Q&A: What are the upsides to town-based heli-skiing?
Many heli-ski operations are based out of a backcountry lodge, where you’ll fly into a remote location, and get your heli-skiing, accommodations and meals all in one place. A week later (or sometimes 3-4 days), you’ll fly back out and head for home.
The other format, of which there are several ops across BC, is town-based. This is where you can drive your own (rental) car right to the orientation/take-off point, heli-ski for a single day or multiple days, and be right back in that ski town at the end of the day.
This is town-based heli-skiing, and it’s what we offer here at Purcell.
Our home base is Golden, BC, home of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and neighbour to Lake Louise, Revelstoke, and the epic Powder Highway, where you can sample nothing but dry, Interior snow and unique towns and terrain.
There are things to love about lodge-based heli-skiing for sure, but if you’re considering town-based and wondering about the differences, here they are:
With a town-based package, you’re just buying the heli-skiing. Which means how much you decide to spend on your meals, accommodation and transport is totally up to you. With a lodge-based operation, it’s an all-inclusive experience, so you may be paying for amenities that aren’t as important to you as the skiing.
If you’re looking to focus your holiday spend on the next drop, not the frills, separating and having choice over costs can be very appealing.
(From private chalets to homey B&Bs to condos or a simple hotel, we can help direct you with local info and recommendations to find exactly what suits your style and budget.)
Freedom of motion
If everything is perfect, who wants to leave? I hear you. But for some, a ski holiday’s strength is the ability to adapt. If it looks like nothing but grey skies here, but the next town over has the sun? Or the next town over is getting dumped on tonight?
Town-based heli-skiing is a great match for the à la carte mission, where your goal is to combine backcountry with frontcountry and keep variety up your sleeve as Mother Nature does her thing.
It also means that if intense weather makes flying impossible, you aren’t stuck in one place with no other options.
Explore new flavours
By being town-based, you can test out a new apres-ski experience every day. If one day you want to go all out and dress up for steak and cognac, but the next you just want to grab a pizza in your ski gear or try out the local brewery? In a word: choice.
Our little town boasts an impressive array of delicious cafes, restaurants and watering holes for its size, from white tablecloths and candlelight to jam night and sushi take-away. What looks good? Your call.
You won’t find one- or two-day heli-skiing packages at remote lodges. That’s simply because it’s inefficient. Getting there might take a day in itself, so most packages are built around a week or half-week’s stay. If you only have a week or less available, many people are looking for a shorter option, where you can still snipe the best powder and access to untouched terrain, but without committing so much time.
From most cities in North America, you can fly direct to Calgary (YYC) and be at our heli-pad three hours later. Short trip, BIG impact.
And never fear.
By choosing a town as your home base, you won’t sacrifice ANY of the remote access on your heli-ski day(s).
With a 10-15 minute flight, you’ll go from here…
….to here. Untouched. Silent. All yours.
What’s key is that the SKIING delivers the quality, the exclusivity, the challenge, the mind-blowing experience you’ve been dreaming of.
And it will.
It’s a simple setup. Just meet us in Golden. Let’s fly.
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