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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 to use a helicopter to access skiing which otherwise would be impossible to get to.   To give you a comparison, we work with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH Heli Skiing) whose heli ski tenure is a third of the size of Switzerland!  On top of this, the variety of terrain in Canada is unrivaled; you can expect endless pillow lines, giant Alpine bowls, massive glacial runs as well as amazing tree runs.  So, it is safe to say, in terms of skiable terrain – Canada has it all.

 

TWO// SNOW QUALITY

There’s an abundance of snow in Canada which is why it attracts 2.5 million skiers per year – and by abundance we mean it has a world famous reported annual snowfall of 12-15 metres.

However, the devil is in the detail; not all Canadian mountain ranges in western Canada have been created equal.

The Rocky Mountains for example are a little further east and as such much of the precipitation has already fallen by the time the systems reach, so they have a lower (relative) snowfall.  In contrast there’s the Coastal Mountains to the west (home to the famous Whistler) where there are big snowfalls from systems straight off the Pacific, however these can often lead to quite wet snow.  The magic really happens in the interior Columbia Mountain range of western BC which sits right in-between the two and has the best of both worlds, namely heaps of light, dry, snow.

Central to these perfect snow conditions is the Columbia River, a natural snow river that runs through the Columbia mountains and which re-charges the clouds and leads to consistent precipitation throughout the season.

THREE// TREES

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of western Canada is unique. The trees are where the powder tends to be the deepest and staying perfect for longer as the snow is less affected by the wind and sun.   The huge bonus of having skiing in the forests is that when it’s not sunny and you can’t ski the big glaciers up in the Alpine you can still get out to ski these beautiful majestic forests.  The trees provide some protection from inclement weather as well as also providing better visibility for pilots and skiers, massively reducing the risk of the dreaded ‘down-day’.  This is without doubt the reason why the interior ranges of British Columbia have the most reliable heli skiing in the world.

FOUR// CHOICE

You are spoilt for choice when heli skiing in Canada because 95% of all the heli ski operators in the world are based here.  Not to mention that 80% of them just operate in British Columbia.  We work with the biggest (and longest running) of these operators, CMH Heli Skiing.  CMH have access to a tenure that is a third of the size of Switzerland, and within this area they have 11 different lodges to choose from.  Each lodge offers something a little different in terms of heli ski terrain, lodging and group sizes and so the scale of the operation means that whether you’re an expert looking for a faster programme or a beginner looking for an introduction to powder there is something that suits – your choice is limitless!

Check out our website if you’d like to know more about heli skiing in Canada or heli skiing in general.

 

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Location: Most famously known as just Whistler, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side and make up Canada’s biggest resort. Together they make up a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, split between pisted runs, Alpine bowls and glaciers. Whistler Village is at the base of Whistler, the hub of the village […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s fourth largest ski resort where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love due to being further west. The varied terrain spreads over 3,282 acres and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there: Silver Star is extremely easy to get […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location: Sun Peaks is 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: Sun Peaks is located in the heart of British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops and less than an hour by […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Tree Skiing in BC, Canada

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of British Columbia is very unique.  The trees protect the snow from wind and sun damage; so not only is it where you would expect the deepest snow to be, it is also where the powder remains perfect for longer which makes tree skiing a very enjoyable experience! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

CMH Private Heli Skiing Trips

Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing experience – we don’t know a skier out there who doesn’t have heli skiing on their bucket list.  What’s not to want – deep, untracked powder in every direction, fresh tracks at every turn, no lift queues and a helicopter at your service!  Now, imagine it all to yourself […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Go Small Group Heli Skiing?

Smaller heli ski groups mean greater opportunities for deep snow and more epic lines; and  heli skiing in groups made up of 4- or 5- guests can mean that your mountain experience is as intimate as possible.  You can either fill a helicopter with your buddies or join a ready made small group.  It’s best […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Revelstoke

Location: Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in North America’s ‘deep snow capital’ in the heart of British Columbia. It was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in 2020, which is most likely due to its 3,120 acres of skiable terrain that includes the longest vertical ski hill in North America, trumping Whistler in 2008 when their […]

Posted by: Suzy Small

Where Can I Heli Ski In Chile? 

What a better way to spend the summer than heli skiing in the Andes…Powder South, offers an excellent heli skiing programme which is be based out of four different locations.     The Heli Skiing Programme:   Heli Skiing in Chile is based out of the Chilean Andes Mountains and it has access to over 1 million acres of terrain – where to heli ski here is endless. Most of the skiing is on open Alpine […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

Stuck for Christmas gifts for the skier or snowboarder in the family or for friends…then check out our ultimate gift list for this upcoming Christmas Go Pro Hero9 A Go Pro has to be the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder and the Go Pro Hero9 is the one to go for. As the […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

In The Press: Forbes Photo from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Alaska has to be one of the most desired places to heli ski in the world, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. Forbes have recently written an article saying that “avid skiers are seeking out Alaska as the top place to heli-ski” Alaska […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

It’s all very exciting – you’ve got your trip booked; flight tickets in hand; passport at the ready…  you can practically smell the powder!  However, you’re standing over an empty bag thinking – have I got everything?  We’ve pulled together our top packing tips to make sure that you’re all set.  What ski clothes to pack?  […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

We’ve updated our top 10 favourite ski blogs which bring you the latest ski news, top tips and fashionable destinations.  Get your powder fix today and whet your appetite for the season ahead…  powdermatt.com/   To kick off the list we have this cracking a blog by Matt Mosteller – one year, while his friends were busy getting […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

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