Time to face facts: Heli-skiing is never going to be cheap. But Yolanda Carslaw has a few choice tips to keep costs down, and heli-skiing (almost) affordable. Huzzah!
Photo | CMH
Pick a package staying at a lodge in a town rather than in the middle of nowhere and accessed only by heli.
Day heli-skiing can be cheaper, depending what you spend on your own accommodation and food: Selkirk Tangiers’ ‘Powder Excursion’ costs from $829 (three runs: extra runs cost $69) and its ‘Powder Adventure’ $963 (five runs). Eagle Pass quoted us $1299 + tax for six to eight runs (3000m vertical guaranteed).
Keep track of your metres to avoid a bill for extra vertical.
Book off-peak – peak season tends to be mid-January to mid-March.
If you’re paranoid about ‘down days’ when the heli can’t fly (most lodges claim 95%-plus fly days), opt for somewhere with back-up cat skiing such as Northern Escape (northern BC).
You’ll get more out of the experience by having some warm-up days. But perhaps go straight home afterwards: bashing ordinary runs – even Canadian ones – after all-day powder can be a bit of a downer.
Go cat-skiing instead of heli-skiing, or consider heli-assisted ski touring, available from several operators.
Yorkshire-based Yolanda first hunted out freshies aged three and has since raced, taught, repped and hosted. Fourteen years in journalism and all those turns have landed her at a career high - Fall-Line Skiing magazine co-editor alongside Nicola Iseard.