Heli-Assisted Ski Touring

Selkirks, Monashees, & Caribous, B.C., Canada

Ski touring trips with helicopter support! Based in remote heli-ski lodges or hotel in Revelstoke, B.C.

Heli-Assisted Ski Touring Highlights

    • Ski touring in awesome terrain
    • Remote, luxury heli-ski lodges
    • Helicopter access every day
    • No “slogging” through the flats
    • Very reliable snow conditions

Are you a heli-skier but sometimes wish you could ski tour in the awesome terrain without the noisy helicopter around you all day? Or maybe you love ski touring but hate slogging along the same flat valley each morning to get to the goods? And maybe you wouldn’t mind swapping a bunk bed in a hut for a single room with a rooftop jacuzzi in a remote heli-ski lodge? If this sounds like the best of two worlds, this trip is for you!

Our day starts off with a helicopter ride to a high landing, followed by a run. The rest of the day, we are on our own and muscle-driven until the helicopter takes us back to the lodge from the valley bottom in the late afternoon. Advantage: More vertical and optimal terrain sampling!

We offer this trip in cooperation with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) who operates a network of 12 heli-ski areas in Western Canada including eight remote ski lodges. When their lodges are full, we can also offer hotel-based packages in either Revelstoke or Golden, B.C.

Detail and Logistics

Meeting point

Organized transport from Calgary International Airport, but other meeting points can be accommodated.

Climate and weather

The Selkirk Range in B.C.’s Columbia Mountains is primarily influenced by a moist, maritime climate (very much in contrast to the Canadian Rockies) with moderate winter temps. During a typical ski touring week, you should be prepared for heavy snowfall and temps from -1C (30F) to -15C (5F). But of course, it can get as cold as -30C (-22F) in a cold mid-winter week and as warm as 10C (50F) during a warm, spring skiing week in May.

For spring skiing weeks, powder snow (dry, cold snow) usually preserves well on the many northerly aspects even if it hasn’t snowed in days. At the same time, the southerly aspects will start to corn up (melt-freeze cycle) with sunny weather, which yields nice spring skiing, if the descents are well timed with the daytime heating. Unfortunately, as with any backcountry skiing, we can’t always exclude (but do our best to avoid) the “in-between stages” of powder and corn: Crud a.k.a breakable crusts!

Services included in the total price

Guiding by two ACMG and/or IFMGA certified mountain or assistant ski guides, transport from Calgary (or Banff, Golden or Revelstoke) to the helicopter staging area, helicopter transfer in and out of the lodge, two or more helicopter lifts each day to access ski touring terrain, lodging in double rooms, non-alcoholic beverages, delicious four- to five-course dinners, breakfast buffets, afternoon snacks, picnic lunches, use of avalanche safety equipment, use of glacier safety equipment.

Not included in the total price

Additional helicopter lifts for heli-skiing (can possibly be arranged for an additional fee on a day-to-day basis), alcoholic beverages, travel/evacuation insurance

This trip involves strenuous backcountry ski touring both on glaciers and in the trees on alpine touring gear or sturdy telemark equipment.

You must be able to ski safely and in control at all times while wearing a 5-7 kg / 11-15 lb backpack.

You need to be in good physical and mental condition and be ready to be on your feet for about 7 to 8 hours per day. If you are in doubt whether you have the required skills or not, give us a call!

FAQ

Equipment

You need either alpine touring equipment or sturdy telemark gear  – both are available for rental at our base in Canmore. Please call ahead, so we can advise you and set you up with the right equipment. As with all our trips, we will provide you with a detailed equipment list with your booking confirmation.


Heli-Assisted Ski Touring Gear List as Downloadable .PDF


Technical Equipment

Bring the following, or rent it (see ‘Trip Info Links’ at the bottom of this page):

 Alpine touring (or telemark*) skis and ski boots
 Collapsible, lightweight ski poles
 Climbing skins (stick-on), fitted to your skis
 Ski crampons (required for trips in March, April, and May)

*Only bring telemark skis if you are an advanced telemark skier with backcountry experience.

If you do not have one or more of the following items, you can rent them from the listed retailers or from OnTop. Please book in advance.

 Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver
 Lightweight snow shovel
 Avalanche probe (two to three meters long)
 Harness for glacier travel
 One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners

Bring the following:

 Daypack – 35-45 litres
 Crevasse rescue equipment, if you are familiar with it (Prusik cords, webbing, pulleys, auto-locking device). Your guide will bring a full set
 Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
 Spare parts specific to your equipment

Clothing

Temperatures in the western Canadian mountains vary hugely. Between December and February, temperatures can be well below 0°C during the day and drop as low as –30°C overnight. Between March and May, it can be above freezing during the day with overnight lows not normally going below –10°C. Having several clothing layering options is important.

 Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or similar)
 Wind and waterproof over-pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
 Warm pants (eg. lined Schoeller fabric)
 Thick fleece or wool pullover, or PrimaLoft jacket
 Medium weight fleece shirt
 Thin synthetic or wool underwear, top and bottoms
 Two pairs of gloves (lightweight and heavier weight)
 Scarf or neck gaiter (eg. Buff)
 Socks (synthetic or wool, thick outer and thin liners)
 Wool or fleece hat that covers your ears
 Gaiters that fit over your ski boot (unless pants seal tightly to your boots)
 Sun hat, preferably with a wide rim
 Bandana (optional)

Lodging comforts

 Spare underwear and socks
 Light down jacket or vest
 Earplugs (optional)
 Light hut slippers or Crocs
 Toiletries, swimsuit, lodge clothes, and town footwear if we are staying in Revelstoke

Other items

 Sunglasses with high UV protection
 Ski goggles with high UV protection
 Sunscreen and lip protection with high SPF
 One-litre water bottle with an insulator. Water bladders not recommended
 Thermos (optional)
 Headlamp with spare battery
 Lunch and snacks (eg. sandwiches, candy bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc.)
 Personal first aid kit and other needs (eg. blister kit, prescription medicine, anti-inflammatory, contact lenses, prescription glasses, etc.)
 Pocket knife (optional)
 Health and travel insurance documents
 Light stuff sacs or Ziploc bags to keep your backpack organized and important items dry (optional)
 Rain cover specific to your pack, or large plastic bag
 Camera, spare batteries (optional)
 Compass, maps, GPS (optional)
 Ski wax / skin wax (optional)
 Hand sanitizer or sanitary hand wipes

GROUP SIZES
Client / Guides

Up to 10 clients with 2 guides *Adamant Lodge only up to 5 clients with 1 guide

DIFFICULTY
Heli-Assisted Ski Touring
  • Advanced level of fitness and skiing ability required
  • We carry only daypacks
  • Spectacular glaciated terrain
  • Excellent tree skiing
  • Ski touring novices welcome!
2018 and 2019 DATES and PRICES

Caribou Lodge
Feb 2-9, 2019 (7 days, CAD $5750) SOLD OUT

Bugaboos Lodge
Dec 11-16, 2018 (5 days, CAD $4235)
Dec 16-21, 2018 (5 days, CAD $4235)
Apr 20-27, 2019 (7 days, CAD $5750) SOLD OUT

Gothics Lodge
Apr 6-11, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4335)

Adamants Lodge
Small group custom trips, please inquire

Monashees Lodge
Small group custom trips, please inquire

2019 and 2020 DATES and PRICES

Bugaboos Lodge
Dec 11-16, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4385)
Dec 16-21, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4385)
Apr 18-25, 2020 (7 days, CAD $5950)

Galena Lodge:
April 2-7, 2020 (5 days, CAD $4385)

Please inquire for other trip dates, shorter durations, and custom packages.
More departures can be scheduled as the season draws closer

Inclusions: Guiding, all helicopter flights, lodging in double rooms, and all meals in remote, luxury heli-ski lodge, transport from Kelowna or Calgary on most weeks.

Extras: Rental of ski equipment, rental of avalanche safety equipment ($100 for the avalanche safety items, $50 for the harness and carabiners).