Why Purcell? Here’s why

We love to ski.

Skiing deep powder in big terrain is what we live for. That passion is contagious. Our staff have some of the best jobs going, and that makes it easy to create an environment for you to release your inner child into our wide winter playground. We’re fun, and you’ll feel it.

We’re professional.

For 45 years, we have held safety as the highest priority. Our team of dedicated professionals are highly trained, experienced, and will provide all guests with the tools to be aware and comfortable with their surroundings. Purcell’s founder, Rudi Gertsch, was instrumental in establishing the standards of heli-skiing safety in British Columbia, and we proudly meet and exceed those standards still.

We have the freedom to focus.

Forty-five years of experience teaches you how to be efficient and streamlined, and we focus every dollar on the next drop, not the frills. Being town-based like we are gives you choice to access the amenities that matter to you, and the ones that don’t. When you get to our door, we have one mission: to show you the coolest freeriding experience of your life.

Yes the terrain and conditions you have are unbelievable. But the six-person private group is unlike anything I've ever seen before and absolutely makes all the difference in the world. You guys are really top shelf! Thanks to all.

Ed M.

Literally the best experience of our lives. This far exceeded our expectations, and I plan to tell everyone about it.

Joshua G.

Everyone involved is friendly, remembers your name and is genuinely grateful you are there to ski with them. There is no pretense and I very much appreciate the personal relationship I have made with the team. Purcell provide a wonderful day no matter what is thrown at them. The skiing, of course, is amazing! Simple cannot wait for the next adventure.

Jeff W.

The conditions and terrain were outstanding. Everyone was made to feel welcome and part of the group. The guides made sure everyone had the chance to lay the first tracks, and the attention you pay to safety ensured we had a memorable experience. By far the best ski days that I have had in 30 years!

Ury T.

I really appreciated the professionalism and caring approach displayed by each Purcell team member I interacted with. Truly leaders in their profession that helped ensure a great trip, eased my concerns and went out of their way to ensure the entire group had an amazing experience!

Gerald F.

I have well over 1500 ski days in my life. At least 400 in the last 7 years. This was my first heli trip and it was everything I’d hoped it would be – and more. Great communication, clarity of instructions, and confidence in the guides.

Bruce A.

I was hesitant going by myself but got paired with great guides, a great group and had one of the best days of my life. Jeff kept upping the terrain, challenging us each run and lengthening every pitch. I only wish I had gone for the two or three day experience. Thanks for making me soooooo happy! I will be thinking of that day for a long long time!

Brian K.

The people at Purcell are fantastic. Everyone is thoroughly professional and obviously very experienced. They looked after us very, very well. A first-rate operation in every way: safety, quality, customer service, organization, terrain – all great.

Bill K.

You can ski resorts your entire life and never have an experience like this. The ability to find the best snow, the best terrain for your group's ability, the scenery, the private helicopter, the personal attention of Jeff and Natalie. I couldn't ask for anything better and it was totally worth the expense.

Brian W.

I loved skiing with a legend! The Gertsch history is amazing. Knowledge of terrain, affable guides, the ability to provide fantastic skiing in any conditions – and the customer care is excellent, from all Purcell staff involved.

Rob J.

The small group aspect is what really made the experience the best I've ever had heli-skiing. Skiing with Purcell is a custom, boutique experience unlike any other. I'll be coming again.

Nick D.

To all the GREAT STAFF at Purcell. Thank you very much for making my year! I had too much fun with all of you guys on Wednesday. You run a VERY professional Heli-show. You are in a very serious business, but still are able to inject tremendous fun into the whole experience, something which takes time to perfect I’m sure. Way to go!

John R.

One group, one chopper in awesome terrain and true family-run business. No commercial feel. Awesome terrain and super knowledgeable guides. Felt super safe, and had the best heli-skiing so far!

Menno L.

Makes me hope that reincarnation is real, so I can do it over, and over, and over, and over.... or, that they have mountains and helicopters in heaven.

TJ M.

Wonderful experience. Best heli operation I have ever boarded with. Safe and fun while challenging us vertical foot after vertical foot. The guides were knowledgeable, fun and great skiers. This place is the gateway to heaven! Well above and beyond all of my wildest dreams. Thanks very much guys.

Derek P.

Absolutely amazing! I had a wonderful time. I know I began with a million butterflies in my stomach but after the first run I was having a ball. A special thanks to Rudi and the whole team – you were so supportive and fun! I’ll be back next season! Thanks so much!

Lucy H.
Environmental Stewardship

At Purcell, we recognize the responsibility vested in us to sustain the health of the alpine environment. It is the wild nature of these areas that makes the activity of heli-skiing such a memorable privilege.

From wildlife awareness and avoidance, to fuel use, forestry practice, and daily recycling, we are guided by the philosophy of responsible use, and always seek to exceed government and industry standards. We believe that the mountains are there to be enjoyed, but enjoyed for all, for years to come.

Our Story

A simple history. A life of adventure.

It’s a simple formula: love what you do, do it well, share it with others. The opportunity to share the joy of heli-skiing with visitors from around the world is what Purcell Heli-Skiing was built on, beginning in 1974 when it was founded by acclaimed mountain guide, Rudi Gertsch.

Rudi earned his full mountain guide certification in his native country of Switzerland. He immigrated to Canada in 1966, and his timing couldn’t have been better. He quickly became active in the guiding community in Banff, and started working for CMH Heli-Skiing in the summer of ‘66. By the winter of 1968 he had a job that had never existed before: he was a heli-ski guide. Working for CMH as a heli-ski guide was not only an unexpected thrill, it was to be the beginning of a lifelong career.

Eight years later, he decided to start an operation of his own, and Purcell Heli-Skiing was born. Golden as a mountain destination had already been established by the Swiss guides who came before, hired by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to safely promote mountaineering in the area. Purcell has proudly continued the tradition of mountain guiding that took root more than a century ago.

A short time later, Rudi, along with other early operators, saw the potential for promotion through cooperation. In 1978, the British Columbia Helicopter and Snowcat Skiing Operators Association (later renamed HeliCat Canada) was formed to define safety standards and operational guidelines. British Columbia has since become a leading destination of heli-skiing, recognized worldwide.

In August 2021, Alterra Mountain Company purchased Purcell Heli-Skiing. CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, which is owned by Alterra Mountain Company, has folded Purcell Heli-Skiing’s business and ski tenure into its existing operations and continues to offer the same ski program from Purcell’s headquarters in Golden, B.C

The sale represents a full-circle moment that brings together the stories of three of the founders of the sport of heli-skiing: Gertsch, and CMH founders and pioneers of heli-skiing, Hans Gmoser and Leo Grillmair.

“Everything has come full circle,” said Gertsch. “I have a profound feeling of professional satisfaction at this point in my life, knowing that the story of our business reaches back to those common origins, and will now stretch forward into the future. Purcell is in the best possible hands with CMH Heli-Skiing.”

Visit CMH Purcell ›

Over 50,000 people have heli-skied with us!

Yes the terrain and conditions you have are unbelievable. But the six-person private group is unlike anything I've ever seen before and absolutely makes all the difference in the world. You guys are really top shelf! Thanks to all.

Ed M.

Literally the best experience of our lives. This far exceeded our expectations, and I plan to tell everyone about it.

Joshua G.

Everyone involved is friendly, remembers your name and is genuinely grateful you are there to ski with them. There is no pretense and I very much appreciate the personal relationship I have made with the team. Purcell provide a wonderful day no matter what is thrown at them. The skiing, of course, is amazing! Simple cannot wait for the next adventure.

Jeff W.

The conditions and terrain were outstanding. Everyone was made to feel welcome and part of the group. The guides made sure everyone had the chance to lay the first tracks, and the attention you pay to safety ensured we had a memorable experience. By far the best ski days that I have had in 30 years!

Ury T.

I really appreciated the professionalism and caring approach displayed by each Purcell team member I interacted with. Truly leaders in their profession that helped ensure a great trip, eased my concerns and went out of their way to ensure the entire group had an amazing experience!

Gerald F.

I have well over 1500 ski days in my life. At least 400 in the last 7 years. This was my first heli trip and it was everything I’d hoped it would be – and more. Great communication, clarity of instructions, and confidence in the guides.

Bruce A.

I was hesitant going by myself but got paired with great guides, a great group and had one of the best days of my life. Jeff kept upping the terrain, challenging us each run and lengthening every pitch. I only wish I had gone for the two or three day experience. Thanks for making me soooooo happy! I will be thinking of that day for a long long time!

Brian K.

The people at Purcell are fantastic. Everyone is thoroughly professional and obviously very experienced. They looked after us very, very well. A first-rate operation in every way: safety, quality, customer service, organization, terrain – all great.

Bill K.

You can ski resorts your entire life and never have an experience like this. The ability to find the best snow, the best terrain for your group's ability, the scenery, the private helicopter, the personal attention of Jeff and Natalie. I couldn't ask for anything better and it was totally worth the expense.

Brian W.

I loved skiing with a legend! The Gertsch history is amazing. Knowledge of terrain, affable guides, the ability to provide fantastic skiing in any conditions – and the customer care is excellent, from all Purcell staff involved.

Rob J.

The small group aspect is what really made the experience the best I've ever had heli-skiing. Skiing with Purcell is a custom, boutique experience unlike any other. I'll be coming again.

Nick D.

To all the GREAT STAFF at Purcell. Thank you very much for making my year! I had too much fun with all of you guys on Wednesday. You run a VERY professional Heli-show. You are in a very serious business, but still are able to inject tremendous fun into the whole experience, something which takes time to perfect I’m sure. Way to go!

John R.

One group, one chopper in awesome terrain and true family-run business. No commercial feel. Awesome terrain and super knowledgeable guides. Felt super safe, and had the best heli-skiing so far!

Menno L.

Makes me hope that reincarnation is real, so I can do it over, and over, and over, and over.... or, that they have mountains and helicopters in heaven.

TJ M.

Wonderful experience. Best heli operation I have ever boarded with. Safe and fun while challenging us vertical foot after vertical foot. The guides were knowledgeable, fun and great skiers. This place is the gateway to heaven! Well above and beyond all of my wildest dreams. Thanks very much guys.

Derek P.

Absolutely amazing! I had a wonderful time. I know I began with a million butterflies in my stomach but after the first run I was having a ball. A special thanks to Rudi and the whole team – you were so supportive and fun! I’ll be back next season! Thanks so much!

Lucy H.

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