WOW! What a phenomenal winter we had last year! Back in the fall we were calling for an epic winter (see newsletter here) and it turns out we were right. Did you miss out and you are now kicking yourself? You might be in luck… this article says that there’s a very good chance this La Nina is a TWO-YEAR event! Make sure you don’t miss out twice in a row… see article here.
Even with lots of heavy snowfalls and days of constant snow, our amazing lack of down days was again appreciated by our guests. We only had 3 days ALL SEASON where we could not fly! We will always try and get you out HELI-skiing…it’s what you came to do!
Our format of skiing exclusively in Small Groups and offering Unlimited Vertical has enabled our guests to rack up some big vertical. Here’s some examples;
- One week in March our Weeklong guests, who normally ski 6 days, had 1 down day and still managed to ski over 46,000 metres (151,000 ft) in FIVE days!
- Towards the end of the season a group did over 30,500 metres (100,000 feet) in THREE days!
- Taking the average of all groups that joined us, the average vertical skied over SIX days was 43,000 metres (141,000 feet)! Good thing our guests don’t have to pay extra vertical charges.
Even though we have highlighted the amount of skiing we are able to do, we are strong believers in the quality of the experience. We recognise not everyone is an alpha-male and wants to rack up crazy vertical. If you would like a more leisurely pace, we can definitely make that happen!
Film Crews – Due to the phenomenal snowfall and favourable snowpack, we hosted several film crews this winter. Under Armour did a big shoot for their promo material. Freeride World Tour champion and multiple X-Games medalist Candide Thovex was in town for several weeks of filming for his upcoming movie. Candide’s movie looks like it’s going to be amazing… it’s a shame we have to wait until the fall of 2012/2013 to see it! Can’t wait to see some of the Great Canadian terrain on the big screen! There’s some (non-revealing) photos on our Facebook page which you can view here, even if you don’t use Facebook.
20 Years of Safety and Service
We are please to announce that Head Guide Greg Golovach (aka “GG”) has been with Great Canadian Heli-Skiing for 2 decades! Greg and his team have created a safety record that is industry leading.
Greg is a fully certified I.F.M.G.A. Mountain Guide and became a professional guide “because he could not imagine doing anything else for a living”. Greg’s passion for guiding is evident: not only is he a heli-ski guide, he also guides ski touring, ice climbing, rock climbing, and mountaineering. When asked what is the best aspect of his job, Greg said he enjoyed the “management part” of his job, as well as the logistics of running a successful and smooth program (“the skiing is an added bonus!”). Most people probably don’t realise about how much work goes on behind the scenes in order to make the ski day a success….this is a good indication that Greg is running and managing an effective and efficient program!
When asked what he believed has been his major contribution to Great Canadian, Greg said it was “building a great team to work with, one that comes back year after year”. I also asked him what has been his funniest moment and without hesitation, he said “working everyday with (guide) Terry Makos!” And what about Greg’s proudest achievement? His safety record is it… “20 safe years!” That definitely is a great achievement and one we can be proud of.
The last question I asked Greg was “what has been one of your most memorable experiences so far?”…and the answer blew me away. Greg and guest ‘Korp’ did a huge amount of skiing in the big snow year of 1998. Korp had organised a Private and they managed to ski, get this, 100,000 ft (30,500 m) PER DAY, every day, for 3 DAYS!!! They slowed down just a bit for the next two days and did +90,000 ft (27,450 m) PER DAY. So that’s 480,000 ft (146,304 m) in 5 days! WOW!
I was talking to guide Alison about GG and she said that his “commitment to skiing is amazing. Even when the weather is challenging, Greg is always trying to get the groups out skiing. Of course he wants the guests to be happy and be able to go skiing but he also really wants to go skiing himself!!” Alison continued, “It’s amazing how after all this time on snow, GG still has such a strong passion for just going out and skiing!”
When not guiding, Greg spends his time enjoying the outdoors with his wife Mischi and their three adorable children, Hunter, Bryce and Tia.
Thanks for your hard work Greg! When you said that you are looking forward to making it “30 years” at Great Canadian, we couldn’t agree more!
If you are interested in doing any climbing, touring or mountaineering and would like to hire Greg as your guide, have a look at his website: www.alpineadventureguide.com
J-Ball – 150 Skier Days
The past couple of years we’ve seen a big increase in new faces to GCH, but we wouldn’t be as successful as we are without our loyal, repeat guests. J-Ball is definitely one of those! He has been coming to ski with us since our second year of operation in 1989. In that time he has skied with us every single year since then except for 2 years!! He has managed to rack up 150 days with us. The only people with more days are Sid H and Dave H on 162 days and Bill M with a whooping 252 days. To thank J-Ball for his commitment to GCH, we’ve named a run after him (guide Alison told me it’s a cool gully feature in North Ventigo)! And of course we want to thank ALL of our repeat guests for coming back to us!
END OF SEASON VIDEO
Our End of Season video is out! It’s a recap of some of the fun images our guides caught on film, as well as some of the EPIC conditions we experienced. Thanks to those guides that did some filming and a special extra thanks to guides Alison and DR (Dave Rutherford) who did more than their fair share!