Here are some frequently asked questions. If your questioned isn't answered below, drop us a line, we love talking about heli-skiing!
Am I required to sign a waiver?
Absolutely and you can download a sample version of our release of liability for your perusal. Once you have booked, we will send you a digital waiver to complete.
Do many couples ski/snowboard with you?
Yes, and this number is increasing every season.
Do you mix skiers with snowboarders?
Yes, providing their abilities match and all are in agreement.
How do you pick your groups?
Most groups are booked as just that; a group of friends that decide to book together. If not we do our utmost to fill in any gaps by matching skiers and boarders to their abilities. Our guides & staff have many years of skiing and riding experience and are very adept at matching individuals with a group.
How large is the BCHS terrain?
We are fortunate to have 3,25 million acres (13.150 km²) of pristine and untouched BC wilderness in which to ski and ride. This is the largest in British Columbia, and is like having the entire Swiss Alps in which to play, from Geneva to Davos, all to yourself. Read more about Canada's best heli-skiing terrain.
How many groups share each helicopter?
A Private tour has only one group of up to 4 per helicopter, Semi-Private has two groups and all other tours we fly a maximum of three groups of 4 or 5 per helicopter. See why small groups rock!
How much heliskiing/boarding is in the trees and the alpine?
The high alpine is our strength what we are famous for. We do however have plenty of tree skiing which we use primarily during stormy weather. A much appreciated bonus of our location.
How much will I ski in an average week?
This, of course, depends on you and your group, as well as weather and snow conditions. We have had groups and individuals that have logged well over 200,000 vertical feet in a week. Then there are others who prefer to ski or snowboard the vertical allotted within their tour. An average week of skiing is about 120,000 vertical feet. An average day is anywhere from 15,000 vertical feet to 30,000 vertical feet. Occasionally we have a huge day and ski and ride between 40,000 to 50,000 vertical feet.
Is there a staff photographer?
All of the guides take photographs of their group each day. You are encouraged to bring your own cameras but the smaller “digis” are better for the weight considerations in the helicopters. Extra memory cards are sometimes available in Bella Coola but we suggest you carry extra unless you bring your laptop to download the day’s images. There is just so much to photograph that we would not want you to miss any of the splendour.
We also post the photos of your week in our new photo gallery for you to share with your buddies and let the jealousy kick in...
Is there compensation for group organizers?
Yes, please contact us directly for the details.
Organizing a group?
Groups are welcome. If you do not have the time to organize your group we can assist you with the coordination of your group. Simply Contact Us for more information.
What are the different tours you do?
We offer a variety of heli-skiing and riding packages to suite different peoples needs and interests. See a list of our different Heli Experiences (i.e. packages) and use our Experience Finder to help find the best package for you.
What clothing is best for heliskiing?
Bring the same clothing you would use at a ski resort. Layered inner clothing such as microfibre or fleece wool blend are the best. Outer wear such as Gore-tex and Mammut are both durable and warm. Average alpine temperatures range from -5° C to -15° C (23° F to 5° F). We carry a variety of apparel in the lodge gift shop, including Bella Coola logo wear.
What equipment should I bring?
We recommend that you leave your skis and poles at home and use our equipment, which is included in your tour. If you do bring your own skis remember the fatter the better! Always carry your ski or snowboard boots on as hand luggage. Boots are hard to replace. Bring your own snowboard and boots as we find this equipment to be technically personal to each rider so we do not provide boards/boots. We also provide you with our guest packs complete with shovels and probes that are the right dimensions for being in the A-Star B2 helicopters. All guests will use our up-to-date transceivers.
See our Gear page for more details.
What level of skier or boarder should I be?
The better physical condition you are in the more you will be able to ski and the more fun you will have. You should be comfortable and have experience skiing deep powder snow including variable conditions. No beginners thank you! Have a read of the Ability Guide page for more detailed information.
What skis and poles do you provide?
We provide Rossignol S7s and Armada JJs for your skiing pleasure. We also have poles for you to use too. These skis work well in a variety of conditions. You are welcome to bring your own skis but if you would like to use ours just note your request in the space provided on the Booking Form. We have more info here: Gear.
What type of helicopters do you use?
A Star B2 helicopters.
When is the best time to book my next tour with you?
As soon as you know you are coming back! With such small groups we book up very quickly and usually a season, sometimes two in advance.
When is the best time to come?
The colder temperatures in January and February generally produces better powder but even early April has shown us some fantastic powder skiing. Get more details here on the best time to go heli-skiing.
Where is Bella Coola located?
Unlike many other heliskiing lodges, getting to Bella Coola is simple, hassle free and fast! We are the easiest backcountry heli-skiing operation to travel to in North America. This is why we are able to have you heliskiing/boarding on your arrival and departure days, resulting in more skiing for your dollar! Other operations cannot provide this.
The flight from Vancouver to Bella Coola is only 70 minutes over the spectacular Coast Range Mountains. The Bella Coola Valley is located approximately 400 kilometres north of Vancouver and, in the Coast Range of British Columbia. Our base is located at the Tweedsmuir Lodge in the drier and sunnier eastern end of the Bella Coola Valley within Tweedsmuir Park. This is the largest provincial park in British Columbia. This base is 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the open ocean and immediately to the east is the high Chilcotin Plateau. More detailed information here.