In the quest for the ultimate downhill skiing experience, waist deep powder skiing ranks at the very top every time.
To get to the best deep powder skiing in British Columbia, Canada, you must go heli skiing. It is the pinnacle of this quest for powder and uses a helicopter to access vast remote areas of untracked natural mountain terrain for unlimited free riding and backcountry skiing.
History of Heli Skiing
Credit is generally given to an Austrian Mountain Guide, Johann Wolfgang “Hans” Gmoser, for offering the first commercial heli skiing adventures back in the early 1960’s. However, there are certainly several anecdotal accounts of helicopters being used to access the mountains for skiing before that, some as early as the late 1940’s.
Hans Gmoser immigrated to Canada in 1951 and went on to establish the largest heli ski company in the world, Canadian Mountain Holidays, or CMH, which is located in British Columbia, Canada. BC is now the epicenter of heli skiing worldwide and currently has more than 30 helicopter skiing operators spread throughout the mountainous areas of the province.
Heli Skiing in BC
In each heli skiing area in BC there are operators that generally have exclusive rights to a large track of remote mountainous terrain, with a permit to operate commercial helicopter skiing in that specific area.
Each area is unique in character and typically offers vast options in available terrain including alpine bowls and glaciers, steep treed areas, and couloirs (steep narrow mountainous gullies).
Most BC helicopter skiing companies have run choices from moderate to extreme and skiing them depends on the snow stability, current weather, and the ability of each participating group of heli skiers. In a typical day, these deep powder skiers can expect to ski 8 to 12 powder filled runs.
Small Group Heli Skiing
All helicopter skiing groups are accompanied and guided by professional, highly experienced mountain guides and group sizes will depend on the company. Originally, large groups of up to 12 skiers would ski together with a large helicopter such as a Bell 212. These helicopters would service up to 4 groups at a time.
Now-a-days, small group heli skiing is highly sought after and many of the new companies offer only small group helicopter skiing. In this case, a small group of 4 to 6 skiers ski together in a smaller, more agile helicopter such as an Augusta Koala, Bell 407, or A-Star.
These small helicopters generally service only 2 or 3 ski groups per machine and thus provide a more intimate deep powder skiing experience and greater choice of heli skiing terrain.
Private Heli Ski Packages
The peak of any helicopter skiing experience would have to be a small Private Group. Accompanied by 2 guides for additional safety when skiing in the most remote areas, the helicopter services only 1 private group and provides the most exclusive skiing experience imaginable.
Private heli ski packages offer the most flexibility and choices of terrain and allow your single private group to ski as fast or slow as you desire.
Northern Escape Heli Skiing
Most BC helicopter skiing companies now offer all-inclusive skiing and boarding holidays. With Northern Escape Heli Skiing you can combine the thrill of untracked waist deep powder skiing with fine dining and up-scale remote lodge accommodations at either our Yellow Cedar Lodge or Pioneer Lodge (depending on which heli ski package you purchase).
Enjoy the après ski in the lounge reliving the day’s adventures or relax in the hot tub with a massage afterwards to sooth your sore muscles from the day’s activities.
Our Northern Escape Heli Skiing resorts offer clients from around the world the ultimate helicopter skiing experience.
To find out more about Northern Escape or any of our heli skiing packages in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada, please call us Toll free at 1-866-619-3184 or fill out our online contact form to make a booking.