The combination of abundant snowfall, cool temperatures and regular breaks in weather systems make British Columbia ideal for heliskiing and snowboarding. Heliski operators are scattered throughout British Columbia north to south and east to west. In effect, all operators offer the same base experience: they all access vast expanses of terrain by helicopter in order to ski untracked snow. As you can see from HeliCat Canada's Mandate and Safety section, it is our goal to ensure that no matter which operation you choose to ski or snowboard with, the safety measures taken are all the same. No one operation is safer than any other.
The differences between the operations are in the accommodation, the types of helicopters, the sizes of the groups, the numbers of groups per helicopter, and the locations of the lodges (some are remote; some are in towns). Some operations specialise in daily heliskiing from a ski resort while others offer only weeklong trips from a destination lodge. The important message is that British Columbia offers a range of products and services to meet almost any desire and budget.
When booking a trip, whether through a tour operator or travel agent, we would advise you to base the majority of your decision on tangible factors. As hard as it may be, try not to focus too much on predicted snow conditions or weather. Such prophecies are often unreliable.
History of Heliskiing
By 1953, a mountain guide from Austria by the name of Hans Gmoser had saved enough money to move to Banff and begin a career as a guide in the spectacular wilderness surrounding 12,000-foot Mount Assiniboine, "Canada's Matterhorn." After a few years, he gained an intimate knowledge of the physical as well as spiritual aspects of the mountain. As Hans recalls of those early days, "I longed to share the natural beauty of the majestic mountains in Western Canada with everyone I could."
Inspired now by a new dream, and building on his years of backcountry experience as a guide, Hans formed a small company called Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). Over the next several years, his business prospered as he led thousands of skiers and climbers on thrilling mountain treks.
More than 50 years later, the helicopters look very different, but the mission remains the same: share one of the most thrilling skiing and snowboarding experiences available anywhere in the world