Canada Heli & Cat Tour
9 Days I 2 Heliski Days I 1 Cat Ski Day I 3 Resort days
January 08, 2018 to January 16, 2018
$3950 PER PERSON
$100 off when you book before 30 October
Small Group Tour – Maximum 6 guests
2 Days Heliski with RK Heliski & 1 Day Cat Ski with Big Red Cats, 2 days guiding at Panorama Mountain Resort & 1 day guiding at Red Mountain
If you want to get an introduction to heliskiing and cat skiing but you don’t know where to start, join us on our Canada Heliski & Cat Tour with our experienced guides. For the tour we’re headed to Panorama Mountain Resort which is home to the legendary RK Heliski and Red Mountain which is home to the worlds biggest cat ski operation, Big Red Cats.
Spend your first two days riding Panorama Mountain Resort with your guides. The terrain here ranges from perfect corduroy groomers, perfect for laying down high speed carves to ‘backcountry style’ runs in Taynton Bowl, which is patrolled, ex-heliski terrain. This is the perfect warm up for the following heli days. Taynton bowl is accessible via a short hike, which largely keeps the crowds out, so you can expect to find pockets of powder, long after a storm has passed. Taynton Bowl offers deep snow, perfectly spaced trees, long runs and endless lines all to yourself. And for 2018, Taynton is bigger, better, and badder with a massive terrain expansion. This monstrous new terrain is ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. And it’s definitely where the wild things will go! The new area boasts four huge new double black lines. Panorama now has 1300 metres of vertical, that’s an additional 75 metres, and an additional 52 hectares of terrain, and a new resort distance record for a ski run, at over 6.5 km long! This brand new alpine zone is now in-bounds and part of the resort’s regular safety patrol.
Of course the highlight of this tour is the heli-skiing, racking up a minimum of 10 runs over 2 days. Expect to ride deep snow and fresh lines every run. RK Heliski is one of the highest operations in North America, with consistent, light, dry snow and very few cancelled days and a huge amount of vertical.You’ll get to ride the legendary Jumbo Valley and the Purcell Mountains (3000m+) with runs ranging from incredible open bowls, long glaciated runs and and many other areas that comprise of perfect gladed tree runs.
We then transfer to Rossland / Red Mountain where we stay in our own luxury ski lodge on Mountain at ‘Red’. We will spend a full day out with Big Red Cats, which has some of the best glade skiing in the world. You can look forward to amazing snow quality here. The runs are generally between 1200-1800 feet each and we’ll typically get to ride 10 runs.
Throughout the trip we stay in twin share, on-mountain accommodation, with the heli pad just a stones throw away and North America’s largest slope side hot pools nearby, ready for us to kick back with a few frothy’s after scoring the best lines of our life. Fully hosted and guided. If you’re looking for THE ultimate heli & cat ski adventure, then this tour is for you!
Itinerary and details below..
- 2 days heliskiing – 5 run Heliski Package each day, RK Heliski
- 1 day cat skiing, Big Red Cats
- 5 nights twin share accommodation, in a 1 bedroom self contained condo, Ski Tip Panorama
- 3 nights twin share accommodation in luxury ski lodge, Big Red Lodge Red Mountain
- 2 day lift ticket, Panorama
- 1 day lift ticket, Red Mountain
- One way bus transfer from Calgary Airport to Panorama
- One way bus transfer from Red Mountain to Castlegar Airport
- Private Inter-resort, Panorama to Red Mountain
- Use of powder boards / powder ski’s for Heliski days
- A hearty hot breakfast for Heliski days
- Packed picnic lunch for Heliski Days & Cat Ski day
- Apres snacks, post heliski days
- ACMG guide service, for Heliski Days & Cat Ski Day
- Safety equipment – becon, shovel, probe & radio, for Heliski Day & Cat Ski day
- Training and helicopter / cat safety briefing, for Heliski Day & Cat ski day
- 2 days resort guiding at Panorama Mountain Resort
- 1 day resort guiding at Red Mountain
Arrival Day – 8 January, 2018
Arrive at Calgary Airport and we’ll arrange for you to transfer to Panorama Mountain Resort. Your guides will meet you at the hotel and check you in to our accommodation. You’ve got the afternoon free to check out the area. In the evening we’ll regroup for a welcome session where your guides will run you through the tour plan and you’ve got the opportunity to ask any questions. We’ll then head our for dinner where you can get to know the guests and guides. Then settle in at the T-Bar for a few craft beers and a game of pool with the locals.
Panorama Mountain Resort – 9 & 10 January, 2018
Spend your first two days on snow exploring the resort with your guides. The terrain here ranges from perfect corduroy groomers, perfect for laying down high speed carves to ‘backcountry style’ runs in Taynton Bowl, which is patrolled, ex-heliski terrain. This is the perfect warm up for the following heli days. Taynton bowl is accessible via a short hike, which largely keeps the crowds out, so you can expect to find pockets of powder, long after a storm has passed. Taynton Bowl offers deep snow, perfectly spaced trees, long runs and endless lines all to yourself. After riding each day, head to the largest slope side hot pools in North America to rest the legs and then head out for dinner and drinks with the crew.
2 Days Heliskiing – 11 & 12 January
We spend 2 full days heliskiing with RK Heliski. Here’s what to expect:
Morning: Meet at the RK Heliski office, located within Panorama Mountain Resort. All guests must complete the release of liability waiver, ski and snowboard rental forma and log an accurate guest weight. After you have enjoyed a hearty complimentary breakfast, one of the guides will discuss what to expect for weather, suggest layering and demonstrate several safety equipment functions located in the Guest Pack.
Your guides will conduct a further after briefing outside which includes Companion Rescue Training and how to properly use your avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and radio. They will also brief you on Helicopter Safety. All of the guides are trained in avalanche rescue and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share with you. Questions are welcomed and encouraged.
Lift Off: As you are ready to board the helicopter run through your checklist. do I have skis/board, gloves, beanie, goggles, lenses, helmet, camera, sunscreen and most of all.. a sense of adventure! The first group of the day departs by helicopter and others are shuttled to the nearby staging area where the helicopter will be waiting after dropping the first group on one of the many mountain tops. The flight is as exciting as riding powder. Some of the tallest mountains in British Columbia are located in the heart of the Purcell Mountain Range. When the helicopter strategically lands, the helicopter does not shut down, so it is important to wait for the signal from your guide to disembark carefully. Remain in the heli-huddle until the guide unloads all of the equipment and the helicopter takes off.
Now there is only silence and smiles at the top of the mountain where the only way home is down. Your guide calls your name, hands over your equipment and gives you the instructions. The guide is experienced in providing a safe and enjoyable day for everyone in the group. Ride in control, take your time, buddy-up in the trees and when the guide stops, you stop above. The first run of the day can be the most challenging; adjusting to the environment, new equipment and DEEP POWDER! Remember to take your time, stay in control and if you are having difficulty ask the guide for a few pointers.
The guide will stop at intervals as the group descends. The average time per run varies from 20 – 50 minutes. There will be instructions regarding the route and hazards on the way down. As you reach the bottom of the run, the helicopter may be waiting for you or may fly in as you are bundling up your gear. Always use caution when approaching the helicopter and listen and follow instructions from your guide. Hand your gear to the guide and buckle in for the next lift. Typically the group will road 2 to 3 runs then break for lunch. Take a rest and refuel on hearty sandwiches, juice, water, hot tea, snacks and treats.
After lunch, the heli adventure continues. The guide and pilot determine if you will move to another zone or continue in the same area. There are many factors to be considered, with safety being the priority. Once you have completed your purchased package (5 runs), your guide will ask the group if anyone would like to ski extra runs. Weather, snow conditions, remaining day light hours and minimum requirements will determine how many extra runs you do. You may decide to call it a day while some of the group choose to keep going. There is a change, depending on several factors, that those who choose to sit out the next run remain at the pickup area while the helicopter takes off. Or you may be regrouped with others and shuttled to the staging area.
End of Day: So you did it! After an epic day of riding deep powder, head back to the heli lodge where you can relax by the fire while enjoying apres ski and exchange photos with your heli group.
Transfer Day – 13 January, 2018
Today we depart Panorama and head along the Powder Highway to Red Mountain. On arrival we check to our luxury ski lodge, then meet the guides at Big Red Cats and register for our following day of cat ski. Join your guides at Rafters bar at Red Mountain and enjoy the lively apres ski then head into the ski town of Rossland for dinner at the local pub, the Flying Steamshovel.
Big Red Cat Ski Day – 14 January, 2018
7:00 am If you need a great breakfast – come to “Fresh” right next to our welcome centre. Serving the best Fresh Breakfast and cofee. Fresh has a great breakfast buffet – or just buy a coffee and a muffin.
8:00 am We will meet at the Big Red Cats welcome centre at 0800 sharp! The buses depart by this time to head for the cat staging area. We will then have a safety briefing where avalanche beacons are handed out, and some basic instruction and practice on how to use them is carried out at the cat staging area.
9:00 am Board the snowcats and depart. Our first of many descents is around 30 mins later. You will keep going all day, eating your lunch between runs in the snowcat. There could be anything between 6 and 16 runs per day, depending on the group ability, size, snow speed and run selection.Usually an advanced group gets 10 runs or so, but that’s a rule of thumb. You’ll just keep going, and the cat will usually be waiting for you at the bottom of each run.
3:30 pm Last run is called in and we’ll head back to the staging area. Get off of the snowcats, return your transceivers.
1700 – Return to “Fresh” watch photos and video from the day – prizes for the best face shot, best crash, best gest photo, and best video – food and drink available.
Lunch is provided. Please advise in advance if you are vegetarian, or have food allergies or aversions such as nuts, gluten, or meats with cheese. Please also advise the guides if you have any medical issues which could become important in a rescue situation.
You are welcome to bring additional snacks as well. While drinking alcohol while skiing is not permitted, you are welcome to bring cold cans of brew for the cat descent after your last run. There is space in the cat for a backpack with things such as extra mitts, goggles, hand warmers, layers.
You will be provided with an avalanche beacon, backpack, probe, and shovel and shown how to use it. If you have your own, and feel that you will be more competent with your own as you have practised with it, you can bring your own instead.
You are also welcome and encouraged to bring your avalanche gear – although we strongly encourage all of our guests to use the BRC transcievers – because we know that they have been checked and it leads to less confusion in the training.
Red Mountain – 15 January, 2018
For our final day on snow we spend the day exploring the epic terrain at red. With steeps, chutes and amazing glared areas, there is something here for everybody. At the end of the day meet your guides at Rafters for apres. We’ll then head into the town of Rossland for our final night dinner in town at one of the great local restaurants.
Departure Day – 16 January, 2018
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Say farewell to your guides and crew that you’ve just spent an epic 5 days with and we will transfer you back to either Calgary Airport or Banff for your next leg of your trip!
If you are confident on blue and some black runs, are in good physical shape but don’t have powder experience…the answer is definitely a yes! With the advancement of powder boards and ski’s, cat / heliskiing/boarding is something for you. All guides excel in finding fresh untracked powder in terrain that matches the group’s ability level. Weather and snow condition dependant, you could find yourself on an open glacier run or in perfectly spaced trees. At your own pace you enjoy your adventure in a group of similar abilities.
$1000 deposit per person required to secure booking with balance paid 90 days prior to departure. All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.