We were first time heli-skiers so I researched the companies to the extent possible. There are not many reviews of Coast out there but I definitely want to recommend them. True, I cannot compare them to other heli operations but I have traveled extensively and done a variety of tours including snowmobiling, canyoning, skydiving, etc.
This was an extremely well run operation – I was impressed by their efficiency while still making the experience personal. I primarily chose them because they had smaller group sizes which was preferable to me (5 skiers to one guide). After having completed the trip, I cannot imagine going with a big group of 10 or 12. I really liked the smaller size (it felt safer to me – I wanted eyes on the guide at all times!) and it made the experience more personable.
I was very impressed with the thoroughness and matter of fact approach to safety preparations. They did a great job of not sugarcoating the dangers involved, but also not scaring us. We spent about 45 minutes discussing safety, including running a mock search with our beacons. We also practiced how to get in and out of the helicopter before we were up on the mountain.
We had some heavier cloud cover so our first couple runs weren’t exactly where I wanted them to be (i.e. those wide open bowls I think everyone is looking for). The bottom third of these runs were in the trees, which I personally don’t like to ski and felt that wasn’t quite the experience I was looking for. That said, we were able to get more into the big expansive areas for the remaining runs and they were pretty awesome. My husband and I had only intended to do 4 runs but those were completed before lunch and we weren’t tired at all, so we added two more runs to the day for a total of six. After the sixth, I was getting tired so that was the right number for us.
Lunch was in a valley with sandwiches and thermoses of soup. It was cool to feel like you were out in the middle of nowhere having a winter picnic.
It’s a pretty fast paced day so probably the only thing I wish they would’ve done differently is found an opportunity for us to get a picture in front of the helicopter up in the mountains.
Overall, this company was extremely buttoned up and offered a great experience.
Tip - Ladies, bring some TP. Also, wear fewer layers than you normally would on a regular mountain – the pace is fast and there is less rest time so we were a little on the warm side.
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