Interview by Tom Jackson, HELISKI.com
There are three operators offering heliskiing at Whistler-Blackcomb. We recently visited with Whislter Heli-Skiing, the original helicopter skiing operator in Whistler. Enjoy!
1. Whistler Heli-Skiing has been completing bucket lists since 1983. You must lead the world in bucket list fulfillment. How often does a guest say “Best Day Ever?”
Every time we go Heli-skiing guests are ecstatic and pumped from the day they had. Whether it be their first time or their 20th time we have the terrain and the snow to keep guests having “the best day ever!”
2. Whistler Heli-Skiing offers 3, 4 and 5 run packages. What do most clients choose?
We actually offer 3, 4 and 6 run packages. We recommend picking a package that suits your ability, pace of skiing and or your goals for the day. Most first timers start with a 3 or 4 run package depending on their ski experience especially in powder.
3. Can guests buy extra runs? How much?
Yes we typically offer extra runs depending on the day (conditions, weather, timing). 3 and 4 run package extra runs = $85 and 6 run package extra runs = $95
4. What is your average vertical per run?
- 3 runs (approx. 4,500 – 7,500 vertical feet, or 1,400 – 2,300 vertical meters of skiing)
- 4 runs (approx. 6,000 – 10,000 vertical feet, or 1,800 – 3,500 vertical meters of skiing)
- 6 runs (approx. 9,000 – 15,000 vertical feet. or 2,700 – 4,600 vertical meters of skiing).
5. Does Whistler Heli-Skiing recommend lodging for your guests?
Most guests are in the resort of Whistler for a couple of days skiing on Whistler Blackcomb or doing other activities as well as heli-skiing. That’s one of the best things about Whistler Heli-skiing is that there numerous options for places to stay in Whistler based on your budget, or other requirements. We typically recommend staying in Whistler the night before to check in and get ready for your Heli-day. We always make the final call on whether we can go Heli-skiing or have to cancel due to weather the morning of.
6. How many guests are in each lift?
It depends on the package you purchase. The 3 and 4 run packages are in the Bell 205 Helicopter which typically holds between 7-10 guests. The 6 run package is in the Bell 407 which holds up to a maxium of 5 guests.
7. How many lifts per helicopter?
Depending on the time of year and volume of guests we have up to 3 groups per helicopter.
8. What happens if the weather does not cooperate?
If Whistler Heli-Skiing has to cancel due to poor weather we offer guests aFULL Refund and or the ability to move to the next available day or try to get them out on the next they want to go.
9. So you have a photographer / videographer?
Yes it is included in the 3 and 4 run packages. A photographer will work with each group to take some photos and a video of one run of each group.
10. How many of your guests are heli-boarding?
I’d think 30-40% of our guests are heli-boarders.
11. Do you have powder snowboards for your guests?
Yes Whistler Heli-Skiing (WHS) has many great powder boards to rent. We highly recommend boarders use them as it makes the day so much easier and fun to really float on the fresh snow.
12. When does the Whistler Heli-Skiing season open?
Season dates for 2011-12 are Dec 3rd 2011- April 22nd 2011
13. Can guests get a deal if they book more multiple days?
Yes we offer $100 off and free rentals for subsequent days within the season.
14. Do you offer deals to groups?
Depending on the time of year and availability WHS does offer some incentive for groups of 10 or more people to pre-book Heli-skiing.
15. Anything else you would like to add about Whistler Heli-Skiing?
Just beyond the ski lifts of Whistler and Blackcomb, minutes from North America’s #1-ranked Ski Resort, awaits the ultimate high-alpine experience. Imagine carving through untracked powder, endless terrain and breath-taking scenery. With hundreds of ski runs, there is a tremendous variety of slopes to accommodate all levels of skiers and boarders from intermediate to expert. The skiing varies from wide-open glaciers to beautiful gladed tree runs. The heli-ski area is made up of several zones and is approximately 50 miles north/south by 30 miles east/west (80km by 50km). Your guide will select terrain within a zone according to snowfall, the weather, and your group’s ability.
Thanks. See you in Whistler!