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North Cascade Heli-skiing

PO Box 367
Winthrop, WA  98862
(509) 996-3272 / (800) 494-HELI
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More About North Cascade Heli-skiing - Winthrop, WA

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About North Cascade Heli-skiing

The North Cascades of Washington state, also known as "The American Alps,” are the most glaciated peaks in the continental U.S. Our location in the northeast corner of this range is a unique combination of longitude, latitude and altitude, giving us some of the finest snow conditions available anywhere.

Within our 300,000-acre permit area on the Okanogan National Forest, we can access a vast variety of runs starting at altitudes of 7,500 to 9,000 feet and offering 1,500 to 4,000 vertical-foot drops.

At the end of the road, in one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, skiers and snowboarders come each winter to experience the ultimate mountain adventure: Heli-skiing/riding with North Cascade Heli. Founded in 1988, North Cascade Heli is based out of the Freestone Inn in the Methow Valley.

With over 300,000 acres of rugged terrain, dry powder and awesome descent lines, the professionals at NCH will lead you to the goods and a most memorable experience. Our programs are tailored for a variety of abilities and desires. Safety, adventure and fun are our top priorities. From advanced intermediates to experts, North Cascade Heli-Skiing can take you on an unforgettable day of powder descents in the stunning “Alps of America."

We offer 3 day and 1 day heli riding programs, as well as 4 day backcountry yurt trips and single day heli assisted touring options. With never more than 16 guests, it's a personalized operation and all trips are a 4:1 client/guide ratio.

North Cascade Heli-skiing Quick Facts

The Basics Terrain Season
Helicopter Trips: Yes
Snowcat Trips: Yes
Years in Business: 21
Capacity Per Trip: 12 peopel per day
Trips Per Season: 60 to 80
Guide to Client Ratio: 1 to 4
Packages start at: $375.00
Longest Run: 4500
Summit: 9,000 Ft / 2,743 M
Base: 4,000 Ft / 1,219 M
Vertical: 4,500 Ft / 1,372 M
Acres: 300,000 Ac / 121,410 Hc
Starts Around: 1/14/2011
Ends Around: 3/20/2011

Equipment Used

We'll be using a Astar B3 this season, a very capable helicopter to fly in our mountainous environment. More importantly, Seamus O'Daimhin will be back for another season. Seamus is recognized as one of the finest pilots in the industry and is a crucial member of the NCH operation. We operate 2 Piston-Bulley snowcats as a back up to the heli operation when weather prevents us from flying (we do not operate them separately from the heli ski operation).

Ski Areas Nearby

Loup Loup Ski Area, Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass

Booking Policy

Our 3 day program requires a deposit of $1,000 (+ tax), with the balance due 30 days before your program begins. All other programs require full payment at the time of reservation. Bookings can be made via phone, email or fax. Call 1-800-494-HELI.

Training & Instruction

In conjunction with North Cascade Mountain Guides, we're offering an AAIRE Avalanche Level 2 certification this year from our back country yurt. Dates are tentatively scheduled from 2/6-2/9/09. The cost is $1,200 per person, which includes the heli flight to the yurt, training, meals and some amazing ski terrain for fieldwork time.

Packages & Pricing

We offer everything from flight seeing excursions to multi-day exclusive helicopter charters, but find our most popular trips to be our three day or one day heli skiing/riding programs.

Our most popular trip is the one that maximizes your experience in Mazama with three days of heli-skiing or heli-riding. Make the most of your journey to the end of the road for seemingly endless turns of untracked powder. Many of our guests come back year after year for their three-day powder feast. Some even tack on another day or two to the program. With a minimum of 21 runs guaranteed (approximately 36,000 vertical feet), this is an excellent way to experience our vast permit area in the North Cascades. Includes guide services, demo powder boards, avalanche equipment and a tasty lunch. Available 7 days a week. The cost is $2,499 per person + tax.

Enjoy a full day in the mountains and a minimum of 7 runs guaranteed with guide services, demo powder boards, avalanche equipment and lunch included. It’s the best way to have the greatest ski day of the season, or decade, or maybe, lifetime. The cost is $899 + tax.

We also offer 4 day trips to our Yurt deep in the heart of the Pasayten Wilderness (from $900 per person) and single day backcountry heli assisted tours ($375 per person).

What's New

We're featuring the addition of K2 Darksides, Pontoons, Obsethed and Hellbents this year, in addition to the Coombacks, Phat Luvs from last season. Also in partnership with K2, we're offering our clients a the opportunity to demo K2 snowboards this season, featuring Gyrators, Zeppelins and 2 Duchess boards for our female guests.

Local Lodging

North Cascade Heli operates in partnership with the Freestone Inn. Located just 15 miles west of Winthrop in Mazama, Washington, the Freestone Inn offers a quiet setting, casual atmosphere and first class service, all conveniently located close to the hei barn. The Inn encompasses a 120-acre ranch on the east side of the Cascades in the heart of the Methow Valley. It features comfortable, spacious rooms, fully equipped cabins and private lodges.

Nearby Recreation

The Methow Valley is home to the MVSTA Trail system, a cross country skier’s delight and the second largest network of cross country ski trails in the US. It offers everything from family friendly trails to long distance marathon trails for the endurance athlete.

Other recreation also includes snowmobiling, ice climbing and shopping in the historic town of Winthrop. Loup Loup ski is also a fun place to vist while in the valley. 1 lift, 1 poma and one rope, but no crowds or hassles.

WIN free lift tickets!!