Mica, which we picked as a great heli set-up in Canada in last year’s resort guide, is know for having tiny groups, swanky digs—you’ll be staying at a private, heli-access-only lodge—and endless spines and pillow lines.
CMH, the original heli-op—their founder Hans Gmoser is credited with inventing heli-skiing—is working to make heli-trips more accessible: this year, skiers between the ages of 12 and 25 can ski for half off. They’re also expanding their offerings to include Powder U, a series of trips with instructional elements, like Powder 505, geared towards steeps, and Med School, which is for doctors looking for continuing backcountry education.
When you sign up for a trip with Points North you can expect that, given the company, it’ll be intense. Jessica Sobolowski-Quinn, one of the most dominant big-line skiers out there, is an owner and could likeybe your guide. Her husband and co-owner, former pro hockey player Kevin Quinn, is no slouch either, and they’ve both appeared in several Warren Miller flicks. This year, they’re offering backcountry yurt heli-assisted touring.
Silverton offers heli drops at their ski area for a relatively measly $159 but they’ve also got heli permits in the Chugach close to Anchorage. They’ve run weeklong trips in the area for private groups for the past few years, and this year they’re opening it up to the public. Silverton’s Aaron Brill says they’re limiting it to 12 people a week, and that the trips are already filling up.
Deep in interior British Columbia, Mike Wiegele’s is offering more trips for both hard-core skiers and families. They also have a frequent flyer program for people who come often.
You hear a lot about heli-skiing in British Columbia, but just south of the border in Washington’s North Cascades, the skiing is just as good, and doesn’t see as much traffic barring errant groups of pro skiers, like a crew from TGR who stopped in to do some casual wing suit skiing. That could be you. Maybe.