Bella Coola Heli Sports

Canada: British Columbia

Bella Coola Heli Sports is your choice if you are looking for a special experience: small groups for skiing, all this within wild and breathtaking, heavily glaciated scenery!

Base 1: Tweedsmuir Lodge Packages

Vertical Heli Ski Programs

Your only concern will be to enjoy the heliskiing and boarding while racking up the vertical!

Enjoy the same legendary terrain and luxury accommodation as the private heli groups, but with a set amount of heliskiing included. The guides will make all the hard decisions so you can relax and enjoy the powder.

Trip Highlights

  • Heliski on your arrival and departure days, thereby maximizing your vacation time!
  • Only three groups of 4 per helicopter
  • Small cohesive groups of heliskiers insures a better heli ski experience
  • Luxury accommodation at the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge in Private Chalets
  • Enjoy gourmet meals and fine wines

An instant classic

Heli skiing or boarding based on a set amount of vertical included is the most common program in the heli skiing industry. The main advantage from the client's point of view is that you know what you are getting and how much.

These tours can be booked as an individual, as a couple, or as a small group. We have also had large groups book up the whole lodge. If you prefer to heliski with just your friends, then the magic number to book is a group of four as that exactly fills one load in the helicopter. On the other hand, if you are traveling solo, then we will match you with others. It's a great way to meet new friends.

All groups will meet up for lunch and at that time the loads can be reformatted in case clients want to switch it up.

The most common trip duration is 7 nights, and during the February to March high season this is the standard. However, in January and April, we can accommodate shorter or longer trip durations.

Program Details and Variations

7 night stay

Included is 100,000 vertical feet of heli skiing (30,500 v/m). There are 8 possible ski days (2 half-days and 6 full days).

5 night stay

Included is 70,500 vertical feet of heli skiing (21,500 v/m). There are 6 possible ski days (2 half-days and 4 full days).

4 night stay

Included is 57,000 vertical feet of heli skiing (17,500 v/m). There are 5 possible ski days (2 half-days and 3 full days).

3 night stay

Included is 42,500 vertical feet of heliskiing (13,000 v/m). There are 4 possible ski days (2 half-days and 2 full days).

 

The Private Heli Experience

This is Bella Coola Heli Sports' most exclusive program: a private helicopter just for you and your friends. Everything is designed to guarantee operational flexibility and therefore maximize the chances of finding the best snow and the ultimate heliskiing and boarding holiday of your life. It's your experience... you decide!

Trip Highlights

  • A private helicopter just for you and your friends
  • The helicopter picks you up and drops you off in front of your chalet
  • The program is based on flight time which you can decide how to use
  • Accommodation in private chalets at the historic Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
  • Choice of Private Heli or Semi-private Heli program

Private Heli Program

The private heli experience is as good as it gets. There is just you and your buddies, a helicopter, and our entire heli-skiing tenure! The machine, pilot and guide are at your beck and call for the week. There is no waiting time between runs, ever! You are always the first group down the slope. Ski until the last possible moment before the storm hits or it's time to head back down for dinner.

The program is based on flying time rather then a set amount of vertical. The advantages are that you and your group can decide how to use that time. Whether your goal is to explore new terrain, maximize your vertical, or look for the best snow, the choice is yours. You can use your flying time to stop at the oceanside hot springs for lunch and a soak and then back up for more heliskiing in the afternoon. You can fly far and wide: from the high peaks surrounding the lodge, to the ice caps in the south, and on to the fjords in the west, or you can even decide to sleep in and enjoy a late start.

The helicopter we are flying is an Astar B2 with room for four people and one guide. The program is perfect for a group of friends or a small family. Couples and smaller groups can also book the private heli experience, but the price is fixed for the group regardless of the number of participants. A one week package has 8 hours of flying time included.

Semi-Private Heli Program

It is also possible to book the program as a semi-private heli experience with space for up to eight people. This provides most of the advantages of the private program, including the flexibility to fly far and wide in search of the best snow, but opens the door to a larger group of friends sharing the costs. Certainly, if there are 8 people in your group, there is no need to book two privates.

With the semi-private program, the helicopter shuttles between two groups of four skiers. The group has a total of 14 hours of flying time included (7 hours per load in the heli), and each group is led by its own guide.

Note*: flying time is calculated based on when the pilot pulls power and only starts after your pick up at the lodge.

 

Heli Skiing Safari: Lodge to Lodge

The Ultimate In Heli Skiing Exploration

The most exclusive tour of them all and the ultimate in adventure skiing.

This program is similar to our popular semi-private or private helicopter tours, but with a major twist. Rather then staying at just one lodge you will have the opportunity to heliski from two or more lodges and ski the entire length and breadth of our 10,700 sq/km (2.64 million acres) of terrain!

Trip Highlights

  • A private helicopter just for you and your friends
  • Explore the full reach of our 10,700 sq/km of terrain - that's bigger than the entire Swiss Alps!
  • Stay at three separate wilderness lodges
  • Ski first descents all the way from the fjords to the highest peak in BC
  • Choice of Private Heli or Semi-Private Heli-skiing program

The Perfect Heli Skiing Journey

Maybe you have visited one of our locations, now you can visit two, on the same holiday! By combining the two tenures you will have the opportunity to ski and ride our total landmass of more then 1,070,000 hectares. This is 10,700 sq/km (4,180 sq/m) or if you prefer, 2.64 million acres of incredible terrain. This is as BIG as it comes, and is more area than you can ski in a lifetime.

The week starts in Bella Coola with 2-3 days of heliskiing while based at the Historic Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. Every morning the heli picks you up on the front lawn, flies you up to the snow for an unforgettable day in the mountains, then back down to the lodge for the night. Mid week, on a day chosen by your guide, you will transit to our second heli ski operation at Pantheon.

You will fly and ski your way 200 kilometres up the spine of the Coast Range, past stunning Ape Lake, the mighty Monarch Ice field, and the infamous Klinaklini River. These are areas that rarely see a visitors and there are still peaks and valleys that don't have names.

As evening arrives you will land at White Saddle Ranch, your home for the next couple of nights. This is a working cattle ranch situated on the Chilcotin Plateau in cowboy country, with authentic western hospitality and ambiance. The owners are true pioneers, having built the ranch and lived off the grid since the 1960's. To this day the ranch generates its own power and was only recently  connected for telephone service. During March it's calving time. With luck, and if you are keen, you may have an opportunity to help out! During the summer months the ranch hosts an eclectic mix of mountain climbers and movie stars in search of untrammelled wilderness.

You will round out the week by heliskiing and exploring the terrain in and around our Pantheon zone. This includes skiing next to Mt. Waddington, at 13,160 feet (4,011 metres) the highest peak in British Columbia, and the province’s crown jewel. A number of Hollywood movies (K2, Kundun, 7 Years in Tibet) have filmed here because it looks Himalayan in scale.

If the possibility arises and the group is keen to keep exploring, there may also be an opportunity to stay at Bute Inlet Lodge on the shores of Bute Inlet for a night.  This would complete a remarkable exploration of our entire permit area, from North to South and East to West. It would be like having the entire Swiss Alps to heliski just for you and your private group. Please visit our mapping page to see the total expanse of this area.

 

Rod & Ski Club: Fishing & Heli Skiing

World Class Heli-Skiing and Fishing On The Same Day

Heliski perfect velvety smooth spring corn-snow in the morning and fish for 15kg (50lbs) plus spring salmon in the afternoon!

If you have never tried summer heli skiing, we can assure you it's almost as much fun as heli skiing powder. As the sun comes up it softens the surface snow creating "corn" snow conditions. This is super easy to ski, like having perfect groomed runs as far as the eye can see. It's also known as "hero" snow because of how good it makes you feel to ski. Fishing for salmon fishing in the afternoon is simply the icing on the cake.

Trip Highlights

  • Fantastic bragging rights, world class heli skiing and fishing on the same day
  • Helicopter accessed corn snow slopes with up to 3,000 foot descents
  • Fish for 50lbs Spring Salmon while drifting the scenic Atnarko River
  • Luxury accommodation at the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge in Private Chalets
  • Experienced guides, both heliskiing and fishing, will help out every step of the way

A Unique Heli-Skiing Opportunity

Our heli-skiing and heli-boarding terrain is the spectacular Coast Range glaciers and 'neve' of the high Bella Coola mountains. Neve is the term used to describe the smooth surface found on snow slopes in the summer, and is the result of repeated melting and freezing. It is often referred to as “Hero Snow” because of how easy it is to ski and how good it makes you feel to ski it.

Bella Coola and its unparalleled, rugged, and angulated terrain are perfect for spring/summer corn-snow skiing and boarding. The runs are, on average, 3000 vertical feet (900 meters) long and groomed to perfection by nature. Simply put, we will follow the sun around to find the ideal conditions. So don't forget your sunscreen!

In the afternoon, we will be river fishing for the great Chinook Salmon (sometimes also known King Salmon). These mighty fish average in size from 25lbs (12kg) to 35lbs (16kg), but catching Salmon up to 50lbs (23kg) is possible. You will also have the opportunity to catch Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and Dolly Varden with an average size of 2-4 lbs (1.5kg). The Bella Coola Valley is rightfully famous for its river fishing and compares favorably to internationally known rivers throughout BC and Alaska.

To fish we will be floating the Atnarko River in McKenzie Drift Boats. These boats are stable and offer a comfortable platform from which to cast as well as enjoy the stunning valley scenery. The fishing technique we use is plugging and casting with a plug, bait, and lures. Fly-fishing is possible but more challenging due to river depth, speed, and fish holding. But hey, it is really up to you and your technique. Many Chinook (King) Salmon are taken annually on fly!

All fishing equipment is included in your tour: waders, rods, reels, bait, plugs and lures. However please bring your own fishing equipment if you prefer or if you want to fly fish as we will not be supplying fly fishing gear. Just remember, big rods and reels are needed, fast sinking fly line and 20 + lb (8 kg +) line is recommended.

Preparation of fish for shipping is available locally. This can be by freezing the fish or smoking them. The daily per person quota is four Salmon and only one of those can be over 65 cm in length.