Heli Profile: Northern Escape

Heli skiing is at the top of many skiers’ bucket lists and there is no time like the present to make that dream a reality.

Northern Escape Heli Skiing in remote northwest British Columbia is emerging as the industry’s leading small-group heli skiing operation.

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Located in the Skeena Mountains, it is known for a deep consistent snowpack and awesome terrain containing everything from glacial alpine runs to tree skiing through old growth forests. They offer an industry leading vertical guarantee to ensure you ski the best runs of your life all day, every day. Combine all that with a lodge that is remarkably easy to access, featuring an intimate atmosphere and friendly knowledgeable staff, and it is no wonder they are stepping to the forefront.

Northern Escape Heli Skiing. Aaron Whitfield photography.

When you travel to an operation to go skiing or snowboarding, you want to arrive without too many headaches in the commute and logistics. After all, if you live in the city, life is busy enough with the hustle and bustle and traffic.

Many heli ski lodges are remote, making the commute a factor to consider in choosing between operations. At Northern Escape Heli Skiing you are heading to northwestern British Columbia, only a stone’s throw from the Alaskan panhandle, yet it is remarkably easy to access. Once you board the plane in Vancouver, the hassles are over. Terrace, BC, is the home of Northern Escape and although far north, it is less than two hours by air and features an updated regional airport with a radar landing system to assist in keeping the flights on schedule. The lodge is an easy 25-minute drive from there, making it the closest heli ski lodge from an airport.

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Northern Escape’s friendly staff greet you at the airport, so you don’t have to worry about rental cars or directions. Simply sit back and in no time you will be sipping a glass of champagne while enjoying the ambience of the lodge.

The heli ski experience at Northern Escape is second to none. Featuring small groups of six in the Classic package and four in the Elite package, skiing over tracks is a non-issue. For the ultimate in exclusivity, they also offer Private packages. The groups are led by some of the most experienced guides in the industry, with safety being their top priority.

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Northern Escape’s tenure is one of the world’s biggest with 1.8 million acres of ski terrain, but it is not the size that sets it apart. The quality of the runs and consistency of the deep snowpack are astounding. With an average annual snowfall piling up over 100 feet, there is plenty of the white fluffy stuff to go around. Many runs exceed an impressive 6500 vertical feet starting high in the alpine and extending to the valley floors.

With all the skiing, guests are racking up the vertical. Northern Escape offers an industry leading vertical guarantee. The unlimited vertical option increases the guaranteed minimum with no risk of overpaying. If you don’t ski your minimum, you get a credit for any unskied portion, or conversely, ski over the minimum with out ever having to pay for extra vertical.

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Every heliskiing package at Northern Escape includes their innovative Cat Skiing back-up program, ensuring you will be out in the mountains enjoying the fresh powder every day. The cat skiing tenure encompasses 7000 square acres, which is comparable to North America’s largest ski resort, yet is only used on average one day a week. The cat skiing back-up is exclusively for heli ski guests when it is storming too hard to safely fly to the peaks. This terrain has over 50 kilometers of snow roads and was selected for it’s awesome tree skiing that results in a perfect area to ski when the snow is falling. If the skies clear up while cat skiing, the helicopters are waiting to pick up the groups and seamlessly continue with the heli skiing program. You can have your cake and eat it too.

Speaking of cake, the five star dining experience will be sure to satisfy the most discerning of palates.

Northern Escape’s helicopters fly from January into April with seats usually selling out well in advance of the season. Contact their office for availability and reserve your seat and strike a check mark on the most exciting item on your bucket list. It is certainly a move you will not regret.

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