FAQ

FAQ2018-04-15T18:17:01+00:00

Q & A

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
If you have further inquires please message us via the CONTACT PAGE.

For helicopter information, including passenger capacities, see FLEET.

This is an extraordinary seasonal adventure that runs from June to October. Vibrant blue melt water seen in the viral Facebook videos only occurs in June. In July, the snow and ice have mostly melted, leaving behind an abundance of ice bergs floating in the lakes. By August, the lakes are wide open and perfect for exploring. The lake’s turquoise colour changes day to day with different lighting conditions and varies depending on glacial sediment suspended in the water. Preferred months are August and September; during this time, there is more freedom to explore. Sandy beaches and rare wildflowers are revealed when the snow is gone. Guests may paddle up to the glacier or hike to waterfall view points. The ice cave becomes accessible in August and makes a great add on. Upon arrival, guests are given a safety briefing that includes a kayak instructional and emergency response procedures. Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) are supplied. These must be worn at all times while on the water. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You will be paddling on very frigid water so long pants, hiking boots, windbreaker fleece and rain jacket are strongly recommended. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers and bring a change of clothes. You will get wet. Relax, this will be the “coolest” thing you do all summer. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story.

This is a common misconception. We exclusively use Angling/Fishing kayaks. These are also known as sit-on-top kayaks and are considered incredibly stable. Upon arrival, guests are given a safety briefing that includes a kayak instructional and emergency response procedures. Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) are supplied. These must be worn at all times while on the water.

Yes. Children of all ages are welcome. Toddlers under 2 can sit on a parent or guardian’s lap or in an aviation approved child restraint system (not provided). We do not recommend children under the age of 10 on the physically intensive trips ( hiking and snowshoeing). Regarding all other trips, parents/guardians must have good control of their children. Keep in mind most of these trips are 4-5 hours in duration. Children under 10 can double in the tandem kayaks with a parent/guardian, or in a single kayak provided the combined weight does not exceed 300lbs.

We ask that you keep your personal bags to 10lbs or less. Mountain weather can change rapidly. We do our best to avoid it, but guests should be prepared for the elements. At the very least, from May 1st to October 1st, we recommend dressing in layers: long pants, long sleeve or short sleeve shirt, wind breaker fleece, rain jacket and appropriate outdoor footwear (hiking shoes, boots or trail runners with lightweight merino wool socks). Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and sun glasses are recommended as well. For those on the kayak or paddle-board trips, you will get wet, and therefore we suggest you bring a change of clothes. Or if it’s really hot out,  bring sandals, a towel, and swimming attire in addition to the above items. During winter months, full winter gear is REQUIRED. Ask us for a list of items to wear on ice cave and snowshoe trips. What not to wear: dark colours, cotton clothing, jeans with holes in them, street shoes, dress shoes.

Your safety is our main priority. Our pilots have decades of experience and extensive local area knowledge. Based on the latest aviation weather forecasts and responsible pilot decision making, it is ultimately up to the pilot in command whether to cancel the flight or not. In the event of a cancellation, you may reschedule at a time and day convenient for you if it does not conflict with an existing booking. Alternatively, a credit or full refund will be issued. The weather can deteriorate rapidly in the mountains; the pilot/guide has the right to cut a trip short due to weather related concerns. Please view our cancellation policy here.
Compass Heli Tours bases flight costs on round trips departing from our home base in Abbotsford. For an additional charge, guests can be picked up and dropped off at the Vancouver Heli-Port or any other airport. With advanced notice, and written property owner consent, we can pick up from private residences, golf courses, wineries, etc.
Yes. With advanced notice, we can do our best to accommodate you and your group. Written property owner consent and some restrictions may apply, as well as additional costs associated with flight times and landing fees. Some examples of pick ups and drop offs outside airport locations are: wedding venues, golf courses, wineries, private residences, etc.
Yes, absolutely. Just pick a spot and let us know when you want to go, and when you will need a pick-up. We can also do one way trips if you wish to hike, paddle or ski out of your destination. Pricing is based on estimated time to complete the round trip(s). We cannot do drop offs or pick ups in Provincial or National Parks.
If you have never flown before, prepare to be thrilled. It’s almost like a floating feeling at first. Your body will soon become adjusted, allowing you to take in all the incredible sights. Be sure to keep your eyes open for mountain goats perched high on the granite cliffs and elk relaxing in the streams below. You will see huge mountains with waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. On flights deeper into the mountains, you will see glaciers and beautiful blue, green or turquoise lakes. Most people have no idea these places exist so close to Vancouver. Prepare to be amazed at these hidden treasures and more!

You can communicate with each other with the noise cancelling radio head-sets we provide. We avoid prolonged turning, as this can make people queasy. If you feel ill, we can land so that you may get some fresh air. If you can’t hold out until then, we have sick bags.

Yes, on glacier kayaking trips, unless you have a party of 4, or you select the private option. Otherwise, no. All other adventure packages are exclusive to you and your family, friends, or coworkers. We will never fill seats with people from another party. Unless of course, you want us to. For example, if you have a group of two, and wish to keep costs down, we can do our best to pair you with another group. We just need to know your desired travel dates! It’s best to be a little flexible.

We carry a fold up toilet in the helicopter complete with odourless waste bags.

Do not interrupt during safety briefings. Use of electronic devices that emit a signal (mobile phones, radios, laptops, tablets, handheld GPS, cameras with GPS enabled) are prohibited during flight. No smoking in or around the aircraft, or on site during adventure activities. No open alcohol in the aircraft. Absolutely no littering, pack out what you pack in. No foul play or aggressive behaviour will be tolerated. Absolutely no throwing of objects in the vicinity of the helicopter. No climbing on or leaning on helicopter. No feeding or harassment of wildlife. No bear spray or firearms. Paddles, skis, and fishing poles must be carried at your side, below waist height when in the vicinity of the helicopter. Avalanche airbag packs must be stowed in the cargo basket.

Our guide will give you an introduction to the lake and the species of fish that inhabit it. If you’re a beginner, the guide will demonstrate how to use the fishing gear, kayaks, and how to handle catching a fish from setting the hook to releasing the fish. We will share with you tips and tactics, as well as our favourite fishing spots. Expect aggressive fish, and lots of them. For beginners and experts alike, this lake is highly productive. Fish from shore, or kayak. We provide fishing gear, inflatable kayaks and all the necessary safety equipment. Fishing waders are not supplied. They are not required for use in kayaks. However, if you wish to fish from shore or in the stream, they are recommended. Upon arrival, guests are given a safety briefing that includes a kayak instructional and emergency response procedures. Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) are supplied. These must be worn at all times while on the water. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You will be paddling on cold water so long pants, hiking boots, windbreaker fleece and rain jacket are strongly recommended. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers and bring a change of clothes. You will get wet. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story.

Of course! We encourage advanced anglers to bring their own fishing gear. Fishing regulations require the use of single barbless hooks. The lake boasts a large cutthroat population so recommended lure size is 3/8 oz to 1/4 oz. The hook on the lure should be size 4-8. There are very large Bull Trout lurking in the lake as well. Big lure = big fish! They like anything that resembles a Cutthroat Trout. For the fly fishing anglers, please be aware that the line is difficult to manage in the kayaks.
No. Catch and Release only.

Ohhh I don’t know, what’s the best place you have ever been to? This is better. Please limit the “ooooo’s” and “ahhhh’s” to 100 per person.

The blue ice of the cave is formed by years and years of compression. The cave itself is formed by water. During the late summer months, there is a small stream flowing out of the glacier, so waterproof boots are highly recommended. Do not wear sandals, dress shoes, or street shoes. As one would expect, the ice cave is also very cold. Warm clothing is strongly recommended (long pants, hiking boots with merino wool socks, windbreaker fleece and rain jacket). Guests are encouraged to dress in layers and bring a change of clothes. If your ice cave trip occurs between November and April, full on winter gear is REQUIRED. Please ask us for a list of what to wear. Safety gear is provided. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story

Yes, but hopefully not while we are in it! Your guide will assess the conditions prior to entry into the cave. As previously mentioned, the ice is heavily compressed. As far as ice caves go, this one is quite stable. That being said, the glacier is retreating, as most glaciers are. During the summer months, the ice cave changes slightly every day due to snow melt water eating away at it. The leading edge can occasionally calve off. No ice cave is 100% safe. But it’s a risk you must be willing to take in order to experience Mother Nature’s finest works of art. If you change your mind prior to cave entry, you will be asked to wait outside until the tour is complete. There is no refunds at this point.

There are 4 locations to choose from: A spectacular alpine setting with multiple lakes at varying elevations connected by a gentle trail; A turquoise blue lake with a quartz sand beach; A crater lake inside an extinct volcano; or a much larger blue lake with grassy meadows at the base of the volcano! Guests can choose between an inflatable kayak or paddle-board.  Upon arrival, guests are given a safety briefing that includes a kayak instructional and emergency response procedures. Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) are supplied. These must be worn at all times while on the water. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You will be paddling on very frigid water so long pants, hiking boots, windbreaker fleece and rain jacket are strongly recommended. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers and bring a change of clothes. You will get wet. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story. Please stay on the rocks or trails as we prefer not to damage the sensitive alpine ecosystem.

For starters, you will be snowshoeing on the rim of a volcano that was discovered in 2015 by your pilot/guide, Nick Drader. The views and snow conditions here are extraordinary. Don’t worry, the volcano is extinct. The crater is isolated from the surrounding mountains and as such is protected from avalanches, making this place accessible all winter in fair weather conditions. Your guide will observe avalanche forecasts and complete a snowpack assessment prior to commencing any activities. Snowshoes are included. Prior snowshoe or hiking experience is recommended. Snowshoeing is considered a moderate to strenuous physical activity. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician prior to booking this trip. Full winter gear is required from November to April. Winter hiking boots, heavy weight merino wool socks, base layer top and bottoms, snow pants, insulated winter jacket, gloves, toque, and ski goggles or sunglasses. Extra clothes and socks are recommended. Explore the crater in peace and quiet, miles away from the busy local trails. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story.

As far as wilderness camping, this is as good as it gets! You and 3 friends can bring all your camping gear, a case of beer, a guitar, or whatever other camping comforts you need to Paradise Lake. Set up camp on a sandy beach with stunning mountain views. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident Elk herd as well as Mountain Goats perched high on the granite cliffs above. Inflatable kayaks and fishing gear are provided. Fishing waders are not provided as they are not required for kayak fishing. All meals are provided as are tents and sleeping pads (unless you have your own). Sleeping bags and pillows are not provided however we can point you in the direction of a local store. Campfires are permitted in our fire ring unless a burning ban is in effect. There are also 2 wild game trails to explore. One leads to a water fall and another to a series of crystal clear pools. Prior wilderness tent camping experience is strongly recommended. Upon arrival, guests are given a safety briefing that includes a kayak instructional and emergency response procedures. Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) are supplied. These must be worn at all times while on the water. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You will be paddling on cold water so long pants, hiking boots, windbreaker fleece and rain jacket are strongly recommended. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers and bring a change of clothes. You will get wet. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story

This trip has a focus on geology and hiking. Fewer than 20 people have been to this volcano so there are some bragging rights there. The volcano is known as a Tuya volcano and formed and erupted entirely underneath the last ice sheet in the area. Eventually, it had a catastrophic explosion, blowing out the North East section. This is evidenced by the pyroclastic rock scattered everywhere. The hiking here is considered moderate in difficulty so if you have a medical condition, please consult your physician prior to booking. There may be hoards of insects in late July and early August. Bring insect repellant and a mosquito net if you have a low tolerance for winged insects. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story.

Incredible views combined with a unique location make for peace and quiet like you have never experienced before. You will be soaking in natural hot springs deep in the mountains, however, with snow melt conditions or heavy rain, the water levels may rise. High water makes the hot springs unsuitable for use. We will inform you of current conditions so that you may make the decision whether to reschedule. Alternatively, we have a propane wilderness hot tub we can set up for you!

Registered Massage Therapists are available upon request, for an additional fee. The trip is rounded off with great food, great people and professional photos to tell the whole story.

Yes. Once the helicopter has landed and shut down on location, you may operate the drone with the helicopter pilot’s permission. It must be operated away from the helicopter at all times. Keep in mind that the helicopter is your ride home, so respect it. Please be advised that if you intend to use your footage or photos commercially, a Special Flight Authorization Permit is required from Transport Canada. New drone regulations will be coming into effect that require online registration of your drone. The FAA already enforces this.