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“trip of a lifetime!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rk Heliski

Rk Heliski
Ranked #4 of 5 things to do in Panorama
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: For the past 43 winters, rk heliski has been sharing the magic of the Purcell Backcountry with skiers and snowboarders from far and wide. The rk Heliplex, home base of operations, is perfectly situated at Panorama Mountain Village, a short 20 minute drive west of Invermere BC.
Tahoe Vista, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“trip of a lifetime!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

After one of the most epic days of my life, I must SCREAM from the hilltops, that RK Heli ski and their incredible staff are nothing short of amazing! And if you are on the fence about going next year, jump off of it head first and start planning for one of the most amazing adventures of your life! And within reach! My husband and I have drooled over skiing/snowboarding videos for years and have always dreamt of the opportunity to go out and seize if for ourselves but never thought in a million years we could/would actually do it.
The experience: We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted at the lodge with a top notch breakfast to start the amazing day off right. No kidding, bacon and eggs, fruit, coffee/tea, sweets, fruit, the works, by the fire, while Rod briefed us on our impending adventure. Then we spent some time reviewing important safety information and training to prepare us for what exactly to do in the event of an avalanche, safety in and around the helicopter,etc. leaving us feeling that we were in very capable hands and ready to face the day. And then we were off!
We were lucky enough to be able to go up to some of the highest heights they fly and were greeted with 18" of fresh snow that had just dropped the day before. What luck! Something tells me whereever you end up skiing with these guys, you're in for a treat, but we were all psyched to be blessed with a fresh blanket. There aren't words to describe the feeling of getting out of the helicopter for the first time and experiencing the rush of the whirl of the props contrasted by the serene quiet once it's gone and there you are in the middle of winter wonderland with great anticipation. Rod and Nate were our guides. Both unmatched in their ability, experience and attention to literally everything within our surroundings. They were very thorough in checking stability and always making sure that the crew was having fun, no matter the ability level. We did 4 "runs" before lunch. When I say runs, I'm talking 30-40 minutes. If you are considering a 5 run or more day, make sure you're ready for it physically. I joked with Rod that we were considering some afternoon runs at Panorama Mtn. if we finished early enough. He said "silly mortal..." and he was right! I'm in great shape but after a full day, couldn't handle much more than a nap, a soak and a cocktail.
Our lunch stop was ridiculous! Our pilot Derek had shoveled out a lunch pit while we were skiing down to meet him in a beautiful valley. We arrived to HOT tea and various bevies, chips, cookies, candy, sando's galore (which by the way were superb when you consider where you are and what you are doing! Chef Ricky and his team do a fabulous job of keeping you well fed throughout the day. Something for everyone.) After a short lunch we were back in the heli for our last run of the day. We were amazed to see evidence of some wolverine activity on our last run down. C'mon! And if that weren't ridiculous enough, we were treated to some of Dereks magic in piloting and had a ride back that was just as thrilling as the skiing. What an unbelievable experience that I will NEVER forget and am starting to budget for next year already.
All I can say is GO...... just GO!

Tahoe Dawn

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Dawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“What a trip!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

We went on a scenic flight - we're not great skiiers - and wanted to get some perspective of the area. It was fantastic. We were amazed at the panorama that was shown to us & the miles of snow capped mountains we could see vanishing into the distance. Not to mention flying up a mountain to see it fall away dramatically when you got to the top.We saw where others can go skiing and the spots are amazingly beautiful. Perspective we certainly got and it was worth every cent!!!!!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sue-Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Awesome time Heliskiing with this group”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2013

RK Heliski is a great operation. The staff at the lodge is friendly, helpful and went out of their way to make sure everything was setup to start and finish the day. The helicopter pilots are characters. The guides are experienced, well-trained and exude confidence while still able to joke and have fun. It was total pleasure skiing with this organization.

This was my first heli-skiing but I was with a group who has been coming here for 5 or 6 years. I skied 3 days but some of the group skied 6 days. We stayed at the Panaroma resort to save on the driving from Banff area (and the really early wake up other reviewers have mentioned). For two days, it was sunny and we skied up on the glaciers. AWESOME. One day weather conditions meant that we skied in the trees. This was still a great day, just a different type of skiing and challenges. There was fresh powder every day, every run. I know RK does not control the weather but they did not let the weather dictate the fun, they knew where conditions were the best and made for great days of skiing each day. I did not go on one tree line day where my friends said the snow was thigh high. My days it was only at the top of my boots. :( LOL.

In addition to ski terrian and snow conditions, the views on top are brilliant. Sometimes it was a little surreal looking around at the surrounding landscape. Picturesque is not a strong enough adjective to describe the views. Sitting aroud in snow, eating sandwiches and drinking hot tea was an interesting lunch that just added to the experience.

I would recommend this group to anyone.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jim O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calgary, alberta
Level Contributor
43 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Bucket list must do activity!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

Wow, what a rush! I have been snowboarding for almost 25 years but have never had the pleasure of heli skiing before due to financial constraints. This year, for my 40th birthday my husband bought it for me as a gift. They company was really good at training the guests in rescue techniques and I felt that I was in very capable hands. The guides were very knowledgeable and the operation was very professional but also very laid back. It was great to snowboard on a variety of pitches and terrains over the course of the day and we laid fresh tracks all day long. There was always someone leading the way and someone at the back to make sure everyone got to the same end point.

The lodge was excellent and served us an exceptional breakfast. Having lunch on the top of a mountain was so much fun and our helicopter pilot did a little gangnam style dance for us while we watched and laughed. I would definitely do it again. If you are a snowboarder I recommend the expert level as the intermediate level has many runs with long traverses and tree runs, unless you like that sort of thing. I am going to make this an annual event, it's worth saving money for.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank world_observer_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Banff National Park, Canada
1 review
“Once in a Life Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2013

We had quite poor visibility due to snow/clouds and as a result had to stick to the tree line and below... But despite the lack of potential views and higher elevations, this was an amazing experience and would recommend to anyone.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Craig187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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