How to choose a Heli-ski Operation

Here’s what to look for.

In today’s world there are so many choices. It can be confusing! So how do you choose the best heli-ski operation for your group? Here are some things to keep in mind:

How time-sensitive are you?

Most people want to get to the heli-ski lodge as soon as possible!  At most Canadian heli-skiing operations, guests fly in one day, take an extra internal flight, stay that night in a city hotel, then travel to a lodge the next day. This can cause them to lose 1 to 2 days of precious vacation time. Luckily at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, the vast majority of clients arrive in Canada and are eating dinner in our lodge on the same day, even for guests from Europe! This will not only save you time, but money as well. We are fortunate that we are only 4 hours away from Calgary International Airport via the Trans Canada Highway, the country’s major highway (for more information on our location, see the Getting Here page).

How flexible are you?

In the early days, the only package choice was a week-long trip, Saturday to Saturday. We recognize that our guests might like to heli-ski for a shorter duration of 2 days, 3 days, 4 days or 5 days instead. Many of our guests are now combining their trips to include resort skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or cat-skiing at Chatter Creek.  Great Canadian Heli-Skiing is the only helicopter skiing company in Canada that offers packages of every multi-day duration AND we are the only heli ski operation that allows you to start your trip on any day of the week! We offer the greatest flexibility in the industry because we want to be able to accommodate your schedule.

Group Size

A major consideration when choosing a heli-skiing operation is what size groups do they offer. Without question, the best way to heli-ski is in small groups. Once people try the small group format, they usually never go back to a large group operator; the advantages are just too many! To learn more about the advantages, have a look at our Small Group Heli-Skiing page.

Working to a budget? You get what you pay for.

When comparing heli-skiing companies, make sure to compare apples with apples! If you just look at the price, you will not get an accurate view of the service or value of what is being offered. For example, it is illogical to think that a better deal is going with an operator piling 10 to 12 people into 1 group with a slightly lower price than going with an operator that offers a much better personalized service by operating with small groups of 4. Of course the large group option might be slightly cheaper, but the experience is definitely not the same.

You should also find out if the company offers Unlimited Vertical. If a company offers a much cheaper price than Great Canadian, they probably do NOT offer Unlimited Vertical. With our small group format and Unlimited Vertical, we ski a HUGE amount. An “average” week would be 46,000m (141,000ft)….for an ‘average’ group…strong groups can do much more, so when you factor in the extra vertical charges another company may charge, the prices are often very comparable. If doing a comparison between Unlimited Vertical and a company that does not include it, keep in mind if they are skiing in a large group compared to our small groups as this will influence the price and your experience.

Another thing to consider are Additional Travel Expenses.  At Great Canadian, the vast majority of guests fly into Calgary and are eating dinner in our lodge on the same day. If you choose elsewhere, you could expect to incur more expenses such as:

– Extra city hotel costs

– Extra internal flight costs

– Full day(s) wasted in traveling from city to/from lodge

All these items cost extra and should be included when looking at the package price of another operation…you will see we aren’t the most expensive…but we definitely provide the best VALUE…in experience and money!

Experienced Guides

There’s huge advantages of choosing a heli-skiing company that has very experienced guides. Our core guide team have a wealth of experience that is hard to match. The core team have an average of 13 years of guiding at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing alone! And they average 18.7 years as qualified guides. Rob Dalinghaus has guided for over 2 decades, most of which have been with us. Needless to say, you are in very capable hands. To learn more about our guide team, see the Guides page.

We hope you find the above useful. If you are still undecided or have questions, we would love the chance to talk with you. Our details are on the Contact Us page.

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