Both notions heli-hiking and heli-camping impart the expression “mountain vacations” a completely new significance.
Courageous hikers and campers just hitch a ride on a helicopter to a distant place that would take days to reach instead. At the top of a mountain, the helicopter lets fall ramblers off to survey the backcountry — saving them both time and grueling mileage.
Canadian Mountain Holidays, situated in Banff, Alberta, offered its first heli-hiking expedition in 1978.
Since then, Canadian Mountain Holidays has progressed from hosting a handful of heli-hikers its first year to 1,200 members in 2011 — a 25 percent rise than the preceding season, as Canadian Mountain Holidays marketing representative says.
But the heli-hiking expedition is not low-cost. The price for a three-night journey is Canadian $2,565 per person, which comprises dining options, helicopter flights, 2.5 days of guided heli-hiking and lodgings.
Canadian Mountain Holidays continues to adjust present heli-hiking itineraries and invent new specified trips targeted to travelers needs.
Canadian helicopter charter service White River Helicopters offered its first heli-hiking trip in 1996 and over the past two years has seen a 30 percent to 50 percent increase in business, said company spokesman Andy Ramsay. He assigns the rise in attractiveness to the novelty of the experience.
White River Helicopters is also offering heli-camping (think helicopter ride, with an overnight stay thrown in) and heli-fishing (a helicopter ride to a remote fishing location). White River is currently promoting heli-camping offerings all over the world, concentrating in particular on the European tourism market.
A two-week heli-guided expedition with White River Helicopters can surpass $10,000 per person, including any hotel accommodations and food.