For devoted powder-seekers, heli-skiing is the only answer, and Canada’s interior B.C. region is one of the most in-demand destinations for accessing deep, dry, champagne snow. It’s no surprise then, with skiers flocking to this region every season to get their ski fix, and with the strong US Dollar drawing skiers to venture north of the border, availability at B.C.’s premier heli operations like Great Canadian Heli-Skiing is limited. However, this doesn’t have to mean the end of your heli-ski vacation dream. With some tips from those in-the-know, and a little understanding of the way the industry works, you can still get your name on the list.
Make an offer that can’t be refused
If you have a group of 4 that can book a full helicopter, or a lodge, contact us over a full year in advance.
There is often some flexibility on the dates of individual returning guests (1.5 to 2 years in advance). Companies will often take groups knowing that there will likely be some repeat guests.
**Insider Tip: Some companies will even sell you at the current price if they have not set the prices for that far out.
Know who to speak to
Like anything in life, it’s all about who you know. And knowing the right people can get you your first ticket to ride. Repeat guests hold clout, which Great Canadian Heli-Skiing owner, Greg Porter, can stand by: “We are in the business of repeat skiers and rewarding loyalty, it’s our number one metric as to whether we are exceeding our guests’ expectations.”
Regular heli-skiers can use their contacts to return to Great Canadian – and once you get a spot, hold on to it!
**Insider Tip: Not only can an established guest get you in the door, they may also get you the best prices. At Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, repeat customers are eligible for special rates, and offer guests referral offers, which often can be split with you.
Be first in line
In the world of heli-skiing, the early bird catches the worm. Contact us on the week following the week you’d like to reserve for the following year.
Spaces are often held for returning guests, and if they don’t re-book those dates at the end of their trip, they are often released. This is your time to swoop in and secure those dates with a deposit.
Consider early season
At the start of the season, skiers will run to B.C.’s ski resorts, often meaning early-season overcrowding. Meanwhile, Canada’s heli operations often have availability and friendly pricing during early December and the holidays.
December can be cold but the powder is deep. There is a high chance that days will be spent more in the trees than the high alpine as many glaciers have not “filled in” yet, meaning that the snow has bridged over crevasses so early.
But, as many early-season skiers and heli-ski employees can attest, the best face shots are taken in December when the storms and cold temps perfectly align.
**Insider Tip: If family holiday commitments keep you away, why not bring the whole family skiing with you? December pricing in the heli-ski industry is typically the lowest, and there’s a possibility of a semi-private experience at a huge discount, since there could be fewer guests than peak season.
…and late season
(psst, it’s still winter in B.C. in April)
April showers can still make the powder pile up high. Most heli-skiing companies close for their season not because winter has disappeared, but because demand goes down with the assumption that the conditions are no longer good enough.
This is not the case!
The great thing about heli and cat skiing is that the snow can stick around well into late spring.
**Insider Tip: This is when you can truly take advantage of unlimited vertical. The days are long, and the glaciers are fully filled in which means huge vertical can be obtained at this time of year– leaving you to ski your heart out.
Private trips offer the ultimate in luxury and flexibility. With this option, your guide and helicopter will cater only to your group’s pace, ability and terrain preferences.
With your own personal helicopter at your beck and call, you and your group can get the ultimate skiing experience – 100% on your terms.
**Insider Tip: Booking a private trip is the luxury option of heli-ski, and therefore there are likely no savings to be made, but it will give you options – companies will try their hardest to accommodate private trip throughout the season.