Go Heliskiing in British Columbia
Using a private helicopter to access 390,000 acres of untouched backcountry terrain with three friends is every serious skier's dream. And if you don't want to take out a mortgage on your house to do it, we suggest heading to Eagle Pass Heliskiing. Based in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Eagle Pass offers guided heliskiing day trips — with 6–8 runs — into the powder-packed Monashee Mountains, fully-catered, for about $1,300.
The day starts at 7:30 a.m. at the "Day Base," Eagle Pass Heliskiing's lodge located 15 minutes west of town. Each guest is equipped with a personal radio to stay in touch with the rest of the group, as well as avalanche gear: Tracker 2 Digital Beacon, shovel, probe, and Float 22 Airbag Backpack. Lib Tech powder skis and poles, or snowboards, are available to maximize the experience (bring your own boots). After a safety debriefing and gear check, load into the van for a short ride to the B2 A-Start helicopter, specially designed to land on tighter mountain features.
By 9:00 a.m., you'll be standing on top of your first run — somewhere on the western slope of the 10,000-foot Monashee Mountains, known for rugged slopes of naturally well-spaced trees and gargantuan amounts of snow. "The Monashee get the most snow out of the Columbia Mountains," says Greg Hill, a ski mountaineer who has been guiding for Eagle Pass Heliskiing for five years. "It's some ridiculous number, like 75 feet."
Your first run will drop for an exhilarating 3,000 feet through the best powder you've ever experienced, weaving through spruce and alpine fir, or 800-year-old cedars, or follow a glacier, or tear through a wide open bowl, or all of the above. "The variety is incredible," says Hill. "Every run is at least 2,000 feet long, and some of the runs are more than 5,000 feet."
At the end of each run, the helicopter transports you and your crew to another spot. After four runs, your guide will serve a slope-side lunch of gourmet soup and sandwiches, accompanied by hot tea. Expect to get in a total of 6–8 runs on a day trip, and then head back to the Day Base for après at 3:00 p.m.
[$1,325 per person for a day trip. Includes transportation to and from helipad, helicopter, and pilot, certified guide, avalanche gear, optional powder skis or snowboard, gourmet lunch, and up to eight runs. Don't forget your boots and helmet.]