Everything You Need to Know!
We recommend that you be of intermediate or better ability at your home ski area, although powder experience is not necessary. We can accommodate all levels of skiers from intermediate to expert. Please try the Interactive Ability Guide.
Many people have this concern. Answer the questions in the Interactive Ability Guide honestly. Use the resulting rating to be grouped with others of similar ability. Relax and enjoy your day of heli-skiing.
We do our best to put skiers and boarders into groups of similar ability. The 4-run package in the 205 Heli is for advanced and expert skiers, and most skiers and boarders in the 407 Heli are experts, although groups of advanced skiers are also welcome, if they are able to do at least six runs. This normally ensures that experts are grouped with other experts. There may be some occasions when the number of skiers requires that some experts to be grouped with skiers of advanced ability. Sometimes very early or late in the season we will have a group of varying stated ability levels. Should this occur, there are normally two guides with the group so the better skiers can go at a faster pace.
- If you wish to ski together, state your abilities as the lower of the two. You will both enjoy your day.
- If you wish to ski in separate ability groups, we can usually arrange for you to be in the same helicopter, to be in the same video, and to have lunch together.
The average run is roughly 2000 vertical feet (600m), but they vary from 1,400 to 5,000 vertical feet (400m to 1,500m). The time it takes to complete each run depends on each individual's ability, with the average being around 45 minutes. A group of expert skiers will move at a faster pace than a group of intermediate skiers.
We operate in the remote wilderness of the Pacific Coast Mountain Range, to the east, north, and west of Whistler Resort. This is a region of extensive glaciation and sub-alpine partially treed areas. For further details refer to our area map.
There is always some level of avalanche danger in the mountains in winter. This danger level changes constantly with changing snow and weather conditions. The guides monitor snow and weather conditions on a daily basis. The current risk of avalanche is always considered by the guides when choosing the runs to ski.
Snow conditions on the mountains vary considerably over the course of the winter as the snow is subjected to sun, wind, temperature variation, and new snowfalls. Snow conditions change almost every day. We are fortunate to be in an area where generally there are frequent snowfalls that usually produce good powder snow conditions.
Groups booked in the Bell 205 helicopters are from 7 - 10 passengers, depending upon their weight, plus the guide. The Bell 407 helicopter carries 5 passengers plus the guide.
The helicopter lands at the tops of the heli-ski runs to allow all skiers to exit the helicopter, and to allow the guide to unload the skis, poles, and snowboards.
Groups of good skiers have often done 8-10 runs in a day with the Bell 205, and 10-12 runs with the Bell 407. If you are interested in doing several extra runs, please mention this when you make your reservation. The record is now 25 runs, done on April 7, 2001, with the Bell 407.
The further in advance that you make a reservation, the more likely that you will be able to reserve for the dates you want. We work on a first-reserved, first-served basis. Our prime ski times (February and March) are often booked up weeks in advance. Reserve early to avoid disappointment!
Whistler Heli-Skiing has been providing great powder experiences since 1981. We have good terrain, good snow, and good guides. Whistler Heli-Skiing operates from the world-famous Whistler Resort, allowing our heli-ski clientele to partake in the fantastic range of accommodations, restaurants and amenities that are available here. This gives you and your party the flexibility of enjoying heli-skiing along with the Resort's other activities, including skiing on Whistler and Blackcomb.
Traditionally the most popular months to heli-ski are February and March, when weather and snow conditions are generally the most reliable. The colder weather in January has often provided us with very good heli-skiing. In December the days are short and there are usually frequent snowstorms (we hope), but the heli-skiing can be very good. Late March and April offer longer days to accompany stellar spring skiing conditions.
Yes, depending on the numbers of skiers and boarders, we often put skiers and boarders of the same stated ability level into the same group. This has rarely proven to be a problem. Both skiers & boarders like to go downhill at good speed in deep powder snow.
All our prices are quoted in Canadian dollars. If you are not used to dealing with Canadian dollars, be sure to check into your country's currency exchange rate for a proper price comparison. Exchange rate information is available from banks and exchange rate websites.
When the weather permits, we ski on the many glacier runs in our areas. If the weather does not allow us to get to the glaciers, we ski in sub-alpine open tree runs. The guides try to select terrain suitable for each group's abilities, but always consider snow, weather, and avalanche conditions. If conditions and abilities allow, we frequently do some good steep runs.
In British Columbia minors are defined as anyone under the age of 19 years. Whistler Heli-Skiing does allow minors to go heli-skiing providing:
- The person is a good skier or boarder. (Most minors that go heli-skiing have been in junior race or free-style programs).
- The person is of mature character and is used to dealing with adults.
- The person has their waiver signed by a parent, or guardian of legal age.
Whistler Heli-Skiing reserves the right to refuse any minor that we feel will not properly fit into the heli-ski day. If you have a child who is under 12, but who you think is ready for Heli-Skiing, please call us first prior to booking.
- No, we will provide all guests with a transceiver.
- Determine the abilities of everyone in the group, using the ability questionnaire that is part of this website, and decide whether the group will all ski together at the level of the least expert person or be split up according to their abilities.
- How large is the group? A group of 10 will fill the Bell 205 in the 3 and 4-run packages. A group of 5 strong skiers or riders can book a Bell 407 6-run package. Most often groups are not large enough to have a helicopter for their exclusive use so the group is booked in with other skiers of similar ability.
- Give the group a "group name" - usually the last name of the organizer or the person paying.
- Print copies of the Reservation Form from the website. If people will be paying individually then each person should send in their own reservation form, but put the same "group name" on each form, to link the group together.
You have two options.
1. Simply complete our quick and easy on-line reservations form
2. Download our Reservation PDF from the website, fill it out completely (including your email address), and fax it to our office. Once your reservation has been entered into the system, you will receive a confirmation by email or fax. Download PDF
Unfortunately not. There is not enough room in the helicopter ski basket to carry any extra skis or snowboards.
You do not have to bring a backpack. If you are an accomplished skier or boarder and are used to carrying a pack you may bring a SMALL shovel pack, with a shovel, probe, and a small amount of personal gear. Hydration packs are very good. If you bring a medium or large pack your guide will likely ask you to leave it behind. You must be prepared to carry your pack throughout the day as nothing may be left in the helicopter.