Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Heli skiing is addictive and when the experience starts with a short flight over North America’s largest ski resort into a deserted, endless stretch of rugged snow-covered peaks it’s hard to find the desire to ever go back to a lift line.
Located just beyond the boundary of Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Heli-Skiing has been in business for 31 years and flown over 100,000 guests to 16 distinct zones across 30 square miles. Unlike week-long heli trips it’s possible to book the day before and pay per run, so if your group is ready to charge and wants to rack up as much vertical feet as possible there’s an option to do that.
No powder experience is necessary, but guests need to have an intermediate ability level. The day starts from the base of Whistler Mountain and ends with an après party complete with photos and video from the day’s runs. If you go, make sure to take the online interactive ability guide to ensure you get in the right group and if you’ve never skied powder, don’t sweat it. The guides will always work to find the best trip for you and it will be sure to beat a day stuck in lift lines.
If You Go:
Travel: Whistler is about a two-hour drive from Vancouver International Airport. Once in Whistler Village, the Whistler Heli-Skiing group departs from the Carleton Lodge.
Basic Package: The Classic 3 Run Experience is $850 and consists of three runs totaling approximately 4,500–7,500 vertical feet. The Elite 4 Run Adventure totals $935 and consists of four runs totaling approximately 6,000-10,000 vertical feet. The Ultimate 6 Run Excursion is $1195 and allows for 6 runs totaling approximately 9,000-15,000 vertical feet.
Years in Biz: 32 years
Size of Tenure: 54 miles by 33 miles
Snowfall: Due to the large range of terrain, the snowfall varies but is generally more than reported at Whistler Blackcomb Resort which averages 469 inches of snow per year.
Size of Group: Both the 3 run and 4 run are groups of 7 to 10 with a guide and photographer and the Ultimate 6 Run has a maximum of 5 people with a guide.
Guarantee: Due to weather and group dynamics there is not a vertical feet guarantee, but with over 30 square miles of terrain, there are runs for various weather conditions including low visibility and high winds.
How they Charge: Several packages are available and extra runs can be added for a set price ($85 for the 3 and 4 Run Packages and $95 for the Ultimate 6). Make sure to tell your booking agent ahead of time that you may want to take extra runs.