight from Vancouver.

Northern BC Heli Skiing

In Northern BC in the Skeena, Stikine and Coastal Mountains are various heli ski operators that are based near the towns of Terrace and Smithers, or are further north.

Northern Escape Heli Skiing near Terrace scores massive amounts of snow and has snowcat skiing back-up in the event of down days. This is our pick for good value Canada heli skiing. The classic package has 18 guests at a time, with a maximum of 6 skiers per group, whilst the Elite packages in the Mountain Lodge is very boutique with a maximum of 10 people, all in single rooms with ensuite, and with two groups of 4 to 5 sharing a helicopter, there’s no waiting to score more powder.

Last Frontier Heliskiing is near the border with Alaska so it has Alaskan snow volumes (25 metres a year) but the advantage of also providing tree skiing in addition to alpine terrain. Bell 2 Lodge has some trimmings and has strong intermediate to expert terrain, whilst the Ripley Creek package is based in the quirky town of Stewart and has less frills and more advanced and expert terrain.

Skeena Heli Skiing is north of Smithers and the lodge exudes rustic luxury. The week long packages are for a maximum of 12 guests, with 4 rooms available for single occupancy.

Heli Skiing Canada: Terrain

The Canada heli ski terrain varies somewhat from that found with Alaska heli skiing, Chile heli skiing and New Zealand heli skiing, in that some of the skiing is below the tree-line. Choppers might still be grounded due to weather factors with heli skiing in Canada, but the likelihood of “down-days” is reduced somewhat because the trees afford some protection from inclement weather and provide better visibility for skiers. Other advantages of tree skiing include less wind-affected snow, and the added challenge of skiing around obstacles. In addition to the tree skiing, other Canada heli ski terrain can include wide-open glaciers and bowls, drops and chutes.

You don’t have to be a stunt skier to go heli skiing, but it’s certainly not for beginners, and possibly not for many intermediate riders. Most operators claim that they can cater for intermediates, but in reality, intermediate skiers and boarders would need to be very, very strong intermediates, and be capable of coping with a variety of snow conditions including waist deep powder, dust on crust, wind-affected snow, and have the ability to manoeuvre around trees. An intermediate level for resort skiing on groomed runs is very different to that required for off-piste conditions. Nevertheless, operators can generally cater to a range of abilities and will group people accordingly. If you’re unsure of your ability, it’s best to check with the individual operator.

The amount of vertical per run varies between Canadian heli ski operators, between runs, and will be dependent upon the snow conditions and terrain available on any given day. The average vertical per run may be approximately 760 metres with some heli skiing runs as long as 1,700 metres in vertical.

Typical Heli Ski Canada Packages

Most Canada heli ski companies offer the option of “private” heli skiing (the definition of which might vary a little) or standard group packages, but a couple of operators only provide one option or the other.

Only 9 Canada heli skiing companies offer the option of single day heli skiing, and some are located such that you can combine heli skiing or heli boarding with resort skiing. Day heli skiing is also a more affordable option for many people and provides the opportunity to give heliskiing a try. Some cater to those relatively new to heli skiing with 3, 4 or 5 runs packages (e.g. RK Heliski at Panorama Resort), whilst others offer more vertical and are aimed at advanced to expert riders such as Stellar Heliskiing or Eagle Pass at Revelstoke (NB Eagle Pass only hosts private groups of 4). See the BC heli skiing comparison for a list of single day heli ski operators.

Most heli skiing in Canada consists of multi-day packages that include meals and lodging, which is typically in a remote dedicated lodge. Alternatively, accommodation may be in a lodge or hotel in a small town. Either way, sharing the lodging with the rest of the heliski group involves plenty of opportunities for fire-side conversations and embellished stories of the heli skiing experience.

Canada heli ski operators provide two types of packages with respect to the amount of vertical skiing or snowboarding. Either a specific amount of vertical is included in the package or unlimited vertical, and then a certain amount of vertical feet or metres is guaranteed so that if this isn’t achieved a refund on vertical not skied is provided (see the BC heliski comparison of vertical). Unlimited vertical packages are ideal for those who really love to charge at it all day, but if you’re more inclined to take it at a leisurely pace, you won’t get good value from an unlimited package.

Typical BC Heli Ski Costs

Heliskiing is an expensive activity, but many folks save their pennies for an opportunity to get access to the freshies and amazing terrain on offer. Prices vary, but a single day 3 run package starts at about CAD$1,000, and an unlimited vertical day as much as $2,000. A multi-day package that includes accommodation and meals costs about $13,000 to $21,000 for a week, whilst for “private” packages, the cost is significantly more.

There are many factors that influence the price of the heli skiing package. Some of the lodgings are incredibly luxurious with fine dining, hot tubs, and massage services, whilst others are more basic. A major factor that influences the cost of heli skiing in Canada is the group size, the number of guests per guide, and the number of groups sharing a helicopter. These factors impact on the amount of skiing you get, but also safety factors, and the likelihood of a good ability match within the group. With large group heli skiing in the old Huey helicopters, experts can get really frustrated with skiing lame runs because the guide has to cater to the lowest denominator which happens to be a slow intermediate skier that falls over all the time, whilst those new to heli skiing may feel pressured by an expert frothing to get more and steeper terrain. Large group heli skiing can also be a problem with tree skiing, as you may be less likely to score perfectly fresh tracks. Another pro of small group heli skiing, is that it equates to a more agile helicopter that can access more terrain.

Other factors that may influence cost are: vertical covered; the time of the season; and whether transport to the lodge (via road, cat or air) is included in the price. In most cases, the use of an avalanche transceiver, airbag and powder fat skis is included in the price. For snowboards, it’s a hit and miss affair as to whether boards are available through the operator.

See our BC heli-ski comparison for more information on the cost of Canada heli skiing, and factors such as vertical and the guest to guide ratio.

Heli Skiing Canada Safety

The majority of the Canadian heli ski operators are incredibly safety conscious. The long history of Canada heli skiing is advantageous to safety because the operators have many years of heli-ski experience and significant expertise. The guides are licensed with appropriate bodies such as the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), and/or IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) and the operators have affiliations with Helicat Canada, which outlines recommended safety protocols.

There are risks associated with helicopter skiing, but the 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.

More Reasons to Go Heli Skiing in Canada

Heli skiing is an incredibly exciting form of skiing or boarding. Avoid the crowds, tracked out slopes, and slow chair lifts at the ski resorts. Ride the ultimate chair lift, and enjoy powder hound paradise.
Canada Heli Skiing Packages
Bella Coola Small Group Vert Package
MULTI-DAY MIXED GROUP HELISKIING
From 4 - 7 Nights | 5 - 8 Days of Heli
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The Small Group Vert package with Bella Coola Heli Sports is ideal for all levels of heli skiers & boarders from first-timers to experts. Packages are 4, 5 & 7 nights and include a guaranteed vertical. You can join a group as a solo, couple, small group or book an entire lodge with a larger group.
Price p/p From price based 4 nights twin/double-share lodging mid season (2024) at Eagle Lodge, 4 possible ski days (2 half-days & 2 full days); includes 57,000 vertical feet of skiing.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 8,904
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Skeena Heliskiing - Bear Claw Lodge
6 Ski Days Heliskiing - Unlimited Vertical!
7 Nights Deluxe Accommodation
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The Bear Claw Lodge offers unlimited vertical heli skiing & very exclusive, personal and high quality accommodation, located only 6 minutes by helicopter to your first run. The lodge caters to a maximum of 12 guests per week, with 2-3 groups of 4 guests.
Price p/p From price based on 7-night package twin/double-share regular season 2024.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 12,907
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Tyax Unlimited Single Group Package
MIXED & PRIVATE GROUP (UNLIMITED VERT)
From 3 Nights & 3 Days Heli Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This 3, 4, 5 or 7 night world-class UNLIMITED VERTICAL heli-skiing package provides for up 10 guests with 2 guides in a Bell 212 helicopter (ie one group per helicopter). You can pull together up to 9 of your own friends to make up a PRIVATE GROUP or join others in a MIXED GROUP to meet new ski & snowboarding buddies.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share; 3-night single group package regular season in 2024 (price per person).
Base/invoice currency is in CAD ex taxes (GST & PST applicable to all guests)..
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 6,888
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Northern Escape Classic Package
MIXED SMALL GROUP HELISKIING
North West BC | 3, 4, 5 & 7 Day Packages
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The Classic package is offered in 3, 4, 5 or 7 day increments and you can join as a solo skier/boarder or small group. Twin/double lodging is provided at the Yellow Cedar Lodge with the option to upgrade to a single room. Option to upgrade to unlimited vertical.
Price p/p From price based on 3-day package (regular season 2023-24), twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 6,090
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Bell 2 Lodge Packages
DELUXE MULTI-DAY HELI SKIING PACKAGE
From 4 Nights / 4 Days Heli Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Whether you are a solo traveller, a couple or group, some blissful time with Last Frontier is the ultimate! The Bell 2 Lodge packages offer both mixed or private groups (4, 5 or 7 days). Lodging is in deluxe Canadian log rooms & gourmet meals & Canadian hospitality is all included.
Price p/p From price based on 4-day package in peak season for 2024, mixed group, twin/double-share (price per person)
Base/invoice currency is in CAD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations
USD 8,433
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See all Canada Heli Skiing Tours Here