Common Heli-Skiing Myths:
1. You have to jump out of a helicopter.
False! Sorry to the James Bond wannabes, but you don’t get to jump out of a helicopter. If this is your ambition, there are other extreme sports for you. We land the helicopter on designated landing pads within our terrain and focus on a safe, world class ski or board experience.
2. It’s really dangerous
There are a lot of unknowns in Canada’s wilderness and there are real dangers. That is why every group has a guide, and at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing we have the smallest guest to guide ratio in the industry. Safety is our #1 priority. Our guides are experienced and certified professionals. They are all trained in snow safety, weather analysis, emergency medical techniques and mechanized ski guiding. That commitment and respect for the mountains and Mother Nature has paid off in the past 30 years with a great safety record and great wilderness skiing.
3. Heli-skiers are hard-core, super fit, thrill seekers. Before their first trip they all had loads of powder and backcountry experience.
False! How does someone get better at powder skiing? By powder skiing! Although many of our guests are advanced skiers, a strong intermediate can have a great heli-skiing trip even without much powder experience. You will find that with the powder specific equipment that is provided, direction from a guide with millions of vertical powder underfoot, and fresh untracked snow to practice on, you can go from powder zero to heli-hero in one trip.
4. It’s a man’s sport.
HUGE FALSE! In this day and age, we all know the answer to this one. Great Canadian Heli-Skiing has a strong team of female guides who would dispute the above statement, and they’re absolutely right. However, it’s entirely true that only approximately 15% of our guests are female. Please help us to remedy this by spreading the word.
5. You lose half of your ski day to travel.
False. We are very easy to get to! You’ll be glad to know Great Canadian Heli-Skiing is the closest Canadian destination heli-skiing operation to an international airport. Located between Golden and Revelstoke British Columbia, just off of the Trans Canada Highway, our lodge is an easy 4 hour drive from Calgary International Airport right to the front door. We welcome you to Heather Mountain Lodge the evening prior to your first ski day. Our staging area is on-site, so after breakfast you get your briefing, get into the helicopter, and fly to your first run, which can be as short as a 60 second flight.
6. Heli-skiing is expensive; powder skiing at resorts is cheap.
False. We like to think of it this way: pursuing the most epic ski day of your life can cost a lot in time and money whether you choose heli-skiing or not. Think of how many ski vacations at a resort one might take hoping for powder snow, only to leave thinking maybe next year. Now compare that with heli-skiing – it’s like packing a lifetime of resort holiday’s powder into one holiday (you would have to have hit some epic resort powder days to get even close to the experience of heli-skiing). So is it expensive? Only you can decide what your time is worth and what price you would put on the adventure of a lifetime. One might even conclude that heli-skiing is cheap, based on powder/$+time quotient.
Our classic packages start at around $4500 and are ALL-INCLUSIVE meaning almost everything you need to have the perfect trip is included in the price, from heli-skiing days with unlimited vertical, gourmet meals, accommodations in our lodge, and use of powder specific equipment.
7. You need special equipment.
True! And at Great Canadian, we will supply you with powder skis/boards plus poles, and all safety equipment. So the only gear you need to bring with you is your boots.
8. All heli-skiing operations are the same.
At first glance it can be hard to tell, but there is a huge variance in heli-skiing based on the location and company that you choose. Every heli-ski operator offers a different experience based on the following factors:
- Group size: Smaller is better. With our groups of 4, you can get the most out of your day by skiing with people of the same ability level.
- Runs per day: Day operators tend to offer a standard package of 3 runs, with a 5 run upgrade. Destination (or boutique) operators typically offer a guaranteed amount of vertical. At GCH we offer UNLIMITED VERTICAL.
- Length of stay: Many destination operators (especially fly in lodges) only offer 7 day packages. At Great Canadian we offer 2+ day packages that start on any day of the week.
- Location: British Columbia is known for its epic powder, but other areas such as Alaska are better known for their death defying feats. If you’re interested to challenge your skills to perfect your powder turn, or get your thrill-on over some pillow drops or off some wind lips, we can deliver. But if you are searching for that make it or die moment, Alaska is calling.
9. I could get grounded the whole time due to weather.
False. On average we have 2 days a year that we do not ski. (In 2015, 2016, 2018 we had no down days at all) . Our onsite heli-pads, powerful helicopters, small groups, and fantastic treed lodge runs offer the magic formula for accessibility.
10. Many of Great Canadian’s guests experience life altering meaningful experiences, defined as BEST DAY EVER’s.
True. Completely true.