Revelstoke Heli and Cat Skiing
Revelstoke heli and cat skiing is about as good as skiing gets. Sure, you don’t have to hop on a helicopter or snowcat to access world-class runs at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The regular trails and tree runs that can be accessed by way of the ski lifts are rewarding enough. That being said, those who choose to indulge in Revelstoke heli and cat skiing get the chance to glide down untouched tracts of soft, white powder that are a true dream. Better yet, the amount of fellow skiers that they have to share the terrain with is dramatically decreased. There’s almost a feeling of having the world to yourself, and what a beautiful world it is this high up in the Canadian Rockies.
Heli Skiing Image: Ben Shaw
Revelstoke, British Columbia has been hailed as the world capital of helicopter skiing. In case you are wondering, snowboarders are also welcome at Revelstoke, so coincidentally, you could dub this alpine wonderland as the global capital of helicopter snowboarding as well. What’s the rave all about? It begins with the powder. The Revelstoke region averages between 40 to 60 feet of snowfall each winter, and the resulting powder is deep, fluffy, and all around sublime. Other reasons why Revelstoke heli skiing and snowboarding are so renowned include the terrain and the versatility. In relation to the terrain, no less than 500,000 acres are available to explore. This ties in with the versatility element. With so much terrain to work with, there are various staging areas that can be used for Revelstoke heli skiing and snowboarding adventures. Should the conditions be uninviting at one location, you can simply head to another. As for those days when the weather restricts the ability to fly, you can opt instead to revel in the blissful terrain at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which isn’t exactly a bad tradeoff. Widely considered to be one of the top-ten ski resorts in the world, the Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers 5,620 feet of vertical. That’s the most vertical of any ski resort in North America. Revelstoke also impresses with its 3,121 acres of fall-line skiing.
Revelstoke heli skiing and snowboarding isn’t cheap. That being said, if you can scrape enough money together, it is worth every penny. There are a variety of heli skiing options to suit a range of budgets. The cheapest packages are the base-level single-day packages. They cost $635 per person. Other single-day packages are also available, with the most costly being $6,875 for a group of up to four people. All of the day packages for Revelstoke heli skiing and snowboarding include meals, avalanche transceivers, equipment rental, safety training, and top-rated guiding services. Should the budget allow and you want to treat yourself to more than a single day of Revelstoke heli skiing or snowboarding, there are also a variety of multi-day packages to consider. These packages are for anywhere from two to seven days. The lowest priced adventures are $1,724 per person, while the highest priced packages cost upwards of $114,645 per helicopter with a maximum of ten people. Once again, such things as meals, equipment rentals, and applicable training are included. (All prices are in Canadian Dollars and do not include tax.)
Cat skiing and snowboarding at Revelstoke can be an excellent alternative to heli skiing or heli snowboarding. It is certainly cheaper, which helps explain why demand is so high. In fact, the majority of the available seats are booked before December 1. It should be noted that on days when the weather conditions are optimal, the resort operates an additional snowcat machine, which increases availability. Also, there is a wait list during the season for last minute seats that open up. As for what you can expect to enjoy when it comes to cat skiing and snowboarding at Revelstoke, the list includes alpine bowls, naturally gladed slopes, and that famous Revelstoke powder. The full-day packages include unlimited vertical, equipment rentals, lunch, and apres-ski appetizers. Both the snow conditions and the group’s ability are considered when choosing the terrain that is accessed for any given adventure.
A minimum age of 15 is required for cat skiing and snowboarding at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Participants ages 15-18 must be accompanied by a legal parent or guardian. Cat skiing or snowboarding are offered are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from December 15 to March 24. Rates range from $300 to $450 a day depending on the month. Once again, prices are in Canadian Dollars and do not include tax. As a side note, there are Revelstoke heli and cat skiing packages that include lodging and other things, such as guided backcountry excursions. As such, it can be a good idea to consider all of the available package deals when planning a Revelstoke escape.
Top image: Royce Sihlis