Who Likes Helicopters? Capping Off 2010 at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing
This post has 6 photos and 0 videos. Click any thumbnail to start »
December 2010 was the 3rd snowiest on record for some of us out on the BC coast, making it tough for anyone to leave for the holidays. Oddly enough, we didn't have the slightest problem leaving, but it might have had something to do with helicopters, fresh pow and king crab legs waiting for us on the other side of Rogers Pass. Yep - Great Canadian Heli-Skiing delivered once again.
Arriving from all angles, myself, Jordan Manley, Daryl Treadway, and Leah Evans all converged upon Heather Mountain Lodge and called it home for the final days of 2010. And why wouldn't we? Cool staff, the best steak I've had in years, hot tubbin', and a helicopter in our front yard. Too bad we couldn't call it home forever.
But we weren't just there to stuff our faces (well I wasn't anyway), we were on a mission to find some sunshine and pow, and photo-document the high alpine radness that Great Canadian has in their tenure. Conditions for the first 2 days were a little bit 'milkbird', but I could care less, knowing that Great Canadian's sub-alpine burnt tree and pillow skiing is really where it's at. And boasting a 98% fly day percentage, we knew we'd be up in the bird either way... even hanging out of it at one point (wait for the photos in next year's magazines, crossing fingers).
For day 3 the weather went crispy cold and clear, so it was time to pitter patter and get on at'er. We hadn't seen the alpine on our last trip to the region, so jaws were dropping and cameras were clicking as we buzzed through the tenure. Avalanche conditions weren't dreamy enough for us to head for the big lines, but the flight left plenty to my imagination for next time... and the next time. Instead we hit some mellower pow and milked it the only way we know how, faceshot after faceshot. It turns out -20 ain't that bad when the sun's out and your skiing pow, and you can always break dance until the heli shows up. Right Leah?
We found the pow, saw the peaks, devoured steak and crabs, and ended 2010 in style. Mission accomplished? I think so, now we'll just wait till fall to see if the images in print are as good as the ones in my head.
Great Canadian Heli-Skiing Stats & Details
Vertical: Average 3 day groups do about 5,800 metres (19,350 feet) vertical per day, very strong groups can do 10,000 vertical metres (33,000ft) in a day. Each run can average 460 – 760 metres (1,500 - 2,500 feet).
Runs: +150 named runs.
Longest Run: "Cornice Glacier": ca. 1,800 metres (5,905 feet)!
Average Snowfall: 14 metres (550 inches or 46 feet). Snowbase is usually over 3.5 metres (12 feet).
Lodge Elevation: 1,030 metres (3,379 feet)
Highest Peak in tenure: 3,251 metres (10,666 feet)
Highest Drop-off: 2,970 metres (9,744 feet)
Down Days: During winters 08/09 and 07/08 there were NO down days! In 06/07 there were only 2!
Lifts: 2 A-Star helicopters, the best in the business. Small groups of 4 people, with a max of 3 groups operating from 1 helicopter.
You can post a blog like this too - Simply create an account and get posting!