Interview with Revelstoke Heli-Ski Operator: Experience BC Backcountry 1st Class
The rare Flying Hottie, spotted in the backcountry near Revelstoke, BC Canada
November 1, 2011
Interview by Tom Jackson, HELISKI.com
1. How long has Selkirk-Tangiers Heli-Skiing been flying out of Revelstoke, BC, and how many skiers and riders have had their best day ever with STHS?
This is our 35th year of operation!
Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? We’ve got a huge client base from all over the world.
Looks good to me…
2. A few years ago you joined forces with Revelstoke Mountain Resort. How have things changed?
It has created lots of opportunities for us to create new packages and offerings for our guests (heliski out of Nelsen Lodge, Lift & Heli Combo incl. 3 days of heliskiing and 2 days at RMR…). We still offer our guests the same amazing heliskiing products we always have but with a lot more options.
3. Your 500,000-acre tenure includes the Monashees and the Selkirk Mountains. Compare and contrast the two, please.
A lot of the same goods! Both ranges run North-South through and around Revelstoke, BC. The Selkirk mountain range lies to the East of Revelstoke and the Monashee mountain range lies to the West of town. The bulk of our tenure is located in the Selkirk mountains so we tend to spend a lot of the time there, but we do like to check out the Monashee side of STHS as often as possible as well! They both include plenty of treeskiing, alpine bowls and glaciers for our guests to enjoy.
4. I get ‘Selkirk’ (the mountain range), but what the heck is Tangiers in Selkirk-Tangiers Heli-Skiing Revelstoke?
It’s Tangiers is the name of a zone river in our northern Selkirk terrain, named after the Tangiers river. It is where the company’s original founder and owner, Peter Schlunegger, took his first heliski guests to heliskiing with STHS 35 years ago!
5. What percentage of your clients do a single day?
40-60%. Since we are ‘turning over’ guests daily rather than weekly, this allows us to accommodate many more people each week in our Day Heli programs than our multiday programs. However, we find that many single day clients end up adding at least a 2nd day to their experience and a lot will come back the following year for multiday packages!
6. Can you please summarize the three single day packages?
Day Heli Experience – a great introduction to heliskiing including 3 runs Day Heli Advanced – for skiers/boarders with previous heliski and/or extensive backcountry experience. Includes 3,000 vertical meters rather than the 3 runs incl. in the Experience package.Private DayStar – our premiere day heliskiing experience. You and up to 3 friends in your own helicopter with your own guide experiencing all our terrain has to offer! Includes 5,000 vertical meters of skiing. [DayStar in an A-Star, clever]
ALL these packages also include breakfast, lunch, and après-ski snack, ski/board rentals, ACMG certified ski guide, safety equipment and training. Extra runs/meters available for a fixed rate (based on weather, time and group consensus).
Small choppers are also an option from Selkirk-Tangiers
7. What is the most popular multi-day package?
We see lots of guests booking our 3 Day Classic packages because it is a great fit for busy schedules. The 6 and 7 day Classic packages still tend to be very popular however, lots of people are still looking for that traditional week-long heliski experience!
8. Tell us about lodging for multi-day guests?
We are based out of the Coast Hillcrest Hotel, located 5-min from downtown Revelstoke. A beautiful rustic log themed hotel, there are plenty of amenities (spa, hot tubs, fantastic dining room, lounge, work out facility, STHS retail shop etc.) for our guests to enjoy.
Best Day Ever Groundhog Day
9. What other multi-day packages are available?
We have Private AStar packages for groups of 4 or 8, flying from the Hillcrest Hotel, Nelsen Lodge or Bighorn Lodge (at the base of RMR).
New this season we have a special 3 day Women’s Retreat (Jan.7-10 and Mar.10-13) just for the ladies, a 3 day AStar Steep Camp (Mar.3-6 and Mar.17-20) for clients looking to explore some of our more aggressive terrain and get more vertical, and our new Lift and Heliski combo incl. transfers from Kelowna airport, 6 nights accommodation, 2 ski days at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, plus 3 heliski days with STHS.
10. What is the average vertical for a day at Selkirk-Tangiers Heliskiing Canada?
Depends on a number of factors – what the weather is doing, time of year, what package the guests are booked for. Typically we will see a range of 1,500-3,000 vertical meters per day for our day packages and 3,000-5,000 for our mult-iday packages. However, if we have plenty of light, great weather and keen skiers/boarders, we can see groups skiing up to 8,000+vertical meters some days!!
Tree Skiing from Revelstoke
11. Tell us about your Heli Ski Only packages.
These packages offer a little more flexibility for our guests. They can still ski with STHS but are free to arrange accommodations for elsewhere in Revelstoke. Available for certain 1, 2 and 3 day packages.
12. What are the options for Privates?
Our private packages can be 1-7 days in length, with our 3,,4,5 and 7 day AStar packages including lodging at the Hillcrest hotel. Shorter private AStar packages can be arranged without accommodation for clients who already have somewhere to stay in Revelstoke.
13. If the weather grounds the chopper, can guests go catski or make it to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort in time to get a full day?
Multi-day packages: if there is a down day during your multi-day package, guests have the option to go to the ski resort. The group’s guide will drive the group there/back and ski with them; lunch and lift ticket will be provided. If at the end of the package, guests haven’t reached their guaranteed heliski vertical for weather reasons, we will refund at a set rate for the unskied meters.Day Heli packages: Guests will get a full refund plus have the opportunity to get a ride to the ski resort if their heli day is cancelled first thing in the morning. If they do go out and at the end of the package guests haven’t reached their guaranteed heliski vertical, we will refund at a set rate for the unskied meters/runs.
2 Edges or 4…
14. What percentage of your guests are heliboarding?
Hard to say, but it seems to be around 30-40%. It’s definitely not just for skiers, we’re happy taking skiers and boarders out and have a great fleet of rental powder skis & boards to choose from.
15. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Selkirk-Tangiers Heli-Skiing?
There’s a reason we’re still offering up heliskiing and boarding for our guests after being around for 35 years – we know what we’re doing and our guests love it, coming back winter after winter! Revelstoke is a world-renowned destination for heliskiing for good reason and we’ve done our best to provide just that for thousands of our guests from all over the world.
Thanks. I hope to get back up there to Revelstoke to make some turns with you soon!
CPO (Chief Powder Officer)
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