BY: S. Threndyle
The insatiable desire for first tracks and fresh powder is alive and well in western Canada, with four new licenses being granted to snowcat and heli-ski operators.
Currently under construction, the Lodge at Keefer Lake is offering budget-priced cat skiing smack in the middle of the Monashee snowbelt, about an hour east of Vernon. At the other end of the scale, if you’re looking for a truly creative way to spend your lottery winnings, grab nine friends and head up to Silver Tip Lodge for heli-skiing at the east end of Quesnel Lake. Silver Tip – once operated by Canadian Mountain Holidays as an exclusive enclave for its most affluent guests – is located deep in the Cariboo Mountains, known for having the highest and best snow quality in the world.
Way up in north central B.C., White Winter is launching its inaugural season by flying clients from its base on the renowned Skeena River, one of the world’s great fishing rivers. Perhaps there’s the opportunity to combine two sports in one here. Finally, as its name suggests, Yukon Alpine Heli Skiing is offering trips into some of the most wild and remote glaciers in North America, near the Juneau Icefields, where B.C., the Yukon, and Alaska come together.
These three new ops join established pioneers such as Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, Canadian Mountain Holidays, and Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing, all of which have either hit or surpassed the 35-year mark.