Heli Skiing FAQ’s
You’ll find lots of useful information about our heli skiing service below. And, our reservations specialists are always happy to share tips about the most suitable lodging for your group, suggestions on eateries about town, or even what gear is best for conditions. If you don’t see your inquiry in our heli skiing FAQs don’t hesitate to call–we enjoy consulting with our guests! (208) 263-6959 from 7:30AM – 4:30PM PST
When should I register? Some of our guests make their reservations up to a year in advance, so don’t wait too long to contact us.
How much vertical will I ski? Each heli skiing tour functions as a private charter, so the group’s abilities will determine how many vertical feet are achieved in a day. You will be accompanied by two guides, with a primary emphasis on safety, and personalized skiing focus. There is no vertical limit for this ultimate skiing experience, so our guides will work with you to put together just the right tour. And, taking in the amazing scenery is part of this exclusive trip, so there’s no need to rush–after all, it’s your very own heli skiing adventure!
Our heli skiing season: March 03rd – March 19th, 2017
What is the maximum number of skiers in a helicopter? Our Bell 407 helicopter will accommodate 4 skiers plus two guides. It is a powerful machine and performs well in alpine settings.
Should I buy travel insurance? For peace of mind should you wish to cancel for conditions not up to your liking, we recommend travel insurance policies with “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage.
What time do I need to show up? If you’re staying in Schweitzer’s Alpine Village, meet at 07:30 AM at our registration desk in the Lakeview Lodge. We provide a shuttle for you to the airport. For those in Sandpoint or coming from elsewhere, proceed directly to Sandpoint Airport, Main Terminal, arriving no later than 07:30 AM.
Weather “holds”: we constantly monitor conditions and weather, and if on your tour date weather conditions warrant a later launch time, we will notify you of that new timeframe. You should be prepared to embark on your ski tour with us up to 12 noon on your tour date.
Do I need powder skis? Yes, we strongly recommend them. Use a ski with a minimum width of 100mm under foot. You can bring your own, or rent excellent equipment from Schweitzer Ski and Ride Center (208 255-3070) or the Alpine Shop (208 255-1660)
Can I bring a pack? Yes, bring any gear you think you need. There will be a storage area at the airport. For your heli skiing tour, we ask that you limit your gear to only what is necessary so we can accommodate everyone and keep our lift/load ratio optimal.
I am a good skier, but with limited powder experience. How difficult is the skiing?
Our terrain would generally be considered moderately difficult. Each day, your guide will attempt to select runs that are compatible with the group’s interests. Keep in mind that conditions can rapidly vary. There are no groomed runs in the alpine backcountry. Sometimes for the best conditions, we may spend more time skiing in the trees. Terrain choices may vary at any time due to changing snow conditions and safety considerations.
What is the avalanche danger? Avalanches occur in alpine environments. We actively study and assess the terrain we ski in order to minimize risk and proceed as safely as possible. We issue BCA “Tracker” avalanche beacons to our skiing guests, and provide basic training in their use. You will participate in a safety briefing prior to embarking on your tour. This will consist of snow and skiing safety, search techniques, and safe movement around the helicopter. Each group will also be provided with an emergency gear pack. This pack contains a radio, First Aid and basic rescue tools.
May I bring my own transceiver? Yes. Guests may bring their own packs and transceivers, but you will be asked to demonstrate your familiarity with and ability to operate your personal transceiver before skiing/riding.
Do I need to bring lunch and water? No. We provide the group with lunch, bottled water and snacks. If you have special dietary needs, please notify us at least 48 hours in advance.
Does the price include tips? No. Industry standard tipping is 10-20%, the same as you would for service in a restaurant or similar service industry. At Selkirk Powder, tips are pooled and shared between guides, cat drivers and pilots, and your front desk representative.
I am traveling with my family— some of them are not ready for the backcountry. What can they do? There are plenty of other activities for your group to enjoy while you’re heli skiing including snowmobiling, cat skiing, skiing the resort, snowshoeing, tubing and zip lining, shopping in Sandpoint, or even sleigh rides.
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required upon confirmation of your reservation with us. If paying by credit card, please ensure the same credit card is used for both deposit and final payment.
Full payment is due no later than 60 days from your tour date. Failure to pay in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of your reservation.
If you need to reschedule your tour during the current season (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be charged a $40 administrative fee. We will endeavor to honor new tour dates; please be aware that any changes are subject to space availability.
Heli skiing cancellations in whole or in part are 100% non-refundable. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance through an outside provider.
If we must cancel your heli skiing tour due to weather, mechanical issues or other deterrents, we will offer you priority seating on the next available flight. You also have the option of participating in one of our cat skiing tours and receiving a refund for the balance of your heli skiing credit with us. If neither of these options is satisfactory in the case of a Selkirk Powder heli skiing operations cancellation, you may opt for a full refund.