Best BC Heliskiing Series: Best Short BC Heliski Trips

Best BC Heliskiing Series: Best Short BC Heliski Trips

The Best Short Southeast BC Heliski Options

This is the third in our series on the best BC heliskiing trips.  Heliski.com clients often ask us to put together the best short BC heliski trips.  This usually includes 3 or 4 days of BC heliskiing 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.

Also check out our previous articles on Revelstoke’s Best Short Heli Ski BC Trips and Best Short Heliskiing BC Trips – Coast Range   

Here we discuss the best short BC heliski trips in the mecca of BC heliskiing- Southeast British Columbia.
In future posts, we will offer advice for the best heliskiing in the US and the best BC heliskiing combined with resort skiing and riding.

SE BC Heliskiing 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.

SE BC Heliski 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.

BC Heliskiing 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 BC Heliski Trips – Southeast BC Heliskiing

And the winners for Best Short SE BC Heliski trips are:  Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, CMH Kootenay and Snowwater Heliskiing

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing BC runs a great operation in Golden, BC.It is only 4 hours from Calgary.  Great Canadian Heli Skiing 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 BC Heliski 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.

Check out our Interview with one of the BC Heliski winners, Great Canadian Heli Skiing

bc heliskiing, bc heliski

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing’s famous Burnt Forest offer high-speed tree skiing.

CMH/Kootenay BC Heliskiing

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, but now it’s just CMH.  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 BC Heliski as an option.  CMH runs both small and large group trips at Kootenay BC Heli-Skiing.   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.

Check out our Interview with CMH Kootenay 

bc heliskiing cmh, cmh bc heliski kootenays

Snowwater Heli-Skiing BC

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 Heli-Skiing BC 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 heliski BC groups share an 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, Heliski 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.

Also check out our Interview with Snowwater Heli-Skiing BC

bc heliski, snowwater bc heliskiing, Image: Bryan Ralph

Cheers from Maria and Patric, Married Owners & Guides – Snowwater Heliskiing BC.

Let us know if we can assist with recommendations for the best BC heliskiing trip
tj

coast range heli-skiing, heliski coast range

Coast Range Operator Profile: Skeena Heliskiing. Don’t go postal, go coastal

The evolution of heli-skiing continues.  Smaller operators are offering alternatives to Canadian Mountain Holidays and  Wiegele Heli-Skiing.  This series will give a brief summary of the operators in the Coast Range of British Columbia Canada.

coast range heli-skiing, heliski coast range

The Coast Range of British Columbia is home to some of the heliski industry innovators:  Bella Coola Heliskiing, Northern Escape Heliskiing, TLH Heliskiing, Last Frontier Heliskiing and Skeena Heliskiing.  Coastal weather patterns provide copious amounts of powder, and travel is usually MUCH easier than the more famous operators to the East.   How do they compete with the big boys and deal with the huge amounts of snowfall?

Glad you asked.

Each of these BC Coast Range heli-ski destination operators have a strategy, or two, to differentiate their offerings.
Today, we take a closer look at Skeena Heliskiing.

skeena heli-skiing, helicopter skiing bc canada

Skeena Heliskiing is a boutique operator, with one of my favorite lodges,  catering to fast, fit skiers (read Europeans).  Jake is a tremendous host, even to an American like me.   But Skeena books up well in advance.  Think 2014.  Jake skies in just two groups of 5, so they really turn the laps!

skeena heli-skiing, heli-ski skeena mountains

 

Skeena boasts one of the best heliskiing lodges in the business.  It is a prototypical BC log lodge.  The dining/living space has an amazing cathedral ceiling.  Each guest has a huge bedroom.  Great place, better skiing.

skeena heliski lodge, helicopter skiing skeena
Skeena Lodge is Awesome

heliski lodge interior, skeena heliskiing

skeena heliski lodge day, BC heli-skiing lodge

 

heliski lodge rooms, skeena heli-ski rooms

Travel to Skeena Heliskiing by flying Vancouver to Smithers.  just three hours from Vancouver to their incredible lodge.

 

Each of these operators has figured out a way to offer something unique and very appealing to help differentiate their offering.  Email or call and we will help you find available trips with easy travel and plenty of deep snow.  866-HELISKI or Skype HELISKI.com

 

Best Regards,
tj
Tom Jackson

CPO (Chief Powder Officer)
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