Heli-Access Ski Touring
December to April
Cost per person (before tax) per day based on guide to guests ratio
- 1:1 = $550
- 1:2 = $312
- 1:3 = $233
- 1:4 = $193
PLUS daily helicopter fees ranging from $900 to $1800CAD
Heli-Access Ski Touring
The ultimate way to access Backcountry ski touring…
Get the most out of your ski holiday in the Kootenays by flying directly into the backcountry. Start your day with an exciting run down a remote peak, followed by many more untracked powder descents with fantastic views. Enjoy being far from crowds while ski touring an exclusive mountain area for the day. Discover the legendary powder, diverse terrain and consistently deep snow found in the mountains of the Nelson area.
Throughout the winter months, Summit Mountain Guides offers Heli Drop ski touring programs in the Selkirk’s, Purcell’s and Monashee mountains of south-eastern British Columbia. Our regular programs are based out of beautiful Nelson and Kaslo BC and include countless venues for you to explore. By leaving all the logistics and safety to our expert team, you will maximize your skiing holiday. Programs are geared towards moderate to advanced ski tourers.
The itinerary on this program will vary depending on proximity and accessibility of the chosen heli access ski touring area. We will typically meet at 07:30 in the morning and carpool to a staging area. After a quick Heli briefing and final condition check, we will fly into an exclusive backcountry playground for a full day of ski touring. We will enjoy a minimum of 4 quality descents and 3 arduous ascents while skiing upwards of 1500m vertical. Depending on the program, we will either fly back or ski out to civilization in time for a well-earned shower and timely Dinner.
Prior backcountry skiing experience with intermediate to advanced ski touring ability required. Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability. Please contact us to discuss your background and what kind of tour would suit you best.
We will be flying into the backcountry from a staging area close to our ski touring location. Most staging areas this program are located with-in an hour drive from town. You will be meeting with your guide the evening before the trip starts for a final gear check. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following day(s). We will also sign a liability waiver. Depending on your preferences and the ski touring area you are interested-in, suitable accommodation can be found in Nelson, Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Cranbrook, Nakusp, Kaslo & New Denver.
Kootenay weather can vary drastically. In winter you expect temperatures to be from -15C to –5C in the day while in spring daily temperatures could rise well above zero. Visibility may be poor or whiteout conditions when snowing heavily or clear on bluebird days. Ensure you are dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind and precipitation can change within the day.
- Pre-trip planning support
- Certified ACMG Mountain Guide, Ski Guide or Apprentice Ski Guide
- Group safety equipment (communication device, rescue kit, first aid supplies, GPS, maps)
Not included in price:
- Lunch, snacks
- GST 5% tax
- Personal ski touring boots, skis, skins or snow board set up
- Personal avalanche safety equipment *SMG rentals available $25/day for beacon ($15), shovel ($5) & probe ($5)
- Transportation to touring location
- Lift fees if applicable, one way Whitewater fee is $35 plus tax, Red Mtn fee is $35 for SMG guests
- Additional charges due to changes in itinerary or ski location, guest must cover also additional guide costs (extra travel/accommodation/food expense)
- Trip cancellation and or trip interruption insurance. Medical, emergency rescue and evacuation insurance are also your responsibility
Where can I rent Ski touring and safety equipment?
Here are a few outdoor stores in Nelson that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.
What transceiver should I use?
What kind of transceiver can I use? If you are interested in touring in the back country with friends or take one of our courses, it is very important to get a modern “triple antenna digital beacon” with a marking function. For recreational skiers and boarders, we suggest the following beacons: Mammut-Baryvox “Element”, Ortovox “Zoom”, Peeps “DSP tour” or the Tracker “2”. For people that moving towards working in the ski industry a more professional “more advanced” beacons is recommended, such as Mammut-Baryvox “Pulse”, Ortovox “3+” or Peeps “regular DSP”.
Skis, Telemark or Split Boards?
Which should you use? If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine Touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier or Snowboarder should you bring Telemark or Split Board gear. All types of gear can be rented in Nelson prior to your day trip. There are three types of backcountry systems you can use:
Alpine Touring skis are essentially downhill skis with a special touring binding which allows the heel to lift whilst going uphill or across the flats and then ‘locks down’ to become a regular downhill safety binding. We recommend this system to anyone with a background of downhill skiing who is not already an advanced telemark skier.
Telemark skis. These should only be used for this program if you are at least an advanced-intermediate telemark skier with some backcountry experience. This system is more difficult and less forgiving than the others.
Snowboarding with a Split Board is the most effective way to snowboard in the back country. We recommend this system to advanced snowboarder over snowshoeing.