CANADA - ALBERTA & BRITISH COLUMBIA
Canada, the dream of every skier. Skiing in the best powder snow in the world! For more than 15 years we have explored several ski(touring) and heliski areas in Alberta and British Columbia and we have selected the best ones for you. The possibilities are boundless and snow is abundant. Up until now we have never been disappointed. If you are dreaming of snow covered woods, great ski areas and original Wild West towns, then Canada really is the place to be.
THE ULTIMATE SKI & ROADTRIP!
Skiing in Canada means first and foremost a lot of soft snow, powder snow. Especially British Columbia with places like Golden and Revelstoke in the Columbia Mountains are famous for it, whereas the Rocky Mountains in Alberta are colder and dryer. If you are dreaming of snow covered woods, great ski areas and original Wild West towns, then Canada really is the place to be. Skiing holidays in Canada is a very special adventure. There is tranquillity, space, beautiful nature, the Canadians are friendly and service is of a high level, without being overdone.
Switzerland-based Mountain and ski guide Edward Bekker, a bit of a Canada-freak himself, planned this trip with care and used his more than 15 years' experience of skiing in Canada. He will also be your guide, driver and tour guide on this trip.
The good thing is that not only great skiing is part of this programme, but also a fantastic road trip which gives you an excellent impression of this vast and beautiful country.
You can fly to Calgary International Airport, where Edward will pick you up from the airport by van will drive us towards the west. During the hour and a half drive, 110 km, to your comfortable hotel in Canmore, we will be facing the impressive Rocky Mountains. From the hotel we have a beautiful view on the Three Sisters. Just sit down and relax, enjoy a drink and dinner and do the pre-material check. After an early breakfast, we make sure the equiment is all right and we start skiing in the known and perfectly prepared ski area of Lake Louise, a 40 minutes' drive away. We might see a moose or wolf on our way. We are not just skiing on the ski slope, but also off-piste. There are fantastic runs between the trees and also steep shoots. The views are stunning and the snow quality is usually excellent. At the end of the day we will visit Chateau Lake Louise and we will make ourselves at home in our hotel and enjoy and relax in front of the big open fire place. Canada at its purest.
In the upcoming days, we will visit Sunshine and The Kicking Horse at Golden, where it's excellent treeskiing! It's handy to get used to it because during the heliprogram we will certainly ski between the trees. We continue our route to Jasper via the famous Icefields Parkway, one of Canada's highlights. Along this beautiful road are great glaciers and we can take in good circumstances a skitour of Wapta Icefield. After an overnight stay in the nice town of Jasper , we continue to Valemount, starting point of the fully-featured 5-day heliski trip with CMH, Canada's first and largest helicopter holidays company. The great heliski adventure begins flying to the Cariboos lodge, located in the Cariboo Mountains with consistent snowfall and low temperatures, guaranteeing good snow in the early season.
The lodge is equipped with all conveniences, and you will be taken care of. But first it's time for action! After a comprehensive safety briefing, the big Bell 212 heli is rushing and we are ready for the first powder drops through the forest. A great experience you'll never get enough of! We do not have to be afraid of competition from other skiers and boarders; This part of the Caribou is only available for CMH and only by helicopter. That means almost always putting your own tracks, your own 'signature'. And at the start of the new season everything and everyone is fresh and excited to start. Upon return, delicious snacks are served in the lodge which is fully equipped; Outdoor hottub, sauna, indoor climbing wall, gym and possibilities to massage the tight muscles.
In the next 4 days you will heliski on a daily basis. The technique of powder skiing has already been mastered, discovering that the terrain is one of the major playgrounds. Edward Bekker, who also enjoyed the 'CMH heliski guide's training', is there to assist you with the necessary tips and just that extra amount of self-confidence in German, French, Dutch or English.
In good weather we fly to mighty, high glaciers with a magnificent view of countless mountains as far as the eye reaches; In less sight and snowfall we will enjoy the challenging tree skiing (skiing between trees) in often very deep snow and between giant Red Cedar trees.
After closing the 5-day helicopter trip, we will leave the lodge after a last cozy evening and night. We visit Calgary where we can do Christmas shopping and the next day we fly back to Europe. During this trip we stay in specially selected atmospheric hotels and lodges, often with fireplace, hottub and sauna. The Canadians are known for their kindness and in addition you can eat surprisingly well; Not for nothing, the BC Salmon and Alberta Beef are fond of fish and steak lovers.
All in all, this ski trip to Canada is a unique experience with many highlights that you will not soon forget.!
Should I be a superskier to participate in this trip? No, it is important however to be able to descent in all sorts of snow without constantly falling. The big difference with skiing in the Alps is that there is a lot more soft powder snow in Canada. An unexpected fall won't harm too much, it is not like falling on icy snow on a steep slope in the Alps. Europeans are less experienced in treeskiing and skiing in deep snow. It is a matter of getting used to. Just do it, it is great!
What level of fitness should I have? You will need a high fitness level in which stamina plays an important role. Skiing on slopes, running and biking is a good preparation.
Will the focus be on skitouring? No, the focus is on skiing. For touring we will start from a lift area and sometimes the side of the road if there are great descents from there. There are never crowds of people in the lift areas (except in the weekends) and there is no pushing at the lifts. When touring (optional) from a lodge, things are quite relaxed: the breakfastbuffet is ready, everyone can pack his/her own lunch and we leave when we feel like leaving, there is no rush! Should anyone prefer to read a book and not join the tour, then that is no problem. On return, snacks and drinks are avalable and the sauna is hot.
What about the "Champagne Powder"? These are words everybody uses in the Netherlands. Champagne powder is a very light powder snow which can be found mainly in Colorado and Utah when temperatures are low. Skiing in this type of snow is only fun after heavy snowfall. If not, you will easily go through and feel the hard layer underneath. In West Canada there is also light snow falling in the Rockies. Often it is very cold because of the influence of the great plains of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the east. But usually snowfall is not heavy, meaning you might hit a pebble or two in Lake Louise (after all these are the Rockies...). Heavy snowfall occurs in BC, between Vancouver (Whistler, at the sea and humid, sometimes rain) and Golden which is situated west of the Rockies. We are talking about the Interior Mountains like the Selkirks, Monashees, Kootenays, Bugaboos, Purcell Mtns etc. This is why all heliski companies are located in BC. This snow is often light, especially when the snowbelt from Alaska passes by but it can also be wetter, thus heavier. With our wide skis this is no problem and what's more, feeling the snow splash against your body is great. Champagne is for drinking!
|Level||Good skiers, off piste experience necessary|
|Physical condition||Excellent level of fitness|
|Number of participants||5-7|
|Our Service Package Includes||scheduled flight Calgary v.v., costs of guides, welcome drink, all transfers in Canada with private transport, nights in excellent hotels and lodges, use of transceiver, probes and shovels.|
|Not Included Are||meals, drinks, lift pass, day(s) personal expenses and the 5-day heliski package by CMH (CAD 5,585.- or ± € 4,150.-) to be booked separately via our partner CMH.|
Impression of our trip in January 2012 (by Thomas Bekker)
We spreken Nederlands, we speak english, nous parlons français, wir sprechen Deutsch
Route d'Emosson 4
Espace Mont Blanc
Valais - Switzerland
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