I was working with some Aussies on a trip to BC next April. Three guys wanted to do a 4-day Private. We talked about the type of skiing and experience they wanted. I ended up recommending four places to consider.
One heli-skiing operator dropped out when the dates did not match up with their trip schedules.
The price tag for a private was too scary – ranging from $40K – $78K Canadian. The price does not vary for 3 vs. 4 heliskiers, making it $13K – $26K per person to heliski for four days. Ouch.
So we dialed back the fun-meter one notch to a semi-private heliski trip for three. All three heliski operators in this mix ski in three small groups per helicopter – so not much waiting. There are many aspects of the decision, including terrain, travel, snow, lodge, the other guests that week, price and more. But as for price, which pricing option looks best?
Heliskiing Operator A: $6667 per person, Unlimited Vertical Feet
Heliskiing Operator B: $6250 per person, including 62,500 feet. Extra vertical is $42/K feet.
Heliskiing Operator C: $4890 per person, including 57,500 feet. Extra vertical is $42/K feet
It’s obvious the A beats B. That time of year, the days are long. You could easily average 20K to 25K vertical feet/day helicopter skiing, and spend $700 to $1500 in extra vertical.
So, it’s unlimited heliskiing for $6667 vs. $4890 + $42 per thousand feet of vertical over 57,500.
Before we go there, you may want to read my post on the nuances of unlimited vertical heliskiing.
Strictly looking at price, the break-even is at about 100K feet, 25K/day. Above that, the Unlimited Vertical heliski outfit is best. 100K is a great 4-day trip, so Heliskiing Operator C. allows the group to control their heliskiing budget and avoid paying for vertical they may not get.
Splitting hairs? Maybe. But even a high class problem is worth solving, eh?