Curious as to what a typical day of heli-skiing involves?
What could ever be typical about a mountain lodge in the middle of nowhere, neighbouring Glacier National Park, the snowiest place in Canada (Check out http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/Canada/snowiest.php to see for yourself)? Nothing. The amount of snow and the type of skiing is A-typical, something that can’t be experienced anywhere else. But for us and our repeat guests this is what a typical day at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing looks like.
You may be sleeping under a warm duvet, after travelling to us the day before. No sense in waking up yet, since last night after a wonderful dinner you completed your waiver and set up your skis with our guides. However, our guides have already started their day nice and early with a coffee in hand. They have measured our weather plots, read the weather forecasts, reviewed the Canadian Avalanche Reports, Rated every Run, and Grouped all our guests, all before most of our guests have even woke up. There they are at breakfast with smiles on ready to report to you the 30 cm of snow that fell last night.
Now that you are thoroughly stoked and cannot wait to get out in the helicopters, our guides gather up the new arrivals and start their helicopter and companion briefings, which need to be completed on the first day before heli-skiing commences at 10am. On every other day we operate like a ski resort with the lift starting at 9:00 am. Unlike a ski resort your ski lift is a helicopter, heated and fast (take note dress lighter than you would a ski resort you are not sitting on a freezing cold lift all day). Bring a small packable vest or insulating layer to wear at lunch though as you will be dining in the mountains. Then it’s heli-skiing all day long, plugging in your soul and perfecting your powder turns and face-plants.
There are 3 groups per helicopter, leap frogging out deeper and deeper into the mountains. The first group lifts to their first run and start to descend, the helicopter then lifts the second group to the same run or one close by, and by the time the third group is carried to the top the first group is arriving at the bottom and whisked away to another mountain. Let us know when you have had your fill and hitch a ride in, or stay out till the end of the day and milk it till 4 pm (3:30 pm December and early January). On average you will have skied 8 to 12 runs (16+ on a big day) and 7500m (Over 10,000 m on a big day). That is 25,000+ vertical feet on average (33,000+ on a big day). You have Unlimited Vertical in your package so no need to budget your day, like all operators we have a guarantee. But unlike other operators our guarantee is just the minimum and not the maximum that is included. You will most often reach your minimum after 2/3 of your package length, again the benefit is that your maximum vertical is unlimited with no extra charges so keep on going until the lift closes down at 4:00 pm.
And for those who are asking no there is no night skiing. That is because when you get back you get to relax, enjoy après snacks, a hot tub, sauna or massage, while our guides meet again, record your vertical and their weather and stability observations, report to Canadian Avalanche Association Database and sometimes squeeze a shower in before dinner at 7:00 pm.
Dinner is served and accompanied by sharing stories from your day’s adventures. Feel the dining warm up with the fellowship of great friends and food. Then with all the excitement, you’ll be asleep before your head hits the pillow.
For a detailed schedule of the day’s events, view a typical day’s schedule.