What is
Unlimited
Vertical?

All heli-skiing operations will guarantee a certain amount of vertical feet/metres. At Great Canadian, we offer a generous amount of vertical (e.g. 30,500m/100,000ft for a week long trip).

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Powder Skiing

Heli-Skiing With Great Canadian Heli-Skiing

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the ultimate heli-ski experience by escaping the lift lines and shredding some POW? Your decision to come heli-skiing with us will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Advanced skiers will love our variety of terrain. Even with little powder experience, strong intermediates will find powder success in our “hero snow”. Plus, thanks to the smallest group size in the industry (just 4 people per group) you will get to spend quality time with your family, friends and your fellow powder-worshipers.

You will be skiing in the Mecca of heli-skiing: the Selkirk and Purcell mountains. This region, helicopter skiing’s birthplace, is known throughout the world for its quantity and quality of dry snow and amazing terrain. We have vast terrain in both the Selkirk and Purcell mountains which is for our exclusive use. This terrain is bigger than 14 Whistler-Backcombs, or on a European scale, bigger than both the Portes du Soleil and Trois Vallées ski domains!

How much can you expect to ski? The average group skis 8-12 runs a day. An exceptional day with a strong group and complimentary weather can accumulate 16 runs or 33,000ft (10,000m) a day. We guarantee you a minimum amount of skiing, however over 98% of the time our groups will ski in excess of this guarantee. At Great Canadian Heli-Skiing you will have Unlimited Vertical, which means even once you surpass your guarantee there are no additional charges. There are no expensive Extra Vertical bills at the end of your holiday; you just pay the one price for your package and all of your skiing from your first to last deep turn is included.

Ability

In order to fully enjoy your heli-skiing holiday you must be a strong intermediate skier. This means you have skied regularly over the last several years and are capable of controlling yourself on treed ski runs, traverse slopes and can maneuver over variable mountain conditions. For example, at your local ski resort, if you are able to descend a black diamond run and maintain control you will likely be prepared for our terrain. Any experience that you have had in skiing powder would be an additional asset. We suggest regular skiing and fitness conditioning before your heli-ski vacation. You may even want to consider our Combo Packages (see resort/cat-skiing): these packages incorporate a few days of skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort where you can get your “ski legs” back. Through their “Big Mountain Center”, Kicking Horse offers an “Intro to Heli/Cat-Skiing” which can help get you prepared for your trip to us!

Our guides have spent an enormous amount of days on their skis, so feel free to ask them for some powder skiing tips!

Grouping

We ski with four guests per group. Because of this awesome ratio, we try to accommodate our guests as much as possible, by allowing them to group themselves. During your vacation we encourage our guests to ski with others who have similar interests or abilities. As a result of using small groups, compatibility is most often attainable. For more details on the advantages of Small Group heli-skiing over large groups, see our Small Group Heli-skiing page. Note: For safety and efficiency, the Lead Guide will always choose the order in which each group departs. The Lead Group will work harder during the day by helping the Lead Guide with trail breaking and preparing landing/pick-up spots.

First Timers

Everybody was a 1st time heli-skier at some stage! Experienced skiers will love our terrain and snow and those new to heli-skiing need not be worried that it’s their first time. You can heli-ski if the following describes you;

– Strong intermediate or better

– Able to ski all runs at a resort and are comfortable skiing black runs

– Fit enough to ski several days in a row

– Willing to ski all types of terrain/snow

If you are able to tick all of those boxes, we’d love to have you ski with us!

Stamina is often more important than deep powder experience and with our fat skis, powder skiing is much easier to master in a short period of time.

If you are a strong skier yet still a little bit timid, organize 3 friends/family to join you to make up your own private group of 4 and go at your own pace!

 

Here’s some heli-skiing tips to make the most of your trip

  • Relax! On your first day you may feel overwhelmed, this is totally natural. Pace yourself, racking up vertical is not a competition. Ask your guide for technique tips.

 

  • Watch the guide. When your guide stops, scope out a spot close-by behind (i.e. uphill) from him/her on a bit of a mound or downhill slope, so that when you get going, you will already have momentum.

 

  • Having trouble getting speed? Start off in someone else’s track and once you have enough speed, veer off!

 

  • Listen and follow your guide’s instructions. If the guide trusts you, they will feel more comfortable taking you to even better terrain.

Equipment

We advise you to leave your skis at home as we have plenty of skis that are ideal for our conditions. This also saves you the hassle of traveling with extra equipment! Please remember to bring your own boots.

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing has quite a large fleet of skis. Our guests and guides alike have been very impressed with the Armada JJs and we will have the latest models available this winter, including a women’s version.

We carry the following ski models:

Model

Sizes (cm)

Comments

Armada JJ 2.0
  • 165
  • 175
  • 185
  • EST Freeride Rocker (traditional camber underfoot, rockered tip and tail)
  • Hybrid Ultralight wood core
  • Five-Dimension Sidecut
  • Fiberglass laminate matrix
  • AR50 hybrid cap and sidewall construction
  • Sintered Comp Series base
  • 1.7 mm Impact Edges
Armada JJ
  • 165
  • 175
  • 185
  • 195
  • 115 mm waist.
  • Rockered.
  • Specific sidecut.
  • Camber underfoot.
  • Highly versatile, great in all conditions.
Armada VJJ
  • 165
Women’s version of the JJ.
Armada Triple J
  • 155
Very similar as the JJ above but for lighter weight skiers