Sometimes, when everything just comes together, magic happens… Or it did the day that this video was taken from a helicopter looking downwards at some UK skiers as they journey down a run called “Miss Intensity.”
We are tremendously fortunate to have great helicopter pilots that work with us through Coldstream helicopters. Their flying skills get our guests and guides to their locations safely all across our large tenure just outside of Golden BC. On this day in particular, we had perfect skies and great skiing, and “Mike,” the pilot, decided to follow along and take some video footage from his aircraft. The video and the photos created from it are outstanding, and we urge for you to share it with your friends and family via your social networks so they understand why you choose to ski with us!
Great Canadian Heli-Skiing Run – Miss Intensity – Shot from the Helicopter
“Let’s do it again!”
That is the sentiment that drives many of our guests to return to our operation year after year.
It made me wonder if there was something that triggered that thought, an underlying experience that created the motivation to sign up for a heliskiing trip for the next season a year in advance.
I found my answer when I was interviewing one of our guests recently and it came with a wonderful story that blew my mind. Jeff came in from his third day of skiing with the same look on his face that you see when a guy just drove a sports car really fast for the first time; it was a look of shear excitement. This successful businessman that is turning 50 soon told me “I just hit the biggest air I have ever done…off of the run 40 watt at the very top…I jumped two pillows at the same time.” Jeff was overjoyed with his bluebird day in the mountains, and this was his just a part of his yearly tradition. I wondered if maybe he had a favorite run, and he responded that “there was too many to count, Hunter with huge pillows, Long chute after lunch, Bodacious and deep powder….We hammered all of it.” He mentioned that it had to do with the great alpine entry’s and the fact that “its all good whether knee high or chest deep snow.” He volunteered that he chose to ski with us because of our guides and the fact that “you feel safe and they will let you go as hard as you possibly can.” Obviously in his case, his whole group went really hard that day and they all pushed themselves to greater heights of powder self mastery.
Then Jeff told about the experience that had changed his life in regards to powder skiing. His eyes darted off to the side as he accessed the beautiful memories and he smiled with a sheepish grin. He told that it all started 4 years prior. He had joined another group and they went up in the helicopter after a large snowstorm that left 45cm. It was a super cold day and the snow was very dry and light. As they headed down the mountain, about halfway down their guide Syl, started to laugh hysterically, pulled her goggles unto her toque and stopped rather abruptly. The rest of the group stopped by her side and they asked her why she was laughing so hard.
Her answer said it all: “I don’t know what you have done in your lives gentlemen, but this is one of those days that you will remember for the rest of your lives.” That was the moment that Jeff said he got hooked. He said “The guide was laughing, that it how you know that you have a great day ahead of you.” He said that a moment like that in these mountains compares to ” skiers herion,” and once that had happened, he was hooked.
In his final words Jeff simply said “a moment like that is off the chart.” I suppose knowing that those moments are possible is a good reason for guests to take advantage of our incentive plan. If your curious about it…Just give us a call.
To Jeff…and all the others like Jeff that have experienced a similar moment. We will see you next year!
“Chicks ruled today, there was a female guide, a female pilot, and me…a female guest.”
The quote above is from Heather, who recently told me as she walked in from what she explained was an “outrageously great ski day of fresh pow!” Heather is a rare breed of woman in an almost completely male dominated sport of helicopter skiing. It seems that many women make their way out to the resorts and cat skiing but when it comes to signing up for helicopter skiing, there are but a select few that will choose to join in on a heli adventure.
Heather figures that it has something to do with fears of large mountains or helicopters. In her words “the thought of backcountry skiing to some women may appear daunting, but you really do limit the risks involved when you have a great guide.” We cannot agree more with her about having a great guide. The guide is there to help you through the entire process of entering and exiting the helicopter and throughout the entire big mountain experience.
When asked candidly about what she thinks about few women coming out to go heli skiing, Heather responded:
“Living in Vail Colorado, there are plenty of go0d, strong, capable women skiers that could ski comfortably on this terrain. I mean, you see a lot of them skiing at resorts, but it surprises me that you don’t see more coming out heli skiing. They should, they don’t know what they are missing!”
Heather went on to describe her first helicopter skiing experience.
“On my first heli ski experience there was an extra space that needed filling in the helicopter and I jumped at the opportunity. I was hooked, before the trip was over I had already put a deposit down for the next year! That was 4 years ago and I have been coming ever since.”
Heather has no doubts when choosing our services at Great Canadian Heli Skiing year after year. She knows that she can depend on our guides to take her through some great terrain that will push her limits, but they will keep her safe in the process. She trusts our pilots with the safety of the helicopters and their judgement of flying conditions. She also trusts our kitchen to prepare great food so that she has plenty of energy for all of the great skiing that she puts in daily.
I guess, when it comes down to it… Maybe our entire industry needs to appeal to that need for trust and safety while giving outlandishly great ski experiences through backcountry terrain.
A guest explains why he prefers skiing with us instead of skiing in Alaska
It is all about convenience he explained to me as we chatted over apres ski drinks. He relayed the story as such “I flew all the way to Alaska to experience great skiing, but what I mostly experienced was waiting. It started when we landed at the airport and we had to get our rental vehicle to drive to where we would be staying. The drive was fairly long along the highway, but we also had to drive up a long narrow driveway until we reached where we would be staying. In the morning we drove even further from the lodge they had until we reached a snowcat that would drive us to our helicopter that was situated away from the trees because it was a larger model that could not land near where we stayed. We stayed in a smaller building near the helicopter dressed in full gear waiting for good weather for takeoff. Sadly, we spent 5 days out of 7 waiting for decent flying conditions that would allow for us to go skiing. This means that we only spent 2 days skiing after all of that effort. To make matters worse, when the helicopter did take us out, 16 people scrambled out of it to take a similar route down the mountains. It was as if we didn’t really get fresh tracks at all.”
He told me that he had given up on the entire experience until he spoke to Deane in the booking department at Great Canadian Heli Skiing. She told me “that there is usually about 2 down days a season,” which absolutely floored me he said.
He arrived in Calgary and drove along the highway fairly quickly until he reached our Lodge near Rogers Pass. He was surprised to “just drive in and be greeted by the lodge with its warmth and pleasant staff.” He had a large dinner and stayed up and spoke to other guests that evening. The next day, after a heli briefing and transceiver training, he was up in the helicopter. It was a completely different experience then he had prepared himself for. There was very little waiting, his feet stayed warm and he enjoyed non stop skiing for 7 days. The level of excitement that he had always expected from helicopter skiing was maintained throughout. The rest was history.
He has returned ever since…
Care free Heli Skiing is all about balance.
Many of our guests have very busy lives, whether it be running a large organization, managing a busy business or balancing a life of work and family. I have heard on many occasions that “life is a balancing act,” where priorities are weighed and measured and important matters are dealt with first.
So how does one get to balance all of that work with a bit of play? Of course when I say play, I really mean helicopter skiing in the BC Selkirk mountain range!
It all comes down to flexibility in scheduling and in our case at Great Canadian Heli Skiing, it is all about offering ski start days that accommodate our guests hurried lives. In an industry that typically offers week long ski vacations with set start and stop days, Great Canadian Heli Skiing stands out in the crowd. We offer flexible packages that suit our guests needs because we know that by accommodating their work and family lives, they will be able to spend quality time on the mountains worry free. Our guests can choose from a 2 to 6 day package and some have been known to stay even longer, but the most important fact is that they can choose a time period that fits their schedule. We have a great success record of being able to get someone on the mountain on the day of their preference.
Just take a look at what our guests think:
“I chose Great Canadian Skiing because it is so flexible for my schedule and easy to get to. When I fly in from Japan, I want to get onto the slopes as soon as possible and that happens here. ”
- H. Y. Japan
“I was able to ski 1 day and 1 day off. I asked for a flexible package that would allow my body to recover between skiing periods. Great Canadian Heli Skiing provided me with the opportunity to ski a day and then rest in my great room for a day.” S. K. - Canada
“Wunderbar! I have skied my whole life and I have never seen this. Deane organized everything for me, we went Catskiing, then Kicking Horse, then Heli skiing….Thank you Deane!” -M. S. Germany