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Heli-skiing in the northern Rockies

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Backcountry helicopter-accessed downhill skiing, or heli-skiing, is a big deal in the Northern Rockies thanks to plentiful terrain and great snow. The longest-established operator in the area is Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (t 250 673 8381, t 1 800 661 9170, w wiegele.com), an operator based in a Bavarian-style village roughly midway between Kamloops and Jasper. With 3000 square kilometres of terrain in the idyllic Monashee and Cariboo mountains to choose from, the skiing is magnificent, and places are booked up far in advance. Also in the area, Robson Helimagic (t 250 566 4700, w robsonhelimagic.com) is based in Valemount, 135km west of Jasper. Some 132km north of Valemount at Crescent Spur, Crescent Spur Heli-skiing (t 250 553 2300, t 1 800 715 5532, w crescentspurheliski.com) is the northernmost operator in the region, a small setup accommodating only sixteen guests and offering some of the lightest snow anywhere. All three charge a sizeable whack – the norm for heli-skiing – for the pleasure of pristine snow. For three days you’ll have to budget at least $4000, more like $8000 for a week – though prices vary by thousands over the season.

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