You might think that heli-ski guides take the summers to relax. Maybe catch up on their reading list, sip lemonade in the sun and dream about the powder days of winter.
Tell that to guide Nigel Fisher and he’d likely laugh, with a plume of dust and soot falling off his shoulders.
Nigel has been working hard long days in Clearwater, C.-B. (430 km from Golden) as a danger tree faller, helping in the effort to fight back the forest fires that have been raging in British Columbia. He’s traded in the red guiding Gore-Tex for safety-orange fire gear, and we managed to catch up with him and find out how his summer is going.
“Great Canadian Heli Skiing is hella-fun, fire is more of a hellish fun, both require helicopters. Summer is hot and dry, be glad winter is not. Still looking for the spaces in between the trees no matter the season. ”
We hope you stay safe out there Nigel and can’t wait to have you back to find those spaces in the trees!
Summer 2017 in British Columbia has proven to be filled with more smoke and haze than sunshine and rainbows. This is because the province has seen a record breaking number of fires, and a provincial wide state of emergency was declared earlier this month. Evacuations have been called in communities Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Cache Creek to name a few.
Luckily ,our town of Golden and Heather Mountain Lodge have seen no serious fire threat, and the smoke has cleared, but we did see some drama playing out in our area. Our lodge and staff were a huge part of the firefighting effort. Last week, the lodge was used as a staging area for fire crews and helicopters to fight fires in Glacier National Park. When a fire flared up across the valley from our lodge in early July, Social Media host Muzza was there to capture the smoky skies and water bombers. This fire posed no threat to us, but the views do show how dramatic these fires can be. Happy to now have things back to normal and see the amazing response of the fire fighting efforts!
Executive Chef Josh Gaudet and his team were kept busy last week feeding the crews that fought the fires. The crews said it was some of the best eating they’ve seen.
A small fire was quickly extinguished across the valley. What a sight!
The helipad looking a bit different these days. Seeing those whirly birds reminds us of winter!
Our heartfelt thank you goes out to those fire crews spending their days and nights keeping us safe, and our condolences to those across the province whose lives have been forever changed by the fires. We are looking forward to winter again when we can look at the snow capped mountains and the smoke has cleared, and hey, there may be some new burn runs to explore.
We know the season has ended when we look out from Heather Mountain Lodge onto the heli-pad and see that the heli’s have flown home to Smithers, C.-B.. As bittersweet as that can be, we’ve always been a bit curious about what that flight looks like from our base of operations to the northern part of the province. So we sent Muzza, our amazing Social Media Host and Photographer who was chomping at the bit to accompany our pilot Mike Johnson on that 4 hour flight.
Here’s a recap of what that journey “home” and the view from heaven looks like.
Check out this video recap!