Best Heliskiing BC Series: SE British Columbia’s Best Short Heli Ski BC Trips
This is the third in our series on the best heliskiing BC trips. Heliski.com clients often ask us to put together the best short heli-skiing BC trips. This usually includes 3 or 4 days of heliskiing BC with minimal travel time and minimal risk. For some, it is more about getting the best deal. Others want to combine heli-skiing BC and resort skiing.
Here we discuss the best short heliskiing BC trips in the mecca of heli-skiing BC- Southeast British Columbia.
In future posts, we will offer advice for the best heliskiing in the US and the best heliskiing BC combined with resort skiing and riding.
Heliskiing BC Travel Time / Convenience
Southeast British Columbia is where the majority of BC heli-skiing is found. It is remote. But paraphrasing Hans Gmoser, Founder of CMH Heliskiing, ‘Beautiful places are not always easy to reach, but it is worth the effort.’ Most heliskiers fly into Calgary, then drive or take a bus or shuttle to the lodge or to the helipad. Flying into Kelowna is also becoming more popular, with direct flights from these airports:
Edmonton, Victoria, Kamloops, Prince George, Red Deer, Abbotsford, Cranbrook and Whitehorse, LA, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.A couple of lodges, including one mentioned below, are accessed through Spokane, Washington in the US.
Heli Ski BC Cost
SE BC heliskiing operators offer the best deals in the early and late season. Unlimited vertical packages may be worth it, especially in the Spring when days are longer. More traditional pricing, including a specified number of vertical feet, allow guests to decide when to pay to continue skiing.
Heliskiing BC Down Day Risk
Down day risk lessens as one moves North in SE British Columbia. The North is typically colder, and the snow can be drier and lighter. And surprisingly, the South can be influenced by Coastal weather patterns. That means tons of snow, but can ground the chopper. This is one of the reasons why we like Snowwater Heliskiing’s catskiing backup.
The Best Short Heli-Skiing BC Trips – Southeast BC Heliskiing
And the winners are: Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, CMH Kootenay Heliski BC and Snowwater Heliskiing
Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC runs a great operation in Golden, BC.It is only 4 hours from Calgary.GCH offers a shuttle, but only on Saturdays.And it is on the East side of Rogers Pass-the most frequently closed highway in Canada.So a rental car in a good option.One of the best features for short trips is that Great Canadian Heli-Skiing allows guests to begin and end visits on any day, which is unique, and very cool.
All trips at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC are small group and unlimited vertical. It is not the least expensive option, but guests can rack up the vertical. Some of their best terrain is very close to the lodge. So guests heliski / heliboard early and often. Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC is also on the leeward side of the Pass, so they enjoy lighter drier snow and fewer down days. Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC boasts just two down days per season!
The Great Canadian Heli-SKiing lodge accommodates 24 guests. Heli-Skiing is in six groups of four. So if you do not bring your own group, Great Canadian Heliskiing can always match you with other like-minded heliskiers with compatible abilities.
GCH Burnt Forest offer high-speed tree skiing.
Canadian Mountain Holidays has 12 BC heli-skiing lodges. The best kept secret may be CMH Kootenay, formerly known as K2. It was a join venture between the two companies, with obvious symmetry. The trips are usually pretty good deals. Kootenay BC heliskiing is famous for tree skiing.
Lodging is a hotel. The best feature is the outdoor hot springs. So if you are looking for a deal, consider Kootenay. CMH runs both small and large group trips at Kootenay Heli-Skiing BC.Special weeks include Steep Shots and Pillow Drops.3, 4 and 5 day trips offer great flexibility. Guests need to find their own way to the lodge in Katsup. This usually means flying to Kelowna, BC or Spokane, WA and renting a car. The drive is 4 and 5 hours, respectively.
Another gem of SE BC heliskiing is Snowwater Heli-Skiing BC. It is an intimate setting, hosted by the owners, husband and wife Patric and Maria.
Snowwater is also exclusive, catering to 12 guests at any one time. The food and wine are excellent.
Snowwater Heli-Skiing BC offers 3, 4, 5 and 7-day trips with Unlimited Vertical. Three groups of four share the A-Star. And if the weather does not cooperate, catskiing backup is on the ready. I have had the good fortune (I think) of experiencing this first-hand. Our group switched back and forth seamlessly a few times during one day. In my experience, Snowwater does it better than any operators.
Snowwater also offers a combination Resort, Cat, Heli Ski BC Trip called the Kootenay Sampler. Although it is not a short trip, it is a very cool week of powder skiing at a very attractive price.
Guests usually fly to Spokane, WA, rent a car and drive 4 hours North. It is possible to fly to Castlegar, BC and take a cab to Nelson.
Cheers from Maria and Patric,, Married Owners & Guides – Snowwater Heli-Skiing BC. Image: Bryan Ralph
Let us know if we can assist with recommendations for the best BC heli-skiing trip