British Columbia (BC) Canada, where heli skiing was born, is blessed to be able to offer boutique heli skiing for nearly 5 months out of the year, from mid-December through to late April, depending on the location.
This is amazing when you consider that most heli ski locations around the world have a much shorter heli ski season – usually less than 4 months. In fact, in North America, BC has a longer heli skiing season than any location in the USA including Alaska!
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When is the best time to go heli skiing in British Columbia, Canada?
British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s western-most province. People have been heli skiing in BC for more than 50 years.
Although 75% of BC is mountainous, the warm Pacific Ocean helps to keep the weather quite moderate in the southern BC area of Vancouver. In Vancouver it rains a lot and temperatures rarely dip below freezing.
However, in the North Central region of BC, it’s a whole different story. In Terrace, just 2 hours easy access by air from Vancouver, instead of rain, it snows…a lot. The average temperature for Terrace in the months of December through to March is down around minus 5 to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 F).
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Ted Allsopp, Teddy, as we all know him, is one of Canada’s most passionate skiers and the subject of this week’s focus on our 3 part series showcasing our Northern Escape Heli Skiing partners.
Teddy is a true skier at heart. Stand in any lift line in western Canada (maybe the world) and mention his name, and you will be amazed by how many people speak out and let you know Teddy is a good friend of theirs.
In addition to his many business ventures in the restaurant and bar industry, Teddy will tell you it all started with a ski tour company out of Edmonton Alberta, The Downhill Riders.
Teddy was the co founder of Downhill Riders Ski and Travel Company, which became one of Western Canada’s largest ski tour operators for downhill skiers and snowboarders. Downhill Riders hosted over 100,000 guests over 30 years operating ski tours throughout Western Canada, the USA, Europe, Japan, and South America.
His adventures as a ski tourism entrepreneur first began with Teddy convincing a busload of friends to go to Jasper to ski for the weekend. Teddy’s commissions gave him a free weekend of skiing and beer money. Being the entrepreneur he is, Teddy turned this into a much larger business with many weekends having 20 or 30 buses filled with his friends going skiing and snowboarding.
John Forrest, our NE Heli Skiing president and general manager, actually first met Teddy back in the mid 80’s on one of these ski trips and they became good friends. They eventually became business partners in Northern Escape Heli Skiing. Read more
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Based out of Terrace British Columbia, Canada, Northern Escape Heli Skiing was founded by four friends, John, Benny, Teddy and Dave. In just 15 years, they built our company into what it is now, a world-class heli skiing operation that attracts heli skiers and heli boarders from around the globe.
Anyone who has visited our operation has met John. As the President and Managing Partner of the NE Heli Skiing, John is around daily and remains active as one of the team’s leading heli ski guides.
The other three partners, Benny, Teddy, and Dave are not at the forefront as often, but they are just as active behind the scenes. For all of them, the love for skiing and adventure is ever present. What follows are some short backgrounders on who these guys are because each is rather cool in their own right. Read more
Don’t be caught floundering in the powder this heli ski season due to sore muscles; with a little pre ski season workout you can get your body ready for the mountains.
Training your body and choosing exercises to get fit for skiing is a nebulous concept at best. After all, how hard is it to prepare for heli skiing or boarding when you are just carving through deep powder and then riding a helicopter back to the top of the mountain?
Don’t be fooled into thinking that heli skiing fitness is over-rated. You’ll be using muscles that most likely, you haven’t engaged a lot during the off-season. And keep in mind; heli skiing and heli boarding are definitely high intensity sports. You can enjoy your heli skiing trip a lot more by preparing your body ahead of time. In the end, you won’t regret investing a little time and doing the right exercises to get fit for skiing…but you may regret it if you don’t! Read more
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(Editor’s Note – This original blog post from November 2014 has been updated to reflect current ski boot fitting practices.)
How tight should a ski boot fit and how important is a custom ski boot fitting?
Have you ever had a ski boot fit so uncomfortable that you’re sure the only solution is amputation? Before things get that drastic you should consider asking for professional ski boot fitting advice.
When it comes to finding the right ski boot fit, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Ski Boots Should Not Be Painful
First and foremost it is important to realize that not only should your ski boots not cause you pain, but also the ski boot fit (or ill-fit) can drastically affect your skiing ability.
Too many times have we encountered skiers that are struggling needlessly to overcome poor fitting ski boots.
Ski boots too big can cause a skier to have limited control over their skis and can result in toe bang as your foot moves around in the boot.
Ski boots too small can cause cramping and lack of circulation; one of the leading causes of cold feet.
In order to help you avoid having to cut your heli skiing days short due to pain caused by ill fitting ski boots this season, our Northern Escape Heli Skiing staff caught up with 25-year veteran ski boot fitter Glen Delboscoe, who laid out a ski boot fitting guide and shared a story of an extreme reaction to sore feet. Read more
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John Forrest – Northern Escape Heli Skiing Oct 13th, 2017
Mind the Gap!
It’s amazing, I remember being a ski patrol back in the 80’s and wondering how long it would be before everyone would be wearing ski helmets. This was when some of the first recreational helmets were starting to be used on the ski hill. Now here we are, nearly four decades later and it’s now the norm to ski with a helmet. The only people you see holding out are the old bearded guys with duct-tape covering the rips in their pants and over the leaky gaps in their ski boot toe boxes.
Now-a-days ski helmets are simply accepted as part of the gear required to go skiing. A few years ago, Work Safe BC, the employee insurance plan of BC, invoked a new law (well actually, just reminded us all of the existing law we had been unaware of or ignored) that stipulated that all employees engaged in “sliding” activities would need to wear a helmet. Thus, now you’ll see us heli ski guides wearing helmets as well. Read more
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There’s been hopes, there’s been whispers, and there’s been all out rumours, but it’s official now – NOAA released its long-range forecast for this winter and La Niña is back baby!
Not only is she back, but also the NOAA winter prediction is that La Niña will be stronger than the 2017 ski season. And, for anyone who was heli skiing in British Columbia last season, you know it’s going to be EPIC! Read more
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January is my favorite time to Heli Ski! I like it deep!
Every year the trend is the same. February and March heli ski packages fill up first with powder seeking heli skiers. But, for reasons unknown to me, January only begins to fill when availability in the peak months dwindles. Maybe it’s a quiet time after Christmas break or maybe it’s because the infamous “They” suggest it’s better in high season.
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So you have made your heli ski package reservation with us here at Northern Escape Heli Skiing. Now it’s time to think about how you are going to get here! Well, this guide will help you make your travel plans a little easier.
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Did you know we have 3 different heli ski packages for you to choose from? Classic Heli Skiing Package , Elite Heli Skiing Package , Private Heli Skiing Package. All of them offer a unique experience based on small groups. When it comes to similarities, besides small groups, all of our packages are all-inclusive! By booking either of our packages, you get: professional helicopter skiing guide services, cat skiing backup, accommodations, all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, use of our Barryvox avalanche transceivers as well as use of our snow pulse avalanche airbags, powder skis, poles and snowboards. Your transfers from the airport to our lodges and back are also included! Read more
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At Northern Escape we strive for the highest level of safety possible. Not only for our guests but for our staff as well. That’s why we are working on getting our COR certification. The Certificate of Recognition program (COR) is an occupational health and safety audit and certification that rewards employers that go above and beyond the legal requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations. It is a process that is not easily met, but we are up for the challenge! Read more
Guide to booking your heli ski vacation with Northern Escape Heli Skiing:
1) Which month should you choose?
We get that question often and the answer is very simple: every month is the perfect month to go heli skiing. Mother nature is unpredictable and we take what we can get but to help you understand the average kind of weather we get here, we have come up with a brief description: January tends to be the stormiest and the deepest. We’ll spend about 70% of the time in the trees and 30% in the alpine. February tends to stabilize some, the skiing and riding is still quite deep and we spend about a 50/50 split between trees and alpine. March starts to see the weather stabilize even more. The skiing is deep, but just a little more settled. We tend to spend about 70% of the time in the alpine and 30% in the trees at this time.
2) Which package and how many days should I book? Read more
It was the perfect storm; excellent flying weather, awesome mountain conditions, and a group of stoked guests with the Unlimited Vertical add on to the Elite Package.
The self proclaimed ‘Heli 40 Crew’ made up of nine men from different parts of the United States didn’t even all know each other at the beginning of the trip. “Everyone knows someone,” Nate Jenkins explains, “but no one knows everyone.” Read more
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Walk into the kitchen at any time during the day at Northern Escape Heli Skiing and you are sure to be met with the tantalizing aroma of a five-star dining experience; from breakfast to mountaintop lunch to après ski to the three course dinner, our passionate culinary team put emphasis on each meal they prepare, providing exciting, flavourful & healthy food that compliments the high activity of our guests.
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It’s no secret that heli skiing and boarding is not like ordinary resort riding. With longer runs and quick turnaround times in the helicopter you may find yourself experiencing more muscle fatigue than you are used to. Add in the fact that you will be partaking in several days of consecutive high activity exercise and you may find your muscles crying out for some help.
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Picture this… Deep Powder, great friends and a fireworks display that will knock your socks off! That is what we have planned for our New Year’s Eve Ski package at the Yellow Cedar Lodge. Take your pick from a 3, 4 or 5 day Classic Heli-Ski package that all end on new year’s day. We ran this package last year and our guests had a blast. The snow at this time of the year is usually light dry fluffy powder not to mention DEEP, as the storms blast the coast mountains. Read more
Packing for any trip is a process that few look forward to; decisions need to be made about what to bring and what to leave behind. Packing for heli skiing at Northern Escape Heli Skiing in Terrace, BC, Canada, is no exception. With specific needs for skiing, snowboarding, and lodge life, here are a few recommendations from Northern Escape staff and past guests on what essentials to bring with you. Read more
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As the Heli Ski season approaches, it seems the Long Range Forecast to date has been pretty much correct and the early season snow keeps on building deeper and deeper! Reports and observations confirm that this past week alone, we received over 2 meters (6 feet) of snow, treeline and above, and it’s showing no signs of stopping! We expect to see another 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet) more over the next several days. Read more