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All heli-skiing operations will guarantee a certain amount of vertical feet/metres. At Great Canadian, we offer a generous amount of vertical (e.g. 30,500m/100,000ft for a week long trip).


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One heli of a Summer!

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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.
Mining Operations
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.

Music in the Mountains

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The hills are alive with the sound of music, especially when our guide “Super Sue” is conducting.

This week in Golden, British Columbia, Sue conducted the Purcell Mountain Orchestra for it’s 10th anniversary concert, “Wonderful To Wild”.  The orchestra covered everything from Star Wars to The Sound of Music to Led Zeppelin, complete with costume changes from Darth Vader to Flower Power hippie.

“When I was a little girl I always wanted to be like Fräulein Maria in the Sound of Music and be surrounded by music in the mountains.” Sue told the audience,  “Now here I am doing just that!”

Way to go Sue and congrats on the 10th Anniversary of the Purcell Mountain Orchestra.


The force is strong with our Sue.

The force is strong with our Sue.

In her element.

Finishing off with some Rock and Roll.

Take a bow… or a peace sign works too!

The Best of Both Worlds

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It’s hard  to imagine a job with better perks than heli-skiing, but our front desk extraordinaire Marion has truly set herself up with the best of both worlds.  Running a paddle board business back home in France is not quite the same as skiing the deep powder at Great Canadian, but it’s all about balance, especially on a paddle board.  She took some time to fill us in on her summer:

Tell us about your business and what you are getting up to this summer.

This summer will be our third season paddle boarding on one of the most beautiful coves in the area of the “Vermilion Coastline”, North of Catalonia, at the Spanish border. This cove is called “Paulilles”, it is three cute beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, located between Port Vendres & Banyuls.  As it is still a pretty new business and as we decided to start it in a blink of an eye, we are still trying to organize it more and more. We are still in a big learning process. This is very exciting even though there is so much to do and think about. It’s way more interesting to see people enjoying & playing like kids!

What has it been like transitioning from heli-skiing in the mountains to paddle boarding in France?

As much as I’m getting used to switch from skiing to paddle-boarding, I like both activities. But to be honest, probably being originally from the mountains makes me prefer skiing… And now that I’ve done some heli-skiing, I guess it’s even stronger!  Working for a company and working for your own business is quite different. Not sure I can really compare… I think it is less stress, easy fun working for a heli-ski company than running a little growing business. But there is more challenges,  and more work,  running Paddling Paradise.

What do you miss most about Heather Mountain Lodge?

I mostly I miss my new friends…a great team!  I can work many different jobs, my #1 priority is the team, the people I work with that make the place nice, great or not.  Before I started, I was wondering
about the clientele with a high level of expectation, and now I can say that I really enjoyed meeting people coming from all over the world sharing the same passion of skiing. I miss it too.

What do your friends in France think when you tell them about your job at Great Canadian?

Hahaha, some of them are a bit jealous, other very supportive or impressed. But the best reaction was from my companion who now really wants to come work in Canada a and maybe become a ski-guide. Ah well, any friends think that I was very lucky, which is very true.

What are you most excited for next season?

I’m super excited about heli-sking again! But still, it’s the team that will make it worth it. In any case, I keep my fingers crossed for a great skiing season, with a ton a fluffy snow for all of us!!!

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