WORDS BY KELSEY VERBOOM | JANUARY 6, 2021
We’re often asked when the very best time to go heli-skiing is. Our answer is simple but honest: the best time to go heli-skiing with CMH is any of the winter months.
Such a frustrating answer, we know.
But if you love skiing or riding, nothing compares to the moment when the helicopter drops you off and peels away, leaving you gaping at endless, snow-painted mountain views. The snow whipped up by the machine’s rotor settles, and a brief silence envelops the group as you marvel in the vastness of the terrain in which you stand. Seriously, there’s nothing like it. Anytime you can experience that sensation, it’s a win.
Of course, if that’s too ethereal and you want to know more about what month you should plan your heli-skiing trip for, we’ve got you covered.
When to visit
Canada is lucky to have the longest heli-skiing season in the industry. At CMH, heli-skiings begins in December and continues until the end of April. That’s five months of primo heli options to pick from. From those, choosing the best time to go heli-skiing really depends on the type of skiing you enjoy, your budget, and trip availability. Each month holds something different:
These kick-off weeks offer the opportunity to ski the first turns of the season. They are enticing because of the prospect of winning big with a legendary early-season snowstorm that can result in blower, bottomless powder. Expect to spend some time tree skiing, where the snowpack is preferable at this point in the season. Shorter daylight hours at this time of year mean slightly shorter ski days ending at 3:30-4 pm (don’t worry, your leg muscles will thank you!). This also means lower trip prices and (hopefully for you) a greater chance of booking availability.
These mid-season months are typically considered prime time for heli-skiing in Canada. Consistent snowfalls and a robust snowpack combined with colder temperatures and longer daylight hours mean there’s not much downside to skiing/riding at this time of year. Expect to be in varied terrain: open alpine mixed with tree skiing, depending on the weather. Because of their popularity, these months can be trickier to find booking availability and are priced higher than earlier or later in the season.
At this time of year, the weather settles into longer days where it’s still winter up high and warmer down low. This is when glacier skiing in the high alpine is at its finest. If you dream of skiing down rolling, wide-open terrain that glitters in the sunlight, consider this time of year the best time to go heli-skiing. The snowpack that’s been building all season means there’s a wide variety of terrain to explore, and extended daylight hours results in an extra hour or so of ski time. Temperatures up high maintain prime conditions, while down lower at the lodges, you’re likely able to shed some layers and bask in the sun on the deck with a post-ski beverage.
See what we mean? There are pros to skiing any of the five months of heli-ski season. Each guest and guide have their own preference; it all comes down to what you personally most enjoy. That, and a little luck from the snow Gods.
Want even more details?
If you want snowfall numbers, terrain details and alllll the nitty gritty details, learn even more about what each month has to offer:
>> Heli-skiing in December: First tracks
>> Heli-skiing in January: It’s Deep
>> Heli-skiing in February/March coming soon!