By Destination BC
More than half a century ago, winter adventure pioneers set their sights on BC’s wild landscapes — exploration that spawned a deep-powder industry in pursuit of untracked terrain. Heli- and cat-skiing rose from the Kootenay Rockies, and today, more than 40 heli- and cat-ski operators have proudly planted their flags on BC’s slopes.
Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) started it all for high-flying heli-skiing adventurers. Indeed, it was Hans Gmoser who, more than 50 years ago, made a historic helicopter trek, six skiers in tow, deep into the mountains of BC — a journey that would redefine the boundaries of the sport and open up exploration of largely untapped swaths of terrain. Today, CMH continues to push – or at least redefine – boundaries, thanks to some of the most diverse programming anywhere; it’s all here, from Powder Intro skiing and riding that turns newbies into devotees to pulse-thumping terrain worthy of Powder Masters. For a sense of sisterhood, Girl Powder brings like-minded ladies together to explore some of the province’s finest stashes. canadianmountainholidays.com
If a full seven days isn’t in the cards, single-day heli-ski adventures promise a tasty alternative. Indeed, day trippin’ in BC has never been easier: rk heliski lifts off from Panorama Mountain Resort, guiding groups through expansive glaciers and glade skiing in the Purcell Mountains; Selkirk Tangiers Helicopter Skiing delves into Selkirk and Monashee mountain terrain, accessed from the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort; and Eagle Pass Heliskiing, just south of Revelstoke, leads the way through the Monashee Mountains, a range revered for its spruce and alpine fir tree skiing. rkheliski.com; selkirk-tangiers.com; eaglepassheliskiing.com
For something fresh, White Wilderness Heliskiing is the latest crew to join BC’s family of whirlybird operators. Situated east of Terrace, White Wilderness explores a boundless chain of alpine bowls, glaciers, and treed runs with programs that include Heli-Assisted Ski Touring and Steep Skiing/Powder Intro Camps (remote tent-based steep skiing is also available). In addition, White Wilderness takes full advant