FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We hope we've covered them all, if not make an enquiry!
Q: Where is Last Frontier Heliskiing located?
The Last Frontier Heliskiing area is located 3.5 hours Northwest of Smithers, British Columbia.
Bell 2 Lodge - is located 220 miles (360 km) Northwest of Smithers, British Columbia. The small resort of Bell 2, situated along the Stewart - Cassiar Highway, is our home for the winter season.
Ripley Creek Inn - is located 200 miles (310km) Northwest of Terrace, British Columbia. The small town of Stewart is situated at the end of the Portland Canal, opposite of Hyder, Alaska. This is our second location for heliskiing in our 2.2 million acres of terrain. Check Out Location
Q: Do you offer group discounts
For group offers, please contact our head office!
Q: Do you have incentives to introduce new guests to Last Frontier Heliskiing?
Yes. Introduce your friends to ski/board with Last Frontier and receive a credit towards your next holiday with us. For every new skier/ boarder that books a package, receive a credit of CAD$500. This amount can be used as payment towards any package (final balance) or service provided by Last Frontier for the following three seasons.
Q: How are the groups chosen?
Groups are chosen by weight, and ability/skiing style preference. We always try to keep groups that are on holiday together, skiing or riding together, but there is no guarantee of this unless you are booked on a private tour.
Q: Are domestic air transfers included with the package price?
No. Whether you ski with us from Bell 2 Lodge or the Ripley Creek Inn, return domestic air transfers are not included with your heliski package. We can arrange these air transfers for you but it is often more cost effective to book these flights as part of your flight travel plans to and from Vancouver.
Q: Are skis included with my Last Frontier Heliskiing package?
Yes and poles too. Also avalanche transceivers and ABS airbags are provided. Your skis will be adjusted and maintained by our ski tech staff. You are welcome to bring your own skis if you wish. See our Safety and Gear page for full details.
Q: Do you mix skiers with snowboarders?
Yes, we mix groups. If there are problems with group chemistry, the guide will make the necessary changes, but we generally find that whether on one plank or two, everyone gets along and enjoys their turns. Often the skiers will go first which allows snowboarders to spread out and travel faster.
Q: Can I bring my snowboard?
A: Yes, you should bring your own snowboard. Both lodges do have a small selection of snowboards. Please ensure that you have any extra pieces or parts for your board that will come in handy in the event of breakage. Both lodges do have a small selection of snowboards. See our Safety and Gear page for full details
Can non-skiers come too?
Yes. If they are happy relaxing in a remote mountainous setting, they can enjoy the visit. Non-skiers are accommodated based on availability at either location. Please contact us for details on the rates for non-skiers.
Q: Can I be reached at lodges?
Yes, whether you ski/ ride with us at Bell 2 Lodge or from Ripley Creek, personal telephone calls are possible. Every room at both locations has its own telephone. In addition, there is access to a fax machine.
Bell 2 Lodge: Tel: +1 250-275-4770 Fax: +1 250-275-4912
Ripley Creek Inn: Tel: +1 250-636-2610 Fax: +1 250-636-2622
Q: When are the best conditions?
That is the million dollar question. The weather is slightly different every year and dreamlike skiing/boarding conditions can be requested but not guaranteed. Since we began operations in 1996 we have had the full range of conditions, but one of the main reasons guests return year after year to us is the deep and reliable snowpack that we receive in the Skeena Mountains.
December, January and the beginning of February are typically slightly colder and the days shorter than later in the season. If you have yet to heliski during the early season, consider it a must. As temps remain cooler at this time of year, conditions at lower elevations provide us with excellent tree skiing in poorer weather conditions.
Mid-February through the mid-March has historically been the most popular time for heli-skiing and generally should be booked around 12 months in advance to secure your space. Days become longer, the weather tends to stabilize still with regular snow storms passing through from the west.
Late March and April offers skiing and particularly boarding conditions which have always been under-rated. Leave your golf clubs locked away, grab your skis or your board and experience long days, big vertical AND still be skiing powder. The conditions from day to day in April tend to change a lot faster.
Q: How much vertical do you ski/board?
We only charge you for the vertical that you choose to board. Here is what you can expect on any given week:
|Tour Length||Average||Guarantee||If you're lucky!|
The amount of skiing is determined by several factors:
- ability and desire to ski
- weather and snow conditions
- available daylight hours
Q: How good do I have to be?
A: Heliskiing and/or heliboarding is not for novices - there we said it!
As much as we would like everyone to heliski, we want to make sure that all our guests equally enjoy their experience. Conditions and terrain can vary widely, from wide-open alpine bowls and glaciers with moderate pitches to steep and narrow tree skiing. Snow conditions can range from chest-deep powder to wind-pressed crust. Our internationally certified guides do their best to find the optimal conditions, but any type of conditions can be expected at any time throughout the heliski season. Mother nature dictates there isn't a 'guaranteed good week'.
Guests must therefore be capable and experienced in handling a mixture of conditions, whether they are on one plank or two...
- You should have considerable skiing and/or riding experience in a conventional resort setting.
- Your run choices are predominantly blue/ black and you ski them with confidence in almost any conditions (flat light with dust on crust to give an extreme example!).
- Your skiing/boarding ability has improved year after year and you are capable of multi-day trips.
- You may not have the style of a professional but you have the confidence to keep up with friends and you know when you are making some 'good turns'.
- Skiers should be able to make parallel turns with confidence and if the situation arises, you can; side-slip, step-up sideways, traverse and make kick turns. Snowboarders need to have good pressure and edging skills.
- You may not have tons of powder skiing experience but you can maintain control in backcountry conditions.
If there is any doubt in your mind, we are always here to help to discuss your ability to make sure the trip is suitable for you. If you book a trip and you do not meet the above criteria, you may be asked to remain at the lodge. In such a case there will be no refund. Therefore if there is any doubt in your mind at all, please contact us before booking.
Q: I've never used an avalanche transceiver - is it difficult?
All guests visiting Last Frontier will be trained to use the Mammut Element Transceiver. Simple, reliable and easy to use - even for the uninitiated.
Q: Can I bring my own (ABS) airbag?
All guests will be provided with and trained in the use of the ABS airbag system. You are welcome to bring you own, but will need to ensure that your guide is familiar with it. The ABS airbag is a small back-pack which contains two large pouches. By pulling a rip-cord, the pouches are filled with air and deployed from the side of the pack. The system is designed to minimize the risk of burial if involved in an avalanche.
Q: What about visitors with special dietary needs?
Please let us know about any special dietary needs prior to your heliski trip with us. If we do not know ahead of time, we cannot adequately prepare. Please contact us
Q: Is there an Internet connection?
Yes. There is a low-speed connection. Despite our best efforts to convince clients that they will enjoy their holiday more without connecting to the net, some guests do need this service. There is wireless access at both Bell2 Lodge and Ripley Creek. However, charges apply at Bell 2 Lodge because it is a satellite system..