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Guide to Heli Skiing in BC
- Planning your First Heli Ski Vacation
- Tips for Skiing and Boarding in Deep Powder
- Safety and Equipment
- Choosing a Heli Ski Operator
- When are Where to Go
Northern Escape Heli Skiing
4732 Lazelle Ave
Terrace, BC, V8G 1T2
Northern Escape Heli Skiing
PO Box 59, Terrace, BC
V8G 4A2, Canada
Canada/USA: +1 866 619-3184
Direct Phone: +1 250 615-3184
Northern Escape vs CMH
Choosing the Right Heli Ski Operation for Your Trip
We’re often asked by prospective guests “How do you compare to CMH?” So we thought we’d take some time to explore the main differences and help you make a better decision about which operation might suit you best for your heli ski trip to Canada.
2023 Heli Ski Season in Review
This past weekend we wrapped up our 2023 heli skiing season. For those of you who were guests this Winter, you know what an epic season this has been.
Here’s a brief recap of how the season went down. Back in November, we started off with a win at the World Ski Awards and then things just kept getting better.
Am I Ready to Go Heli Skiing?
What is heli skiing?
Heli skiing is an exhilarating experience that involves skiing or snowboarding in remote, backcountry areas that can only be accessed via helicopter. The best heli skiing in the world can be found in British Columbia, where boutique ski lodges like Northern Escape Heli Skiing offer pristine terrain and powder paired with luxurious lodging, meals, and amenities.
“We make sure that every guest has the best powder skiing experience of their lives,” says John Forrest, ACMG guide and President of Northern Escape. “Exploring the mountains and riding untracked slopes is what it’s all about.”
Northern Escape Awarded World’s Best Heli Ski Operator
It’s official. Northern Escape is the World’s Best Heli Ski Operator. At last week’s World Ski Awards, we took the title and are celebrating right now! Our whole team of passionate mountain people, many of whom have been here for years, couldn’t be happier.
Winter 2023 Heli Skiing
The Lowdown on Trip Planning, Predictions and Travel Advice for the Upcoming Heli Ski Season
For first time bucket listers and seasoned shredders alike, heli skiing continues to be a much sought after luxury adventure activity. Few things can compare to the thrill of riding almost weightless over deep, untouched powder slopes in the backcountry of BC. As we look ahead to this coming winter, let’s see what’s in store. If you haven’t booked a heli trip yet and are still deciding if this winter is the time to give it a try, or go again, read on.
Heli Skiing vs Cat Skiing: Which Winter Vacation is Best for You?
What is mechanized Skiing?
Mechanized skiing is a type of skiing that uses either a helicopter or snowcat to take skiers and snowboarders up remote slopes in the backcountry, to untouched mountains, with deep powder, stunning views, and terrain features not found on-piste. This is very different from a ski resort, which may use a chairlift, gondola or T-bar to take skiers up marked and groomed slopes.
Base Depth vs Ski Depth
Why Early Season Delivers the Goods for Deep Powder Heli Skiing
At Northern Escape, one of the questions we’re often asked is, “When is the snow the deepest?” And here’s where a bit of an explanation is in order. The snow ‘base’ is almost always deepest in late April, after it’s been piling on all season. However, the ‘ski depth’ is often deepest in December.
It sounds counterintuitive, so let’s explain further. At your local ski hill, you might have 2m (6’) of snow base, but it’s pure groomer, and nothing on top, so the ski depth is literally Nada.
2022 and 2023 Heli Skiing Bookings
Last Chance to Save on 2022 Heli Skiing Trips
Demand has been extraordinarily strong for 2022 heli skiing and boarding trips and we are well over 90% sold out at this point. BUT, there are still some great dates left and now is the time to pull the trigger and book, before prices go up on April 30th. Yep, just 3 days left. Our Worry-Free Booking policy means you’ve got nothing to worry about if your travel is affected next winter.
What Is Heli Skiing?
A Brief History of Helicopter Skiing
Hans Gmoser usually gets credit for being the father of the sport of heli skiing. The enigmatic Austrian moved to Canada at a young age and began guiding in the Rocky Mountains, where he pioneered several challenging routes and first ascents. As a filmmaker, he produced highly acclaimed skiing and climbing films. He was also one of the founding members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), Canada’s premier guide certification agency. In 1963, he first tried using a helicopter to shuttle skiers up remote slopes in the Bugaboo Mountains in the Purcell Range. He returned to the Bugaboos in 1965 to run the Read more
Best Time to Go Heli Skiing in Canada
BC is the birthplace of heli skiing (or heliskiing or helicopter skiing as it’s variously known) and is home to more heli ski operators than anywhere else in the world. The rugged, majestic mountains, deep snowpack and world-class lodges have made it a mecca for those seeking the ultimate powder skiing experience. But it’s important to understand the different heli ski regions of Canada’s westernmost province, and the conditions in each throughout the winter so you know when to go heli skiing in BC.
Heli Skiing Helicopters
Around the globe, many different types of helicopters are used for heli-skiing. In the Far East, you might find a Russian built Mi-8 helicopter, a beast capable of carrying 22 skiers. In Europe, the most common machines are the Eurocopter AS350 B2 and B3 ‘Squirrel’, both small single-engine helicopters capable of carrying 4-5 skiers. (In North America, the AS350 is known as the A-Star).
Eurocopter AS350 B3 ‘Squirrel’
Cat Skiing For Families
Why Cat Skiing is the Perfect 2021 Family Winter Staycation
2020 has felt like a long year, which is why you should kick off 2021 with a well-deserved family staycation in the Canadian mountains. Avoid the crowds of popular ski resorts and escape this winter season for a secluded mountain retreat at Northern Escape Heli-Skiing (NEH), located in the picturesque Skeena Mountains in northwest British Columbia. Northern Escape offers a wide-variety of adventure skiing and snowboarding activities, all-inclusive stays in its newly-renovated lodge and unlimited ski terrain that will help you create memories you will cherish for a lifetime.
The remote BC ski outfitter has launched a new cat skiing product specifically designed for families and small groups. The family package includes winter-vacation perks, such as starry nights in a hot tub, sommelier curated wine list, Red Seal chefs and of course the safety equipment to ensure you have a worry-free stay. Enjoy the crisp mountain breeze on your face and your own private runs with fluffy pillows of powder while feeling safe in your family circle. If you are a confident intermediate resort skier or boarder, catskiing is a perfect family-bonding activity for you! Read more
Planning Your First Heli-Ski Trip? Everything You Need to Know
This guide is going to cover every detail of your heli-ski trip to BC, so you get the most out of this bucket list experience.
Let’s start by dispelling a myth…you don’t need to be an elite skier to go heli skiing! Yes, you read it right. Contrary to what you might think or have seen in pro skiing videos, heli-skiing isn’t just for the world’s elite shredders. You don’t have to be an expert who leaps out of a moving chopper and launches off of cliffs. If you’re a strong intermediate (blue-square) rider or above on your local mountain, you have enough skills to try heli-skiing.
Mountain Heli Skiing Lodge Building?
For most people, building a new house is a big project. Building a Lodge might seem a little more daunting. But, put that lodge at the end of a remote logging road in the middle of some of the most remote mountains in BC, and it takes it up a notch. Building a remote mountain Heli Skiing lodge is not for the faint of heart, and I can speak to that from firsthand knowledge now. The journey is fraught with obstacles and hurdles impeding success at every turn, but with success, just around the corner, I can now say, without hesitation, it was worth the effort.
Three years ago, Northern Escape Heli Skiing embarked on a journey to build a new remote mountain heli skiing lodge, custom-designed for heli skiing. We owned the land, a 55-acre waterfront mountain estate in the heart of our best skiing and had chosen the building site upon it. Access was via a rough Forest Service Road for 24 km’s, but we would need permission to build a short road across Crown Land to provide access from the logging road to our build site.
New Remote Mountain Lodge
Northern Escape Heli Skiing, in its 16th year of operations, is pleased to announce the construction of its new remote mountain lodge opening for the upcoming 2020 season. Construction began in the spring of 2018 and the completion date is scheduled for the fall of 2019.
Northern Escape Heli Skiing offers a variety of exclusive packages to choose from, including the Classic, Elite and Private, with guest accommodation currently at both Yellow Cedar Lodge and Pioneer Lodge. The company has seen steady growth due in part to their immense terrain, huge alpine and incredible tree-skiing, as well as their renowned deep, reliable snowpack. Guests also very much appreciate their easy access, saving travel time and expense, as well as their industry leading snowcat backup, which will keep everyone skiing/riding in all but the most extreme weather.
The New Lodge Will be Ready for this Season!
New Lake Front Heli Skiing Lodge!
We are very excited to see all the progress on the new lodge build. It is exciting to know that we will be getting the keys in time for the next winter season and that our guests will be welcomed into a new era of the Northern Escape journey. IDL Projects is chomping at the bit to get in there and start putting some hammers to nails. We have moved the snow from the summer access road and they will be in there next week!
The View of the Lodge Looking North.
Long Range Forecasts
Ah Long Range Weather Forecasts… What can we say, we take it day by day or better yet minute by minute! This year’s long-range forecast for the winter couldn’t have been more wrong. In the fall they were calling for a warmer then average winter that would be death blow to the ski industry. This winter ended up being a great mix of good snow and long periods of cold, clear skies, that made for an excellent season. In fact, it was actually the coldest season on record for BC! Pretty much the exact opposite of the forecast of doom and gloom. Read more
Introducing the Blizzard Rustler 11
Northern Escape Heli Skiing is excited to introduce the Blizzard Rustler 11 to our already stacked ski fleet. With so many amazing skis to choose from, let us help you make the right decision with some background information to get the best experience out of your heliski trip!
Blizzard’s Carbon Flipcore D.R.T technology reduces the torsional strength of the rockered tip and tail making these skis extremely playful in the deep North Coast powder and because of the camber underfoot, holding an edge on the steeps is a breeze. This award-winning ski is an all day, all conditions favorite of many freeride athletes and now, you, our guests can also enjoy the ride. Read more
My Town Heli Skiing Region
Located 38km North West of Yellow Cedar Lodge
The My Town heli skiing region is a great mix of alpine and tree skiing. My Town is an excellent destination to rack up some vertical on a little bit of everything circuit with loads of variety.
Northern Escape welcomes international heli skiing guests from all over the world. Our huge terrain (over 5,500 sq. km), easy access, amazing heli ski zones, and our small group heli skiing packages make for the perfect heli skiing experience!