There is no one answer to this question – but there is more demand than supply for heli/cat skiing. Prime January & February dates typically book up 8-10 months in advance. Sometimes the best dates even book up 1 year in advance. It is sometimes possible to book more last minute in the Fall or Winter depending on the group size and the dates you want. Best is to book sooner than later. But feel free to check availability at any time.
It’s hard to say as the powder can be deep in mid-late December and in later March as well. Mid-January until early March is definitely the most popular time. During this time period storms are frequent and most of the skiing is done in the trees with the occasional visit to the Alpine when weather & conditions permit. March sees longer ski days and more of a mix of skiing in the trees and high alpine bowls. And there are a few lodges that typically offer great powder skiing in December and April.
Please note that the policy for all BC lodges is that all payments (deposit if applicable & final) are non-refundable. That is why purchasing emergency/medical cancellation insurance is so important to purchase and protect your investment.
Yes you will receive a refund or credit of a set amount for unskied vertical amount below your minimum. It is based on how many vertical feet/meters you are short of what was guaranteed in your package. Ask for details for the lodge you booked.
The packages are mostly inclusive and and include: accommodations; 3 daily meals; guided heli or cat skiing; snacks and non-alcoholic beverages; use of powder skis/poles or snowboards; use of all lodge facilities. Not included items: alcoholic beverages & massage. Airfare is also not included (except Bella Coola includes flights Vancouver-Bella Coola).
While not mandatory- it is highly recommended that you purchase it. People cannot foresee injuries, illness and emergencies. So without the purchase of this insurance you are left vulnerable to lose the money you paid. We provide a link to our insurance provider at the time of booking so you can get a quote and further information.
While bringing all the right clothing/gear is important- the most important thing you need is your ski boots. As such, we recommend that you travel with them as a carry-on item. The lodge can probably loan you other stuff if your luggage is lost but not ski boots. Also you should bring ski pants and jacket. We suggest you wear a waterproof shell pants/jacket and then add base layers as needed. Base layers should keep you warm and wick away sweat. Finally bring 1-2 pairs gloves/mitts and goggles- plus a helmet. Plus for après ski don’t forget a bathing suit and comfy clothing.
Yes they are part of your package. Each lodge has 1 or more brands of powder skis/boards that they provide as well as poles. If you need a board please mention it as you may need to bring your own bindings. Of course you can bring your own fat powder skis/boards if you really want.
To be able to heli/cat ski you need to be a confident advanced skier/boarder. And you need to have previous experience in deep powder snow. You should have the ability to ski any pitch of slope and ski with confidence in tighter trees or areas with rocks & natural hazards. You do not need to be super expert or stunt skier- but should have the aforementioned experience and ability to participate.
You should be in decent shape to go powder skiing. You ski long days in typically deep powder snow. And with heli skiing there is not a lot of rest in between runs like you get on a chairlift or gondola. The better shape your legs are in- the more you will enjoy your experience. And we also recommend that you have a decent level of cardiovascular fitness to prevent being out of breath. If you are not already doing a regular fitness program we recommend you train to get in shape starting about 8 weeks prior to your trip date.
The large majority of our packages include unlimited vertical so you ski/board as much as possible with no extra fees. There are just a couple that do not- but rather include a set vertical- and you pay extra for additional vertical skied when you reach that limit. We will advise details if your package does not include Unlimited and what additional vertical costs are.