Luxury Golf Vacation Packages, Best golf vacation package

Best Luxury Golf Vacation Packages

Curated Luxury Golf Vacation Packages

Luxury Golf Vacation Packages, Best golf vacation package
Photo: © Joann Dost, Now Offers the Best Golf Vacation Packages

What does golf vacation packages have to do with heliskiing?  Golf is the second most popular sport among heliskiers!

At, we also love golf.   So we’ve partnered with the premier luxury golf vacation package agents.   Whether it’s a bucket list trip so Scotland, or your annual trip to Pebble Beach, you will find the best options right here.  

Pebble Beach, CA: 

Phoenix, AZ

Palm Springs, CA

Kiawah Island, SC

Orlando, FL

Los Cabo, MX

Mesquite, NV

Myrtle Beach, SC

Punta Cana, DR

Luxury Golf Vacation Packages, Best golf vacation package
heli skiing Canada, helicopter skiing Canada

Is Heliskiing a Leading Economic Indicator?

Heli-Skiing Canada: The New Economic Indicator
Jul 19, 2011 02:29 pm | Tom Jackson


Heliskiing demand is an excellent leading indicator of the economy.  Although traditional economic signals are mixed and uncertain, heliskiing bookings are bullish on 2012.


John Forrest, GM Northern Escape Heli-Skiing, says, “ Our reservations for next year are very strong as well. We are currently up 100% on reservations to date over last year. Most of the increase is actually in our Classic program while the high end Private bookings seem to be lagging a bit, but still up 50% over last year.”


One might think that heliskiers are immune to economic fluctuations.   That is true for the financially independent.  There is a core market of heliskiing enthusiasts who have the means, skill and health to indulge every season (and sometimes multiple trips).

heli skiing Canada, helicopter skiing Canada

Everything Pointing up the Heliskiing Canada Business



However, there is also a segment of the helicopter skiing market on the margin – which can only go when the planets align.  These helicopter skiers can be fueled by the big bonus, the great year, the big sale, the big settlement, kids graduating college, inheritance or whatever.   Aging knees or bucket list anxiety motivates others.  But for most it is expectation of future earnings.  When they book, it is good news for the economic outlook.


CMH Heli-Skiing, the industry giant with 11 lodges, has seen very strong demand, suggesting the recession may be ending.  Sarah Pearson of CMH adds, “Our bookings are strong for 2012 and space is steadily filling up. After last-season’s epic snowfall, mind-blowing skiing and endless laughter, both guests and staff are eagerly anticipating another stellar season of heli-skiing.”


At  HELISKI LLC we represent 95% of all heliskiing operators, and most are seeing a surge in demand., the top heliski and heliboard agents, offering expert heliskiing advice and recommendations to help groups find the best trip.    Demand is way up, and some lodges are already sold-out for next year.


Small lodges are often the first to sell-out.   Giacum “Jake” Frei owns and operates Skeena Heliskiing, one of the many boutique heliskiing operators that have opened in the last 15 – 20 years. “We offer an intimate lodge experience, catering to groups of 10 per week.  2012 has very few openings.” Darryn Shewchuck, Director of Sales & Marketing, Mica Heli Guides, adds, “We have a strong repeat business, and are 95% booked already.”


“Some countries are up and some are down but overall and believe it or not, we’ve had more requests in June than ever before,” according to Mike Watling, Director, Sales and Marketing –Last Frontier Heliskiing,


2011 was a ‘biblical’ powder year; so many groups are booking early.  February always sells out fast, but for 2012 January and March bookings are the strongest in years.  The helicopter skiing market is hot.  Heliskiers and heliboarders are booking now, in anticipation of the cold, and the economic recovery.

The recession can eat my tracks!

HELI-SKI Canada Operator Interview: Mica Heliskiing Canada, 15 Questions with

Mica Heliskiing Operator Interview –


We caught up with Darryn Schewchuck, GM of Mica Heli Ski Guides (aka Mica Heliskiing) as the summer is turning to fall in the Canadian Rockies.  He is still riding his dirt bikes, but looking forward to another great winter of light, deep snow.  It’s not about the Mica Heli Skiing price!

Here are Mica Heliski Guides 15 Questions with

1. Hey Darryn, Mica Heliskiing has been recognized in the press recently.  Tell us about that, please.

Recently we were rated “Best Heliskiing” in BC Canada by the editors and writers of SKIING Magazine in their 2011 Resort Guide. Ski Canada rated our powder “second to none” in their “best of” issue last fall, and Good Connoisseur Magazine rated Mica Heli Guides “the best once in a lifetime experience”. These recognitions are based on several factors, 2 groups of 4 per heli, max 16 guests, dry champagne powder and incredible terrain found in the BC Rockies.

mica heli skiing price british columbia canada, heliski BC Canada mica heli guides

Mica Heliskiing Canada Blue Bird Day, Cold Smoke Anyone?

2. Mica Heliskiing seems to have more options than most operators. The Classic is three groups of 4. The Premium is two groups of four and two helicopters?!?

Definitely the option to ski more vertical! At MICA our standard program is called a Premium Tour – 4 groups of 4 guests serviced by 2 A-Star helicopters (2 groups of 4 per heli, similar to what is referred to as a semi-private with other operations). 30 of our 36 tours this season are Premium tours. The other 6 tours are a combination of a Private Tour (4 guests with their own private A-Star) and our Classic Tour (3 groups of 4 sharing one A-Star). Maximum capacity at MICA is 16 only guests.

Mica Heli Skiing Price Model

3. Some packages are unlimited vertical and others have extra vertical charges, right?

Correct, our December and early Jan tours are unlimited vertical (no extra vert charges) and we also offer some vertical incentives for April tours which cover most of our guests vertical. All season we guarantee 4500 meters/day. At MICA we have averaged only 1.5 no-fly days per season over the last 8 seasons, for the odd day we can’t fly we go Catskiing (Cat vert is not counted in the 4500m/day). [Nice!]
mica heli skiing bc canada lodge, best heliskiing bc canada lodge

Mountain View or Lake View?

4. How did you come up with such a cool spot for the Mica Heliski lodge?

The position of the lodge is very spectacular indeed! Our hot-tubs have one of the best views in the world. The main purpose of the lodge position was elevation. We wanted to get above the low cloud, fog and freezing rain found lower in the valley which is what hinders flight for many other operators. The other benefit is that we ski right down to the lodge at the end of the day, and can Catski right from the lodge.

5. Catskiing backup is getting more popular. How often do you use it at Mica Heliskiing?

Mica Heliskiing was the first to start using the Cat for backup four seasons ago. We had the cat from our sister operation Island Lake Catskiing for snow removal around the lodges, so we put it to good use. We typically take guests Catskiing one or two full days per year. Additionally a few times each season we will do a cat run or two in the morning, the weather will break and we go heliskiing for most of the day.

The forest directly above MICA lodge has been gladed providing excellent 2500 vertical foot tree skiing right to the lodge. So its quick and easy to rack up some pretty good vertical Catskiing at MICA. We don’t count the Catskiing vert in the package and it is very rare for a guest to not make minimum vertical on a tour at MICA.

mica heli skiing price, mica guides bc canada, helicopter skiing mica heliski lodge

Two Hot Tubs with this View!

6. Mica Heliskiing even has a backup outdoor hot tub! Did you think of everything?!?

When you are a remote backcountry lodge you need to have a backup for everything. For the last eight seasons, we’ve been compiling the guest comments and work hard to improve all aspects of our program dramatically each season. We have created something very special a MICA.

7. The Monashees have been made famous by CMH Heliskiing.  I have skied the Adamants, Selkirks and Cariboos, all somewhat nearby. How would you compare your terrain?

Mica’s terrain is the western slope of the BC Rockies across the lake from the Monashees and Selkirks. We have a lot of steep tree skiing (similar to CMH Monashees) but the Rockies are visually more spectacular like the Alps. We ski a lot of trees, have the world’s best pillow lines and have big alpine terrain. Mica Heliskiing’s terrain is very diverse; we have something for every taste.

8. Mica Heliski Guests fly into Kelowna. Tell us about the trip to the lodge.

We pick up in Kelowna and drive to Revelstoke (2 hours). At the office in Revelstoke we sign the waivers and get lunch for the trip north to Mica Creek (1.5 hours). From there it’s a quick 10 minute flight up to the lodge. We also have direct flight options from Kelowna (1.5 hours) or Revelstoke directly to Mica Lodge (45 mins).

Mica Heliski Revelstoke, Best Heli Skiing in Revelstoke mica heli skiing canada, mica heliski

Mica Heli Skiing Price:  Worth it?

9. Do you have many guests stopping in Revelstoke to ski/ride for a few days to warm up for heliskiing with Mica Heliski?

Yes, we have quite a few guests who ski Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) for a pre-MICA warm up. We will cover their lift tickets and usually I will ski with them to show them “the goods” at RMR. It’s a tough part of the job but someone has to do it.

10. What are the biggest challenges of operating a boutique heliskiing lodge for only 16 guests?

The biggest challenge is getting new people seats in our high season, most sell out 10 months in advance!

11. You have a lot of ‘lifers’ coming back every season, right?

Yes, the majority of guests are regulars who bring groups each year and rebook their spot for the following year upon departure.

12. Love your old tagline. Is it really “Deeper at Mica?

The majority of our guests will tell you MICA has the deepest powder they have ever skied. There are places on the coast with a deeper snowpack, but coastal snow is not the same as the interior’s cold smoke. MICA tends to be slightly cooler in temperature than the Selkirks and Monashees, which is why we have the super dry “Champagne Powder” that everyone raves about. Like Utah, but deeper!

13. Is it true Mica Heliskiing is almost booked solid for next season.

Jan 14 to April 3 is 95% sold, only a few seats left. Almost regardless of the Mica Heli Skiing price.  The good news is that Dec and early Jan are when we get some of our deepest skiing. And April is fantastic. Longer days and more sun opens up a lot of the really big alpine runs that we don’t get to in early season. Shoulder season is excellent skiing, and we have some great vertical incentives as well.

14. How will you fit in FAM trips for

I guess I will have to give you my seat…or not…we will talk. [Damn!]

15. Do you ever abbreviate your title to Director of S&M?

Yes, but only on the last weekend of the month

Thanks, Darryn. I hope I can get up there to experience Mica Heliski Guides soon.

Best Regards,
Tom Jackson
CPO (Chief Powder Officer)


heliskiing canada, helicopter skiing bc canada

Expert Advice – Knowledge is Powder

Valdez Heli Ski Guides Interview – Valdez Heli Skiing with Comfort

Is Valdez Heli Ski Guides the Best Alaska Heliskiing in Valdez?

Valdez Heli Ski Guides Interview

To interview Valdez Heli Ski Guides about Valdez Heli Skiing, I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Raynor and Mandy (marketing manager and Scott’s handler) at the Hog Island Oyster Bar in San Francisco in December.   Scott, owner/manager of Valdez Heli Ski Guides, has an impressive resume including avalanche expert, guide, ice climber, ski bum, fisherman (running a crab boat ala Deadliest Catch), Valdez heli skiing pioneer and now Valdez Heli Ski Guides owner.  Mandy is also a bad betty from Utah.  Oysters, chowder, beer, tequila and a view of the Bay resulted in the following discussion.   Enjoy.

Best Heli-Skiing in Alaska, Mandy the Goddess of Valdez Helisk Guides

1.  Mandy, who does nearly everything at Valdez Heli Ski Guides, is hot.  She could be the best Alaska heliskiing rep.  Can you think of any reason our subscribers should call me instead of her??

You are more objective?


2.  Valdez Heli Ski Guides built a cool new Valdez heli skiing lodge for 2013. Tell us about it, please.


Built in 2011, the new lodge is an 18,000-square-foot custom designed heli-ski lodge built on the footprint of the historic Tsaina Lodge. Perfectly staged in the heart of Thompson Pass, the Tsaina houses 32 guests in 16 single- and eight double rooms with private baths. The restaurant is phenomenal and, of course, the bar, reminiscent of the original, is always a great time. All of it, including a boot and gear drying room and fitness room, is just steps away from the VHSG heli-pad.  [Could be the best Alaska heliskiing lodge.]

Valdez Heli Ski Guides’ New Valdez Heli Skiing Lodge

Valdez heli skiing lodge, Valdez Heli Ski Guides


3.  Does this mean Valdez Heli Ski Guides is going soft, and catering to FGP clients???


Yes and no. The core of our Valdez heli skiing business continues to be geared toward the advanced and expert skier and rider. But one of the many beauties of the Chugach is that there is also a lot of terrain that is suitable for the advanced-intermediate skier and rider.

best heliskiing alaska lodge, valdez heli ski guides Valdez Heli Ski Guides, best heli-skiingvaldez heli skiing, Valdez Heli Ski Guidesvaldez heli ski guides, valdez alaska dining room





















4.  Scott, you are one of the old timers in the Valdez Heli Skiing business.   Will you summarize your heliski resume?

Valdez Heli Ski Guide, Scott Raynor


I started out as a self-employed backcountry ski touring guide in the western Chugach. For five years I combined this with snow safety work at events throughout Alaska. As the Alaska heli-ski industry evolved, I was lucky enough to be connected with some of the best heli skiing  companies. During my second year heli-ski guiding I became the VHSG operations manager and avalanche forecaster. Four years later, in 2000, I bought the company. I’ve also heli-ski guided internationally, in places like Chile, New Zealand and Greenland.


5.  Valdez Heli Ski Guides is unique in how you organize your groups.  How do you run two helicopters and up to 24 guests?


Actually, we run three helicopters with up to 32 guests. We offer different package styles that determine which helicopter each client will be in: a public or private ship. The public ship is for up to 16 guests in four groups of four. We also offer the exclusivity of a private ship for groups of up to eight guests.

alaska Heliskiing, best heli-skiing

6.  Tell us about the Valdez Heli Ski Guides Lodge location, and why you chose it.


It’s really the location for the best heli-skiing in the Chugach. Located 35 miles inland in the heart of the range, our terrain gets hit with the coastal storms but also benefits from clearing skies of the interior. Our base at the Tsaina Lodge is just north of Thompson Pass and the clouds typically abate at this location. [Check out this video of the early days of Valdez heliskiing]


7.  Describe the Valdez heli skiing terrain, please.


We have an incredible variety of terrain at our fingertips, most of it heavily glaciated. There are steep mountain faces, large powder bowls, long couloirs and everything in between.  Valdez heli skiing has it all.

 Alaska Heliskiing Terrain

8.  How many days do you fly in an average week at Valdez Heli Ski Guides?


Five. We typically fly 80 percent of our season.


9.  You price it by runs, why?


It’s a lot easier for the client to track.  [I resemble that!]


10.  What is the average vertical in a week that a guest can expect to book at Valdez Heli Ski Guides?


120,000 vertical feet [VERY GOOD FOR VALDEZ HELI SKIING]


11.  What dates are you open at Valdez Heli Ski Guides?


Early March through April .


12.  Why is it that the snow ‘sticks’ to the steeps better in the Chugach / Valdez heil skiing region than other areas??


Typically our snow comes in warm and leaves cold, [ Like my old girlfriend….]the perfect recipe for snow sticking to all aspects of steep terrain. It’s also a great recipe for good snow stability.


13.  Many BC heliskiers are intimidated by Valdez heli skiing.  Ski porn makes it look death-defying. Can the CMH and Wiegele clientele handle Valdez heli skiing?


Yes they can. Ski movies and magazines always showcase the steepest of the steeps; it is the most dramatic. What they don’t show is the vast, and equally spectacular, terrain that most heli-skiers enjoy in reality. A majority of Valdez Heli Ski Guide runs are just straightforward steep powder skiing. No cliffs, no jumping; just good, old-fashioned steep skiing fun!

Valdez Heli skiing, Valdez Heli Ski Guides

14.  How about first time Valdez heliskiers?


First-timers are always welcome. A successful Valdez Heli-Ski Guides stay for a first-timer is not based so much on prior heli-ski experience as it is on his or her powder skiing skills. Guests need to be confident and capable of skiing in deep powder snow.

Valdez Heli Ski Guides, valdez alaska heli skiing

15.  Enough Valdez Heli Skiing, can we see more of Mandy?

Mandy of Valdez Heli Ski Guide and Friend

Thanks, Scott! and Mandy!



P.S.:  Valdez Heli-Ski Guides ownership and offerings have changed since this interview.   Call or email me to get the latest review and advice.  866-435-4754

Heli Ski Combined with Resort Skiing and/or Catskiing

We are getting lots of requests from customers who want to heli ski combined with resort skiing and/or cat skiing.

Many are looking to try helicopter skiing or heliboarding for the first time while on a resort ski trip.  It’s easy to add a day or two at Whistler, Snowbird/Alta, Telluride, Sun Valley or just about any resort in SE British Columbia.  It’s roughly $1000.

Some want to do some heliskiing without spending $6K+.  By combining heliskiing with catskiing or resort skiing, you can cut the price in half.

Others are not in shape to heli ski every day for a week; others want the option to ski the result if the weather turns bad.  For the same reasons, some want cat skiing as a warm up, or as a fall-back the heliskiing suffers a down day.

We now have multiple heli-ski operators with combinations to offer.  They vary in trip duration and the combination of days.  Shoulder seasons are less expensive.   We recommend resort and catskiing first, so that your legs are in shape for the heli-ski days.  Also, it’s hard to sit on a chairlift the day after heliskiing……..