I have heard you say “TLH Heli-Skiing is the best deal in the heli-skiing industry.” Explain, please.
We offer a unique combination of program features that offer the best VALUE. While some Operators have a couple of the features that make us stand out, we are the only ones with this particular blend that makes our product perfect for so many heliskiers – location, accessibility, ski program, lodging, price, guides and safety. Our rates align with many other operators, yet we include unlimited vertical (which we back up with vertical guarantees), Single Group heli-skiing, transfers from Vancouver (no additional flights or transfer charges), and incredible lodging. All of our programs are semi-private at the cost of a regular program.
How can you afford to do just one group per helicopter at ‘Standard’ Canadian heli-skiing rates?
Once you have offered this program, and you have clients see how good the single group program is, you can’t really afford not to. Return clients who can’t see going back to any other way of heli-skiing will keep coming back, and then start bring their friends. Guest retention is a great testimonial. Smaller margins with better guest experiences.
You also like to extol the advantages of heli-skiing in just one group.
The Single Group program has so many advantages; sometimes people don’t realize how many benefits come with it!
- You are the first to head out in the morning and the last one to come back at the end of the day which means more ski time, which of course means more skiing. You are never waiting on other groups, virtually never waiting on the machine, so you can keep on skiing.
- If you want to ski different areas in the further areas of the tenure, you can fly out there first thing in the morning and stay out there all day instead of taking half the day to get out there and half the day to get back; with large tenures and 2-4 groups in a machine, you have to slowly make your way, taxiing groups, with one group it’s a direct flight in and back.
- The flexibility in variable weather is greatly increased – obviously you need a longer lead time in changing weather if you need to bring in 2 or 3 more groups, so you have to head in sooner. With one group, you can stay out longer. All of these things mean more skiing, less wait times, more access, and a better experience.
How does TLH snow differ from Whistler and the Coast Range operators like Bella Coola, Northern Escape Heli-Skiing and Last Frontier Heli-skiing (LFH and TLH Heli-Skiing used to be the same company)?
While our close proximity to Whistler is a great selling feature for us for obvious reasons (accessibility, Whistler Combos), our location is actually in another mountain range, taking us away from the sometimes wet Coastal snow conditions. Located in the South Chilcotin Mountains, the lodge sits in a colder range where we benefit from a higher and drier environment, which often gives us better snow quality. At the same time, our 830,000 acre tenure runs from the Chilcotins into the Coast Mountains, so when the Coast gets the deep, dry dumps, we can get to that too.
TLH is known for high alpine skiing. Got trees?
We are certainly known for our alpine accessibility and do try to ski the big long alpine lines, but we have great tree skiing as well. There is the opportunity to access varied terrain within our large tenure; our guides will go where the best skiing is, dependent on the current weather and snow conditions. We definitely had some great tree skiing while this last storm rolled through!
Travel to the lodge by ski plane is also unique. Walk us through the process, please.
The ski plane is a Beaver Dehavilland and it is indeed a very unique way to get into the lodge. It flies from Vancouver or Pemberton into the lodge, landing on the frozen lake in front of the resort. For 2015, the ski plane is generally only used for charters but we encourage guests to utilize this option rather than driving whenever possible. We use helicopters for almost all of our air transfers.
Our regular transfers include transportation from Vancouver to the lodge, a combination of air and land travel. We pick-up in Vancouver and drive to Pemberton, 35 km’s north of Whistler – guests fly in and out of there by helicopter, weather permitting.
We can offer charters directly from Vancouver to the lodge as well, by helicopter or ski plane, a flight of only 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Mostly you ski in groups of 10 in a Bell 212, right?
Our Signature Program is 10 guests and 2 guides in a single group Bell 212, so only 10 total in the machine all day. We also run a Small Group Program with 4 guests and 2 guides in a single group Bell 407. Both of these programs are also available in our Platinum Private Package with private chalet and service team.
Are the smaller groups for Privates, only?
No, they are available in the main lodge as well. You can have a small group, semi-private vacation, flying solo in your own machine, and coming back to the lodge to share in the festivities with the rest of the guests. We generally only run one 407 at a time so it is important to book this program early to secure dates. [Private 407 for Standard Prices. That's awesome!]
Tell us about the lodging and food, please.
Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa, home of TLH Heli-Skiing, is a boutique Wilderness lodge perfectly suited to the overall heli-skiing experience. Fully renovated in 2010 with ongoing improvements annually, the lodge offers comfortable guest rooms, a beautiful Lakeview dining room, a full lounge and bar, a den, a ski shop, a gift shop and an incredible spa with Eucalyptus steam room, infrared sauna, wood sauna, yoga studio, three treatment rooms, and a 20-person outdoor hot tub. It is the perfect balance between an authentic backcountry heliski lodge and a contemporary resort for the modern traveler.
The dining is, of course, one of the most important elements. We always strive to make sure our culinary offerings are top-notch, and we have received particularly rave reviews so far this season. Comments this last week included “Chef Liam, Whatever you are paying him, raise it!”, “Outstanding dining”, “Food has always been very good, but it was exceptional this time.” Heli Belly is part of the overall experience and we intend to fulfill that! Our 30 ft ceiling, fireside, Lake view dining room is no hindrance to the experience.
In the summer you do heli mountain biking. That sounds awesome!
It is awesome!! It’s actually by float plane rather than heli. We use the same ski plane from our winter charters, put floats on it and utilize it for flightseeing and mountain bike drops. The region is home to some of the world’s best mountain biking, with day drops to multiple lakes with 25-60km rides back to the lodge on single track, or backcountry hut-to-hut trips. If you are into the outdoors, we are worth visiting every season. You can also check out www.tyax.com and www.tyaxadventures.com for summer adventures.
And if you have not done it, please take the 2014 Heliskiing Survey.