What to Bring for a Heli-Ski Vacation
Written by: Aaron Whitfield
Packing for any trip is a process that few look forward to and decisions need to be made about what to bring and what to leave behind. A heli-ski trip to Northern Escape Heli-Skiing in Terrace, BC, Canada, is no exception. With specific needs for skiing, snowboarding, and lodge life, here are a few recommendations from Northern Escape’s staff and past guests.
The list of must haves is pretty simple: Ski/Snowboard Boots. They are the one essential item that you must have and are personal and difficult to replace. In fact we would highly recommend that you bring them in your carry-on luggage, and not to let them out of your sight! Everything else can be borrowed or replaced if the worst-case scenario of an airline mis-placing luggage were to occur.
There are a few other items that is recommended to tuck into your carry-on, space allowing; a pair of goggles, ski gloves, a base layer, and any other personal items that you will need for your stay.
For ski wear, we recommend dressing in layers. The average skiing temperature in Northern Escape Heliskiing’s terrain is around -6 degrees Celsius. Start with base layer and mid layers such as icebreaker long underwear. Icebreaker is made from Marino wool and on top of being warm, it is non-itchy, wicks moisture, and resists odors. An outer layer such as an Arc’teryx shell made of gortex that is wind and waterproof will keep you warm and dry. Another piece of attire that is nice to have under your shell is an insulated vest or soft shell for colder days to keep your core warm. A neck/face warmer or bandito is usually a good idea to ward off cooler temps or the deep powder spray that we are known for. It is essential to keep your head warm so modern helmets usually do double duty of protection and warmth, but a ski hat or toque will work as well. Sunglasses, an extra pair of gloves, and base layer never hurt either.
If your luggage gets misplaced, or you forget anything, the gift shop at Northern Escape is fully stocked with brands such as Icebreaker, Arc’teryx, and Marmot.
The lodge atmosphere at Northern Escape is outdoor casual, so jeans, and comfortable clothes are the norm. If space is tight, one pair of shoes should suffice.
Northern Escape Heli-Skiing has a fleet of high-end powder skis and snowboards that are included in the price of your package. So unless you have a custom set-up that you want to stick with, leave your boards at home and save the extra baggage expenses the airlines love to charge.