Purcell Heli Skiing is the closest heli-ski operator to
Lake Louise - conveniently located just off the Trans-Canada highway in Golden British Columbia.
What's great about Purcell is you can sign on for a single-day of heli skiing as
an add on to your ski holiday in Banff,
Lake Louise (1 hour) or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
(just 15 minutes away). Having spent an epic day heli skiing with Rudy, the
founder, we would argue it’s among the best heli skiing in BC – which is the
capital of helicopter skiing the world over. Great guides, gorgeous terrain and
an excellent heli ski safety record for
skiers for over 40 years.
Purcell Heli Skiing has a tenure over 250,0000 acres of exclusive ski terrain in
the Purcell Mountains – hence the name. The helicopter departs directly from their beautiful chalet overlooking Golden, BC,
(no van shuttle ride like so many operations) you are
transported to high peaks of untracked, pristine powder where you will ski
everything from wide-open glaciers, and big alpine bowls, to snow loaded glades
– perhaps all in one long satisfying run. Your chariot chopper awaits to fly you
back up and do it again, and again. Purcell helicopters fly up to 10 passengers with
two guides. The number of groups varies from one to three during peak times.
A Purcell heli ski day package includes three runs for about $800, or you can go
for the ultimate heli ski day of five runs for about a grand - $1,000. Your
Purcell heli ski package includes your two Guides, your rides in the helicopter,
powder skis, safety equipment and briefing, a picnic lunch and après ski snacks,
plus a souvenir heli-ski pin to prove to your friends you survived and lived to
brag about it. Fat skis are available along with powder boards - but BYOB -
bring your own ski or snowboard boots.
The legendary interior mountains of British Columbia, The Purcells, are reputed
for fresh, light, dry powder snow and powder skiers come from all over the world
to sample the trademark champagne powder that PHS delivers, flying most every
day all winter. Of course not every day is a bluebird day, if your scheduled
heli ski day brings inclement weather (read: no fly days, of which Purcell only
has about 8 per winter) you are a quick drive
to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort where you can ski on
amazing lift serviced resort
terrain. This is a huge advantage over booking a heli ski week in a remote heli ski lodge where bad
weather can mean no fly, no ski, you're grounded, game over.
Purcell Heli Ski Guides and their team have been providing helicopter ski trips
for four decades, serving over 50,000 skiers and riders. Purcell’s owner, Rudi
Gertsch, is a legend in the heli ski world, he helped establish
heli-skiing safety protocol in British
Columbia, coming from Switzerland where he earned
his Mountain Guide, Bergführer, certification before arriving in Canada in 1966.
Rudi worked with CMH prior to starting his own heli ski outfit in 1974. When Rudi opened, the price of heli skiing was $55 including a shuttle bus (driven by
Rudi himself) from the Banff Springs Hotel – which first opened for winters that same
year. Today prices are higher, but the heli, powder skis, probes and
transceivers are far more sophisticated. Rudi and his son Jeff oversee their
heli operation, all their guides are certified Canadian Mountain Guides with
full expertise in guiding, avalanche forecasting, weather interpretation, and
emergency response to assure your safety - and they are friendly, competent and
committed to providing you the best day heli skiing.
If you are lucky enough to fly and ski with Rudi, you will witness his mountain
genius. He’s like a proud parent to these Purcells, every landing and ensuing
long ski run is seamlessly executed to deliver you the best deepest snow. We
have skied with other heli ski outfits, Rudi
is a god amongst guides. Rudi says he’s not ready to retire because he loves to
heli ski and wouldn’t want to have to pay for it.