More than 50 years ago, the first adventurous skiers were transported high into the mountains of Canada via helicopter, and heli-skiing was born.
It all began in British Columbia.
More than 50 years ago, the first adventurous skiers were transported high into the mountains via helicopter, and heli-skiing was born. Some 10 years later, cat-skiing – using snowcats to access the backcountry – followed. This is skiing at its best – on pure, unblemished terrain.
With the current U.S./Canadian exchange rate, there’s no better time to try heli- or cat-skiing. Your group can enjoy personalized experiences with expert guides at a budget-friendly price. Heli-skiing is not for the beginner, but physically fit intermediate and advanced skiers able to handle a variety of conditions will find the thrills they seek and make lifelong memories.
Still game? Here are some adventures to try.
Remote Multiday Adventures
If heading out to a remote lodge for a week of skiing in breathtaking surroundings – away from the crowds and the lift lines – sounds like heaven, then consider one of these adventures:
CMH Heli-Skiing: One of the world’s largest heli-skiing companies, CMH Heli-Skiing was founded by Hans Gmoser. It was Gmoser who began using helicopters in 1965 to transport skiers to the remote Bugaboo Mountains in B.C.’s Columbia Mountain Range. The company offers customizable heli-ski/snowboarding experiences, as well as signature packages like its Ambassador Trips, which give heli-skiers the opportunity to ski with world champions and Olympians. CMH offers a variety of accommodations, from in-town lodging to backcountry luxury accommodations. Groups of up to 10 people also can stay at the CMH Valemount – called one of the world’s “Five Most Luxe Ski Lodges” by Ski Magazine.
Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing: Located in the heart of the Cariboo and Monashee mountains, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing was founded by its namesake in 1970. Its skiing area covers more than 1.2 million acres, and 1,000 peaks and runs. Located on the shores of Eleanor Lake in Blue River, B.C., the resort includes 22 guest chalets, a main lodge and The Bavarian House Estate with a six-bedroom home and three-bedroom cabana. In addition, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing’s boutique Albreda Lodge can accommodate up to 20 guests.
Selkirk Snowcat Skiing: In 1975, founders Allan and Brenda Drury began using snowcats to access virgin powder in a remote corner of the Selkirk Mountains. Now in its 40th year, the company offers a five-day, six-night tour package with guests kicking back in comfort at its lodge after a day spent on surrounding peaks, sampling bowls, steeps and chutes.
Day Trip Adventures
If you are short on time or prefer to sample heli-skiing or cat-skiing before committing to a weeklong adventure at a remote lodge, you can find that in B.C. as well.
RK Heliski: RK Heliski, based at Panorama Mountain Resort, has more than 46 years of heli-skiing experience. Its nearly 600,000 acres of terrain includes expansive glaciers and quality glade skiing. Included in the adventure are experienced guides, a buffet breakfast, and a backcountry lunch in the mountains.
Selkirk Tangiers Heli-skiing: Located near Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Selkirk Tangiers offers access to half-a-million acres of terrain in the Selkirk and Monashee mountains. In addition to multiday adventures, the company offers single-day trips, including the Day Star Private for groups of up to five, and the Powder Excursion, which can accommodate 10 skiers and two guides.
Whistler Blackcomb: Whistler Heli-Skiing adventures include three-, four- and six-run packages. The terrain includes 432,000 acres and 173 glaciers, and offers exclusive rights to most of the glacial terrain in the region. Skiers can reserve their spots at the booking center in the middle of Whistler village.
Find out why British Columbia is a paradise for skiers. Plan your trip at winterwithin.ca