There’s nothing like a spooky halloween story to get the heart racing. With the chill in the air, we can’t help but wonder what kinds of paranormal phenomena can be found in our area. According to this article in the Revelstoke Review by storyteller Brennan Storr, “The Pass” is notorious for the night of “The Rogers Pass Fireball”.
“All of a Sudden the Sky Went Like Daylight”
In the moments leading up to the Rogers Pass Fireball, there was no indication to the few present that this still winter night was different from any other. Temperatures hovered around freezing on the morning of December 18, 1997 as three two-man C.P.R. crews, two aboard trains and one headed home to Revelstoke in a taxi, watched the night sky erupt.
Even some fifteen years later, witnesses to the Rogers Pass Fireball are reluctant to discuss details of the incident. “I haven’t talked about it since it happened,” says one man who refused to say anything else on the record, “and I don’t want to start now.”
What details that have emerged tell of a booming sound followed by the appearance of an enormous yellow ball of light, crackling with what appeared to be electricity, streaking across the canyon. Says one source, “All of a sudden the sky went like daylight – bright daylight – and this big yellow ball slowly went over the valley.”
The fireball, which made no sound after its initial appearance, was then said to stop its progress and hover above the valley for ten full seconds before finally disappearing behind Mount Sir Donald in the southeast.
While, in the broad strokes, the Revelstoke Fireball shares characteristics with bolides – particularly large and bright meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere – those present feel as though something much different was taking place.
“I don’t know what it was,” said another witness who claimed the light was so intense that other drivers on the highway began to swerve in shock. “But I felt like it was looking at us.”
What a time to be alive! The latest and greatest in ski gear technology just gets better, sleeker and smarter. The upcoming winter gear is no exception. We’re chomping at the bit to get our hands on these. And better yet, these will be for sale at our retail store in Heather Mountain Lodge! Here’s the top 3 trends we can’t wait to play with:
1. GoPro Hero 5 and Hero 5 Session
Those who have visited our terrain know that those views are worth sharing. The latest way to capture those deep turns in the trees or the expansive glacier views is with the latest action camera, the GoPro Hero 5 Black or Hero 5 Session. These bad boys feature exciting updates like voice control in seven languages (we won’t judge you for talking to your camera, but your friends might), 4k video resolution at 30 frames per second, and a cloud service that GoPro has developed to upload your video into the cloud. No doubt these will be an amazing addition to your season!
Featuring imagery from one of the closest towns to our lodge, Revelstoke BC, Arc’teryx has a new lookbook that is sure to inspire some of our heli-ski wear. New bright colours like “Fennel” or “Magma” are sure to keep you seen as you hurdle down that pillow field. With lighter fabrics that still hold warmth, everything from jackets to midlayers to pants will keep you comfortable for all those #unlimitedvertical runs.
*Bonus: the look book itself features friend of Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, Christina Lustenberger and our backyard, Rogers Pass.
Ever wonder how our guides get in top shape for the heli-skiing season? Their workout routines are designed to get those ski muscles primed for unlimited vertical. So we asked our guide Stan “The Power Tool” Metcalfe to give us a demo of what he recommends for a great heli-ski workout. As a physiotherapist, this guy knows his stuff and has broken down an awesome circuit to follow before your trip, so the only shaky legs will be from the thrill and excitment of skiing the best powder on the planet.
This workout can be done 2-3 times per week, and to raise the bar you can add a half hour of cardio (jogging, biking etc). This circuit has 3 parts, do each exercise for 30 seconds then take 10 seconds rest. Repeat each part 3 times before moving onto the next one.
**As with any new workout program, make sure you avoid injury or issues by consulting a physician before performing this program.
For a printable version of this circuit, click here.
Every summer, guides of Great Canadian Heli-Skiing head to the backcountry to make sure our heli programs run smoother than a glacier run on a bluebird day. That means anything from brush clearing, scoping out new heli pads to retrieving runaway skis, poles, or snowboards.
In our most recent round of backcountry maintenance, lead guide Rob found himself in his element: alone with a thermos of coffee, a sandwich and a stylish hat on top of a mountain range.
Rob was checking in on our radio repeater, which rests in between the Spinster and Cupola terrain zones. The repeater is a crucial part of Great Canadian’s communications, keeping everyone loud and clear as the groups check in with each other.
Hard to stay focused with a view like this!
Our mighty terrain looks like it’s missing something….
Rob in his element.
The Great Canadian Radio Repeater, all tuned up and ready to go for 2017!
From fighting fires to relocating wildlife, the fleet of Silverking A-star helicopters that bring us our unlimited vertical in winter keep themselves just as busy in the summer months. What’s keeping them so busy ? We got the low down from Silverking owner Ryan Hinds. Here’s his breakdown of the top three activities these machines take to new heights:
Forest Fire Management
When fighting fires there are many duties that a pilot / helicopter can carry out. These include moving fire crews, mapping the fires dimensions and movement and water bucketing. Bucketing takes some skill in terms of accurately placing the water into predetermined areas of the fire. If water is not dropped at key locations the fire activity can easily increase in size. Wind and temperature are the key factors that the pilot will constantly be monitoring in order to insure that the helicopter can perform at an efficient level.
Grizzly Bear Relocation
Grizzly bears can be a safety issue for remote work sites etc. The bear(s) are tranquillized and transported via helicopter to a remote area as far away as possible from human activity. Usually this is carried out by slinging the bear in a net below the helicopter, but sometimes the bear will be put inside the helicopter. This will allow the helicopter to fly faster and further to relocate the bear. However, in some cases, the bears will return after a short time. I have had a grizzly bear start to wake up sooner than anticipated while in the back seat. It’s a slow process, so it’s not a concern. We simply land and let him out a little sooner than expected.
We also do a ton of mineral exploration looking for gold and copper. We long-line diamond drill into various mountain locations. Once the drills are in place we support the drilling by bringing fuel, crew and other supplies to the site.