Bella Coola Helisports - Tweedsmuir Lodge
Bella Coola Helisports – Tweedsmuir Lodge
The three completely different alternatives Bella Coola Helisports offers in terms of location and accommodation all have their own merits. The historically important Tweedsmuir Lodge at the edge of a vast nature park, the Eagle Lodge closer to the coast and easily accessible, and the more inland oriented White Saddle Ranch close to Anahim Lake. Two of the three locations can be combined in a ‚Safari’-Program.
Tweedsmuir Lodge is formed by a spacious main building and a separate sports and health center which cover all the facilities needed for recovering in a cozy lodge from a fullfilling skiing or boarding day in the mountains. The guest are accommodated in spacious traditional chalets for 2 persons each. Cuisine, selection of wines and service personnel are excellent, clearly above average standards when compared to other operators. You definitely will enjoy your stay at Tweedsmuir Lodge.
Being located at the middle of the transition zone between moister maritime and dryer continental climate, the full width of attractive snow varieties exists within the covered territory: well-binding snow packs in the west for safe steep descents and fluffy powder in somewhat more moderate terrain in the east. The licensed area of Bella Coola Helisports covers more than 10'000 squarekilometers (about the size of the Swiss Alps) and you stay slightly north from the middle when based in Tweedsmuir Lodge. You will find your trip easy, a straight flight of an hour from Vancouver to Bella Coola at the end of the Labouchere Channel and more than 100 kilometers from the open Pacific, just adjacent to the skiing grounds. The Lodge is located a bit more than half an hour’s drive from the airport, right back in the Bella Coola Valley.
Bella Coola Helisports is licensed for an area of over 10'700 squarekilometers. The terrain is one of the most varied in British Columbia. The highest mountain ranges of the province with an elevation of over 4'000 Meters (around Mount Waddington), huge glaciers, alpine terrain and well skiable, open tree zones are at your disposal.
Huge amounts of snow provide a solid base for the entire season. Obviously, the great amounts of snow sometimes are connected with somewhat difficult weather conditions.
The guests of Tweedsmuir Lodge are a bit less exposed to the weather systems of the Pacific than Mountain Lodge. Tweedsmuir is located on the very east of the Bella Coola Valley and at the northerly base of the Mount Waddington ranges. Due to its somewhat higher elevation there is a bit more sunshine than in the valley below. Accross the Heckman Pass, the snow is dryer and lighter due to the more continental plateau climate, and there is even a higher chance for sunny weather there than along the coast. You have the preconditions for epic long and varied descents of utmost intensity, steeper in the west and drier in the east.
Historical Tweedsmuir Lodge sits on private property in the middle of the wild and protected Tweedsmuir Park, the largest of kind in British Columbia. The cozy and well furnished main building hosts several nice rooms, be it for dining, entertainment or pure relaxation. There is also a small shop for clothing and gifts as well as the operation’s base infrastructure. In a separate building close by you will find a sports room, massage facilities as well as a covered outdoor jacuzzi.
Nine spacious chalets for two persons each serve as ideal accommodation, where you can relax privately within your own four walls, if you prefer. – In the south the property borders on the Atnatko River. Fishing after a day of heliskiing or boarding has its tradition here.
Heli & safety
Bella Coola Helisports uses the functional and powerful A-Star B2 Helicopters, which provide space for four guests, the guide and the pilot.
The pilots all have extensive flying experience in mountaineous terrain under winter conditions and work for the helicopter and heliski companies for many years.
The certified mountain guides have sound heliski guiding experience and are sworn to the high safety standards of Canadian heliski operators.
The guests will be well instructed on the rules governing skiing/boarding in alpine wilderness country, the usage of helicopters in winter conditions and the handling of transceivers and other life saving equipment in theory and practice.
When traveling to Tweedsmuir Lodge, you fly from Vancouver to Bella Coola. The local airport serves also as an alternate in the rare cases when Anahim Lake Airport is closed due to weather conditions. The transfer from Bella Coola airport by van to the Tweedsmuir Lodge is a bit more than thirty minutes inland. Often you start skiing right off the airport.
On your international trip to Vancouver you normally will fly in the previous day, where you will overnight in one of the convenient close by airport hotels or a down town Vancouver hotel to enjoy at least a spectacular evening in this most fascinating Westcoast town. Quite a few guests arrive on Thursday to discover the city during a full day and to better adjust to jet lag. – Your Saturday mid morning inland flight to Bella Coola is included in your heliskiing package. A morning transfer - even from Vancouver Downtown - to the South Terminal can easily be arranged.
After your arrival at the local airport around noon you will be met by a representative of BCH. Weather permitting, he will bring you straight to the hangar, where the heli is expecting you. Alternatively, the heli will be ready after your setting up base in the Tweedsmuir Lodge. Accordingly, you should have your personal skiing equipment close by. Ideally, you are already carrying parts of your outfit and have your necessary add-on equipment in your hand luggage, in particular your ski or boarding boots.
After a short sandwhich lunch and the necessary paper work (signing of waiver) you will be equipped with skis and a day backpack with ABS, shovel and probe as well as a transceiver. This is followed by safety and security instructions for skiing/boarding and the usage of your life saving equipment as well as the respective helicopter procedures. Right after a practical training with your transceiver you will get your first heli air time and start with your heliskiing/boarding adventure.
With this early start into heliskiing you will get the chance of ideally seven full days of heliskiing/boarding during a weekly package, since you also will be able to ski/board in the morning of the last day before your early afternoon flight to Vancouver.
Packages & prices
- See 'Prices'
- 7 days Skiing/Boarding // 7 nights
- 5 days Skiing/Boarding // 5 nights
- For Safaris and Private Arrangements please enquire
- 100’000 vertical feet
- Inland flight from/to Vancouver, unless special arrangement
- Transfers from/to Bella Coola Airport
- Local Transports
- Powderskis and sticks (no Snowboards)
- Transceiver, shovel, probe and day backpack with ABS
- 7 / 5 nights in double room
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
- Additional vertical
- Tips for pilot and guides
- Alcoholic beverages
- International flights and other travel costs to/in Vancouver