Winter 2021 Update
**UPDATE (March 3rd, 2021) - We are unable to operate for Winter 2021 **
With a focus on health and safety, it had been our hope to commence our heli-skiing operations for Canadian guests on March 6, 2021. Regretfully, after consulting with our local community, we have determined that we are unable to operate for the remainder of the 2021 winter season.
Our entire team has worked tirelessly to prepare for the winter, and in collaboration with Bella Coola Heli Sports’ Medical Director, have implemented health and safety protocols that exceed provincial health recommendations. With epic amounts of snow on our slopes, we were looking forward to opening. Unfortunately, ongoing concerns around COVID-19 infection rates have resulted in BC provincial health orders remaining in place with a ban on non-essential travel for the weeks ahead. Furthermore, the local community of Bella Coola remains in a State of Emergency.
Therefore, in the interest of public health, to protect the community in which we operate and its most vulnerable members, and to support the ongoing work of health professionals across Canada, we will not open for the remainder of the 2021 winter season.
If you were a guest scheduled to ski with us this winter, you should have received an email from us. Please contact our Reservations team to find out your options.
Stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to host you next winter. The mountains are waiting.
The team at Bella Coola Heli Sports
The following is now irrelevant, though we have left it for interest's sake.
Our commitment to you
The safety and wellbeing of our guests and employees is our top priority
If you are looking for a wilderness escape, this is it! Located in remote locations scattered throughout the Coast Range mountains, our location allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
We have created a 30 page "COVID Operational Plan" which features new standard operating procedures in line with the Canadian Government and international health advisories. Many of these enhanced measures have already been successfully tried and tested during our summer operations at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, where we specialize in providing Private and Small Group Wilderness Experiences. As a result of the steps we have taken, Bella Coola Heli Sports has been approved as a "SafeTravel" destination by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Additionally, our Medical Director, Dr. Renata Lewis, has reviewed and approved our protocols.
Here are just a few of the protocols we have adopted to keep you safe;
- Changed marketing to strongly encourage people booking in multiples of 4 in order to create social bubbles
- Every guest needs to complete our Declaration of Health questionnaire
- All guests will be given a wellness kit (mask, gloves, and individual hand sanitizers) and be informed of the company’s COVID-19 policies upon arrival
- Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch and public areas with approved cleaning products
- Visible checklists are displayed in common areas and bathrooms for your peace of mind
- Physical distancing of 2 metres will be in effect in all common areas
- Employees have been given comprehensive safety and hygiene training and will maintain the required social distancing. Employees will undergo health checks each day before entering the workplace
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available
- Reinforced food safety standards
- We have ceased with communal sharing of items like food platters, popcorn bowls etc
Guests will need to complete our Declaration of Health and not currently have, or exhibit, COVID-19 symptoms. This will be sent out 72 hours before the trip.
2. Transportation to and from the lodge
Flights - Our airline partners Alkan Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines have implemented COVID-19 best practices regulated by WorkSafe BC and Transport Canada (see the Alkan Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines website for details). In cases where social distancing is not possible, guides and guests will be required to wear masks at all times.
Shuttle transfers to the lodge - All guests and staff are required to wear a mask.
3. Accommodation and lodge life
Chalets - For this winter, we are operating out of just Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. The advantage of this location is that guests stay in individual (double occupancy) chalets which are set apart from each other and the lodge. Perfect to promote physical distancing!
The Main Lodge (Bar/lounge/dining room/common areas) - Social distancing is mandatory and we have placed a firm restriction on the number of people that can be in any room at the lodge at a certain time. This ensures proper distance is maintained.
Mealtimes - Tables will be set up to host a maximum of 6 guests. Our dining area is large enough to accommodate all 16 guests and maintain plenty of distancing.
Housekeeping - standards between programs have been refined and additional cleaning is being performed. Housekeeping services are by request only.
Hot Tub, Gym & Sauna - Open by reservation only.
Massage - We are still planning to offer massage therapy. The number of available treatments per night will be reduced slightly based on the rigorous cleaning that is required between massages.
Ski/Dry Room - We will reduce the number of guests using the dry room. To help with this, we will add extra radio charges, coat hangers, and boot dryers to some of the chalets.
4. Heli-Skiing and the helicopter
- Guests and staff will be required to wear a mask in and around the helicopter
- West Coast Helicopters will sanitize the helicopters each day
- The windows will be partially open to encourage air circulation
- Guests will not be able to wear headsets in the machine or sit in the front seats during the flight home
- Once out of the helicopter and putting ski gear on, masks can be removed while skiing, then must be put back on at the helicopter pickup.
- Lunches - Will be individually wrapped. Masks are not required if socially distanced. Staff will wear a mask while serving lunch.
With the cooperation and understanding of both our staff and guests, we are confident that we can continue to provide a world-class heli-skiing and lodging experience.
We recognize that you might be keen to join us for some epic heli-skiing, however, you may be hesitant in these uncertain times. We want to allay your fears and make booking a trip with us RISK-FREE.
It is important to note that these more flexible terms and conditions have been implemented for a limited time only. When travel restrictions ease, we will update our policies.
The Policy that applies to you depends on which winter you plan on joining us. For details, please see the Cancellation & Refund Policy page (under "Travel Planning").
Last updated: Jan 15, 2021
Bella Coola Heli Sports has been approved as a "SafeTravel" destination. The ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ is an international designation that will allow travellers and other travel and tourism stakeholders to recognize destinations and tourism businesses that have implemented health and hygiene protocols that are aligned with WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.