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Where to Heli-ski?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am closing in to a rather serious anniversary and am thinking of a rather serious way to celebrate it: to award myself with a week of Heli-skiing.

Where would you go?
What would be the best time of year to go?
post #2 of 26
And the Fox trots out his standard response to any "where to" question...

Whistler

S
post #3 of 26
Well, that really depends on what kind of skier you are. In any event, consult with nolo (Her Highness), as she seems to partake quite often.

As is in accordance with her status. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 26
One of the big companies in Canada, CMH or Wiegle would be first choice (many other options to choose from), mainly due to snow quality, consistency, and terrain. 2nd choice would be one of the big companies in AK. Chugach Powder guides, H20 or Points North. My last choice for trip of a lifetime would be Ruby Mountain Heliski in Nevada. Of course these are North American operations, don't know about Europe. Wherever you choose, congrats on the anniversery and ski one for us.
post #5 of 26
Last year I got a brochure in the mail from a heli skiing outfit in India. They do Heli skiing trips in the Himalaya Mountains. The Name of the Outfit is Curry Powder Guilds. I honestly don't know anything about this outfit. But the photos that They had in the brochure were pretty sepctacular. If you wanted something exotic and diffrent I don't think you could do much better then skiing the Himalaya Mountains
post #6 of 26
CMH has the best reputation. You really want a pilot who has been doing it for years and a guide who has a lot of backcountry miles on them. The good weeks are probably sold out by now so get your act together and book the trip.
post #7 of 26
Sun Valley, Idaho has an outfit that can get you to where you want to be. The link is www.svheli-ski.com. Check it out. Pictures, prices and lots of info. I hear Sun Valley is a great place to ski and stay. Daily heli ski and ride the lifts too. Congratulations on the anniversary. Marriage or divorce?? Good Luck and I hope it happens for you.
post #8 of 26
I'll be at CMH Kootney for the end of March, and there is still spots open. You can buy me a beer.

[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 26
Valdez is hard to beat if you catch good weather. End of March
into May is typically the window. Lots of down days w/o much to do in town.
Great Canadian on top of Rogers Pass only flies A-Stars, less people, hard to get onto the list. February would best for snowpack and conditions.
post #10 of 26
Skogstok:

Ruby Mountains - Elko, Nevada.

http://www.helicopterskiing.com/gallery/

I haven't been there myself (it's a long and sad story), but people who have and who've been elsewhere tell me it's unbelievable in a good snow year. Big verticals and deep, light snow.

You heard it here first.

Bob

Plus, you can go into Elko and gamble away whatever money you might have left.
post #11 of 26
Oh, forgot to answer your second question...

Sometime between the last week of January and the last week of February.

Check out the slide show on their website gallery.

Bob
post #12 of 26
After having researched this very subject to get an experience with the highest saturation level of heli skiing intensity, I went to Valdez, AK. H2O in Valdez (one of 4 companies up in this tiny town)has two guides that have won the extreme ski contests in AK and this spoke well of how they could present terrain that was very challenging. Other guide services tend to pamper their client more and deposit them on wide open glades and saddles that result in "granny" slopes. These low angle slopes are fine for pictures in brochures and less capable skiers, but most(not all)people ready to step up want to get what they only dream about - bottomless pow and long, steep lines...

Two heli pilots confirmed that coming all too soon will be the day when the cost of heli skiing will be affordable to only the rich and famous (which you may be...). Most heli guide services calc out at about $600/day.

I got to safely ski on terrain that had a burliness factor that was way high with lines that were 4000'+ vert. I support off piste skiing, but getting 25K of vert in these conditions was excruciatingly tasty.
post #13 of 26
Just got back from Queenstown, New Zealand, where it's mid-winter in mid-August. Heli-skiing is big down there, (about $300-350 US for 4 runs) plus it's a beautiful country to see at that. I'd say going Down Under would be a great way to spend the anniversary!
post #14 of 26
Chatter Creek

Monashee Powder Adventures

Heli ski terrain for the price of cat skiing.
post #15 of 26
Holy Bumps batman....raising things from the dead
post #16 of 26
 Check out Bella Coola Heli Sports in BC.  It has the largest heliskiing terrain area in Canada and the tallest mountain (Mt. Waddington) of any Canadian heli ski operator.  They are a small group operator so you ski with only 3 or 4 other skiers in the heli instead of 10 which is common with the older operators.  The advantage of small group heliskiing is less time loading and unloading a smaller helicopter and more flexibility for the pilot to land just about anywhere and get you to interesting lines.     

It's an easy flight from Vancouver and you can ski on the day of arrival - just over an hour.
  
Germany/Austria/Switzerland URL:  www.bellacoolahelisports.de
English language URL: www.bellacoolahelisports.com

Like all major Canadian heliski lodges book early for peak demand months of Jan, Feb and Mar.  If you can go in Dec or April the conditions are often just as good and sometimes less expensive with more booking flexibility.
  
post #17 of 26
It would be nice if commercial posts (and your affiliation with the entity being pitched) were clearly identified as such...
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

It would be nice if commercial posts (and your affiliation with the entity being pitched) were clearly identified as such...

Hi, spin.

We're going to cut chadgarrod a little slack here because he (she?) is new to the group and is still learning the ropes.

For anyone reading this thread who hasn't already figured it out, chadgarrod's is a commercial response - not that there's anything horribly wrong with that as long as one becomes a sponsor.

All in all, Bella Coola Heli Sports looks like a fun place to put on the "dream" list.  (Or more accurately in my case, the "dream on" list")
post #19 of 26
I noted the sponsor thing. But I also noted several other ancient threads in addition to this one being dug up for strictly commercial thread stuffing. I think it is worth asking sponsors a) to identify their strictly commercial posts as such; b) make their affiliation clear; and c) to refrain from running amok essentially "spamming" the whole site with posts that have no reason to exist other than to be spam. Times two when they have not added other meaningful value to the site (go look at the entire posting history).

In contrast, while I am wildly at odds in my views of skis with folks like SJ & dawg, they give a great deal of themselves & their time to help folks here. Without everything being some form of spam. And they are clear about which of their posts posts are strictly commercial.

Just sayin'...

Maybe you guys need a "New Sponsor's Guide"?

BTW - feel free to move or delete this post if you think that makes sense - either because it has served its purpose or you find it irritating ;)
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

I noted the sponsor thing. But I also noted several other ancient threads in addition to this one being dug up for strictly commercial thread stuffing. I think it is worth asking sponsors a) to identify their strictly commercial posts as such; b) make their affiliation clear; and c) to refrain from running amok essentially "spamming" the whole site with posts that have no reason to exist other than to be spam. Times two when they have not added other meaningful value to the site (go look at the entire posting history).

In contrast, while I am wildly at odds in my views of skis with folks like SJ & dawg, they give a great deal of themselves & their time to help folks here. Without everything being some form of spam. And they are clear about which of their posts posts are strictly commercial.

Just sayin'...

Maybe you guys need a "New Sponsor's Guide"?

BTW - feel free to move or delete this post if you think that makes sense - either because it has served its purpose or you find it irritating ;)

That's a good and valid comment, spindrift. 

chadgarrod - the commercial people who are most successful on Epic tend to be ones who intersperse their "commercial" content with other posts that help spread information or just increase the stoke factor.  spindrift pointed this out with his reference to Sierra Jim and dawgcatching. 

You're in a PERFECT position to post trip reports (photos, videos, etc), snow reports, and ski reviews that would not only raise the awareness factor for your business but also give all of the rest of us something to drool over from time to time.  The more you add to the fun around here, the more well-received your commercial messages will be.

Thanks,
post #21 of 26
Thanks for the feedback spindrift and Bob.  I'm happy to clarify that I have a commercial and personal relationship with Bella Coola and other ski organizations.  I stand behind it as one of the best options to consider for once-in-a-lifetime skiing and hope I can contribute to the EpicSki dialogue with facts and opinions particularly on heliskiing in BC.  My brother and I maintain an online heliskiing guide book and BC powder blog at www.powderbrothersheliski.com 
post #22 of 26

We have been many times to Kamchatka! Because there it s bit diffrent.

you can ski there Vulcanos. Runs with over 2000 vertical meters. Runs to the pacific beach.

Price for a 100 000 feet package , hotel, transfers... 4000$

Best time is march and april.

www.heliskiing.ru

post #23 of 26

Since this thread reared its head again recently...

 

If curiosity about where to heli ski has led you to this thread - for my .02, the answer is Iceland. Specifically Arctic Heli Skiing

 

Obviously different folks have different tastes. So it pays to think about what you want. This is a place for someone focused on skiing. In a place with terrain for heli skiers of all abilities, with a limited number of skiers and loads. Where excellent honest meals are chef prepared with local ingredients in a farmhouse kitchen, and you eat with your guides, pilots, the owners, etc. It is small and intimate and friendly.  It has a nifty maritime snowpack. It has scenery that will make your head explode. Looking out at the Arctic Ocean from the crest of a run you are about to ski is pretty cool. 

 

It is not the place for someone looking for a big fancy lodge or fancy lodge restaurant. It is not a place that consistently boasts super dry powder of the sparkling wine variety.  It is not about tree skiing -  since the local joke is that if you find yourself lost in an Icelandic forest, stand up... 

 

For basic info, check out the article in the current issue of Outside (the "Everest" one). And the one in Ski Journal (vol 5 # 1). I think there might have been a Freeskier article at some point as well.

 

Since it has been a while since this thread had much activity, I can also say that I agree that  Bella Coola (esp Pantheon) rates highly as well. 

 

post #24 of 26

 I just got back from Points North Heliskiing in Cordova, Alaska

4/25: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10205

4/26: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10206

Not great luck with weather, getting just 2 fly days out of 6.  Also this late in the year not much powder, but the guides found good terrain and snow for us.

 

While at Points North I saw that issue of Outside magazine with the article about Arctic Heliskiing in Iceland.  I hope to be in Iceland for the solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 and I note that's just when Arctic Heliskiing's season starts.   I suspect with few trees and the maritime climate they get a lot of no-fly days like Alaska.

post #25 of 26

I have been lucky enough to ski and visit many of the heli ski operations around Alaska and in Canada. There are many that do a very good job. What I can say however is that my visit to Points North in Cordova was the best ski experience of my life! We skied 5 out of 7 days and left with my mind blown with overload. This is one trip I will now be doing again yearly. They are proffessionl from the start and the pilots are some of the best I have ever experienced. 

 

James

post #26 of 26

Never been, but have seen some pictures and videos of Mica Heli in Revelstoke, BC that look amazing. 

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