Snow has been falling earlier than usual in Revelstoke and the top of the peaks are already covered white. This should set both Revelstoke Mountains Resort and our heli ski partners up for a great start to the season. The first week of the season is still available at Bighorn, so if you want to get first tracks this season we are open from December 14th.
The Selkirk Mountains are famed for their massive snowfall, averaging 12-18 meters per season. This year winter temperatures are forecast to be cooler than normal, which would make the powder snow especially light and dry. Perfect for tearing through the trees, cruising along a glacier and floating down a high alpine bowl!
We are delighted that Bighorn has been nominated as Canada’s Best Chalet at the World Ski Awards. The stunning accommodation, outstanding service, delicious food and of course world class heli and resort skiing sealed our nomination. With competition from properties in Whistler, Bighorn is really putting Revelstoke on the map. With North America’s highest vertical descent at Revelstoke Mountain Resort and epic heliskiing direct from the house helipad, Bighorn has the perfect blend of luxury and adventure.
Using a new formula to rate ski resorts, Snowbrains.com have named their Top 10 Ski Resorts in North America. Right up there is Revelstoke Mountain Resort, giving long-established resorts such as Whistler and Jackson Hole a run for their money.
Rankings have been created using the following formula:
Ranking = [Average Snowfall + Access to Challenging Terrain] x Radness Factor. We like it!
Revelstoke’s huge annual snowfall (480 inches at the top of Mount Mackenzie), massive inbounds terrain (3121 acres) and North America’s highest vertical descent (5620ft) mean it ranks up there as one of the best ski resorts in the continent. ”Man, this place is amazing. I’d love to get back up here. On a powder day, it seems like there’s nobody here and the terrain’s incredible. I gotta get back.” – Arne Backstrom, 2010 Overall FWT Champion.
Aside from the awesome resort skiing, what sets Revelstoke apart is access to millions of acres of world class heliskiing. The lucky guests at Bighorn can either ski the resort, or take to the skies from the private house helipad. Now that is rad.
Revelstoke offers unbelievable heliskiing from December to April, but which is the best month? There is no easy answer to that as snow conditions are never predictable, but whether you want thigh deep powder in the trees or sunny glacier skiing, Revelstoke has it all at various times in the season. Check out our monthly guide:
Snow tends to start falling in October, so by December there is a solid base with plenty of fresh snow. December is a great month for powder skiing in the trees (click to see video). Visibility can be limited with stormy conditions, but our heli pilots can almost always access tree skiing at lower elevations.
More fresh snow and intermittent storms mean the pow gets deep! Thigh high powder snow is not uncommon, especially in the trees where it is protected from the wind. The base is deep now, making for fun terrain features like powder pillows and small cliff jumps.
Stormy conditions die down, but there is regular snowfall to keep conditions fresh. Towards the end of the month clearer skies and stable conditions mean we can access the high altitude terrain. Ski huge vertical starting on glaciers and alpine powder bowls and finishing in the trees at lower elevation.
March brings spring-like conditions with longer days, more sunshine and boot top to knee deep powder. Enjoy the spectacular high altitude skiing, plus the chance to enjoy blue skies and amazing scenery.
The snow is still great at high elevations, with superb corn snow on lower sections. This season there has been 66cm of fresh snow in the last 7 days! With Easter falling late next year, Bighorn will be open for spring skiing until April 26th.
For most of the winter heli skiers flock to Revelstoke to experience the deep powder snow conditions, but the spring season offers a different yet equally special experience. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider spring skiing:
Who doesn’t like skiing under a bluebird sky? The spectacular Selkirk and Monashee Mountains provide a stunning wilderness backdrop to your heli ski experience and they are best viewed in blazing sunshine. Catch a few rays when you take a break for a gourmet picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera.
The snow storms that deliver dumps of snow in December and January are less frequent as the season progresses meaning skies tend to be clearer. Improved visibility allows heliskiers to access the high alpine terrain that is sometimes impossible for the heli to land in during midwinter. Discover high alpine powder bowls and glaciers – flattering skiing with incredible scenery in the background. You’ll feel on top of the world.
3) Longer days
Maximise your heli ski experience with longer day light hours. This not only allows you more vertical per day and a more flexible schedule, but also means you can enjoy sunset with a beer in hand from the Bighorn hot tub!
4) Spring snow
The Selkirk Mountains receive an average of 40-60ft of snow each season, meaning they are snow-sure until mid April. Warmer conditions in spring mean the snow is continuously frozen and thawed which makes it form large crystals called corn snow. These snowy granules make for smooth, soft and fast skiing – great fun for flying down a wilderness glacier on. Revelstoke’s extensive forests make for the best tree skiing in the world. In the spring the trees provide shade from the sun, preserving the snow late into the season.
The beauty of heli skiing is that your expert guides can take you to the best spots in their 500,000 acre terrain. This is never truer than with a private heliski charter from Bighorn, when you have exclusive use of the helicopter and your guide. So if you want to avoid south facing slopes, stay high or stick to the shady trees, the bespoke experience is designed to meet your needs.
Renowned ski journalist Gabriella Le Breton shares her top picks for what is new and exciting on the slopes this season in a recent article for CampdenFB. Heliskiing at Bighorn is featured because it offers “unparalleled luxury”. The lodge has a private helipad which allows for a bespoke heliski package, either flying into the Selkirk Mountains for a heliski adventure or enjoying the exciting terrain at nearby Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The “palatial guest suites, a triple height great room with sweeping mountain views, celebrated chef, private cinema, outdoor hot tub and extensive spa” set Bighorn apart from any other lodge in North America.
CamdenFB focuses on family business so Bighorn, which was developed by brothers Michael and Chris Kirkland, is particularly relevant for readers. Read the full article on heliskiing at Bighorn here.
This month’s Ski Magazine features an interesting debate on whether heli or cat skiing offers the ultimate powder day experience. Using criteria like cost per vertical foot as well discussing just how much of a powder fix you get, this article is a must-read for anyone considering a heli or cat ski trip next season. Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing, with Bighorn, is listed as one of their top 8 heliski tenures in the world and is undoubtedly the best option for those looking to heliski in luxury.
The beauty of Bighorn is that guests get the best of both worlds with awesome heliskiing direct from the house helipad and exciting cat skiing at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, just 1 minute drive away. Since guests have exclusive use of Bighorn for the week, their package can be tailored to include as much heli or cat skiing as they like.
Revelstoke is home to some of the best heli and resort skiing in the world and Bighorn was designed to take advantage of this – from the private helipad to the proximity of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. This is a skier’s dream destination. But with that said, there is plenty on offer for non-skiers too. Here are our top 5 picks:
Flinders Ridge, just a short drive from Bighorn, offers 3 prime mountains for snowmobiling. Whether you are an experienced sledder that wants to free ride through the deep powder snow, or a beginner looking for a guided excursion, Revelstoke has it all. Staff at Bighorn can even arrange a snowmobile excursion to a private cabin for a BBQ, night time rides and hot spring visits.
2) Dog sledding
Experience husky sledding through the snowy forest trails in Revelstoke. Meet your hardworking but well-loved dogs and set off an a scenic ride, taking things as fast or slow as you like. This is a memorable way to enjoy the beautiful mountain vistas and adventurous types can try mushing the dogs!
Get a birds eye view of the stunning Selkirk Mountains, with the Columbia River and Revelstoke town nestled in the valley floor. Take a tandem paragliding flight with a qualified instructor and soar thousands of feet above this winter wonderland.
4) Spa indulgence
Bighorn’s spa facilities include an indoor current pool, huge outdoor hot tub, sauna, gym and treatment rooms. Our experienced therapists offer a range of treatments from aromatherapy and hot stone massage to body wraps and facials. With yoga instruction and personal training also on offer, a full program of health and wellbeing can be tailored to your needs.
5) Snow tubing
The Turtle Creek Tube Park at RMR offers fun and thrills for all the family. Whizz down the specially designed slope in an inflatable snow tube – a bit like toboganing but with a comfier ride!
“Bighorn is a slope side Downton Abbey, a potent cocktail of extreme skiing and extreme luxury, garnished with a private helicopter pad”.
Renowned travel journalist Everett Potter shares his experience of Bighorn Revelstoke. Even the luxury at one of the world’s finest private lodges is eclipsed by the thrill of heliskiing in the Selkirk Mountains:
“Fueled up, you pad downstairs to the boot room, as everyone removes their boots from the boot heater where they are perfectly toasty for the morning. Geared up, avalanche transceivers tested, you walk outside and watch a Selkirk Tangiers helicopter fly along the Columbia River valley and then swoop in to land on the private heli pad while Ride of the Valkyries plays in your head. Buckled in, the helicopter rises and you find yourself deposited and clicking into your bindings within 15 minutes on the best powder skiing in the world. A small nimble helicopter like an A 6 can deliver you to virgin snows free of other skiers, lift lines, rules and regulations. You ski 1,500 or 2,000 vertical feet and the chopper is waiting for you at the bottom of the run. Repeat eight or nine times in a day. It’s instant gratification taken to ridiculous levels”.
The Sunday Telegraph’s Gabriella Le Breton raved about Revelstoke in last weekend’s Travel supplement. Describing the resort as “Canada’s best kept secret”, she shares her incredible experience skiing “powder bowls, steep drops, extensive glades and thigh-burstingly long pistes”:
“It’s just another powder day in Revelstoke Mountain Resort, one of the world’s snowiest places, where sharing more than 3,000 acres of fall-line skiing, high-alpine bowls, gladed terrain and North America’s highest lift-serviced vertical drop with just a hundred fellow skiers is ‘normal'”.
To complement the amazing skiing, Bighorn offers unrivaled standards of accommodation: “one of the most esteemed private lodges in North America… Bighorn is unique: it offers world-class heli-skiing from a lodge with facilities and service hitherto limited to chalets in resorts like Courchevel and Zermatt”.