What's the difference between Valdez Heli-Camps and Mike Wiegele or Canadian Mountain Holidays?

Two words tell the most important difference between the Heli Skiing with Valdez Heli-Camps and the British Columbia (BC) Operations: THE STEEPS

The heli skiing terrain is significantly different between what is available in interior Canada heli skiing and the WORLD famous heli ski terrain of Valdez.

The unique climatology and topography of Valdez and the surrounding Chugach Mountains allow snow to stick to the sickest verts you have ever laid eyes on!!! Remember, the term "extreme skiing" was coined from the pioneering free skiers of Valdez!

Another difference between the bigger British Columbia heli ski operators and VHC is a focus on the type and quality of your Heli Skiing Adventure. We take an approach of skiing challenging and diverse terrain, seeking out new and exciting runs with small groups over the nearly unlimited terrain of the Chugach Mountains. Sometimes this means skiing or snowboarding one at a time to preserve a high level of safety.

We do this with A-Star helicopters in groups of four riders as our primary service level. Although some Canadian heli ski operators provide a small group option most of the larger BC heli ski Operators utilize Bell 212 or 205 helicopters with groups of as many as 11 people.

At Valdez Heli-Camps, we operate always in small well-grouped teams, utilizing the A-Stars not as a premium, but rather as our base service level! We ski exciting and diverse terrain with state-of-the-art helicopters, in the most spectacular heli ski terrain in the world. We have 20 staff for a maximum of 32 guests with a 4 to 1 Client to Guide ratio.

Although the BC heli ski Operators may sometimes be considered more luxurious with accommodations, we do not believe the experience will leave you with the impression of what Big Mountain heli skiing can be, that of an adventure among skilled friends, and one that will beckon you back for more exploration of yourself and your skiing abilities. Everything you have done in your skiing or snowboarding career is in preparation for a visit to Valdez!!! We guarantee an experience you will never forget and a chance to meet others who share your sense of adventure and desire for the ultimate heli skiing experience, the Chugach Mountains of Valdez.

We recently called Mike Wiegele's, since they are now listing two packages very similar to ours (a "Deluxe" and an "Elite") that include using the AStar helicopter on their website. We attempted to get prices for the A-Star Deluxe package (on the phone), which guarantees 80K vertical feet, and is very similar to our all-inclusive heli ski package. We were told this package was not available, and that only the 212 was operating for the "deluxe" package. The deluxe 212 package is CAD 10,418.10 - including 2.5% tax. (Or about US$9,826 at today's exchange rate). We were hoping to compare "apples to apples" price wise, but cannot. We offer a better skiing experience (more challenging terrain, smaller groups) for about $2500 less and we provide snowcat skiing back-up for weather days as well at that price!

Questions to Ask a Canadian Heli Skiing Operator:

What size group will I ski in?

What level of skier do you usually cater to?

Do you ski the steeps?

How long does it take to do a run of 3500 vertical feet when there are 10 - 12 people in the helicopter?

Do you use safe skiing techniques to mitigate avalanche risk (skiing one at a time)?

If not, how do you mitigate avalanche risk skiing all at once with groups so large?

Do I need a different heli ski package,  smaller helicopter or group option to insure I can ski the steeps?

How much does it cost?

How much is the (GST) Tax?

How do you get to your location from the airport?