Heli-Skiers and Helicopter

Category: Heliskiing

5 Tips for Planning Your Heli Skiing BC Trip

Heli-Skiers and Helicopter

We’re asked all the time about what a potential heliskier needs to do in order to come to experience heli-skiing for the first time. I could fill your head with all sorts of “must dos” and “don’t miss out ons” but here instead is the short and fun list of Tyax’s Recommended 5 Tips for Planning Your BC Heli Skiing Trip.

Preparing for a BC Heliskiing Holiday

Tip #1: Get in Shape

By this we don’t mean you have to run 20 kilometers 7 days a week, but neither can you be a self-described couch potato.  Set yourself up for running 2-3 times per week, at something more than a sedate walk. Stretch your legs out and stretch your time out while on the road.  Your running regimen should be more than a quick clip to the fridge for another beer (although that is another type of training we recommend). Grab your dog, your wife/husband, your kids, your friends, and set about improving your cardio and commit to reestablishing your fitness level to “moderate” rather than “I need a break after bringing in the groceries” level.  Chances are that getting yourself together after the mountain yard sale will tire you out more than the skiing. Besides, this gives you a way of enjoying your heli skiing holiday to BC more than just the week you are out here at Tyax, by building the anticipation months in advance. Now rest assured, we also planned ahead even though YOU may not have. With only 1 group per helicopter, if your legs are screaming at you, you do have the ability to sit one out in the helicopter, while your friends are out taking advantage of our “Unlimited Vertical  policy.  Don’t be THAT guy. 

BC Heliski Gear to Bring

Tip #2 Carry your ski boots on the plane with you

This may seem like a no-brainer, but trust us, each year we are scrambling when someone’s luggage goes missing and heads to Bangladesh rather than British Columbia.  Let me set the stage for you to envision…..you’ve forked out a not-insignificant amount of money to fulfill your lifelong dream of a week at a destination heli ski lodge.  You’ve convinced the family that this is an excellent use of money, and despite the boss shooting you the stink eye every time he sees you, you’ve committed. You’ve arrived in Vancouver, but your ski boots have not.  Instead of feeling great in your own boots, you’ll get to experience that unique sick feeling when each morning you’ll get to put your feet into a pair of ill-fitting rentals. Don’t be THAT guy.

Tip #3: Travel and/or Medical Insurance

Insurance sucks when you have to pay the premiums.  Insurance sucks when you have to wade through pages and pages of legalese.  Insurance sucks when you have to go to battle with a company to compensate you.  Insurance does NOT suck when you have it in your back pocket. No one anticipates blowing their ACL, and your adhering to Tip #1 has ensured that you’ve given yourself a fighting chance. Whether you end up hanging out in the lounge for the rest of your holiday, or decide to head home to get yourself sorted out, having options takes the heat off.  Some winters we end up chartering helicopters for emergency transport to a hospital, or making last minute arrangements for someone that just wants to get home to their own doctor. We’ll take care of all those arrangements, including taking you to our closest hospital to get a doctor’s note, but Trip Cancellation Insurance ensures that you can concentrate on what happens in the unlikely event that you have an injury.  This also ensures that the friends you came with don’t have to listen to you complain about how much getting home is going to cost you. Don’t be THAT guy. 

Equipment for a BC Heliskiing Trip

Tip #4: Identify your most important ski gear item

Do you have a favourite pair of goggles that act as your good luck charm?  Enables you to see in white-out conditions, and never fog up, no matter how hard you are breathing?  Have an underlayer that keeps you warm and dry regardless of how hard you are working or sweating? If these are “must have” items in your gear bag, you might think about doubling up.  We’ve got an awesome gift shop, and we’ve tried to stock it with things that guests forget or want to add to their clothing arsenal, but for sure we will not have a familiar and well-broken in item that propels you to skier rockstar status. The stuff you have used for the last few seasons and have been an integral part of your gear selection should be packed for the trip.  No one cares if it’s brand spanking new. Just bring your “tried and true” gear. Your friends and fellow heli mates do not want to hear you complain that your hands are cold or wet. Don’t be THAT guy.

Tyax Lodge Heliskiing Employment

Tip #5: Be respectful of your Guide

This tip is not really about planning, but more about once you are here. Our Guides are amazing, and they are hired for a combination of their ability to keep you safe, and their ability to show you an epic time in our mountains.  They are diehard skiers, and hardcore mountain enthusiasts. They love what they do, and want to pass along that love to everyone that comes to visit.  They are experts in every way and without them, Tyax wouldn’t have the history that it does. The Guide is charged with your safety, and the reputation of this company.  Please listen to their words, and truly hear what they are saying. Recognizing them for their skill set will ensure that you have an epic time while at Tyax. Disrespect will guarantee that you and your group will end up with some unpleasant memories, instead of positive ones.  Don’t be THAT guy.  

Of course Tip #6 goes without saying……relax, you’re gonna LOVE IT!!!

If you’re amped up and ready for your next heli skiing bc adventure, inquire as to availability or call us toll free at 1 (877) 918-8929 today.

Backcountry Heliskiing – Gear Check

Heliskiing Helicopters and Skiers

Heliskiing at Tyax Lodge is incredible. With some of the best terrain and snow in the world, it’s easy to see why we’ve been operating here since 1991. Back then the ski technology and equipment was nothing like we have today, with some skiers being limited by their gear.

However, in recent years improvements have been made in every department. We now have ski clothes that stay dry and warm in any condition and skis that float across the deepest, lightest powder. Check out our guide on the latest and greatest ski gear for your next trip to Tyax Lodge!

Ski Jacket – Arc’teryx Rush Jacket

Arc’teryx is a true BC brand. They’re based in North Vancouver and know the demands that this part of the world puts on ski gear. When you’re out in the backcountry, you can be at the mercy of the elements. Your ski jacket is your first line of defence against the icy winds and falling snow. In our minds, there is no better ski jacket than the Arc’teryx Rush.

Arcteryx Ski Jacket

The GORE-Tex 3-layer system does a fantastic job of keeping you and your base layers dry. The pores on this material are so small that water molecules cannot pass from the outside in. The Arc’teryx Rush jacket is also windproof! It has everything you need to keep you comfortable while heliskiing.

Ski Pants – Arc’teryx Shashka Pant

When shopping for a new pair of ski pants you should keep in mind what specific features you need to the intended use. As we do a lot of incredible backcountry skiing in deep powder we love wearing a bib pant.

Heli Ski Pants Arcteryx

The Arc’teryx Shashka pant has a higher rise on the waist and is secured with suspenders. This means there’s a much lower chance of getting any chilly snow down your back! The pants are made of GORE C-KNIT™, which keeps you dry, while also being soft and comfortable. There’s also a pad of Keprotec™ on the instep of the pants. This material helps prevent cuts in the pant from crampons or ski boots.

Baselayers – Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer

A warm and breathable base layer is an often mistakenly, overlooked aspect of our ski gear. Sitting on our skin, the base layer needs to keep us warm while also allowing our sweat to escape. Merino wool is the best material for this. It is made with the wool from the merino sheep, who are native to New Zealand. The unique properties of the wool allow it to keep us warm when we’re cold and also allows us to cool down on warmer days. The material is also very quick drying and anti-microbial, which helps prevent it from smelling after heavy use.

Heliskiing equipment baselayers

Smartwool has been the industry leaders in merino wool department for a number of years now. The Merino 250 Base Layer is the best choice for a heliskiing base layer. It’s slim fitting, the seams are designed to reduce chaffing, and it’s their warmest base layer.

Skis – Rossignol Super 7 HD

Without a proper powder ski, you simply will not get the full heliskiing experience. A powder ski will allow you to float through some of the best powder in the world here at Tyax Lodge. The feeling of floating is unbeatable. A powder ski is wider than a groomer ski and has a rocker. This allows the tips to float across the snow while the wide base keeps you skimming across the top of the snow, rather than sinking down.

Rossignol Super 7 HD Skis

The Rossignol Super 7 HD has been a favorite for the ski industry since it’s release. This most noticeable thing about the Super 7 HD is the Air Tip 2.0. This is the distinguishable honeycomb tip which helps reduce the weight of the ski while increasing the structural integrity. They’ve also reduced the overall weight of the ski by using Carbon Alloy Matrix which also increases the power and stability of the ski.

Goggles – Oakley Airbrake® XL

Nothing ruins a day of skiing quite like fogged up goggles. We really need to have optimal vision when we’re skiing down steep terrain and through thick forests, not stopping to air out our goggles. We also need a good lens that allows us to see different changes in the ski area.

Heliski Gear Oakley Ski Goggles

The Oakley Airbrake® XL is a fantastic choice for skiing at Tyax Lodge. This is a large goggle that allows for a greater field of vision and has Switchlock™ Technology that makes swapping lenses out quick and easy. This goggle comes with a Prizim lens which is Oakley’s premium lens.

Gloves – Arc’teryx Fission

Cold and wet fingers in winter are one of our least favorite things in winter. Once the cold gets in, it can be very hard to shake off. The key to an enjoyable day is keeping your hands warm and dry. A good glove should be waterproof, have sufficient warmth technologies and be durable.

Arcteryx Ski Gloves

The Arc’teryx Fission is the perfect choice. This is one of the best women’s ski glove on the market. Primaloft® insulation will keep you warm all day long, while the GORE-TEX® lining keeps your hands dry. The Fission gloves have a hardwearing Fortius™ 1.0 softshell outer and leather exterior. This allows them to be used without worry of damaging the glove. These gloves will take whatever you throw at them!

There you have our rundown on some of the best ski gear on the market. So make sure you get the most out of it by coming to Tyax Lodge this winter!

What is Heli-Skiing? And Other Frequently Asked Questions.

Tyax Heliskiing Partners

What is heli-skiing?

Heli-skiing is when you take a helicopter to access backcountry ski runs that are otherwise very difficult to reach. It is one of the most exhilarating, and unique, ski activities that you can do.

Loading up a helicopter with some of your best friends and heli-skiing at Tyax Lodge is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Our experienced pilots and highly qualified guides take you to some of the best powder runs in the world in a stunning setting.

Tyax Heliskiiing Red Helicopter

How difficult is heli-skiing?

Heli-skiing may seem like it is only for expert skiers and snowboarders, but actually, if you’re a fit intermediate skier, you can have a blast heli-skiing. If you’re comfortable skiing any in-bound resort run, then you’ve got what it takes to come heli-skiing at Tyax Lodge.

Do I have to jump out of the helicopter?

Getting our guests out of the helicopter is one of our main safety concerns here at Tyax Lodge. Our helicopters land safely on the snow and you exit the helicopter under supervision. The helicopter then collects you at the bottom of the run.

Tyax Heliskiing FAQ Canada

What to bring heli-skiing?

When you come heli-skiing at Tyax Lodge, you only need to bring your ski/snowboard boots and whatever else you wear on a cold day of resort skiing. We recommend that everyone brings their helmet too, but it’s not mandatory. We provide you with skis, boards, bindings, and poles.

We also provide all of our guests with Backcountry Access BCA Float 12 backpacks. In the case of an avalanche, these backpacks recognize the impact and discharge airbags that help to float you to the top of the snow, which increases the chances of rescue. We also have training for the use of transceivers, shovels, and probes.

Powder Heliskiing BC Canada

Where can I go heli-skiing?

There are fantastic heli-skiing destinations all around the world, including Japan, Georgia and even India. However, ever since heli-skiing was invented in Canada in the 1960s, it has remained the premiere heli-skiing destination in the world.

Tyax Lodge is nestled in between the Coastal Mountains and the South Chilcotin Mountains in the Goldbridge area of British Columbia. We’re 180km north of Whistler and accessible by road throughout the year. Our ski area spreads over 830,000 acres and we have an annual snowfall ranging between 5-25 meters. This part of BC is famous for having a wide variety of terrain, champagne powder and gorgeous sunny days. This area has such incredible conditions that we’ve been heli-skiing here since 1991.

When can I go heli-skiing?

You and your friends can come heli-skiing at Tyax Lodge between December and the end of March, give or take a few weeks depending on conditions. For December and January, you can expect low temperatures and regular storm cycles passing through. This all leads to dry, deep, powder runs all day long.

In February and March, there are generally fewer storms, but the days are sunny and bright. There’s still plenty of powder and the added bonus of some fantastic conditions for photographs. No matter what dates you come heli-skiing at Tyax Lodge our team will ensure that you have a fantastic experience.

Tyax Heliskiing Hellicopter BC Canada

Is heli-skiing safe?

We work alongside the Canadian Avalanche Association to analyze weather and snow data to reduce risks and avalanches as much as possible. Based on this analysis we are able to decide on the safest possible areas to go heli-skiing. We are also a member of HeliCat Canada and we adhere to their strict safety standards for the heli-skiing industry.

All of our heli-skiing guides at Tyax Lodge are qualified members of Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) or International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). With decades of experience between them, they are able to bring you on some unparalleled heli-skiing, while maintaining the highest safety standard throughout.

Our helicopters are flown by pilots from Wildcat Helicopter. Not only are they expert heli-skiing pilots, but they also have experience in fighting forest fires from the air and conducting nature surveys in the Arctic. Our talented team of on-site engineers keeps the heli-skiing helicopters in top condition, ensuring that all facets of safety are comprehensively covered.

Photo Credits: Guy Fattal

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