Interview with Coast Range Heliskiing, Whistler Blackcomb Heli-Skiing BC Canada


Check out the latest in our series of Heliskiing Operator Interviews.

Also check out the New Blog Look – Comments Appreciated

Let us know if you want advice on the best trip for your group, too.
Whistler’s Coast Range Heliskiing Interview – and 15 Questions with Coast Range Heliskiing  originally posted Nov 16, 2011 09:45 am | Tom Jackson

For starters, my partner Mike and I want to thank you for your generosity. When Mike’s grandson was in a bad accident, you offered a heliski trip to the charity auction on his behalf. Thanks again, Tyler!


1. When does the season open for Coast Range Heliskiing from Whistler?

We are set to fly our first tour December 10th, 2011.

heli skiing canada, whistler helicopter skiing

Escape Whistler-Blackcomb



2. What do clients need to do to get your 10% advanced booking discount?

To take advantage of our early booking offer guests must make their 2011-2012 heliski booking before November 31st.


3. What if they have to change dates or cancel?

We have a 24 hr cancellation policy so guests always have the chance to re-schedule should something unexpected pop up.


4. Where is your terrain, in relation to Whistler-Blackcomb Resort?

Coast Range Heliskiing operates in several areas North-East of the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort. Guests are picked up in Whistler village and taken on a quick 20 min chauffeured ride out to our home base in the quaint town of Pemberton where they will board the helicopter to ski/board in our Mount Currie zone.

heli ski canada, canadian heli-skiing

Coast Range Heliskiing Terrain Map


5. What made you decide to pioneer small group heliskiing in Whistler?

Some heli-ski companies ski in large groups of 10 or more. We like to offer a more personalized service where you get to know your guide, so we limit the group size to just four or five guests. Skiing in small groups makes it easier to match ability levels, reducing wait times and maximizing vertical so you’ll do more skiing/riding and ultimately end in a better experience.


6. What helicopters do you use, and how many groups per ship?

We fly in the A-star and Bell 407 helicopters. Both are fast dynamic machines that are quiet and nimble in the mountains providing a luxury experience for the smaller groups of 4-5 guests, maximum of 3 groups, that we specialize in.

heli ski canada, whistler helicopter skiing

7. Describe a typical day of heli-skiing with Coast Range Heliskiing.

Guests are picked up at one of our 3 Whistler locations at 7:45am. They are then driven 20 minutes north in our comfortable vans to our base in nearby Pemberton. Upon arrival at our base facility they will be welcomed by our friendly staff with hot coffee and a light continental breakfast while completing some formalities including our comprehensive release of liability.

Guests then receive a safety briefing from both the pilot and guide. The group is then divided into groups of 4 or 5 based on skill level or specific request. As safety is our main concern guests will go over a complete safety briefing with their guide which includes a personal transceiver orientation. After mastering the use of the personal transceiver guests will be introduced to the pilot who will take them through the helicopter safety orientation.

Lift off is approximately 10.00am. Typically we complete 2 or 3 runs prior to lunch which is served in the alpine amidst snow capped mountains and beautiful frozen lakes. Guests will take in the crisp fresh mountain air and soak up the view. After lunch guests are refueled and ready for more glorious powder runs in the pristine alpine. Once guests have completed all the runs in their package they do have the option of purchasing additional runs at $95pp until the days end between 3-4pm when they return to the base for après-ski and a photo slideshow of the day. Then it’s finally time to prepare for the quick trip back to Whistler.


8. If the weather looks sketchy to fly, do you tell your guests to stay in town and ski Whistler-Blackcomb?

If it looks as though we won’t be able to fly we do try and let our guests know in advance so they can make alternate arrangements to switch their heliski trip to a different day and enjoy one of Whistler’s many other attractions, which could include skiing on the mountain.


heli skiing canada, heli ski canada

Deep, eh?

9. Do you usually have space on short notice, or should guests make a reservation before they get to Whistler?

We always recommend guests book in advance to secure their spots and also to get the best deal. We have a 24hr cancellation policy so if guests arrive in Whistler and decide that they would like to change their dates we are happy to accommodate them. Our booking office is centrally located in Whistler village across from the Whistler Gondola and we are happy to help out our guests.


10. Other than a Private, you offer 4-run and 6-run packages.

($960 for 4 runs; $1150 for 6 runs).

How much vertical does each usually get?

Our 4 run packages typically enjoys between 6,000-12,000 vertical feet of skiing, while our 6 run guests typically ski 9,000-18,000 vertical feet. It’s not unusual to get 4,000 vertical feet per run with a strong group on days when the conditions are in our favour. [Sweeeeeet!]


heli ski canada, heli skiing

Ooooooooh Yeeaaaaaaahh

11. How much are extra runs?

Extra runs are $95 per person.


12. What percentage of your guests buy extra runs, and how many?

75-80%, 1-2 extra runs.


13. What percentage of your guests are heli-boarders?

About 35% are heli-boarders; a number that has increased over the past 10 years.


14. Do you provide powder boards for guests?

We are happy to arrange for rentals of new powder snowboards through our rental partner in Whistler.


15. Anything else you want to add about Coast Range Heliskiing Whistler?

Coast Range Heliskiing is the boutique heliskiing operator in Whistler. We work hard to offer an unforgettable service to our guests, one that they will remember for their entire lifetime!



Tom Jackson
CPO (Chief Powder Officer)

heliski canada, helicopter skiing canada heli ski canada, heli-skiing canada heli-ski, heli-skiing bc canada

heli-skiing canada, helicopter skiing bc canada
Knowledge is Powder!
whistler heli-skiing, heliskiing whistler bc canada

Whistler Heli-Skiing Operator Interview. 15 Questions with Heli Skiing Whistler Blackcomb, BC

There are three operators offering heliskiing at Whistler-Blackcomb. We recently visited with Whislter Heli-Skiing, the original helicopter skiing operator in Whistler. Enjoy!

1. Whistler Heli-Skiing has been completing bucket lists since 1983. You must lead the world in bucket list fulfillment. How often does a guest say “Best Day Ever?”

Every time we go Heli Skiing Whistler guests are ecstatic and pumped from the day they had. Whether it be their first time or their 20th time we have the terrain and the snow to keep guests having “the best day ever!”

whistler heli-skiing, heliskiing whistler bc canada

2. Whistler Heli-Skiing offers 3, 4 and 5 run packages. What do most clients choose?

We actually offer 3, 4 and 6 run packages. We recommend picking a package that suits your ability, pace of skiing and or your goals for the day. Most first timers start with a 3 or 4 run package depending on their ski experience especially in powder.

Heliski whistler, heliboard whistler

3. Can guests buy extra runs? How much?

Yes we typically offer extra runs depending on the day (conditions, weather, timing). 3 and 4 run package extra runs = $85 and 6 run package extra runs = $95

4. What is your average vertical per run?

    • 3 runs (approx. 4,500 – 7,500 vertical feet, or 1,400 – 2,300 vertical meters of skiing)
    • 4 runs (approx. 6,000 – 10,000 vertical feet, or 1,800 – 3,500 vertical meters of skiing)
  • 6 runs (approx. 9,000 – 15,000 vertical feet. or 2,700 – 4,600 vertical meters of skiing).

6216548984_710e30261cBest Run? It’s a Grey Area in Canada

5. Does Whistler Heli-Skiing recommend lodging for your guests?

Most guests are in the resort of Whistler for a couple of days skiing on Whistler Blackcomb or doing other activities as well as heli-skiing. That’s one of the best things about Heli Skiing Whistler is that there numerous options for places to stay in Whistler based on your budget, or other requirements. We typically recommend staying in Whistler the night before to check in and get ready for your Heli-day. We always make the final call on whether we can go Heli-skiing or have to cancel due to weather the morning of.

6. How many guests are in each lift?

It depends on the package you purchase. The 3 and 4 run packages are in the Bell 205 Helicopter which typically holds between 7-10 guests. The 6 run package is in the Bell 407 which holds up to a maximum of 5 guests.

7. How many lifts per helicopter?

Depending on the time of year and volume of guests we have up to 3 groups per helicopter.

Heliskiing whistler bc, heli-skiing whistler blackcomb

8. What happens if the weather does not cooperate?

If Whistler Heli-Skiing has to cancel due to poor weather we offer guests a FULL Refund and or the ability to move to the next available day or try to get them out on the next they want to go.

9. So you have a photographer / videographer?

Yes it is included in the 3 and 4 run packages. A photographer will work with each group to take some photos and a video of one run of each group.

heli-boarding whistler canada, whistler heliboarding

10. How many of your guests are heli-boarding?

I’d think 30-40% of our guests are heli-boarders.

11. Do you have powder snowboards for your guests?

Yes Whistler Heli-Skiing (WHS) has many great powder boards to rent. We highly recommend boarders use them as it makes the day so much easier and fun to really float on the fresh snow.

12. When does the Whistler Heli-Skiing season open?

Season dates for 2011-12 are Dec 3rd 2011- April 22nd 2011

heli-skiing whistler bc, whistler heli-skiing canadaComing

13. Can guests get a deal if they book more multiple days?

Yes we offer $100 off and free rentals for subsequent days within the season.

whistler heliskiing, heliskiing whistler bc canadaGoing

14. Do you offer deals to groups?

Depending on the time of year and availability WHS does offer some incentive for groups of 10 or more people to pre-book Heli-skiing.

15. Anything else you would like to add about Whistler Heli-Skiing?

Just beyond the ski lifts of Whistler and Blackcomb, minutes from North America’s #1-ranked Ski Resort, awaits the ultimate high-alpine experience. Imagine carving through untracked powder, endless terrain and breath-taking scenery. With hundreds of ski runs, there is a tremendous variety of slopes to accommodate all levels of skiers and boarders from intermediate to expert. The skiing varies from wide-open glaciers to beautiful gladed tree runs. The heli-ski area is made up of several zones and is approximately 50 miles north/south by 30 miles east/west (80km by 50km). Your guide will select terrain within a zone according to snowfall, the weather, and your group’s ability.

helicopter skiing whistler bc, whistler heliski heliboardWhistler is Luxury, Why Not Get a Facial?

Thanks. See you in Whistler!



Tom Jackson
CPO (Chief Powder Officer)

heliski canada, helicopter skiing canada heli ski canada, heli-skiing canada heli-ski, heli-skiing bc canada

heli-skiing canada, helicopter skiing bc canadaExpert Advice – Knowledge is Powder

heliskiing whistler, heli-skiing whistler bc canada

Escape from the Lift Lines

Heliskiing Whistler – Cool Options

Whistler-Blackcomb Rocks – Add a day of heliskiing or heliboarding and it’s a peak experience.

There are three operators accessible from Whistler (not including those you can jump to from Vancouver or Pemberton like TLH Heliskiing, Northern Escape Heli-Skiing, Bella Coola Heli-Sports and Last Frontier Heliskiing.

Here is a summary of the three at Whistler. Email or call (866-HELISKI (866-435-4754) if you have questions or want recommendations.


Coast Range Heliskiing skis in small groups (three groups of 4) Just 25 minutes from Whistler.

  • 4-Run Package is $960, 6-12K vertical
  • 6-Run Package is $1150, 9-18K vertical
  • Additional Runs $95
  • Privates available
Heliskiing Whistler British Columbia Canada
Coast Range Heliskiing takes you to the top



Powder Mountain Catskiing and Heliskiing offers catskiing backup and the landing zone is just 20 minutes from the Village (South on 99). They ski in three groups of 4 and average 2.5-3K vertical per run.

  • 3-Run Package is $795 Cdn +HST, expect 7-9K vertical
  • 5-Run Package is $995 Cdn +HST, expect 12.5-15K vertical
  • Additional Runs are $95

Check out this picture from yesterday (December 17)!

heli-skiing whistler with powder mountain heliskiing and catskiing
GM Gord ( right) with poster shot – Powder Mountain Heliskiing and Catskiing



Whistler Heliskiing offers 3, 4 and 6 run packages. They ski in a bigger machines, with 7-10 guests in a group.

  • 3-Run Package is $815, averaging 4.5-7.5K vertical feet
  • 4-Run Package is $899 averaging 6-10K vertical feet
  • 3-Run Package is $1150, averaging 9-15K vertical feet, using a Bell 407 in groups of 5 guests per lift
  • Extra Runs are $85

Wondering if you can hang? Take the Whistler Heliskiing Ability Questionnaire

Save money on your facial, skip the spa and add a day of facials with Whistler Heliskiing

Heliskiing Whistler BC Canada
Skip the Spa, Facials Included!