in British Columbia
Heli-skiing doesn't involve actually jumping out of a helicopter. Instead you're whisked away from the pistes into untouched backcountry, where the chopper lands on mountainsides of fresh powder. Accompanied by an expert guide, of course. One of the best places to do it is British Columbia, which pioneered heli-skiing more than 40 years ago; it's home to no fewer than ten massive mountain ranges with exciting, diverse terrain. Consistent snowfalls make BC a reliable bet weather-wise, and there are over 20 specialist operators in the area to help you access untracked slopes, with packages for all budgets, whether you want five-star luxury or basic lodge accommodation.
Panorama resort, in the southeast of the province, was pretty much built around the heli operation that's based here —
RK Heliski (rkheliski.com) — and the guys run trips that cater to a wide range of skill levels, from unashamed powder virgins to those whose idea of 'fun' is tackling 40° couloirs. Surrounding the resort there's a whopping 1,500km sq of spectacular wilderness, with more than 900 runs to choose from spread over 120 different landing sites. When you're done with that lot, there's 2,847 acres of pistes to try back at the resort itself.
Another hotspot for heli is Whistler, about two hours' drive from Vancouver (also worth a stopover). While thousands flock to this famous resort to soak up the sun and explore more than 8,000 acres of corduroy (soft, new, freshly-combed snow), the heli-skiing area here is 100 times larger than the resort itself. You could spend every season here for the rest of your life, and still only scratch the surface. A less expensive option is snowcat skiing, where you're driven into a wild environment far from the groomed slopes of conventional resorts.
For more information visit canadianmountainholidays.com, hellobc.com and wiegele.com.
Be awed by nature in New Brunswick
Perched in between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada, the Bay of Fundy is home to some of the highest tides on the planet — reaching a whopping 50 feet. That's the height of an average four-storey building. Twice a day, every day, 100 billion tons of water come surging into the bay, as the mighty Atlantic makes its presence felt. It's enough to reverse the tide of water that spills into the bay from the
St John River, creating spectacular whirlpools and ferocious rapids.
While you could just stand by, camera at the ready, watching all the action from a suitably dry distance,
where's the fun in that? It would be a shame not to get
wet, so book yourself on a jet-boat ride (jetboatrides.com) and get involved. With an experienced guide at the wheel, you power out into the thick of the action, smashing through the swirling waters at top speed, before he whips the wheel round — performing the nautical equivalent of a handbrake turn. You might want to opt for the salad at lunch.
Another must-see here is Hopewell Rocks where huge boulders have been sculpted by centuries of raging tides. It's worth spending a whole day here —
at low tide you can get down to the waterfront to explore the ancient formation up close.
For more information, visit thehopewellrocks.ca.
Way to go
British Airways flies to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal from London Heathrow. Flight times from seven hours 40 minutes to nine hours
Join the Executive Club and earn up
to 28,278 Avios points (previously
BA Miles) when you fly First to Vancouver (return). Or redeem your Avios points. You only need 50,000 to get to Vancouver.
Book now at ba.com