Nothing is quite as thrilling as taking a scenic helicopter ride to ski or board the most remote mountain areas in Canada’s wilderness. Heli-skiing is a must for an extreme skiing or snowboarding enthusiast and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that combines an adrenaline rush with the peace and serenity of the mountains. Even if you’ve gone a hundred times, each heli-skiing or heli-boarding adventure is a unique experience all its own, and Whistler has some of the best opportunities in Canada. Find out all you need to know about Whistler heli-skiing and prepare for your unforgettable adventure in the alpine backcountry.
About Whistler heli-skiing
The ultimate in bucket-list adventures, heli-skiing is an exciting ride on the untracked backcountry that’s accessible by helicopter. Suitable for confident intermediate to expert skiers and boarders, heli-skiing is the best way to soar over ideal powder and get an adrenaline rush that’s far beyond alpine runs. Find out what you can expect from a heli-skiing trip in Whistler.
In total, Whistler has 174,824 hectares of heli-ski terrain over 173 glaciers. The runs are suited to different skill levels and may range between 400 and 1,500 vertical metres in length. Unlike the alpine runs at the resorts, heli-ski terrain is unmarked and covered in powder, waiting for you and your group to leave your mark. The experienced guide, informed by the ability of the group and the weather forecast, will scope the mountain and find the best locations for the day.
Helicopter groups of friends or families
Helicopter tours are grouped by ability. Skiers and snowboarders may be in a group together, children have their own groups with accompanying adults, and each group has roughly the same skill level. Semi-private groups are available and have more flexibility in the skill levels. One of the most important things to remember is that the weather dictates your location and your day. After each drop-off, the guide will provide you with insight into the line choices and the best approach for skiing or snowboarding. Different aspects of the run, such as the spacing, timing, natural hazards, and speed are covered, so you’re ready to hit the trail.
If you prefer cat skiing or the weather restricts flights, you can access excellent backcountry powder terrain with cat skiing. Snowcats reach the same remote areas of the backcountry and the untracked terrain. The cat ski groups are small, just like the helicopter groups, and you’ll have an adventurous experience without the crowds. Like the helicopter guides, the cat ski guides cover all the vital safety information and provide tips for your approach to the run, its obstacles and hazards, and its ideal speed. Cat skiing is suitable for confident intermediates to experts in both skiing and snowboarding.
Other Whistler snow sports
If you’re planning a longer trip and want other fun snow sports to experience in Whistler, you’ll be happy to know that the area is a snow-covered paradise for outdoor adventurers. From alpine skiing and boarding to scenic snowshoeing experiences, you’ll never run out of things to do in Whistler.
Alpine skiing for confident skiers
When it comes to alpine skiing, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is one of the top resorts in Whistler. Combining the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort boasts 3,277 hectares of skiable terrain with 3 glacier faces for year-round skiing, over 200 marked trails, and 16 alpine bowls. Much of the terrain is suitable for intermediate to expert skiers, so you’ll find plenty of adventure away from the remote backcountry.
Whistler snowboarding for adventurers
Much of Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort’s skiable terrain offers unique experiences for snowboarders as well. You’ll have your choice of marked trails with different difficulty levels and plenty of obstacles, as well as the glacier faces. Along with the downhill runs, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort also has terrain parks with jumps, rails, boxes, and other jibs for freestyle boarding tricks and stunts.
Whistler snowshoeing with the family
Whether you have kids and novices in your group or you’re looking for a change of pace, snowshoeing is a lovely way to enjoy the beauty of the Whistler mountains. Snowshoeing in Whistler is available with self-guided tours or organized tours, so you can experience the best of the backcountry at your own pace. Some of the best trails in the network include the Sea to Sky Trail, the Train Wreck Trail, and Cheakamus Trails.