You’ll find lots of useful information about our heli skiing service below. And, our reservations specialists are always happy to share tips about the most suitable lodging for your group, suggestions on eateries about town, or even what gear is best for conditions. If you don’t see your inquiry in our heli skiing FAQs don’t hesitate to call–we enjoy consulting with our guests! (208) 263-6959 from 7:30AM – 4:30PM PST
I am a good skier, but with limited powder experience. How difficult is the skiing?
Our terrain would generally be considered moderately difficult. Each day, your guide will attempt to select runs that are compatible with the group’s interests. Keep in mind that conditions can rapidly vary. There are no groomed runs in the alpine backcountry. Sometimes for the best conditions, we may spend more time skiing in the trees.
How much vertical will I ski?
Each heli skiing tour functions like a private charter, so the group’s abilities will determine how many vertical feet are achieved in a day. You will be accompanied by two guides, with a primary emphasis on safety, and personalized skiing focus. There is no vertical cap for this ultimate skiing experience, so our guides will work with you to put together just the right tour. And, taking in the amazing scenery is part of this exclusive trip, so there’s no need to rush–after all, it’s your very own heli skiing adventure!
When do you Heli Ski?
Our 2020 Heli Skiing season is from January 18 through April 05
What's the weather like? How do you handle Morning weather “holds”?
This period offers the best opportunities for helicopter skiing in deep fresh snow, and the days are typically cold with periods of snow and sunny days between storms. We constantly monitor conditions and weather for safe operations, and if on your tour date weather conditions warrant a later launch time, we will notify you of that new time frame. You should be prepared to embark on your ski tour with us anytime from 08:00 up to 12 noon. Please ensure we have good contact information for you on file.
Where do you fly out of? What time do I need to show up?
We fly out of Sandpoint Airport using Granite Aviation’s Main Terminal as our briefing and meeting area or the golf course at Priest Lake using Hill’s Resort as our briefing and meeting area. Arrive at either location no later than 08:00 AM.
What kind of helicopter do you use?
We use Bell 407’s or Eurocopter A-Stars. They’re powerful machines and perform well in alpine settings.
How many in a group?
Typically 4-8 guests and two guides
How many groups go out in a day?
We may have one or two groups heli skiing on any given day.
Do you serve lunch?
Yes. We provide the group with lunch, bottled water and snacks. If you have special dietary needs, please notify us at least 48 hours in advance.
Can I bring my pack?
Yes, bring any gear you think you need. There will be a storage area at the airport. For your heli skiing tour, we have to limit your gear to only what is necessary so we can accommodate everyone and keep our lift/load ratio optimal.
May I use my own transceiver?
No, guests may not use their own transceivers. We issue BCA “Tracker” avalanche beacons to our skiing guests, and provide basic training in their use.
Do you provide powder skis?
We strongly recommend a ski with a minimum width of 100mm under foot but don’t provide them. You can rent excellent equipment from Schweitzer Ski and Ride Center (208 255-3070) or the Alpine Shop’s locations downtown or up in mountain village (208 255-1660).
What is the avalanche danger?
Avalanches occur in alpine environments. We actively study and assess the terrain we ski in order to minimize risk and proceed as safely as possible. You will participate in a safety briefing prior to embarking on your tour. This will consist of snow and skiing safety, search techniques, and safe movement around the helicopter. Each member of the group will also be provided with an emergency gear pack. This pack contains a radio, probe and shovel.
I am traveling with my family— some of them are not ready for the backcountry. What can they do?
There are plenty of other activities for your group to enjoy while you’re heli skiing including snowmobiling, cat skiing, skiing at the resort, snowshoeing, tubing and zip lining, shopping in Sandpoint, or even sleigh rides. And don’t forget the Schweitzer Mountain Activity Center, a great source for all sorts of information and activities: 208.255.3081
Does the price include tips?
No but they can be added at the time of deposit if you wish . Industry standard tipping is 10-20%, the same as you would for service in a restaurant or similar service industry.
Should I buy travel insurance?
We recommend travel insurance policies with “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage for peace of mind and reducing your exposure should you want to cancel due to conditions not being to your liking.
A 50% non-refundabledeposit is required upon confirmation of your reservation with us. If paying by credit card, please ensure the same credit card is used for both deposit and final payment.
Full payment is due no later than 60 days from your tour date. Failure to pay in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of your reservation and deposit. Reservations made 59 days or less from tour date are payable in full, at time of reservation.
Heli skiing cancellations in whole or in part are 100% non-refundable. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance through an outside provider.
If we must cancel your heli skiing tour due to weather, mechanical issues or other deterrents, we will offer you priority seating on the next available flight. If you do not wish to fly and ski on a first-available basis, you may retain a credit with us for a makeup tour for a period of up to five years from your original date. You also have the option of participating in one of our cat skiing tours and receiving a refund for the balance of your heli skiing credit with us. If neither of these options is satisfactory in the case of a Selkirk Powder heli skiing operations cancellation, you may opt for a full refund.
A Note About Weather: We have no control over Mother Nature. We tour in sun, snow, rain, wind or any combination of interesting weather. It is, after all, an alpine environment. Be prepared, and dress accordingly. We reserve the right to cancel a tour for safety or mechanical reasons, as conditions warrant.
Can I change my date(s)? How do you handle changes?
If you need to reschedule your tour during the current season (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be charged a $40 administrative fee. We will endeavor to honor new tour dates; please be aware that any changes are subject to space availability.