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Less People, More Powder: The Small Group Heli Skiing Experience

It’s no longer a secret that the longest, deepest and powder-luscious skiing/boarding is accessed via helicopter — and Revelstoke is the heli skiing shangri-la.

In last week’s blog about Heli Skiing in Revelstoke, we gave you the First Timer Primer, a guide for your first day heli skiing in Revelstoke. Now that you’re ready to up the ante, we recommend cranking up the vertical meters, and downsizing the party. In part two of our four part mini-series, we’ll take flight with Eagle Pass Heli Skiing as we explore their claim to fame: Small Groups, Big Difference.

S Lynsey Dyer 7 (3)
Professional Skier, Lindsay Dyer #deepinthemonashees. Photo: Eagle Pass Heliskiing

Revelstoke heli skiing: The Small Group Experience

In late December, I got the Christmas gift of a lifetime; the opportunity to hop in with Eagle Pass Heli Skiing on their small group day ski adventure. I had been out heli skiing before, but never in an A-star with only 3 other skiers. So when Christmas Eve rolled around, (and it had been dumping cold smoke snow non-stop for the past week), my stoke levels were off the charts. Although I wasn’t hopping in Santa’s sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, the day I was about to experience definitely had elements of pure magic.

 

I would sum up the Eagle Pass Day Heli Skiing experience as no frills, extreme thrills! We showed up to the hanger at 7:30am (they do offer a shuttle service from downtown Revelstoke). Gear was given out (which included our own personal radios to stay in touch), waivers signed, and snacks were grabbed. With only 7 other heli skiers on for the day (two groups of 4), things moved quickly. The avalanche and helicopter briefings were thorough, but which such small groups, we were able to get all the training and questions buttoned up in no time, and soon we were loading the bird. Our guide led us through some awesome terrain, starting in the alpine, and finishing each run through the trees to meet our chopper. The helicopter was always there waiting for us, ready to buzz up for another round.

Coming in hot. Photo: Bret Shandro.
One of the perks of small group heli skiing is that the bird is at your beck and call. We didn’t have to wait more than a mere moment to take us back to the goods. Our talented pilot Chris, coming in hot. Photo: Bret Shandro

 

Lunch was served right on the mountain side, and the sun peaked out just at the right time to warm our outsides as the hot soup warmed our insides. Let’s just say our awesome Mountain Meals didn’t disappoint! Owner (and lead guide) Scott Newsome must have been in a good mood that day, because we crushed another 6 runs after lunch, bringing our daily total to about 12…although I lost count after 10. As the last of the light hit the mountains, we got our final lift back to the hanger, downed a cold beer and said our goodbyes. This would be a Christmas I wouldn’t soon forget.

So the lingering question of the hour – Does small group heli skiing really make that much of a difference? Heli – Ya! For a similar experience, check out Eagle Pass Heli Skiing on your next Revelstoke visit.

Heli Skiing
Some of my favorite turns of the day! Photo: Bret Shandro

This month, Men’s Journal highlighted Eagle Pass Heliskiing as one of the 8 Winter Getaways will Get Your Pulse Pounding. I now understand why!

 

Tourism Revelstoke acknowledge the hard work of HeliCat Canada, the trade association working on behalf of helicopter and snowcat skiing operations in BC on a number of fronts. They offer accreditation programs; identify best practices and develop policies within the industry; collaborate with organizations on research projects surrounding avalanche safety, sustainability and species at risk; and work with government with respect to issues such as land use and tenure agreements in the communities in which they operate. awesome!

 

2 Comments

  • Hi,

    That kind of trip seems very interesting!

    Small group means what… 4 people? Let’s assume we are 4, what could be the approximate cost for one day, and how many runs can we expect to make as intermediate-advanced skiers?

    Thanks for your answer!

    Jean-Claude

    • mm

      Hi Jean-Claude! A small group means 4 people (plus your guide) – so 5 total in the helicopter.

      The day includes:
      A-Star helicopter in groups of 4 skiers
      Professionally certified ski guide with extensive heli skiing experience and local knowledge
      Gourmet Lunch in the mountains and apres ski
      Helicopter Safety and Avalanche training
      Beacon, Shovel, Probe, Airbag, Radio
      Lib Tech Powder Skis/Poles or Snowboard (boots not provided)
      6-8 Runs Per Day (3,000 m vertical guarantee)

      One Day $1325 per person
      *NOTE: If you want unlimited vertical add $300 per person + tax

      More information: http://www.eaglepassheliskiing.com/packages/daily/

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