Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company. A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run. Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak. That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making these dream a reality?!
The short answer is not necessarily!
Canada is often the best bet for a ‘once in a lifetime’ heli skiing experience because of its reliable snowpack, immense amount of ski terrain and tree skiing options when the weather doesn’t play ball. But how much do you have to pay for a full-blown multi-day heli ski experience?
You get what you pay for
The first thing to say is that you should be careful in paying under the odds for a heli skiing experience, as there are some fundamental elements that sadly don’t come cheap. For example, you certainly don’t want to compromise on the quality of the helicopter and its maintenance, pilot or the guiding team or else your heli ski experience could end in tears.
Be price smart
That being said, you can be price smart and we have three top tips to help you get the best possible heli skiing in Canada experience at the most reasonable price.
Tip ONE: Choose your dates carefully!
Most heli ski operators have a peak and off-peak season with prices varying quite substantially between the two. If you can be flexible with your timings you can make substantial savings. For example, a 4-day heli skiing trip in Canada in December with CMH Heli Skiing would cost around CAD$4,445 + tax per person with a 5-day trip costing from CAD$5,500 + tax per person – and remember this is an all-inclusive price (covering equipment, accommodation and heli skiing). Whilst not as popular as the peak season, December heli skiing is usually epic, with cold temperatures and big storms making the chance of amazing ‘blower powder’ a very real possibility.
Tip TWO: Be smart with accommodation options
If you are on a budget then the first thing we would recommending compromising on is your accommodation. On offer are some fabulous remote mountain lodges – but these come at a price. If the quality of the heli skiing is more important than where you sleep, you should consider a town-based heli ski option. Don’t panic, you’ll still be in comfortable lodgings with excellent food, but you will be paying less than a remote lodge set-up. For example. Heli skiing at CMH’s Revelstoke base in prime-time February would cost CAD$8,265 + tax for a 5-day trip – around CAD$1,500 less expensive than a remote lodge alternative.
Tip THREE: Make a smart comparison when looking at the costs of the alternatives
When looking at the cost of a heli skiing trip the top-line number can be a bit scary. It is one of the most incredible skiing experiences out there and so it is unsurprisingly it’s not cheap, however when comparing the price to a regular ski resort holiday make sure that you are doing a fair comparison. The cost of the heli skiing trips usually includes everything from your accommodation, all meals, equipment, and of course the heli skiing. Often a regular resort ski trip will have a lot of other (hidden) costs to consider; so on top of the accommodation, you’ll usually need to pay for your equipment rental, many meals, your ski pass/lift ticket, and a potentially a guide. All of these add up.
In conclusion, heli skiing by its nature should be expected to be reasonably expensive, but there are a number of ways to squeeze the best value out of your trip. Also, when comparing the costs of a regular resort skiing trip, the cost of a heli skiing trip stacks-up pretty well – and in fact is miles better value if you consider how many powder turns you are likely to get from your heli skiing trip!