The Top 10 Heli-Ski Destinations in North America

From weekend escapes for beginners to weeklong expeditions for seasoned pros, the best destinations on the continent for taking flight


The author on the run of his life     Photo: Daniel Stewart

Bighorn at Revelstoke, British Columbia
Best place for the one percent

Let’s say for a moment that you wanted the ultimate ski experience. Money is no object. What would you do? Well, it may sound like the stuff of royal fantasy but two ripping British skiers just opened a private ski chalet outside Revelstoke this winter that aims to take the ultimate ski experience to a whole new level. Dubbed the Bighorn, the “chalet” is a four-story timber-framed castle that includes something quite rare in the world of skiing vacation rentals: a private helipad out back.

The Bighorn is the lovechild of two outstanding concepts: the European catered chalet and a Canadian heliski outfit. The combo means you and 15 of your pals—the Bighorn has eight rooms, each with iPads and gas fireplaces—can push open the heavy wood doors and have a staff ready to prep your skis, mix fresh cocktails, and massage your aching muscles. Strap on your ski boots in the morning, shoot a round of pool as you watch for the bird to land in the backyard, and then hop in for a ride to 500,000 acres of bowls, glades, and glaciers in the ragged Selkirks. Back home, chef Peter Hughes will be waiting in the rotorwash to serve you champagne by a huge stone fireplace and salmon canapés or duck confit on the chalet's 15-foot-long black walnut table.

Since Bighorn is located in an upscale drive-to neighborhood, there are plenty of things to do when storms keep the helicopter tethered to the ground—like ski out the door and ride the lifts at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which has the most vertical feet of any mountain in North America (5,620 feet). Either way, you’ll get a powder day, or week. Seven days at the chalet will run you up to $65,000. Everything is included, except the heliskiing, which is contracted out to one of three companies based nearby. It costs about $1,000 per person per day, or a cool $110,000 for a private week in an AStar. So, one percent, tell your boss you’ve found the best place for your next company retreat. The rest of us will dream about figuring out a way to approach our spouses about blowing the kids’ college funds. Maybe it will work out if we offer to bring them along? (Bighorn at Revelstoke, 778-786-8258;

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