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I went heli-skiing for the first time last winter and it was just as good as I’d imagined—maybe better. Getting dropped on top of a 13,000-foot peak in the middle of nowhere with nothing but deep, untracked snow at your ski tips is a rush. And once I got to the bottom, all I could think was: How do I do this again?
Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, a regular, powder-hungry Joe or Jane with a modest bank account and limited vacation time, the post heli-ski reality hits pretty hard. Heli-skiing is expensive, especially when you do it right. And in my opinion, if you’re going to go for it, you might as well really go for it. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve researched some of the most unique and straight-up luxe heli-ski experiences in the world, including a couple led by famous ski legends.
Hey, a girl can dream.
EYOS Greenland Heli-Skiing Expedition
Cost: Around $60,500 per cabin for the week, all inclusive
On this trip, you get to heli-ski from summit to sea in Greenland with Bode Miller. Oh, and home base is a 12-guest superyacht that has its own heli-pad and is equipped for polar waters, meaning it has the kind of ice-breaking power that will have you arriving in Greenland weeks before any other commercial ski operation.
You’ll be joined on your week-long journey by Miller, as well as two-time World Extreme Skiing Champion Chris Davenport and Doug Stoup, a legendary guide who pioneered skiing in Antarctica. The trio will guide you through some of the most remote ski spots in the world—80 percent of which have never been skied before—and take you well beyond the Arctic Circle, including excursions in Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to some of the largest icebergs in the world.
The all-inclusive trip is arranged by EYOS, a company that specializes in private superyacht expeditions.
Cost: Starts at 3,500 CAD (around $2,600) per person, per day and includes lodging, food and drink, gear, transfers to the lodge, and heli drops; an all-inclusive private trip starts at 24,000 CAD (around $18,200) per day for a group of up to five; a full, all-inclusive lodge buyout is 70,000 CAD (around $52,200) per night for a group of up to 20 guests
The terrain owned by Mica Heliskiing looks like it belongs on the cover of SKI (oh wait, that already happened). And the crown jewel of this corner of Western Canadian wilderness is the Mica ski lodge, which is perched above the Columbia River and surrounded by rugged mountains. Perhaps most notably, for those with weary ski legs, there’s a rooftop hot tub.
This little piece of remote paradise is the welcoming basecamp for endless heli-ski excursions in Western Canada’s legendary mountains. There are only four skiers per heli group, and if you book the private tour (which, why not?) you’ll have two guides and a Koala helicopter at your disposal. In addition to multiple heli-trips a day, every Mica experience includes helicopter transportation to and from Kelowna International Airport (YLW), gourmet meals, lodging, and all the gear you’ll need.
Want to take over the entire ski lodge? That’s an option, too.
Southern Lakes Heliski at Minaret Station
Cost: $17,950 per charter for up to four guests to enjoy unlimited drops; and $3,250 per chalet, per night (or $12,200 per night for a buyout of all four chalets)
There are no roads leading to Minaret Station, so the journey begins and ends with a scenic helicopter journey—but that’s only the start of your helicopter time. From July to September (remember, we’re talking about the Southern Hemisphere here), heli-skiers can explore the region’s 17 mountain ranges and access untouched, powdery terrain. With a maximum of four guests and unlimited heli-drops, skiers enjoy extras such as catered gourmet on-mountain picnic lunches.
The heli-experience can be booked à la carte, but then you’d miss out on the experience of staying at the five-star Minaret Station Alpine Lodge, an all-inclusive property with just four chalets, each with a hot tub and private patio. With no roads in or out, the lodge, which is set in a remote glacial valley, is surrounded by mountains.
Tordrillo Mountain Lodge
Cost: $17,500 per person for seven nights of lodging, food, heli drops, gear, and transportation to the lodge; $140,000 to $210,000 for an all-inclusive, one-week lodge buyout
Tommy Moe, a decorated Olympic ski racer, knows good skiing. So the fact that he co-owns a lodge in the Alaskan Wilderness and leads heli-trips out of it should tell you something about the skiing in this part of the world. His curated heli-ski experience starts with the private flight to Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, which sits deep in the Alaskan wilderness. From there, you’ll enjoy seven days of heli-skiing with a guide—who, if you’re lucky, will be Tommy Moe himself.
And of course, the experience wouldn’t be included on this list if it didn’t also include all the trimmings: namely, seven nights at the luxury lodge, gourmet meals, and all the hot tubbing you can handle. Perhaps most notably, the lodge sits within eyeshot of Denali, North America’s tallest peak.
Cost: Starting at $3,500 per room, per night based on single occupancy and including meals, gear, and heli drops; or $14,460 per night for an all-inclusive lodge buyout for four guests
The iconic lines (and views) of the Alps just got a whole lot more accessible thanks to Eleven’s heli-ski operation out of Chalet Pelerin. The chalet has five bedrooms, an indoor freshwater pool, a Finnish sauna and steam room, and an outdoor hot tub with, you guessed it, copious views. And from there, three heli-bases and endless big-mountain terrain await.
The skiing is out of this world, with most runs averaging between 3,200 to 7,200 vertical feet. And just because you’ll be skiing big lines doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out on the finer things in life. There are hearty, daily breakfasts and lunches that, even in the backcountry, include bubbly and fine French cheeses. In the evening, meals are paired with French wines.
All the gear is provided and the Eleven pre-arrival team helps iron out the details of your trip.