Heli Skiing Cost – So How Much Does Heli Skiing Cost? Heliski Cost Explained

How Much Does it Cost to Go Heli Skiing?

helicopter skiing cost, heliskiing cost

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!

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Also see our blog post:  Heliskiing vs. Resort Skiing, We Do the Math

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!