Photos: Alain Sleigher
|Terrain Accessed||500,000 acres|
|Annual Snowfall||480-720 inches|
|Guest-to-Guide Ratio||4:1 to 11:1|
|Lodging on Site||Yes|
|Single Heli Drops||No|
|Heli Types||Bell 205, Bell 407, A-Star B2|
|Maximum Vertical||7,217 vertical feet|
|Closest Airport||YLW, 116 miles|
Revelstoke is the heli-skiing capital of Canada with four outfits operating in town. The sport was introduced to the area in 1978 by Swiss mountain guide Peter Schlunegger (thanks, Pete!), who would go on to found Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing (STHS) that year. The Godfather says STHS is best, and if there’s one thing we know in life, it’s that the Godfather is always right.
STHS operates as a sister company to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which offers some of the world’s best lift-accessed skiing in its own right. This partnership provides plenty of options for STHS guests to fill up their visit to Revelstoke with resort days and prep for their heli trip. In addition to the copious amount of vert you can stack at the resort (its 5,620 vertical feet of skiing is the most in North America), it’s a guarantee that your quads will be burnin’ during your stay with STHS.
The regime’s 500,000 acres of terrain has over 250 named runs, a few of which offer an astounding 2,200 vertical meters—that’s 7,200-plus feet—of skiing. And the snow… oh, the snow. The inland location of the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains—where STHS operates—benefits from temperatures that are cold enough to keep the snow prime but not cold enough to freeze your fingers off. This collides with the copious amounts of moisture arriving from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in 480 to 720 inches of cold smoke, blower pow each season.
Once you’ve had your fill of snorkeling through deep snow, you’ll be shacking up in the luxurious Coast Hillcrest Hotel, just five minutes from downtown Revelstoke, assuming you’ve signed up for one of STHS’s multi-day packages. Buffet breakfast, lunch in the field and relaxed, gourmet dinners with your group are all taken care of, too. On the flip side, there are plenty of options for those who are looking for something more short term.
STHS offers single-day packages—for both strong intermediate and expert skiers—that can accommodate 10 skiers with two guides and includes breakfast, lunch and after-ski snacks. And for those who want to ski without the added amenities, the No Frills bundle provides two days of skiing with guests being responsible for their own accommodations and meals.
Whatever you’re looking for in your heli-ski vacation, zipping up to the capital of chopper-shredding country and teaming up with Selkirk Tangiers is a good start. Just ask the folks at MSP Films, who spent some of last winter filming with STHS for their new flick, Ruin and Rose.