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.
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.
In her element.
Finishing off with some Rock and Roll.
Take a bow… or a peace sign works too!