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
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!
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.
1. Technical Equipment
All items marked with ‘*’ can be rented from a rental shop locally. Best to reserve any equipment well ahead of your arrival.
All items marked with ‘**’ can be rented from OnTop. Best to bring your own equipment, if you have it.
Telemark or Alpine Touring skis*: (Only bring your telemark skis if you are at least an advanced/intermediate telemark skier with backcountry experience.)
Telemark or alpine touring boots*
Collapsible ski poles*, **
Climbing skins (stick-on) that fit your telemark or alpine touring skis*
Avalanche transceiver (457 Megahertz)*, **
Lightweight snow shovel*, **
Avalanche probe*, **
Backpack or duffle bag to pack your stuff for heli-transport
Day-touring backpack (30 – 45 liters)**
Climbing harness for glacier travel**
One locking carabiner**
Crevasse rescue equipment, if you are familiar with it (optional). (Prusik slings, webbing, pulleys, auto-locking device). Your guide(s) will bring a full set.
Ski crampons* (obligatory for any spring trips. Usually rented with a ski touring set – renting ski crampons for your own skis is problematic as rental shops only carry those that are compatible with the binding models they carry)
Repair kit for your skis (can be shared between 2 people)
Temperatures in the Western Canadian mountain ranges vary hugely. Early season (December – February) temps can drop as low as –30C, whereas in spring (mid-March – May) it can warm up to above freezing temps and overnight lows are not usually below –10C. The list is meant as a guide line, but we realize that our guests have their clothing priorities and substituting certain items with other equivalent pieces of clothing might be a valid alternative. If you do so, you should discuss it with your guide in the pre-trip briefing.
Wind and waterproof (Gore Tex or similar) shell jacket with hood
Wind and waterproof (Gore Tex or similar) over pants
Ski touring pants (preferably Schoeller fabric or similar)
Fleece or wool pullover or jacket
Medium weight fleece shirt
Polypro, fleece or wool underwear, top and bottoms
2 Pairs of gloves (lightweight and heavier weight)
Scarf or neck gaiter
Socks: thick (wool) outer and thinner liners
Wool or fleece hat, covering the ears
Gaiters (unless pants lock tightly to your boots)
Sun hat, preferably with wide rim
Clothing for the hut – keep to a minimum
Sleeping bag (three-season bag sufficient – some lodges supply bedding)
Large and small towel for sauna
Spare underwear, socks
Swim trunks (optional) for sauna
Down vest or light insulated jacket (optional)
Very light hut slippers / down booties
Ear plugs (optional)
Games / books etc (optional)
4. Other items
Sun Glasses (with very good UV protection, extra pair is a good idea)
Sun screen and lip protection
Water bottle, preferably insulated, minimum volume: 1 liter or camelbak (if too cold, bladder tube might freeze up!)
Head lamp with spare battery and bulb
Blister kit (optional)
Snacks (candy bars, dried fruit, sandwiches, nuts, etc.)
Personal items (Prescription medicine, extra contact lenses and maintenance equipment, extra pair of prescription glasses etc.)
Pocket knife or leatherman tool
(Health) insurance documents
Zip-lock bag for wallet and documents to keep them dry (recommended)
Camera, spare batteries (optional)
Compass, maps and GPS (optional)
Ski wax / skin wax (optional)
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
Feb 2-9, 2019 (7 days, CAD $5750) SOLD OUT
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
Apr 6-11, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4335)
Small group custom trips, please inquire
Small group custom trips, please inquire
2019 and 2020 DATES and PRICES
Dec 11-16, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4385)
Dec 16-21, 2019 (5 days, CAD $4385)
Apr 18-25, 2020 (7 days, CAD $5950)
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
Guiding, all helicopter flights, lodging double rooms and all meals in remote, luxury heli-ski lodge, transport from Kelowna or Calgary on most weeks