How to be successful skiing in the big mountains! Take a minute to expand your mind with guide Terry Makos as he covers how to be prepared for your heli-ski vacation. So you can show up and shred!
the Great canadian
Old time friends Neil and Mark come to us from Santa Fe. They carry on like brothers and fit into the Great Canadian Heli-skiing family like they were born here. Every good friendship has a story.
It was a historic moment in Neil’s life when his buddy Mark invited him up to Great Canadian. They packed their bags in the sunny south and made the trek up here together. That was eleven years ago. Today, sitting in the bar, Neil tells me the story of how Mark slowly weaned him off the typical businessman past times of golf and resort skiing and got him into the mountains.
Mark laughs and looks up over his local Kokanee beer with a mischievous twinkle in his eye – “There’s too many rules in golf.” And so it goes. Mark has a double black (or harder?) mountain bike trail built into his Santa Fe property, and when the two aren’t heli-skiing together they’re feeding their need for speed on highly technical bike descents. Neil says he made the transition when he realized that when he was golfing he could still think about work. Flying down a steep pitch in the backcountry on skis or a mountain bike is the ultimate freedom from a life full of responsibility.
The two timed their trip this year perfectly. Skiing for six days in the last week of March secured them a solid spring session full of epic powder, steep alpine lines, and exploration into rarely skied terrain in our tenure. On his last day with us Neil came in with a serious goggle tan and a HUGE grin saying, “Today was the best skiing of my life!”
When they weren’t skiing together the two were regaling us with stories of their life’s adventures all over the world, contemplating the fine art of choosing a good wine for dinner, and keeping guide Terry Makos on his toes with a six day long game of “name that tune” in the evenings.
Reminiscing about the good old days while still living the good old days is what these two are known for. Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, having a week-long adventure in the mountains with your best friend is pure gold.
Zoya Lynch and Jake Teuton – also of Revelstoke – have blessed us with their presence this March 19th along with Bruno Long for a photo shoot – Great Canadian style. The skiing family is small here – with Jake arriving from Revelstoke, Dirk – our pilot’s son Thomas – wanders over for a slap on the back. Jake harkens from Colorado and has done well for himself with sponsorships from Salomon and Smith living in Revelstoke. He discovered his abilities in free riding at his home resort Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR). Thomas De Bie from Golden, is working on his own line of sponsorships, is passionate about skiing, and of course, it brings Thomas and Jake together – stomping the Big Mountain Comp circuit through the Rockies and Koots.
Sweet shots, lovely lines and pick your pillow drops – Zoya, Jake, Thomas and Bruno are longing for great terrain and the goods. “Get after it!!” As Steven C. Threndyle would say in the ski journalism’s world of questing snow. http://blogs.vancouversun.com/tag/steven-threndyle/
Zoya, along with her sister Izzy Lynch have taken Revelstoke and skiing world by storm….through photography and videography…(Zoya) and writing….(Izzy) their talents know no bounds. Jake’s an up and comer snow rider with the momentum behind him to prove it.
Raised in a skiing family, Izzy, Denny, Zoya and Lucy Lynch have all been active, outdoors and connected to snow in many ways….Ski jumping, sponsored riding, photography, videography, lodge hounding, ski touring…you name it – all at an early age. This young posse – part of the “Lynch mob” keep their parents on their toes and young at heart.
Dad – Pat Lynch lives in Calgary and works in the corporate sector and is part owner of Amiskwi Lodge. http://www.amiskwi.com/ Located just outside of Yoho National Park along the Amiskwi Pass this historic landmark is nestled nicely amongst the Rockies. The sight of Mummery Glacier sucks you in over and over for a peek. Just over yonder peak, is the Wapta Traverse. Go visit – seek more terrain, more history and more….connection. It’s a beautiful place which will remain steadfast in your memories.
Mom – Sarah Lynch – lives in Whistler and keeps the home fires burning with love for all things mountainous and adventurous. Passions do not subside for these driven skiers – with Mom and Dad having spearheaded the wake.
Indoctrined from an early child rearing age – vistas are imprinted on the minds, hearts and souls of the Lynch family. Denny’s mysterious meanderings have taken him all over the planet – now resides in Nelson. Lucy is elusive in her adventures find home in Vancouver… yet joins in with the family on occasion. Zoya and Izzy are immersed in the ski culture of Revelstoke, RMR and Roger’s Pass. Eastwards they have been known to tread lightly into Kicking Horse Mountain Resort & country…. sharing their passion of skiing with the likes of Goldenites.
Bruno Long – writer, photographer and creative ripper is here to document this blue bird day upon us for March 19th. He will bring his expertise into the mix with sloping lines and pervasive unforgiving powder turns – writing his signature on the snow, watermark on his pics signifying his passion for the mountains. Get your shots taken by Bruno – email@example.com
Check out what this media crew can do! Stay tuned for inspiring shots that will leave you yearning and breathless for high alpine, mountainous regions – no lift lines or gondie lines, just tree lines, pow lines, pillow lines and some of the steepest terrain conveniently accessed by an A star is all that is seen ahead. Lift off…gone!
The ephemeral mix of snow and sunshine. Temperatures so warm that you are shedding layers and re-applying sunscreen three times a day. This is what we love!
Check out this short edit celebrating the spring life – heli-skiing, dancing, and just generally having a good old time. Hooray for spring!
After a hard day of heli-skiing out in the mountains, you arrive back home at the Lodge with tired legs and a HUGE grin on your face. But your day isn’t over yet – far from it! You’ve got a crew of extremely talented and psyched individuals waiting to hear your stories, offer you a brew, and serve you up some of the best food this country has to offer.
We don’t mess around. When our longtime guest and friend Tom from Toronto comes to ski with us, we know that things are about to heat up a notch (and we don’t mean the weather!). This time it was his 65th birthday party and there was skiing, dancing, and shenanigans all around.
As the spring season amps up and the place is still hopping, there are a lot of stories being told. If it’s not the guests bringing back epic bails or sends from the mountains, it’s our Heather Mountain Lodge staff bringing the goods. Check out this short edit, our amazingly talented songstress Harriet sings her own version of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” with a heli-ski twist. For those of you lucky enough to hear it in person, this will bring back the good memories and keep a smile on your face for the day!
These days its sunshine and smiles all around. Everyone’s getting out to play in the snow and it’s the time of our lives (and YOUR life). If you’ve skied with us, then you know why this is an incredible place to be. If you’re still contemplating a heli-ski vacation, look no further. There’s a reason folks come back year after year after year after…you know. We love our jobs, and we’re waiting for you. Welcome to the Great Canadian family!
NEW SNOW: 30+ cms OVERNIGHT.
TEMP in the ALPINE: -11 Celsius
TEMP at the LODGE: -1.7
TAKE YOUR BREAK THIS SPRING and slap on some skis. Get in our helicopters and SHRED!
Also in the forecast: SMILING FACES, FACESHOTS & EUPHORIA
Winter is a gift. Forget about scraping the snow off your car in the dark, early, bitterly-cold mornings. Let go of the morning stress over getting the kids off to school – one mitt, two mitt, scarf, hat, boots and more! Acknowledge that the roads turn to ice and the slush clogs the sewers on your street, and then let it go.
Lift your eyes up from the urban winter experience and think about the mountains for a minute. The winter grime of the city is left behind in the valley. The highway a distant memory, and the only thing you see is the gleaming snowy peaks.
Travel in the winter on skis is absolute bliss. The feeling of floating, of flying, of making the perfect turn in the perfect snow. THIS is what winter is all about. The ultimate freedom of travel over snow on simple sliding objects like skis – this is the gift that winter gives us.
Taking a moment out of the seasons to be grateful is a gift in and of itself. They flow by so quickly, it’s Christmas and then Easter, then summer holidays, then school and the bite of cold weather again. Stop the hectic pace and pause: look to the mountains, step into your bindings and feel the power of the snow pressing against your skis. This is the life. Winter, we thank-you.
So you want to powder ski but you have no time? You seek adventure and the thrill of faceshots in the big mountains, but life has an order and a pace that you can’t escape? Step outside off the merry-go-round for a moment and check out Molly and Zack’s story. A couple of ski bums who found a way to make the dirtbag dream a reality. Stoke the fires of your own creativity, and feel your feet in a pair of skis, deep in the legendary Selkirk powder. Then come ski with us! Happy Spring.
As we move through the DAYS OF WINTER into the DAYS OF SPRING SNOW PACK IN WINTER one thing stands out in my mind regarding the variable snow packs from winter pack at high elevations to spring like or heavier conditions at lower snow pack levels.
Light fluffy powder up high, to progressively heavier powder to slushy, grabby gooey ness that is fun as hero snow – YEAH!
1) Lower your expectations of where your skis will go as you get into heavier snow pack – less turning is more. Stay centered and ready to ROCK or ready for anything! Adjust your skiing with the elevation. Listen to the sound of the snow, feel the action underneath your feet. Light and responsive? Slow and gummy, almost? Change your approach.
2) Feel that pain? Thigh burn? Let it go. Focus forward and on your breath less turning and stopping the better. In all likelihood, you’re holding your breath, which builds lactic acid up in your muscles. QUIT THAT and just give’r!
3) Want better balance? FIRM committed pole plant, STANDING TALL OVER your pole really works – let the skis bend and sway in the POW – you just need to DANCE!!
4) STEEP TERRAIN INTIMIDATING?? NOT quite making the turn shape you want? Can’t quite keep the groove the way you want to? POLE PLANT & PUNCH.
As your pole is going into the snow, Punch your opposite hand forward. This keeps your upper body over your knees and in the middle of the skis. It works with all ages and I highly recommend it! WHEN I say punch, I mean PUNCH DOWNHILL towards the freshies! (And where your guide is waiting to show you the next stash)
5) Let them GO!!!!!(the skis, that is) It’s creative. Skiing is like painting on the snow with a paint brush. The brush is your ski and the snow pack is your paint. Leave your signature on your masterpiece every time you get on that snow. Let the skis SHOW YOU where they want to go. There are no rules here.
6) Take a picture!! Those memories get you through to the next POWDER SATURATION!!
On that note, There are some epic places all around Great Canadian where in which you travel to and from this great LAND OF POWDER and there are several places to explore along the way – whether it be flying out of Calgary, Kelowna or Vancouver.
Check out Emerald Lake and Emerald Lake Lodge on your way through Yoho National Park, east of Great Canadian Heli-skiing. It’s a beaut. Break up the drive with a snow shoe or a cross country ski. Rent skis right from the Boat house on the lake and get your legs stretched your heart racing with cardio and immerse yourself in the views. Stunning and breathtaking as all the Rockies, Purcells and Selkirks are, YOHO is just as magical, mystical and full of adventure.
To us the phrase means a warm, usually wet mass of air moving towards us from the Pacific. It dumps an inordinate amount of snow on the mountains and usually brings havoc to the highway system. Luckily, we live in a backcountry lodge that is self-sufficient, far away from any town or traffic jam, with only helicopters to worry about. And as for the skiing? Well, at times a Pineapple Express can slay the powder turning it into a heavy mass of wetness. At the magic temperatures it dumps cold smoke on everything and everyone. Check out this short edit from today’s skiing. We got 40cm of new snow in 24 hours, it was epic, and we SHREDDED it!