Mazama, Washington

Best place to ski with duct tape on your pants

North Cascades heliskiing

Taking turns in the North Cascades     Photo: Wes Lyall

No heliski operator is cheap—it costs at least $50 a minute to put a bird in the air—but at least the guides can be mellow about the trips. North Cascade Heli, a few hours east of Seattle at the end of a road in Washington’s Methow Valley, prides itself on being a laid-back company “by the riders for the riders.” That means that they’re willing to cut you a deal in March. Bring three friends for one or three days of skiing and one of those seats will cost half of the usual $1,023 daily fee. Bring seven friends and one seat will be totally free. You’ll be guaranteed at least seven runs a day. And if you’ve never been to this side of the North Cascades, the word cement does not apply. Start dreaming of fluffy, and almost Alaska big. ($7421 for three days, tax included; North Cascade Heli, 800-494-4354; www.heli-ski.com)

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