TLH Heliskiing

Published November 1998. This article does not reflect any lift upgrades or terrain expansions since then.

Are you interested in a Canadian glacier heliski trip without making the $5,000 commitment required by Mike Wiegele or Canadian Mountain Holidays? If so, consider TLH Heliskiing at Tyax Lodge, which can easily be combined with a vacation at Whistler / Blackcomb. Tyax Lodge is located at Tyaughton Lake, about 3 hours from Whistler by road, with the last hour unpaved. TLH provides free shuttle service from Tyax Lodge to Whistler, downtown Vancouver or the airport.

The TLH permit area of 830,000 acres is in the Chilcotin Mountains about 60 air miles north of Whistler. There are nearly 100 miles of heavily glaciated Coast Range between TLH and the ocean, so weather is colder and snow is lighter than at Whistler. Ski terrain is 60% glacier, 20% subalpine and 20% trees. Ski elevations range from 4,000 feet up to 8,700 with the tree line at about 6,000. Helicopters are grounded for weather an average of half a day per week. February and March are the recommended months for milder weather and maximum coverage and visibility on the glaciers. The last 2 weeks of February are reserved for full week packages, but 2,3,4 and 5 day options are available during other weeks.

TLH will accept up to 44 skiers serviced by two 11-passenger Bell jet helicopters. With a maximum of two groups per helicopter, skiing can be quite fast paced. While the vertical guarantee is 14,500 feet per day, 20,000 to 25,000 is common with aggressive groups sometimes exceeding 30,000. During selected weeks, Heli-Relax packages are offered to those desiring a more leisurely pace. Unlike many heliski lodges, Tyax can accommodate families and groups where not all members heliski. Extensive cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are available from Tyax Lodge.

Package prices run about $550US per day including food, lodging and transportation. Actual cost for most groups is likely to be around $700US per day including extra vertical.