What if I'm not good enough?
If you have dramatically overrated your fitness, overall ability, or skill in difficult terrain and snow conditions, we reserve the right to have you return to the lodge after a couple of runs. Our decision depends on the snow conditions and the terrain hazards in the areas we're skiing. Your safety and the safety of the other skiers is our overriding priority. If you can't keep up with your group, you may be asked to stay at the lodge or leave the area before your trip ends. If you have reservations about your ability call and speak to us directly. You may also wish to consider joining one of our Powder 101: Intro ski weeks if this will be your first week in the deep powder.
How fit should I be?
Fitness is often more important than ability. The more fit you are, the more fun you'll have and the less likely you'll be to injure yourself. If you aren't already quite active, we strongly recommend that you start an exercise and stretching program at least eight weeks prior to your trip. And while you're in the mountains with us we suggest you take part in the lodge's daily stretching/warm-up sessions. Check out the Fit Tips on The Heli-Ski Blog for great suggestions to get in shape for your trip.
Do you only offer week-long trips?
No. We offer more and more variations on our classic 7-day trips, along with shorter trips. We also offer Powder Introduction and Powder Masters programs, and a whole array of specialty trips. See Ski Trips for details, or use our Trip Planning Wizard to choose the best trip for you.
When is the best time to come?
Our entire season, starting in December and ending in late April/early May, offers great backcountry skiing and riding opportunities. We begin our operations in December because we know we will have a more than sufficient amount of snow, with opportunities for good powder skiing equivalent to those at other times of the year. Our winter begins earlier and lasts longer than that of our US neighbours.
Spring skiing offers a variety of snow conditions ranging from corn snow* on south facing slopes to powder on north facing slopes. At this time of the year, we ski primarily on high open slopes. In springtime, the days are longer and the temperatures are warmer, generally allowing for more skiing than at other times during the season.
*Corn snow is large-grained, rounded crystals formed from repeated melting and freezing, providing a velvety surface texture perfect for riding. To experienced Heli-Skiers, corn snow is a precious commodity. Unlike “spring slush,” it is the most effortless of the various conditions we encounter at other times of the year.
Which area should I choose?
Each of our areas offers a similar selection of terrain, runs and snow conditions. If you skied each area under similar weather and snow conditions, you would likely have difficulty distinguishing between them. The price differences among the areas reflect the differing operating costs. Only Bobbie Burns, Galena and Monashees differ and should not be considered by first time Heli-Skiers.
If accessibility and ease of communication with the outside world are important, then you should consider the Gothics, Kootenay, Monashees, Revelstoke, Valemount or McBride. For a more remote lodging experience, consider Adamants, Bobbie Burns, Bugaboos, Cariboos or Galena.
Whichever CMH area you choose, you will find the same dedication by our staff to give you a unique mountain experience.
Are there many non-skiing days?
Because we ski in such a variety of terrain and at such varying altitudes, we can usually find a good skiable area. On average, we can't ski at all only about half a day each week. But should you encounter a difficult week, you have the assurance of the best refund policy in the Heli-Skiing business.
Is there a vertical guarantee?
Answer being updated.
How are the groups set up?
After you arrive at the lodge, we'll ask you at what pace you want to ski, and our guides will form groups of compatible ability. To ensure the skiing is as enjoyable as possible for everybody, the guides decide which group you will ski with, and make adjustments throughout the week as necessary.
Groups of friends may be able to ski together if you are all evenly matched in ability. However, in forming the groups, we have to balance both the abilities of all skiers and also, for helicopter safety reasons, the weights of the flight groups. So even if you come as part of a group expecting to ski together, for the safety and enjoyment of all our guests, we must reserve the right to form the groups as we see fit, optimizing the compatibility of skiing abilities and balancing the weights of all the groups.
Can snowboarders & skiers be in the same group?
Groups of friends may be able to ski and board together if they are evenly matched in ability. However, in forming the groups we have to balance both the abilities of all skiers/boarders and the weights of the groups (for helicopter safety). So, even if you come as part of a group expecting to ski/board together, we must reserve the right to form the groups as we see fit to optimize group compatibility and safety.
What gear is available in your ski lodges' retail shops?
From technical to casual, kids to adults, we have everything for your Heli-Skiing needs. Each lodge's shop features a complete line of specially-designed CMH clothing, as well as many brand names from around the world. Our retail bywords are quality, function, uniqueness and value. Every item is field tested before we will endorse it.
We also carry film, sunglasses, ear protection, custom luggage and souvenirs, as well as a full range of custom boot liners and boot fitting accessories. And while we can't fill prescriptions (you must bring these with you), we do stock a range of over-the-counter medicines.
For more information, email us at email@example.com or call our Shop Division at 1.800.661.0252.
Can I use my personal music player?
For safety reasons, using personal music players is not permitted while heliskiing. For your safety and that of the others in your group, you must be able to hear your guide at all times.
What is the terrain like?
At all eleven of our areas, skiing is done on spectacular open snowfields, glaciers and in the trees. On marginal weather days we generally ski just in the trees. Because we operate out of eleven lodges, we offer a far greater variety of skiing terrain and exposure than all other Heli-Skiing operations combined. Each area encompasses more than 1,000 square kilometres and offers over 125 runs for the exclusive use of 50 skiers (maximum). Runs vary in length from 500 to 2,100 vertical metres and are in the most beautiful mountain country imaginable. And how much terrain do we have? This graphic depiction from Skiing Interactive will help put things into perspective for you.
What is the tree-skiing like?
We ski in natural, mature forests where the wide spacing between very large trees makes for fun skiing. Over the past four decades we've developed many runs with good tree-spacing even in dense forests. Our experience in these forests allows us to find great skiing during periods of poor visibility and when the avalanche risk is high on the open slopes. Keep in mind that, exhilarating as it is, tree skiing can also be strenuous.
What is the weather like?
There are just no guarantees when it comes to the weather. While the majority of our weeks at all of our areas will provide you with a great ski experience, there is a possibility that during the week you've booked temperatures could drop to a bitter –40 degrees or you could encounter rain. These are risks you have to share with us.
What is the average snowfall?
Snowfall varies greatly from year to year, but, in the actual ski areas, seasonal snowfall averages range from 1,200 cm (470 inches) to 2,000 cm (790 inches, or a hefty 65 feet). This generally makes for a settled snowpack of anywhere from 2.5 metres (8 feet) to 5 metres (16 feet).
It's not always powder skiing and boarding. We offer remote mountain skiing in untracked snow. The snow is good 70 percent of the time but it can also be very poor. Our guides are skilled and experienced mountaineers and ski instructors who do their best to find good snow and offer you help/instruction, if needed, in all conditions.
How do gratuities (tips) work?
Gratuities are not included in our prices, nor are they expected. If you feel that the staff service throughout your stay deserves gratuity please feel free to include one at the end of your ski trip. Gratuities are divided among all the staff at the lodge.