Plan - Snowwater Heliskiing

Plan your trip

Getting Started

We know planning a trip like this can be daunting.  To help facilitate the process we have created some pre-trip information that will tell you everything you need to know.

Our Location

Getting to our remote wilderness location can be tricky - but it's worth it!

Snowwater Lodge is located near Nelson, BC, at 5400ft (1640m) in the Bonnington Range of the Selkirk Mountains. All guests meet at the Snowwater Clubhouse, situated beside our base office, at 5:00pm the night before your skiing begins.   Getting to the lodge requires a shuttle from our base by truck and snowcat.  Relax with wood fired pizza and beer while your bags are tagged and you wait for everyone to show up. The entire trip up should take about 45 minutes by truck and snowcat.  Be sure you have signed your ONLINE WAIVER and your CONFIRMATION FORM before coming on the trip!


987 Dogwood Dr. South Slocan BC, V0G 2G0

250-359-7665  Click for directions

When & Where

Arrival time: 5:00pm

Guests need to arrive no later than 5:00pm to sign in and prepare for the shuttle to the lodge which leaves at 5:30 pm.

Please do not be late as the shuttle leaves on time.

General Arrival Schedule:

  • Arrive at our base office by 5:00 pm, park vehicle and turn in your keys to the office.
  • Organize roommates and luggage for shuttle.
  • Sign WAIVER if you haven't done it online already.
  • At 5:30pm, you will be driven to 1/2 km from the lodge and jump in the snowcat for a short ride to the lodge.
  • Arrive at winter paradise and get settled into your room.
  • Join the orientation talk with a welcome drink in the main lodge at 6:30pm.
  • Your first dining experience is at 7:00pm.
  • Skis/boards are set up the following moring when the avalanche training takes place.

There is free parking available while you are skiing/riding with us.

Meeting Place

Getting Here

Driving from Spokane, Wa.

Most of our guests travel to our location by flying into Spokane, WA, and take a shuttle or rental vehicle (preferably a 4x4 with winter tires) from the airport.

Border Information

Within Canada 1-800-461-9999

Nelway Border Crossing

Location: Between Metaline Falls, WA and Salmo, BC.
Hours: US and Canadian customs open 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. (midnight), daily

Patterson Border CrossingM

Location: Between Northport, WA and Rossland, BC.
Hours: Canadian and US customs open 24 hours a day, daily

Do you have a criminal record?

Canadian Immigration regulations restrict anyone from entering the country who has a conviction that would be considered a criminal charge in Canada. People with DUI charges or drug convictions (anytime in recent or ancient history) have a very high probability of being denied entry into Canada. Your records in the US can be accessed by Canadian Customs & Immigration officers through cooperative agreements between the US and Canada. For those who have a record, it is recommended you pre-determine your entry status prior to arriving at the border. Snowwater Heli Skiing is not responsible, or liable, to make any compensation for guests who are denied access at the border.

Canadian and International travelers

All European flights arrive to major Canadian cities like Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver and from there you can where to fly to locally. From Canadian cities, you have two options:

  1. Fly Air Canada to Castlegar airport (YCG), with a local shuttle a ride to Nelson. Rental cars are also available (Budget and Practicar). Please be warned, flights are often cancelled due to stormy weather so we recommend spending a day on the slopes at Red Mountain Resort or Whitewater Resort prior to your arrival day.

    Local Shuttle

  2. Fly Pacific Coastal Airlines to Trail, BC (YZZ), from Vancouver’s south terminal. This airport is 1 hour from our base, but it is a little more reliable than Castlegar ( Book your car rental ahead and practicar will pick you up from the airport and take you to their office, where you can pick up your rental vehicle:

Private Aircraft

Castlegar is the only airport locally that allows for international private jets. Please call for details.

24hr road info for the Kootenays

Late Arrivals

It is the responsibility of the guest to be on time. Please call us if you are running late (250-359-7665). Guests who miss the scheduled departure, will need a private shuttle to the lodge at a cost of $200 per person. We do not operate lodge shuttles past 6:30pm. If you are late, you will have to spend the night in Nelson and incur extra accommodation and food expenses.

We recommend flying/driving in a day early and warming up on a local ski hill if you think you might not make your trip on time. We are conveniently positioned between two great ski areas. Both Whitewater Ski Resort and Red mountain are located with an hour from our base.

If you are running late, call us!


Medical Evacuation Insurance is already included in your trip, so you are covered for injury or illness evacuation. This does NOT, however, cover the reimbursement of a missed trip. 

We understand that occasionally events happen that can prevent you from coming on this fantastic trip you booked.

To avoid the financial hardship of an unexpected cancellation, we strongly recommend purchasing insurance. This is usually only about 5% of the cost of the trip and IT'S WORTH IT!

We recommend Lifestyle Finacial as our preferred insurance provider.

Click here for a quote


The backcountry is exciting and exhilarating, but can also be unpredictable. We strongly urge our guests to act responsibly and listen attentively to their guides and the pilot. Guests are expected to follow directions and act appropriately around the heli at all times.

Avalanches are part of skiing in the backcountry. These are a normal occurrence in the mountains as nature finds a way to stabilize the strong potential energy created during storms. Many western ski areas have avalanche control programs protecting their inbound terrain, but in an area as vast and untamed as ours, this task is virtually impossible. Our guides have years of experience in evaluating people, snow stability and assessing where it’s safe...or not. While it is our goal to take you to the best available snow and terrain each day, safety is our main priority and it may dictate where and when we ski. Please listen to and follow your guide at all times. **The use of drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited before and during the ski day. IPods or other music listening devices are also not allowed during your ski day.

Your Safety is #1

Book Your Massage

After giving it all you’ve got on the slopes there is no better way to sooth your aching muscles than to indulge with a massage. Our certified therapists have extensive sports therapy experience and are guaranteed to help you relax and take the pain far, far away.

Appointment times are: 3:45, 4:45, 5:45 and 9:00pm. Please sign up on line for the times you would like, or email your request This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click here to Book Online

What to Bring

  • Passport. If you’ll be crossing the border, don’t forget your passport!
  • Driving directions
  • Luggage restrictions: Space is limited. Guests are permitted to bring 2 softsided bags with a total of 50 lbs (we prefer one 50 lb duffel bag if possible). A small laptop bag or purse may accompany you on board as well.
  • Ski boots or Snowboard boots. ALWAYS bring your ski boots or snowboard boots as carry-on items on airplanes.
  • Warm, weather resistant ski/snowboard clothes.
  • Swimwear – for the outdoor hot tubs!
  • Goggles and sunscreen. Sunglasses and extra goggles can be a very good idea as well in case yours get fogged with tons of powder snow (common!).
  • Casual wear for the evening.
  • Laptop – yes we have high-speed wireless Internet!
  • Cell phone. We have reception at the lodge for Telus, Verizon and Bell cell phones.
  • Spare parts - If you are on telemark skis or a snowboard, you should carry any spare binding parts that have a potential to fail.
  • Personal items – toothbrush, toothpaste, medication, advil etc.
  • Collapsible poles – a good thing for snowboarders to carry if less experienced in the backcountry.
  • Strong legs and big smiles!

What We Supply

  • Ski straps - required for skis for heli packaging.
  • Digital Tracker avalanche beacon. You will be trained on its use and are responsible for its intact return to your guide.
  • Slippers (in the form of Crocs)
  • Natural, organic bath product: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand cream.
  • Winter Boots
  • Guest airbag. Each guest receives a BCA airbag backpack containing your personal Snowwater water bottle, shovel and probe.
  • Boot and glove dryers in each guest lodge.
  • House wine and beer on tap! Wines from the cellar, or cocktails are extra.
  • Fat skis or snowboard. Rossignol fat skis are included in your package to ensure the best powder experience. If you want to bring your own skis or snowboard, please only bring one set of gear. We highly recommend that your skis should have a waist width of at least 80mm or greater for easy turning and endurance.
  • House beer and wine! – We have a full bar at Snowwater and do not permit guests to bring their own alcohol. If you would like to bring some unique wine, we do allow 2 bottles max per person with a corkage fee of $50 each. If you have any special requests, please let us know and we will be happy to make sure your expectations are met. Liquor and cellar wine is extra.

First Day

  • A buffet breakfast is served at 7:30am every morning. Eggs to order or a breakfast special is also available every morning, together with espresso or cappuccino!
  • Fill out ski/snowboard rental waiver so we can set you up with your gear while you train.
  • Lead guide talk and introduction to your personal safety gear.
  • 8:30am: Bring your assigned airbag, water bottle, beacon, probe and shovel to rental ski area. Avalanche training is given by our professional guides to ensure you are ready and equipped to enter the backcountry. Our pilot will also brief you on the helicopter.

Typical Day

  • At 9:00 am we form into three groups of 4, each with a private guide, and get set to go skiing.
  • We enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch with hot drinks in the field, with snacks available throughout the day.
  • Ski powder and enjoy the stunning mountains that the Kootenay offers all day long!
  • Due to air safety rules, the ski program ends an hour before dark.
  • Homemade soup or pares delights are served at 4:30 every day
  • Massages start at 4:00pm. Pre-booking is recommended to ensure your spot.
  • We serve frosty beverages in the hot tubs, or enjoy our new games room with foosball and darts.
  • A 4-course gourmet dinner is served at 7:00pm, accompanied by select house wine or beer on tap– again included in your package! Wine from the Cellar, or specialty cocktails are available for an extra charge.


Gratuities have not been included in your trip.  Tips are a customary part of this industry in Canada, and are greatly appreciated by all.  If you feel you received exceptional service and your trip made memorable by the efforts of those who work at the lodge, please tip your guides, pilot and lodge staff.


Snowwater Heliskiing

  • 1-866-722-SNOW (7669)
  • Fax: 250-359-7650
  • Direct: 250-359-7665
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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