British Columbia – Great Canadian Heli-skiing“People tend to listen to your vacation stories when they involve a helicopter”
Top five reasons to choose British Columbia – Great Canadian Heli-skiing
In order to give you the greatest flexibility, we can offer you a trip date starting on any day of the week! In addition, we offer trips of any length, be it a short 2 or 3 day getaway, or a longer trip of 4, 5, 6 or more days. The only heli-skiing company in Canada that offers such service and flexibility.
- Prime location
Great Canadian is located halfway between Golden and Revelstoke, the birthplace of helicopter skiing, and our location was specifically chosen for 2 reasons. It is extremely accessible, just fly into Calgary around lunch time and you’ll be eating dinner in the lodge that same night, and we offer amazing and varied terrain, with over 2 mountain ranges that get copious amounts of snow.
- Unlimited vertical
At Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, once you have reached the guaranteed vertical amount…just keep skiing…we will not charge you for skiing extra vertical!
- Small group heli-skiing
Only 4 guests per group and per guide. Smallest group format in the industry. By being in a smaller group our guides are able to match you with others of similar abilities and ambitions.
- Based in the Mecca of heli-skiing
Skiing both the Selkirk and Purcell mountains.
Great Canadian Heli-skiing Quick Facts
Location: Great Canadian Heli-skiing Heather Mountain Lodge is one of the most accessible heli-skiing lodges in Canada. From Calgary it is a 4 hour drive west on the Trans Canada Highway (also called Powder highway), passing through beautiful Banff, Lake Louise and Golden with plenty of opportunities for pre and post-resort skiing.
Mountain Ranges: the Selkirk and Purcell mountains.
Annual Snowfall Average: 14 meters average annual snowfall.
Run Length: Most of our runs average in length of 500 vertical meters, and our longest run is 1,900 vertical meters!
Ski Terrain: Amazing and varied terrain, from challenging steeps, open alpine bowls, glaciers to glades. The snow conditions are often the best in the trees as the snow has more protection from the wind and sun than an exposed slope. Expert skiers will LOVE our mushrooms and pillow lines, and snowboarders and aggressive skiers will enjoy our natural half pipes.
Average Daily Vertical: More than 7000 meters.
Number of Runs per Day: The average group skis 8-12 runs a day.
Grouping: Small groups, with only 4 guests per group and per guide. Smallest group format in the industry.
We use the ultimate heli-skiing machine, the A-Star B2. These are powerful, very comfortable helicopters and are ideal for mountain flying.
Lodge / Accommodation
The moment you set foot into Heather Mountain Lodge, you’ll realize you have arrived at a very special place. The craftsmanship and design are clearly reminiscent of a bygone era. Beautiful, massive fir and larch beams are pinned together with oak and mahogany dowels and the exposed joinery techniques are a tribute to the timber frame craft. The large, vaulted ceiling dining room offers panoramic vistas of the rugged Selkirk Mountains while you enjoy the high mountain cuisine prepared by our excellent chefs. The lodge and the guest rooms are in two separate buildings, joined by a heated pathway. So you have the option of being social in the lounge or escaping to the quiet of your room. Amenities include Wi-Fi, satellite TV, in-house massage therapist, ski shop, outdoor hot tub and sauna. Our on-site heli-pads is literally 50 steps from our lodge.
Great Canadian supply skis and poles for free, you just need to bring your boots! Our main fleet ski is the Armada JJ including New 2015 model. For the snowboarders we feature Burton Fish, Burton Malalo, and Burton Sherlock .
Guides & Safety
Safety while heli-skiing is our primary concern. No matter how sweet a run may look, if there’s any doubt in a guide’s mind about your safety, we will not ski that run (but we will find you another fun, secure option). On the morning of your first day of heli-skiing we want to prepare you with some knowledge of what to expect while skiing in the Canadian back country. We do this by conducting 2 types of safety briefings: the snow safety briefing and the helicopter safety briefing. These briefings will prepare you for what to do in the extremely rare event of an avalanche as well as how to behave around the helicopter.
We provide transceivers for all guests. Guest packs are available with shovel and probe. A guest radio is carried by the last guest in each group. If a guest would like to have an airbag we do have them available to rent if reserved in advance.
Our guides are experienced and certified professionals and are all trained in snow safety, weather analysis, emergency medical techniques and mechanized ski guiding. You know you are in safe hands since all of our guides have, at the very least, 10+ years of experience out in the field – many teach snow safety courses when they aren’t guiding. Day by day they will find the best of what mother nature has to offer.
In order to fully enjoy your heli-skiing holiday you must be a strong intermediate skier. This means you have skied regularly over the last several years and are capable of controlling yourself on treed ski runs, traverse slopes and can maneuver over variable mountain conditions. For example, at your local ski resort, if you are able to descend ungroomed black diamond run and maintain control you will likely be prepared for our terrain. Any experience that you have had in skiing powder would be an additional asset but not a must.
At Great Canadian, we offer a generous amount of vertical (30,500 meters for a weeklong trip). Once you have reached the guaranteed amount…just keep skiing…we will not charge you for skiing extra vertical! We pioneered this industry changing concept and called it “Unlimited Vertical”. Our most recent statistics showed us that the average skier on a weeklong trip skied 43,000 vertical meters, so taking into account how much extra vertical charges would add up, this is a huge savings. On average guests’ ski 7,170 vertical meters a day while a big day is over 10,000 vertical meters!
Great Canadian Heli-skiing operating season: mid-December to mid-April.
Great Canadian has an average of only 2 Down Days per season. The snow and the weather are the only factors we do not control. But by Heliskiing in small groups, the proximity between the lodge and the terrain, and the gladed burnt forest areas we can fly 98% of the time.
What your Package Includes:
- Unlimited vertical, i.e. no extra vertical charges, no matter how much you ski!
- Cozy accommodation in Mountain View Roomswith double accommodation at Heather Mountain Lodge
- Outdoor hot tub
- Free use of Powder Specific Equipment, skis, poles, snowboards, and transceiver.
- Delicious Dining. Hot buffet breakfast at lodge, picnic lunches in terrain, après ski snacks after heli-skiing and 3 course mountain inspired dinner.
- Small Groups of 4 heli-skiers in each guided group – the smallest groups in the industry.
- Maximum of 3 groups serviced per A-Star B2 Helicopter.
- Professional, certified guides
- Transport to and from the lodge,
- Alcoholic beverages,
- Retail purchases,
- Tips/gratuities for guides and lodge staff
See price list here.