Although heli-skiing in North America dates back to the 1960's, it wasn't until Alaska burst onto the scene in the 1990's when skiers and riders became fixated on the dream to heli-ski. Heli-skiing and more specifically the idea of of heli-skiing are now engrained in ski culture. We’re hooked on the idea of accessing what we believe could be the run of our lives. Heli or no heli, that's the ticket; the feeling of the best run of your life.
But the reality of the matter is that heli-skiing is not cheap. Sure, it can be done on a dirt bag’s dime at some operations, but for most of us, putting in the time and effort isn’t realistic. So if you're not able to go heli-skiing this year, why not take a trip to a ski town that offers the chance to get the equivalent of a heli-run-steep lines, limited crowds, and most importantly, untouched snow- every day there's fresh snow.
Here's a breakdown of three places you can do just that. Each area has a unique lift, a varying amount of skiable terrain and vertical, and a thirsty group of hard core locals who wait patiently hours before the lift opens to make sure they get an untracked run each powder day—what they deem as the "free" heli-runs they get with each season pass purchase.