Heli-skiing trips involve being brought to the top of a run by a helicopter. This sport is enjoyed by experienced skiers who are looking for more natural terrain and a greater challenge. A trip to British Columbia is a first step to enjoying any heli-skiing trips, where the explorer credited with starting heli-skiing discovered it at Bugaboo Mountains. Since then, the area has been favored by many.
A major deciding factor in this type of trip is the terrain and snow conditions. Canadian snow is generally either dry, light powder or corn snow, (snow that has started to melt on top).This type of snow is preferred by most heli skiing enthusiasts due to the ease of skiing it. The mountains in this area are numerous and great for skiing with many peaks and different features.Skiers attempting this type of skiing need to be able to ski both intermediate and advanced runs because of the increased difficulty of skiing on natural terrain versus a groomed resort. This offers both a challenge and excitement for extreme sports enthusiasts who are much more advanced than the average skier.
Canadian style heli-skiing is similar to downhill skiing as opposed to European style, which more like ski is mountaineering involving hiking and trekking. Canadian style also involves being picked up and dropped off by the helicopter for several runs. European style involves being dropped off and picked up at a road, leaving skiers to more or less fend for themselves.
A two-day minimum is required by most resorts to try this sport because it takes time each day to fly out to the area. Most resorts, such as Great Canadian Heli-Skiing now offer flexible and shorter schedules, meaning a trip could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. A good tip is to make sure there is time to enjoy it all without overexertion.
There is some planning and a few major factors to consider when planning this kind of a trip. The gear is also slightly different. Slightly fatter skis are preferred in addition to the usual ski equipment — goggles, cap, gloves, ski pants, and neck warmer. With these factors and the differing equipment, there is a bit of research and planning involved in this trip, but it will be well worth it.