How Much Does it Cost to Go Heli Skiing?
What does heli skiing cost?
A good rule of thumb is heli skiing cost is $1,500/day/person US ($2,000 Can.). But costs vary A LOT! The cost of heli skiing in Canada for a week, 6-7 days, ranges from $10K-$16K USD ($12K – $20K Can.) per person. A Private week of heli skiing costs 2 to 3 times that number! Read details below. Is it worth it? Watch this video and tell me!
Free Expert Canada Helicopter Skiing Advice & Recommendations
What determines heliskiing cost?
How much does it cost to go heli skiing?
Heli Skiing Prices vary by:
- The time of year (early and late season the cost to go heli skiing is significantly less)
- The scale of the operation (large helicopters are less expensive, and boutique operations are more expensive)
- The number of days (some weeks are 6 days of skiing, some 7). Longer heliskiing trips cost less per day
- The number of groups per helicopter (fewer is better – less waiting, but more expensive). Some operators ski four groups per helicopter, some two. Private is one group per helicopter.
- The amenities and the travel options (some fly you in by helicopter; some include a hotel in Vancouver or Calgary). Most require an additional flight from Vancouver into British Columbia which can add $4 to $500 Can. to the trip cost. Some fly from Calgary. Some airlines fly to Kelowna BC from the US, which can reduce the travel cost)
- Location: Heli Skiing Alaska often costs less, but there are reasons which we can explain.
Helicopter skiing cost is largely a function of the helicopter cost.
- Helicopter cost is a function of the flight time of the helicopter. Longer trips cost more (including fuel runs, first/last runs, changing ranges, etc)
- The amount of heliskiing is primarily measured in vertical feet or meters. Operators guarantee a minimum, below which one gets a credit or refund.
3 Helicopter Skiing Pricing Models
- One pricing model includes a set amount of vertical feet, typically 100K feet per week; 70K for 5 days; 60K for 4, 45K for 3 days (roughly, but it’s important component of the cost). Over that, one pays $37 to $56 per thousand feet Canadian Dollars. ( $28 to $42 USD). Again, the difference in the additional vertical price can have a big impact on the cost of a heli skiing trip. Here are the average base price costs for 4, 5 and 7 day trips, organized by season – early, high, late. Note that extra vertical increases the final cost.
- Prices are Canadian Dollars
- Other operators charge a higher base price but include unlimited vertical – Heliski as much as you want! This is great if you ski fast and works better when the days are longer – think March. Below is a graph of the average price of 4, 5 and 7 day unlimited vertical trips by season.
So Where is the Breakeven for Unlimited Vertical vs. Base Price Plus?
- That’s the 100,000 foot question. Here is a comparison of the average price for unlimited vertical for 7-day trips in Peak Season (in black), compared to the price of base plus offerings: lowest (green), average (yellow) and highest (red).
- From the chart below you can see that the breakeven varies. For the lowest base + price operator, the breakeven is not reached until over 200K vertical! Below 200K, the low base price + is less expensive! Which operator is that? Email us!
- However, for the highest base + price operator, the base price + is more expensive beyond 120K vertical is reached! And it can be a lot more! At 200K, the extra vertical charge is $5K, dwarfing even my bar tab! Which operator is that? We can tell you.
- For the average base price + offering, the breakeven occurs at 140K vertical. Beyond that unlimited is the less expensive option with most operators.
- Conclusion? Not all pricing models are equal. It pays to do the numbers. We are happy to do it for you. Email us!
- Heliskiing Costs by the Hour. Heli Skiing in Alaska and Private heliskiing options are often priced by the hour of helicopter flight time, or Hobbs (common in Privates and in heli skiing Alaska). Again, a certain number of helicopter hours are included, and above that gets price – $2500 Can/hour. But an hour is A LOT of flying and skiing.
Trips come in all sizes, typically 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 days. The heli skiing price per day typically goes down as the trip gets longer. So the cost to go heli skiing is higher per day for shorter trips. Food, lodging and helicopter skis are included in all of these helicopter ski trips. What are the best heliskis?
Single day heli skiing cost can be lower, but the value is also lower.
For example, a 3-Run helicopter ski package can be $700-$800 US or less. There are 1-day operators, usually found near a resort. It’s a taste of the real thing, and expensive for what you get. One has to be prepared to go over the safety briefing every day, and they cater to newbies and bucket-list heliskiers, so be ready for the challenges and delays that can bring.
Some operators combine catskiing and/or resort skiing with heliskiing. This can be a good way to warm up, and it keeps the cost down. Catskiing is about 50 to 65% of the cost of heliskiing.
Helicopter skiing cost is one of many factors to consider….
How does one decide? Call or email me (TJ) and I will put together the best helicopter ski options for you. Answer 4 quick questions, or
Check out our blog post