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Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: As the fourth highest vertical in North America, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,260 vertical is known for its deep champagne powder and huge snowfall. With its ski in / ski out abilities and alpine charm, it attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting.

Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 2,800 skiable acres; better suited to intermediate or expert skiers they come here to explore the huge backcountry terrain on offer. Steep chutes are a regular sight here with only 20% of the runs suited for beginners.

Off piste skiing - Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse has buckets of alpine charm. With log-cabin lodges dotting the resort, ski in/ ski out access and endless powder runs it’s more and more popular with the Europeans. It also has Canada’s highest restaurant situated at 2,350 metres.

Don't mind if I do...

Getting there:  Daily flights depart to Calgary from London Heathrow with Air Canada and British Airways. In the winter, Canadian Affair operates twice weekly charter flights from London Gatwick.

Kicking Horse is 3.5 hours by private taxi or rental car from Calgary. There are day tours from Banff in the winter.

Where to stay: We would recommend the boutique options just beneath the ski hill – they’re more personal than the larger lodges and more European in style. Vagabond Lodge is run by Ken and Lori who know a thing or two about personal touches. With stays of over 2 nights, Lori will include a home-cooked lunch back at the lodge. Think luxury log-cabin chalet with a home-from-home feel.

The Vagabond and Winston lodges respectively

Winston Lodge has 11 smart boutique rooms all kitted out with flatscreen TV’s, heated floors and balconies as standard. The  highlight of staying here is the lively après ski bar and restaurant downstairs offering a great hangout after a hard day’s skiing. But an outdoor jacuzzi and treatment rooms are available for those looking to relax after a hard day’s skiing.

Copper Horse Lodge is good value as their enormous bedrooms can offer up to triple occupancy if you’re on a budget. They have a great restaurant downstairs as well as an outdoor jacuzzi. Satellite TV’s, DVD players and WIFI is available in every room.

Highlights: The charm of Kicking Horse is the unique terrain, but the fact that the resort offers European charm makes it pretty unique amidst some of North America’s bigger and brasher resorts. Get away from the European Half Term and enjoy amazing snow in relative peace and quiet.

Powder days at Kicking Horse

Downsides: Nightspots are in short supply here so don’t expect a buzzing après scene. You’re more likely to spend the week visiting the same restaurant every night but don’t worry, you’re here to ski!

Best piste run:  Take the Golden Eagle Express – following the Flying Dutchman down into Sluiceway, you’re the great tree run Double Header which is good even in bad weather.

Best mountain restaurant: Eagle’s Eye Restaurant is the highest in North America so is worth a visit with spectacular views every which way – the added bonus is the excellent food (far better than the mountain restaurants in Lake Louise and Revelstoke) meaning you can settle in if the weather does too.

Eagles Eye - food at the peak

Best restaurant in town: Copper Horse Lodge’s restaurant, Corks, offers hearty delicious meals such as fisherman’s stew, steaks and hearty pasta dishes.

Best après bar: Winston Lodge for après beers, games and pizza.

Best off piste run:  The Stairway to Heaven chair offers terrain into the old heli skiing territory – make sure to follow the groups of snowboarders traversing under the run (be careful to slow down here as it’s a chute with nowhere to hide). Over the back you’ll find great steep terrain into the Feuz bowl but be sure to be warmed up and ready for some challenging terrain.

Best guide: Kicking Horse is the perfect heli ski warm up – we book our guests into their Learning school for the Expert Adult Clinic, perfect to warm up those powder legs in the backcountry. Their instructor Steve is our first choice for instruction and guidance skiing all types of terrain.

Sun and snow help get you ready for heli skiing!

To warm up your heli skiing legs at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, contact the off piste skiing and heli skiing experts at Pure Powder!

Posted by: Suzy Small

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