Subscribe to Cigar Aficionado and receive the digital edition of our Premier issue FREE!

Email this page Print this page
Share this page

Skiing from the Sky

For Skiers Tired of Following Other People's Tracks, Heli-Skiing Takes Them Away from It All
Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Denzel Washington, Jan/Feb 98

(continued from page 4)

Conditions vary throughout the winter at each heli-skiing location, but in general, peak season is from January through April. There is no one best time to ski, but there may be better times, depending on personal preferences. "In December and January it snows constantly," says Woit, "so we do a lot of tree skiing, because that's where the most stable snowpack is. In February, March and April there is more sun, the snowpack gets more stable, so we do more glacier skiing. There are some guests who come especially for one or the other and would not like to spend their week doing the reverse."

With the advent of fat skis and newer helicopters, and the chronic overcrowding at conventional ski areas, there has never been a better time to try heli-skiing. The food, lodging and company are all first-rate, and even the ride up the mountain is a thrill in itself, with the helicopter landing on cornices seemingly at the top of the world. Of course, the skiing is not bad, either. As Woit says, "It's all about the powder. It is the filet mignon of the skiing experience." * Larry Olmsted, who frequently writes about travel, golf and outdoor recreation, lives in Vermont. HELI-SKI THE WORLD

Here are the top choices for prime heli-skiing:


Canadian Mountain Holidays In commercial operation since 1965, CMH is the oldest and largest heli-skiing operator in the world. Offers easy access to 11 large heli-skiing areas via Calgary. Also offers introductory heli-skiing programs and operates lodges in summer for heli-hiking and mountaineering. (800) 661-0252
Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing Founded in 1970. Operates the single largest heli-skiing area in the world, with more than 3,000 square miles for 100 guests in Blue River, British Columbia. Also offers summer heli-hiking, fishing and biking programs and introductory heli-skiing. (800) 661-9170
R.K. Heli-Ski Based at the Panorama Resort in Invermere, British Columbia. Offers day packages. Also operates ground transportation daily from Banff. (800) 661-6060
Tyax Heli-Skiing Based at Whistler Resort in Whistler, British Columbia. Offers day and week trips, learn-to-heli-ski packages and executive heli-ski trips from Vancouver, British Columbia. (800) 663-8126


High Mountains Heli-Skiing Based in Teton Village, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Offers day and three-day packages. (307) 733-3274
Ruby Mountain Heli-Skiing Offers three-day packages with lodging in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada. In inclement weather, offers snow-cat skiing. (702) 753-6867
Sun Valley Heli-Ski Based at Sun Valley ski resort, in Ketchum, Idaho. Offers day trips, multi-day packages, and backcountry ski and mountaineering trips. (800) 872-3108
Telluride HeliTrax Based in Telluride, Colorado. Offers day trips and custom charters, and operates connecting flights from other major Colorado ski resorts. (970) 728-4904
Triple Crown of Colorado Based in Aspen. Offers unique three-day heli-trips with conventional skiing at Vail and Aspen, conventional or heli-skiing at Telluride and upscale accommodations. Also offers heli-golf packages in the summer. (970) 925-1328
Wasatch Powderbird Guides Based at Snowbird Resort, Utah. Offers day packages. (801) 742-2800


Harris Mountain Heli-Ski Offers week-long and daily packages in southern New Zealand. (64) 3-442-6722
Southern Lakes Heliski New Zealand Offers assorted trips in southern New Zealand. (64) 3-442-6222


< 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Share |

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In If You're Already Registered At Cigar Aficionado Online

Forgot your password?

Not Registered Yet? Sign up–It's FREE.


Search By:



Cigar Insider

Cigar Aficionado News Watch
A Free E-Mail Newsletter

Introducing a FREE newsletter from the editors of Cigar Aficionado!
Sign Up Today