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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    667

    Best Bang for Your Buck Heli-wise?

    Well, after getting my first real taste of heli-skiing last year, I'm trying to figure out where to get my next fix. I'm looking at planning something for 23/24 season. My last trip was with CMH to The Gothics. Weather didn't cooperate but we got two solid days in. I was impressed with the whole operation and am considering going with them again. The manager on site when I was there spoke highly of going in April. He recommended Adaments and Bobbie Burns.

    So, right now the leading contender is BB in April. The prices aren't too outrageous all things considered. I'm wondering if there are other options we should consider whether it be somewhere further away, like Europe etc? Anywhere where the dollar gets an incredible value or it's simply less expensive in the first place?

    Our group is made up of very solid skiers, but we don't need Alaskan spines or big drops.

    Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!

  2. #2
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    I'm a big fan of cat skiing these days. Island Lake Lodge in Fernie is pretty sweet, but the gravy trains run deep in the Selkirks. If you are set on Heli and have money to burn, you can't beat Mike Wiegele and the Albreda Lodge. Not sure you'd get bookings though.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    Island lake lodge has been on my bucket list ever since Fetish, but have you seen their prices? Barely any less than what Iím seeing for CMH in the spring.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Island Lake Lodge is the shit. I was there quite a while ago and it was one of the best ski trips of my life.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    Points North out of Cordova was the cheapest operation we looked at with the following caveats--lodging and other base facilities are pretty basic, no lift or cat option, and all their terrain is above treeline glacial with coastal weather so prone to no-fly days. And maritime snowpack. I have no other heli experience to compare it to.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    I am intrigued by these ideas and would like to subscribe to this thread's newsletter.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Back in Seattle
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    I had a great trip to Bella coola at their more basic lodge but donít know how they compare price wise. It included the hopper flight from Vancouver so it was super easy to get to from Seattle. We got to fly every day and had lots of good snow but that was just luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Points North out of Cordova was the cheapest operation we looked at with the following caveats--lodging and other base facilities are pretty basic, no lift or cat option, and all their terrain is above treeline glacial with coastal weather so prone to no-fly days. And maritime snowpack. I have no other heli experience to compare it to.
    My son goes to school/plays sports with the PNH owners son. Nice people. No idea how the skiing/value is though cause even if itís the cheapest, itís still not in the budget for me.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2005
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    Best Bang for Your Buck Heli-wise?

    I have always assumed you need to 100% control the group to ensure similar abilities if you are dropping Heli money. Perhaps off topic but a big barrier for me (money aside for the moment) is ensuring I donít end up having to ski w/ any douche bags or skiers of dissimilar ability. Have folks controlled for this that have experience?

    More on topic, if focused primarily on the skiing and less on off-terrain amenities do costs vary that much? The having cat as option B if weather grounds the birds is an interesting and smart angle.

    Bucket list trip that I am almost old enough to affordÖ.. before I am too old to fully enjoy it??
    Uno mas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    If you have a group, why not prioritize the Adamants lodge? Filling a bird with friends is an all time memory!
    There are also small group options at Monashees and Kootenay.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Sierra Foothills
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    613
    I've gone twice to Great Canadian Heli-Skiing and had a blast and thought the price was right. With the right group of similar experianced skiers (4 is perfect), and almost any guide they will maximize your day and test your skills. During the trips we also hit up Revelstoke and Kicking Horse. Makes for a great trip.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremite View Post
    I have always assumed you need to 100% control the group to ensure similar abilities if you are dropping Heli money. Perhaps off topic but a big barrier for me (money aside for the moment) is ensuring I don’t end up having to ski w/ any douche bags or skiers of dissimilar ability. Have folks controlled for this that have experience?
    I have on both sides.

    On a cat trip with Monashee Snowcats, one cat was booke dup with a gaggle of drunk and loud Canadians, so my four buddies and I were shoved into a cat with three snowboarders - one of which only brought a park board and another was on this third day ever of snowboarding. The dad of these knuckle-draggers brought 100mm-waisted Black Diamond skis because, in Michigan, these were considered pow skis. Related, his skiing ability was that of his son on his third day of snowboarding. The other four skiers were - I kid you not - dentists from the midwest and rust belt. One of these guys had the million-foot vert Arcteryx fartbag from Mike Weigle. The other guy was as tan as a leather saddlebad and skied like cowboy (read; he couldn't). ANd the last beater in this group of crimefighters showed up on 162cm long, 76mm wide slalom skis, and claimed the fat skis our gorup were skiing were "kid's toys". Guess who didn't get help up each time they were head-first in the best storm-cycle of the season?

    Yah... that shit can happen and did. Nonetheless, we persevered, snaked all their lines, and made the best of it.

    On the flip side, I skied with CMH Revelstoke a few years ago and they split the group up by ability. As the best skier on the mountain ( ) I was in the fast group and everyone could shred. No waiting and we ripped laps as fast as the bird could come to pick us up.

    So... it all depends. Heli ops tend to do a better job of this as the groups are smaller and they can move the heli around much faster than a cat.

  13. #13
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    Best Bang for Your Buck Heli-wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    I have on both sides.

    On a cat trip with Monashee Snowcats, one cat was booke dup with a gaggle of drunk and loud Canadians, so my four buddies and I were shoved into a cat with three snowboarders - one of which only brought a park board and another was on this third day ever of snowboarding. The dad of these knuckle-draggers brought 100mm-waisted Black Diamond skis because, in Michigan, these were considered pow skis. Related, his skiing ability was that of his son on his third day of snowboarding. The other four skiers were - I kid you not - dentists from the midwest and rust belt. One of these guys had the million-foot vert Arcteryx fartbag from Mike Weigle. The other guy was as tan as a leather saddlebad and skied like cowboy (read; he couldn't). ANd the last beater in this group of crimefighters showed up on 162cm long, 76mm wide slalom skis, and claimed the fat skis our gorup were skiing were "kid's toys". Guess who didn't get help up each time they were head-first in the best storm-cycle of the season?

    Yah... that shit can happen and did. Nonetheless, we persevered, snaked all their lines, and made the best of it.

    On the flip side, I skied with CMH Revelstoke a few years ago and they split the group up by ability. As the best skier on the mountain ( ) I was in the fast group and everyone could shred. No waiting and we ripped laps as fast as the bird could come to pick us up.

    So... it all depends. Heli ops tend to do a better job of this as the groups are smaller and they can move the heli around much faster than a cat.
    Encapsulates my fear. Glad you made the best of it and eventually scored a sweet CMH trip. Hilarious.

    I always picture a snowboarder from NYC in a Giambi jersey and sweat pants yelling at the guide to take us to some drops. No offense to NY mags, Iíve skied with plenty from the Empire State that hold their own but just a vision that sticks w me.
    Uno mas

  14. #14
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    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremite View Post
    Encapsulates my fear. Glad you made the best of it and eventually scored a sweet CMH trip. Hilarious.

    I always picture a snowboarder from NYC in a Giambi jersey and sweat pants yelling at the guide to take us to some drops. No offense to NY mags, I’ve skied with plenty from the Empire State that hold their own but just a vision that sticks w me.
    Heh, well... funny you say that about a boarder. On another trip with Big Red Cats, a dude showed up from eastern Canada metroplis with nothing but a cotton t-shirt and what amounted to a high school letterman's jacket... with no pow-skiing abilities. As you can imagine, he was in the snow, more than he was on the snow, and suffered for it dearly, shivering his way through the day.

    While I appreciate your fear and can relate to it, one has to try pretty hard to have a shit time cat skiing or getting help bumps. Sure, the terrain might need to be dialed back for the beaters you're stuck with. But the snow will be amazing, untouched, and the beauty never-ending. And you're in the mountains with your buds. That's hard to beat.

    If you do find yourself in need of a spot-filler, keep me in mind. I can't seem to get any of my friends to pop for such a trip anymore. I guess kids cost a lot of money or something? Or their wives will divorce them if they don't go with? I dunno. I'm good for it and i'll huck my meat just the same with an unknown.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    55
    Doesnt matter Heli or Cat 1 noob in there can ruin the whole day. Best advice is start growing a crew and fill up the Cat or Helo. Low exp, wrong gear or not following guide's directions can ruin a day. Fernie Wilderness Adventure is a cool day op in Fernie. Big Red Cats is cool too, Valhalla was better before Baldface bought em. At Kpow and Fernie I have seen them pull people from Cats cause they sucked. At Baldface they just made is wait.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    Heh, well... funny you say that about a boarder. On another trip with Big Red Cats, a dude showed up from eastern Canada metroplis with nothing but a cotton t-shirt and what amounted to a high school letterman's jacket... with no pow-skiing abilities. As you can imagine, he was in the snow, more than he was on the snow, and suffered for it dearly, shivering his way through the day.

    While I appreciate your fear and can relate to it, one has to try pretty hard to have a shit time cat skiing or getting help bumps. Sure, the terrain might need to be dialed back for the beaters you're stuck with. But the snow will be amazing, untouched, and the beauty never-ending. And you're in the mountains with your buds. That's hard to beat.

    If you do find yourself in need of a spot-filler, keep me in mind. I can't seem to get any of my friends to pop for such a trip anymore. I guess kids cost a lot of money or something? Or their wives will divorce them if they don't go with? I dunno. I'm good for it and i'll huck my meat just the same with an unknown.
    Sorta also interested in getting a crew going. I am not big on air but I am big on pitch and speed and logging lots of vert. I will definitely keep you in mind Bobcat if I can start corralling some #s.
    Uno mas

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Land of the Long Flat Vowel
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    943
    If you want to go S Hemi, the people that run these outfits are top notch:

    Canterbury:
    https://www.instagram.com/methven_heliski/

    Mt Cook/Southern Alps:
    https://www.instagram.com/mtcookheliski/

    Queenstown/Wanaka:
    https://www.instagram.com/harrismountainsheliski/

    Disclaimer: never been heli skiing (nor cat skiing), but I know the people and have heard nothing but good stuff.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    N side, Terrace, BC
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    4,494
    Heli-assisted ski touring. Did it at Bella Coola Heli Sports and Last Frontier Ripley Creek (Stewart). Hard to beat it, and I preferred it to the straight heli show (go, go, go; ski more vert !!! c'mon!!! - mentality is not me).
    ďI tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.Ē
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  19. #19
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    Jan 2013
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    Northern BC
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    This ^^^^

  20. #20
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    Feb 2004
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    Squaw/xBoston/xaspen/xstowe/xAK
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    402
    new zealand heli is cheapest option because you can go for a single day. (but u gotta be there) single bumps at silverton or portillo might also play. High mountain heli in jackson also did single days iirc
    live the life.

  21. #21
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    Feb 2004
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    points north is fantastic also. no need for all the fancy crap, just ski and sleep.
    live the life.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Agree with getting a crew together. I was in a group of 4--one boarder, who was competent but had trouble with the long flat glacier runouts to the pickup spot and one older ski instructor from the midwest who had a lot of trouble--as in never skied powder before. Fortunately when I got buried by a little slide my son was still uphill because if I had had to have the other two jokers dig me out I'd still be there. The guide was way down the hill.

    Don't expect to be skiing big lines if they don't know you.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by Island Bay View Post
    If you want to go S Hemi, the people that run these outfits are top notch:

    Canterbury:
    https://www.instagram.com/methven_heliski/

    Mt Cook/Southern Alps:
    https://www.instagram.com/mtcookheliski/

    Queenstown/Wanaka:
    https://www.instagram.com/harrismountainsheliski/

    Disclaimer: never been heli skiing (nor cat skiing), but I know the people and have heard nothing but good stuff.
    I've gone with Harris

    They were superb

  24. #24
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    Mar 2022
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfromterrace View Post
    Heli-assisted ski touring. Did it at Bella Coola Heli Sports and Last Frontier Ripley Creek (Stewart). Hard to beat it, and I preferred it to the straight heli show (go, go, go; ski more vert !!! c'mon!!! - mentality is not me).
    This is also me.

    As for the grouping on cats - I've been faced with both, and I was the odd one out. We ended up back at base on the last day I was at Island Lake and ended up getting put into the wrong cat as people got moved around. I was with dudes who were well and above my ability to keep up. Like GS racers in pow. I'm much more of a cruise-the-pow and let the guide lead me through cushy lines whereas these guys were all about the steepest vert and most technical lines they could find.

    I don't think I ruined it for them, but I definitely held them up. I probably won't go again until I get myself a new group of friends who ski like me (shit).

    Quote Originally Posted by Island Bay View Post
    If you want to go S Hemi, the people that run these outfits are top notch:

    Canterbury:
    https://www.instagram.com/methven_heliski/

    Mt Cook/Southern Alps:
    https://www.instagram.com/mtcookheliski/

    Queenstown/Wanaka:
    https://www.instagram.com/harrismountainsheliski/

    Disclaimer: never been heli skiing (nor cat skiing), but I know the people and have heard nothing but good stuff.
    I did Mt Cook when I was a student in Otago. All I can say is it's the #1 thing I miss about home.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    667
    Quote Originally Posted by hatchgreenchile View Post
    If you have a group, why not prioritize the Adamants lodge? Filling a bird with friends is an all time memory!
    There are also small group options at Monashees and Kootenay.
    A few reasons...primarily logistics and cost. It's more convenient and a lot cheaper (like $400 vs $1000) to fly in and out of Calgary vs Kelowna. Adamants is also about $1000 more expensive than Bobbie Burns. I don't exactly have money to burn. I'm saving money and looking for side hustles where I can to make this happen, which is why I started this thread in the first place. So far, most of the other places suggested here are still considerably more expensive than what I'm looking at.

    We will have more than four people anyway and hope to have 9-10 which should get us our own group.

    Adamants does look awesome, though.

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