Unlimited Vertical Average Price 4,5, & 7 Day by Season ($CA)

Unlimited Vertical Heli Skiing Options

When Is Unlimited Vertical Heli-Skiing a Good Idea?


Unlimited Vertical Heli-Skiing is priced higher than base plus or pay as you go.  When is it worth it?

The answer depends on the prices (unlimited price and base price + extra vertical price), conditions, skiing pace (including group size and number of groups), the weather and the season.     

Later in the season the weather is better and the days are longer.  Further to the East, helicopters fly more often.  

You may be surprised at the break-even points!

The break-even for 7-day trips.  

Unlimited Vertical Heli-Skiing break even analysis


At the Extremes:

The lowest price base + operator is less expensive unless you ski over 200K vertical! 

The highest base + becomes more expensive than unlimited vertical at 120K vertical.

The Average

The average base + becomes more expensive than unlimited vertical at 140K vertical. 

Extra vertical rates range from $40 to $60 Can. per 1,000 vertical.  So depending on the extra vertical rate, you may never hit the break even.


Here are the Unlimited Vertical Prices. 4, 5 & 7 Day Trips by Season

Unlimited Vertical Average Price 4,5, & 7 Day by Season ($CA)


These Canadian Heli Skiing Operators offer unlimited vertical.

Bearpaw Heliskiing
Eagle Pass Heli Skiing
Eleven / Kingfisher Heli Skiing
Great Bear Heli Skiing
Great Canadian Heli Skiing
Mica Heli Skiing
Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing
Northern Escape Heli Skiing (Option)
Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing (Early Season)
Silvertip Snowwater
Skeena Heliskiing
Stellar Heli Skiing
Tyax Lodge & Heli Skiing
White Wilderness
heliskiing advisor of the year Canada 2020

Heliskiing Advisor of the Year Award 2020 – Canada Lux Travel Magazine Travel and Tourism Awards

heliskiing advisor of the year Canada 2020

We are humbled and proud to announce HELISKI.com earned Heliskiing Advisor of the Year – Canada 2020, in the Travel and Tourism Awards by Lux Travel Magazine.

Tom Jackson, Chief Powder Officer remarked, “It’s great to be recognized for leading the industry over twenty years.   Thousands of heliskiers and heliboarders have taken advantage of our free, expert, objective advice to find the best heli-skiing trip to fit their needs.”  Just today I received the following from a client –


“Thanks to you all seven Norwegians had an amazing trip to Canada in January!!!     …. was far beyond our expectations. The people, lodge, food, skiing and overall operation was really fantastic.

We all felt welcome and taken care of during our stay, with focus on good skiing all the time. It was important for us to share the experience, so the large helicopter for 10 was important.   We all want to go back. 

Thanks again!



Check out some other testimonials at the bottom of the home page under What Our Clients Say. 

HELISKI.com takes pride in finding the best heliskiing trip for any group.   Over forty operators and countless options make it a challenge.    What’s the best?   It depends on the group size, the preferred terrain and snow conditions, the lodge, travel and price.  Some prefer unlimited vertical, others like to buy a minimum and pay-as-you-go.  Some like the agility and speed of small group heliskiing; while others want to ski as a big group.

Over the years, HELISKI.com developed a series of posts around the Top 10 Criteria to Select a Heliskiing Trip.

Conditions and options vary during the season as well.   January is famous for copious snow fall and lots of tree skiing.   February gets a little warmer and stability increases.  March and April is known for wall to wall sunshine and high alpine terrain, including glaciers and bowls.  The days get much longer late in the season, too.  Check out this post for more on the best time to go heliskiing.




Lux Life magazine cover

heli-skiing canada, vail colorado helicopter skiing

Heliskiing vs. Resort Skiing, We Do the Math to Maximize Powder Value

Heliskiing vs Resort Skiing – We do the Math to Maximize Powder Value


Written by Tom Jackson

This time of year skiers and riders start to make plans for their winter trips.  Most assume that a resort trip is less expensive.   That may be true (although by a surprisingly small margin when you compare, so keep reading.)  But heliskiing is more cost effective.

It is not obvious, so we did some analysis. We compared a week of heliskiing Canada to a week at Vail, Colorado. And we love Vail.  I spent two seasons and many, many weekends there!  This analysis is getting long in the tooth.  Time to revisit it.

heli-skiing canada, vail colorado helicopter skiing
Full Disclosure: as the leading heliskiing Canada broker/agent, HELISKI.com, I will admit we are biased. HELISKI.com and HeliskiingReview.com represent over 90% of all Canadian heliskiing, so we know the best options.

The lodging we chose for the Resort comparison was Vail’s Tivoli Hotel – a nice 4 Star within easy walking distance of the lifts (although significantly farther than the chopper is from the lodge…..)   It is also not the kind of remote lodge/setting you can get when helisking.

We skied every day, hired an instructor to skip lift lines, ate at moderately priced (for Vail) restaurants and rented nice equipment.  February is the month we chose. We assumed the same airfare for both (even though some heliski operators actually pick up the last leg of the trip.)  Now that the Denver airport (DOA) is in Kansas, we assume the travel hassles to be comparable. In either case, guests can drive, ride a couple of hours in a shuttle or take a puddle jumper.

The cost of the Resort Trip:

February week-long trip to Vail, 1 Person

heliskiing canada costs, helicopter skiing canada vs resort skiing
We also looked at 5 of our favorite Canada heliskiing operators.  For one week, we got an average cost of $8700 Can., $8,430 US

Preliminary Results

Vail Resort:  $8,055
Heliskiing Canada:  $8,430

Amazing, eh?  Admittedly, we conveniently omitted extra vertical charges – some Canadian heli-skiing operators include unlimited vertical, some charge over 100,000 vertical.  Extra vertical is optional, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  In any case, the Resort is still cheaper, even if only barely.


The rest of the Story:

Any comparison must include qualitative information, too. It is hard to compare a week in a remote heliskiing lodge and the convenience, decadence and comfort it offers.  The reader will have to weigh the difference.

Heli-skiing canada lodge, canadian helicopter skiing lodge

Skeena Canadian Heli-Skiing Lodge

How much more exciting and enjoyable is heliskiing?  Untracked on every run, all week, without hurrying?!?  It’s subjective, but for me a powder run is probably ten times better than a non-powder run.  Maybe it’s five, maybe it’s 20.  Let’s use Powder Value (PV) to compare. Each vertical foot of powder will be one PV. One vertical foot non-powder is therefore is 1/10 PV or 0.1 PV.

heliskiing british columbia powder, backcountry heliskiing bc

Is a powder run 10 X better?

A powder run which you do not have to hustle and compete for is certainly more enjoyable.  We could say there is nothing like it on earth, but that’s Vail’s slogan.  So, we give a heliski powder run 25% more powder value (PV).  I know the locals ski until it’s tracked (11-12:00 and that is getting earlier every year…)

The average Vail resort skier/rider accumulates about 12,000 vertical feet/day, totaling 72,000 for the week.  Anyone interested in heliskiing is probably doing more, so we bumped it by about half, calling it 100,000 vertical feet for the week.

On average, one storm will hit in our week. In Vail, that’s a foot of ‘new’, if you’re lucky.  Untracked powder runs will dry up by 11:00 or 12:00, unless you know the mountain and hug the trees.  A side note: this is getting worse every year with faster chairs and fat skis proliferating, but I digress.  We give the benefit of the doubt, and assume ½ of one day, so 9,000 feet of powder skiing (PV) with some effort.  The rest of the week amounts to 9,100 PV (91,000 feet * 0.1).

The Resort total is 18,100 PV.

Canadian Heliskiing operators include 100,000 vertical feet (or more), with 25% higher PV than the resort.

The heli-skiing Canada total is 125,000 PV


Final Results

Vail Resort 18,100 Powder Value  for $8,055
Heliskiing Canada 125,000 Powder Value for $8,430

Fun Ratio: 125/18.1 = Almost 7 times more fun to heliski Canada than a week at a resort!

The price is roughly comparable.  And you can certainly do a resort week for less.  You can also pay more for heliskiing, but the PV will also increase.

But the kicker is that, for about the same price, Heliskiing Canada trip is 7 times more fun!


Tom Jackson
CPO (Chief Powder Officer)

Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing #7 – Helicopters – Size Matters

How to Pick the Best Heliskiing #7 – Helicopters

There are several helicopters common in the heliskiing industry.  Most popular with the boutique operators is the A-Star.  It typically carries four guests across a bench-like seat in the back; the pilot and guide sit in front. Some get five guests in each lift.  It also comes in variety of models: A, B, B2, B3, BA and D.  Operators may run two, three or four groups of this size.  Most will run three small groups per helicopter.

AStar NE Heliskiing

The Bell 407 typically seats five in the rear; the pilot and guide are up front (With the exception of the last ride home – don’t be shy about asking!)



RK Heliski Bell 204 helicopter


Bell 204 shuttles up to 7 guests to the powder at RK Heliski.

Bell 205 and 212 carry up to eleven guests, a guide and a pilot.  CMH, Wiegele and TLH primarily run Bell 212 helicopters, seating up to 11 guests.

tj HeliPanaorama cmh adamants

Here I am saying, “I brought 9 buddies.  Today, Bigger is Better at CMH!”


There are trade-offs.  Bigger helicopters have somewhat longer load and unload time.  But the biggest difference is skiing in lager groups.  Some terrain does not lend itself to 12-52 sets of tracks.   Operators with smaller helicopters, and thus smaller groups, have more flexibility in arranging groups, reaching terrain, etc.

The big advantage of the big helicopters is cost.   It is significantly less expensive to lift one group of 12 than three groups of 4.   Whether or not the savings are passed on to the guests in the form of lower prices depends on the operator….

Northern Escape Heli Skiing uniquely offers the Koala helicopter, seating 6 guests, and running three groups per helicopter.

NEH Lodge and chopper 500

The number of groups served is also a very important consideration.   TLH offers just one group of 10 per Bell 212, which rocks.

Private packages are offered by most operators, with just one group having exclusive use of the machine.   With 7 or more in a group, a private may be the best deal. HELISKI.com is happy to help find the best arrangement for your group.

Tell us how many in your group, and we will give you the best options.

Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing #6 – Lodging and Food, Beware of Heli-Belly!

Best Heli-Skiing:  Lodging and Food

Most BC Operators offer very nice lodges in remote locations.   A few offer less expensive options, including hotels, especially those that cater to day-trippers.   Some offer private cabins and central dining areas.  Most will offer excellent amenities including bar, hot tub, wireless internet, ski shop, massage, pool, TV/movies, etc.  Some have full-blown spas.  Some have gyms.


The lodges vary widely. It is best to talk with someone who has been there, stayed there.  (Like us!)  Some are so remote that clients must fly in by helicopter.

search for the best heli-skiing Canada


Others are right by the road or in town.

tlh dining-area-thumbgallery-crescent-spur-dining at night-1

Destination heliski operators almost all offer great food and lots of it.  Hotel based operations may be a little less gourmet.

Some of the bigger operators dowhat is heliskiing socializingbuffet style, but the food is great.   It’s not uncommon to gain wait on a heliskiing trip.
The food is so good, and often so rich, that clients (and guides) run the risk of heli-belly! 


Alaska is considerably more rugged, with a couple of exceptions.   The center of gravity is Valdez.  Most operators shuttle clients back and forth from their motel in Valdez.  A few have their own accommodations. Another interesting option in Alaska is a motor home.  The operators make it easy to hook up and hang out.

base camp skeena heliskiing inside communal dome tentsnowwater heliskiingrobe_lake_lodge_4-300x199 inside







Activities include ski touring, cat skiing, resort skiing, fishing, snowmobiling, sea kayaking and more.

skeena heliski lodge day, BC heli-skiing lodgenorthern escape heli-skiing lodge and helicoptertlh_heliskiing_lodge chopper night

There are lots of great choices.  Let us know if you want our opinions.

Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing #5 – Cost

Best Heli-Skiing:  Cost

This is the fifth in the HELISKI.com Series on how to select the best heliskiing trip.  If you are thinking about a trip this season, give me a call or email.

I’m happy to send the best available trips based on your criteria.


Criteria #4:  Cost for Heliskiing / Heliboarding

cost of heliskiing, expensive but worth it

Heliskiing and heliboarding are expensive.  The good news is that it is worth it.  Packages range from $800 to $1800 Canadian per day.  More good news, that is $600 to $1400 US!   This includes food, lodging, and helicopter lifts.  Alcohol, massages, etc. are additional.

Most packages include a guaranteed minimum vertical.  Additional vertical feet are typically $35-45 Can. per thousand.  Everyone in your helicopter group or ‘lift’ must agree to the extra vertical, or groups must be reformed.  It is common to re-configure the groups late in the day to allow one or two groups to go for the extra vertical.

If weather or mechanical downtime prevents reaching the guaranteed minimum, most operators will issue a credit toward a future trip.  It is unusual to get a refund.  Operators vary widely on their willingness to accommodate clients for missed vertical.  Refunds and vertical achieved are often the cause of friction on the last day as type-A guests butt heads with cash-strapped operators.  There is ample room for disagreement about the cause of slow groups and missed vertical.  Negotiation can be successful, but it is best done in private and with a cool head and respect.

Other packages include unlimited vertical.  Some operators offer unlimited vertical on every package.  Others offer it during the early and late season.  One operator offers it as an add-on pricing option.  It is worth comparing, based on your desires, physical stamina and the time of year.

Critics of unlimited vertical believe that clients and operators have conflicting goals.  The helicopter is the biggest expense for the operator. Some operators have been accused of starting late, taking long lunch and quitting early to minimize helicopter expenses.  Those offering fixed-price plus extra vertical argue that goal congruence is the best way to optimize cost and enjoyment.

We recently put together a spreadsheet comparing over a dozen options for a group of heliboarders.   The price of unlimited vertical must be compared to the fixed-price plus various amounts of extra vertical.   We calculated $/K vertical for different packages at various levels of vertical.  Then judgments plays a role.   It helps that we know the operators and can get the straight story on average vertical.  In addition, the time of year is a factor.  March trips offer much greater opportunity to get extra vertical than January trips.   Finally, the group make-up, both yours and others should be considered.

Also check out the cost of travel.  If you have to add a $500 commuter flight or a rental car to your trip, you may have better options.

HELISKI.com is happy to help do the math.

One more thing, remember to tip, please.  The gratuity is shared by guides and house staff.  It is a significant part of their compensation.  I recommend $50-100/day.


Altitude is Everything – HELISKI.com Interviews RK Heliski


RK Heliski Interview with Panorama Heli Skiing Operator


RK Heliski is one of the pioneers of heliskiing, including an affiliation with Hans Gmoser and CMH / Canadian Mountain Holidays.  For 46 years RK Heliski has offered heliskiing in the Purcells from the Panorama Resort.

This past season was challenging.   But working with RK, we were able to rescue some clients by sending them to RK, where the conditions were excellent.   One client wrote, “You are a genius!!!  Thank you so much it was perfect!!!!!!”   So, thanks to RK Heliski for making us look good!

We had a chance to talk with Graham Holt, GM of RK Heliski.   I hope you enjoy it.

rk heliski chopper pic

Should your slogan be “Altitude is Everything”?  (It is now, after I suggested it!)

Love that, TJ!

Heliskiing the Purcells for 46 years?!  You came right on the heels of CMH. How did you pick your terrain/tenure?

The initial operation was owned and operated as CMH Radium which ran for a year in the front ranges of the Purcells. During the same time Roger Madson (RK) was pioneering fixed wing skiing via a Platus Porter aircraft on the NorthStar and Catamount Glaciers. After a few challenging landings, and requiring a rescue for a maintenance issue of the plane in the backcountry, RK had heard of Hans Gmoser utilizing a helicopter further up valley and enlisted his services. From that day forward Roger Madson entered into an arrangement with Hans and moved operations adjacent to the Panorama Ski Area where the real snowbelt could be accessed. Over the years, the further West in our tenure you go the deeper the snowpack. Overtime the tenure has grown to 1500 sq/km. Altitude is everything, and 45 yrs later we have pioneered our entire ski/snowboard tenure and know it intimitley.

Describe the RK Heliski terrain in the Purcell Mountains, please.

Alpine glaciated terrain 3400m-2600m, Treeline terrain 2600m-2200m, below tree line terrain 2500m-1500m. Average length of run approx. 800m. Good stability and clear skies we can access runs that average 1000m with the longest runs being 1500m. Treeline terrain is a mixture of wide open bowls with very sparse trees at lower elevations, adventure terrain, with a mixture of boulders, morainal features. Below tree line skiing is open maintained runs. Steeper tree skiing can be 45 degrees. During poor weather or stability we have numerous safe runs to handle all levels of experience.

RK heliski high alpine

RK Heliski offers a wide variety of packages.   Please give our readers a summary.

RK offers daily packages starting at a 3 run or a 5 run package for those looking for a single powder adventure. Guests also have the option to ski extra runs and can be decided on the day they are skiing. We gear our 3 run packages to first time/intermediate heli skiers and our 5 runs toward more advance to expert skiers.

We also provide a number of private packages ranging from a Powder Private which includes 5 runs. This package allows you up to 7 skiers and the exclusivity of your own group. Whether your group prefers to ski at a mellow place or ski at a fast and aggressive pace this option is for you. Our Elite and Platinum packages are based on 1.5 hrs. of flying time so for those that really love to ski and want to experience the Purcell Mountains on their own terms this is for them. These packages include a private breakfast in the morning as well as have exclusive use of the Bell 204 helicopter. Our Platinum package includes an extra ACMG ski guide.

All our packages include breakfast in the morning, lunch out in the field, ski’s/poles and/or snowboard, guest pack containing shovel, probe and radio as well as your transceiver and holster. We provide full training on the use of this equipment. All our packages can be transformed to multi-days as well.

I think HELISKI.com clients appreciate the Private Platinum package.

rk heliski tele pow shot

How much vertical can they expect with 1.5 hours of flight time?


What is the mix of day heliskiers and multi-day/private?

50% day skiers and 30% multi-day, 20% exclusive privates


rk heliski trees

RK Heliski, like most resort-based operators, does not have a lodge.  How do multi-day clients find lodging?

RK Heliski can provide a wide range accommodation found on our website that meets the needs of all ranges of budgets. Being based at Panorama Mountain Resort we have a variety of accommodation to suit every guests needs and budget from hotel rooms, condo units, townhomes and private chalets.

Why do you recommend the Cranbrook airport.

1hr 45min drive by vehicle to arrive at our base operations the Heli Plex.  Calgary is 3.5hrs away.  After a long flight this proximity is what we recommend.  For those clients that want to heliski and explore other ski destinations a stop over from Calgary in Banff is also a must do.

rk heliski to airport map

Why do RK Heliski Private packages use a Bell 204 Plus?

The 204 plus is a Bell 204 with a 205 engine, lot’s of power and fuel efficiency at altitude. A lot of space to stretch out between runs, easier access entering and exiting the aircraft when compared to light machines.

Tell us about the Banff and Lake Louise options.

World class accommodation at the Fairmont hotels in Banff and Lake Louise. These two gems are the basis behind Banff National Park being established when considering Western Canadian being accessible from the building of the historic Canadian Pacific Railway in 1888. A wide range of chalets, private homes, quaint mountain accommodation.

Thanks, Graham!

Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing. #4 – Travel

How to Pick the Best Heli Skiing – Travel

heliskiing canada travel issuesEvidence that getting stuck in an airport for two days can make you go stir crazy…

Best Heli-Skiing: Travel

Total travel time and hassle are important criteria that are often overlooked when searching for the best heliskiing experience.   Travel itineraries can be an episode of planes, trains, and automobiles.  Some of the oldest heliski operators require bus rides of eight hours on both ends of the trip!  This is an ironic contrast to the fast, luxurious, convenient service offered during the heliskiing.  It may not sit well with clients who can afford to heliski.

It is a good idea to get the travel itineraries for everyone in the group before you book.  Getting to and from a heliskiing destination can range from straight forward to very challenging.  Some places are easy to reach, with frequent ‘commuter’ flights.  Book these ASAP.  The good flights often sell out, and the cheap seats sell out first.  Others charter flights, require lengthy bus rides and are susceptible to weather delays. Some require renting a car or taking a third party shuttle.  Others are quick and easy.   Most have vans or buses for the last leg of the journey.

The primary connecting airports for heliskiing access are Vancouver, Calgary, Anchorage and Seattle, in that order. Destination airports include Terrace, Smithers, PrinceGeorge, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Kamloops, and Valdez.

Many itineraries require a night stay before or after the trip, some both.Some operators include this in the price, others do not.

Convenient travel results in more heliskiing for a given trip length. Some easy-to-reach locations allow West Coast heliskiers to fly up in the morning and ski that afternoon.  It may also be possible to ski the morning of the last day and fly home that afternoon.  This allows three days of heliskiing in a total of four days.

Trip insurance is a good idea.  It covers change of plans or travel problems.  We strongly recommend trip  cancellation/disruption insurance.  It is an add-on to the package price when guests make their final payment.  This ranges from $200-$300, depending on the date of the tour, and the age of the participant.  We partnered with Lifestyle Financial to offer trip insurance to HELISKI.com clients.


heli-skiing travel considerations

Can’t Bear to Miss Heliskiing!


This is the fourth in the HELISKI.com Series on how to select the best heliskiing trip.  If you are thinking about a trip this season, give me a call or email.   I’m happy to send the best available trips based on your criteria.


Criteria #4: Travel for Heliskiing / Heliboarding


Heliskiing Criteria Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing. #3 – Groups

How to Pick the Best Heli Skiing

Best Heli-Skiing:  Groups

Heli-Skiing Group Size and Number of Groups per Helicopter

The size of the group and the number of groups per helicopter, or machine, are both important when choosing your heliskiing operator.  Some of the big operators like Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) and Mike Wiegele use primarily big helicopters with 10 or 11 guests.   Almost all of the boutique, smaller operators use A-stars or Bell 407s.   These hold 4, 5 or 6 guests.  It is a more intimate group.  In addition, smaller helicopters are more maneuverable.  Small groups can access tighter areas that could not handle 13 sets of tracks (remember two guides) or 52 sets of tracks if you share a drainage.  Smaller is usually better, if for the simple reason that you are only as fast as the slowest skier/boarder.  And if one person falls or loses a ski, the entire group waits.

bc heliskiing robson pick us up Hey, Pick Us Up!!!

However, bigger helicopters are more cost effective.   To lift 12 guests, guides and a pilot, it takes a Bell 212 one trip.   It takes three trips in an A-Star, ferrying the pilot and guide as well.  So the bigger helicopter trips should be less expensive, but they are not always…..

An ideal situation is to find an operator with groups size that match yours.  One group per machine, aka Private, is great, but expensive.   One operator does one group of ten for each helicopter!

chopper downhill Skeena Rips with two groups of 5

Groups per helicopter

Groups per helicopter is another important criterion.  A helicopter can usually service two or three groups without much waiting.   Four groups per machine can be slow.   Our friend Dave Geis of Alaska Snowboard Guides points out that Alaska is an exception, “I would note is that 4 groups out of one heli in AK, especailly the Chugacth, is different than BC. This is due to run length. Because of the long runs there is very little waiting with 4 groups – barely enough to get a drink of water. In BC so many short runs makes the helicopeter much busier with take offs and landing which burn quite a bit of time.

Operators will attempt to group guests of similar ability and speed.  But all groups can only go as fast as the slowest group, unless or until a group can be passed.  The amount of waiting depends upon the slowest group, and upon the willingness of the guides to ‘leap frog’ the slow group.  This is frequently a cause of tension and discontent.  It can also hamper the lead guide’s flexibility in choosing the terrain.  This is especially true if the groups contain skiers with different ability and or speed.

Another issue can arise if some guests are interested in ‘extra vertical’ (for extra money) and some are not.   This requires a group of the right size, so that the helicopter economics work.   And is requires proximity to the lodge to take the others home, usually on a fuel run.   Again the bigger the groups, the more difficult it is to make everyone happy.  Three groups per machine is the industry norm for smaller, boutique operations.  But there are notable exceptions.  We are happy to help.

the best heli skiing, heliskiing powder

Heliskiing Criteria Series – How to Pick the Best Heliskiing. #2 – When to Go

How to Pick the Best Heli Skiing Criteria #2:   When to Go Heliskiing / Heliboarding

Best Heli-Skiing:  When to Go

British Columbia heliskiing operates January to early April.  Whistler and a few others offer December days.  The Christmas to New Years week is also available from some operators.  Primetime is February, but January and March are usually very good, can can be less expensive.
the best heli skiing, heliskiing powder

  • Some say January best kept secret in the heliskiing industry. Most guides and operators will tell you this is their favorite heliskiing of the season.
  • Colder – So you may have to bundle up, but you may get drier, lighter powder
  • Short days – This can limit your vertical; which is bad if you are paying for unlimited vertical. It’s also worse the farther you go North.  Alaska gets twice as much light at the end of their ‘season’ as they do in the beginning!   And the Alaska heliskiing season is March & April.
  • Snowpack /Coverage /Stability – Not usually a problem unless it’s a lean year, or you are very early in January.       Early season will have fewer boundary layers, but may also be relatively unsettled.   Expect to heliski more trees and less high alpine, bowls and glaciers.
  • Price – early January and late March are the best heliskiing deals going. Early April is a very good deal, and many heliski operators would keep going if demand existed. The ‘prime’ weeks are now bleeding into late January and early March.



  • Warmer – usually very comfortable. Be aware that late season can include ‘corn snow’ in addition to or instead of powder. And too warm can make south-facing slopes ski like mashed potatoes.
  • Longer Days – Think huge vertical and tired legs. 40-45K vertical feet in a day is possible! If you choose Unlimited Vertical, you can really rack up the vert.
  • Coverage/Stability/Terrain – By March, everything is skiable. Some cornices may build up, but stability is usually very good.  Spring heliskiing usually includes a heavy dose of high alpine / glacier skiing. Runs so smooth and consistent that you may want to bring something to read…..kidding.  I have counted 50 turns with my eyes closed, however.
  • Price – Not as cheap as  early January, but the later you go, the better the price.


  • Many heliski operators lament that everyone switches to golf and tennis, even though winter is still going strong in Canada.   Early April can be great.  Some lodges stay open and few heilskiers makes for fast laps!


Alaska has a much later season.  Some operators open in February.  Prime time is March and April.  Some will accommodate early May.  It may be corn snow, however.  There is twice as much sunlight at the end of the season than at the beginning.

This is the second in the HELISKI.com Series on how to select the best heliskiing trip.
If you are thinking about a trip this season, give me a call or email.   I’m happy to give you free input.


We are here to help.  When you are ready to consider heliskiing or heliboarding,
email tj@HELISKI.com or answer 4 questions, or Skype HELISKI.com.
We will get back you with the best available trips and pricing that meets your requirements.