Frequently Asked Questions About Heli Skiing
And the answers you were looking for
Heli Skiing Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions – We know that planning the ultimate heli skiing trip to Canada isn’t always easy. So many options, so many decisions!
And you probably have lots of questions, so here’s a start to answering those frequently asked questions. But we know you might have more, in which case we welcome you to chat with us!
Heli Skiing Specific Questions
Included and Guaranteed Vertical/Hours
What Is Unlimited Vertical?
We offer Unlimited Vertical because we want you to enjoy your skiing, without worrying whether you’ve skied your limit.
What is “Unlimited Vertical”? Heli skiing packages include a set amount of vertical feet. In regards to vertical feet, the industry standard has been 100,000ft for a week long trip for decades, and to ski more than 1000,000ft, guests would need to pay more money. However, equipment has drastically improved over the years and guests are able ski much more than in the past. 100,000ft used to be fairly generous, now, Skeena guests can typically ski that in 4 days. In fact, our weekly average is 36,000m (118,110ft). Therefore, if we did not offer Unlimited Vertical, guests would have a big bill at the end of their stay.
There are some additional benefits of Unlimited Vertical too;
- By offering Unlimited Vertical, guests can simply enjoy their skiing, rather than worrying about paying more
- Since guests do not need to track their vertical, it reduces the competitiveness often found at other operations
We should point out that at Skeena we do not hold back to save money. While we stick to a fairly set ski day for safety reasons, if the weather is good, we encourage guests to rack up the vertical! Martin, co-owner and Operations Manager said “If we have bluebird weeks, we don’t hold back, we ski as much as guests want”. We want guests to come back, therefore, we want them to ski as much as possible.
Additionally, we are confident that our small group format will result in plenty of skiing, therefore we have a Vertical Guarantee of 82,000ft (25,000m). In the unlikely situation that weather/mechanical issues prevent you from skiing more than 82,000ft, we will refund you (see the Booking Information page for more details).
We want you to ski until you’re running on empty, rather than emptying your wallet!
Lodging and Hospitality
It is a custom in Canada for guests to leave tips. This is split amongst all our employees, from guides, pilots to the lodge staff. If our team made your stay enjoyable, we would recommend a tip of between 5-10% per person based on your package price.
How far away is the first run from Bear Claw Lodge?
The closest run is a 6 minute flight. However, most of our skiing occurs within a 15 minute flight radius from the Bear Claw Lodge. Weather and snow conditions typically dictate where we ski.
Is smoking allowed?
Bear Claw Lodge is non-smoking. There are designated smoking areas outside the lodge, but please be aware where the wind blows the smoke.
Is there high speed internet?
Yes! We have a Starlink Wi-Fi system.
What is the capacity of Bear Claw Lodge?
We host a maximum of 12 heliskiers per week. Bear Claw Lodge has beds for up to 16 people if all are double occupancy, so if non-skiers wish to come up and enjoy the lodge and the wilderness experience there is accommodation available. We offer several guided and non-guided activities at the lodge – please inquire for more information.
Our rates are based on double occupancy, however, we have a total of 8 rooms meaning 4 people per week can choose to upgrade to a private room (i.e. 4 double occupancy room, and 4 single occupancy). See the Stay In Style page for more details on our lodging options.
Where do Skeena Heliskiing guests stay?
Skeena Heliskiing guests stay at the stunning Bear Claw Lodge, located on the Kispiox River in a remote wilderness location in Northern British Columbia, Canada. Bear Claw Lodge is one of the most impressive heli skiing lodges in Canada.
Travel And Insurance
How do I get to the Skeena Heliskiing?
Please see our Getting to Skeena Heliskiing page.
Should I bring my ski boots in my carry-on luggage?
YES! Every season the airlines misplace some people’s luggage. For that reason, we very strongly recommend that you take your ski boots with you, as carry-on luggage. That way, even if your other bags are delayed, you still can ski as we have spare jackets/pants/goggles/gloves etc.
What insurance do you recommend?
We strongly recommend Emergency Evacuation Insurance and Trip / Holiday Cancellation and or Interruption Insurance.
The Emergency Evacuation Insurance covers the costs if a special evacuation with the helicopter is needed to shuttle the injured party directly to the hospital from the skiing zone. In this case the injured party is billed. Additionally please make sure to check if your medical insurance covers the costs in case of an accident or illness while in Canada, if not this can be covered as well so there are no hassles at the hospital.
Trip / Holiday Cancellation and or Interruption Insurance is also strongly recommended, since if your trip gets cut short by injury or sickness or special leave, you will receive a portion or all of the costs returned.
These insurances are not expensive in relation to the trip price and easy to receive. In our experience, having insurance saves a lot of headaches, hassles and worries. We work together with Acera Insurance (formerly Lifestyle Financial) who work with the HeliCat Canada (the Canadian heli skiing and cat skiing association).