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When is the perfect time to go heli skiing in Canada?

We’re regularly asked by our prospective guests when the best time to heli ski is.  It’s a very good question and we decided to help answer it in a series of two articles, offering our insight into when the best time is to heli ski, firstly in Canada and later, in Alaska.

As Mother Nature becomes even less predictable, often the most sensible thing to do when planning your heli ski holiday is to go for the dates that best suit you.  However, there is normally a decision to be made and to help you on your way, here is our guide to help.

Any time of year really...

Heli Skiing in Canada

Canada boasts the longest heli skiing season of any heli ski destination with trips possible from the start of December to the end of April.  Just ask anybody that lives there, the winters in Canada are long and hard!  But when is the best time to heli ski?  Really, working out the best time to heli ski depends on the type of skiing that you enjoy.  We’ve therefore provided a quick synopsis of what to expect during the different times of year…

Early season (December/January):  Heli skiing at the start of the season in Canada can produce some of the most sensational powder skiing on the planet as the snow storms tend to be big and the temperatures cold.  Furthermore, with no layers to worry about, this is the time of year when you can luck-out and ski the ‘cold smoke’ bottomless powder.  The down-side, days are shorter and sometimes the heli ski runs can be a bit shorter if the bottoms of the runs don’t have as much snow cover.

In terms of the skiing, you are more likely to be heli skiing in the trees at this time of year given the regularity of the storm cycles.  That means that if you are looking for the ‘brochure shot’ of heli sking on a big, open Alpine slope then you may want to consider heli skiing later in the season.  Talk to most heli skiing connoisseurs however, and the exhilarating tree skiing is their highlight!

December 2013 in Galena!

Mid-season (February/ March):  Traditionally this is ‘prime-time’ to heli ski in Canada as arguably you have the best of both worlds; consistently big snowfalls, relatively cold temperatures (good for keeping the powder dry and effortless to ski!), longer days and a deeper snow-pack.  The flip-side?  Well, there isn’t one really, except to say that it’s harder to book during this period because the demand is greatest and the prices are highest at this time of year.

On the skiing front, mid-season heli skiing tends to offer the best of both world’s;  an ideal mix of high Alpine heli skiing when the conditions are good, along with some fantastic tree skiing in inclement weather.

Mid winter deep powder

End season (April):  As the winter rolls-on the weather should get more settled with plenty of clear and long (lots of sunlight) days perfect for heli skiing.  You’d be surprised as there is usually still plenty of new snow right up to the end of the season, but the warmer average temperatures may mean that you need to stay a little higher for the best conditions.

As for the skiing, end-season heli skiing is perfect for those looking to ski above the tree line is the wide, open slopes of powder that are begging to be skied!   Towards the end of April you might be lucky enough to ski some corn snow (spring snow) on the south facing slopes, but you’ve always got the helicopter to whisk you up to the northerly slopes which should still have some lovely powder for you to ski.  A more stable snowpack is usual for the end of the season, and if you are looking to ski the steeps then this is certainly the best time to go.

Longer April days...

Canada Heli Ski Price Watch:  our trips in Canada vary in price quite dramatically and you can pick-up a really good value trip if you are prepared to heli ski at the start or end of the season – in fact for heli ski trips during this time you can save yourself a whopping 40% compared to a peak season heli ski trip.

No matter what time of year you would like to heli ski, contact the off piste skiing and heli skiing experts at Pure Powder for any trips you may want to book!

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

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 […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm. Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
to the drop zone, the deep, dry snow you get to ride… all of […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank