Different Heliski Lodges
Living in the lap of luxury – it’s what heliskiing is generally all about. It’s five-star accommodation, top of the line ski gear, meticulously maintained aircraft, and melt-in-your-mouth cuisine. The thing is, everybody does it a little bit differently, and that’s what brings people back year after year.
Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), the largest heliski operator in the world, operates 11 different lodges throughout BC. You can drive to some of them, and some are strictly heli-access, but the overall theme is luxury to a tee. Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing offers the same: guests enjoy a Swedish massage in the world-class spa, eat 12-inch Alaska King Crab legs off the fresh sushi buffet for appies, and then enjoy a plate of veal brisket alongside their myriad different cheeses before retiring to their stand-alone log chalets for a nights’ powder-filled dreams in freshly prepped linens.
Yes, heliski lodges are all about taking care of the guests. But the best part is, it’s not the only thing they focus on. There are certain operators – Last Frontier Heliskiing and Bella Coola Helisports come to mind – that make a point of catering to the small-group, hard-skiing enthusiasts. You know, the ones that love a little coddle in the bedroom and enjoy some top-quality barbecue with their evening glass of cab-sauv, but above all are there to rip some powder.
Many veterans of helicopter skiing (the lucky few who have the means to chase mechanized powder dreams on a yearly basis) tend to stick with one destination. Either they’re friends with Mr. Wiegele, love to rip it up with Hans Gmoser’s heirs at CMH, or like talking hockey with former NHL star and founder of Points North Heliskiing, Kevin Quinn. But the beauty of the heliskiing industry is that no matter where you go, you’re going to be treated like a king or queen. So next time you’re stressing at the computer, trying to figure out where to ski this year, forget the “norm” and the “comfortable” choice – go to Last Frontier, go to RK Heliski, go to Mica, or really get crazy and venture north to Alaska and stop in at H2O Heli guides. It doesn’t matter what kind of lodge you end up at; you’re going to eat well, sleep well, drink well, and, if you’re lucky, maybe even ski well.
Words by: Theo Birkner
Photos by: Andrew Doran