A couple of years ago I was thinking that I still hadn’t gone heli-boarding/heli-skiing and time was running out. I had gone cat skiing before, and I’d been to Europe riding. Heli-boarding and riding in South America were left on my checklist. My legs weren’t going to get any stronger as I got older. With a kid on the way, disposable cash wasn’t going to be as available and the possibility of coordinating schedules with my friends who each had complex schedules with kids was getting harder. So I knew I had to act soon.
What better milestone marker than a 35th birthday. It also marked the milestone of snowboarding for 20 years, along with my buddy Ben. Significance needs to be planned for and rewarded. In the end, 4 of my buddies did all the bribery required with their wives and made plans with family to look after the kids so we could get away for a few days in Whistler.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with my planning and tried to throw a monkey wrench in the plans. Heavy early season storms and periods of heating and cooling made for some of the worst avalanche conditions seen in the area in years. And not a great amount of snow leading up to the trip started to look like the heli experience wasn’t going to happen. No sense in dropping $1000 for a day to ride ice. I can do that in Ontario for a fraction of that price. But we lucked out when we got there. WhistlerHeliSkiing.com found some great untouched areas with great fresh snow. The terrain wasn’t as steep as we’d like, but given the avalanche situation we were fine with it.
We picked the best day of the week to go out – great blue skies, warm weather, great visibility, and endless powder fields. We lucked out. The video speaks for itself.
We documented this trip like crazy. I carried a video camera & a small camera. Z carried a small camera and his SLR. John carried a small camera. We also had the heli videographer and bought his footage from the day so I could weave it in with all our footage for a 35 minute video. YouTube only allows 10 minutes of video, so I had to drastically chop down the footage so I kept all my parts for this blog. Sorry guys, I’ll see what I can do about getting the whole thing posted elsewhere.
We went out with Whistler Heli Ski. They were really great. Each day, after the day out you could go to the bar and the day’s footage was played straight out of the camera so you could see your day’s riding immediately. The other benefit of this was seeing conditions if you were considering riding – this helped us make the decision when we saw the video from the day before we went out.
I had a lot of questions about heli-ski before going on the trip and hopefully some people doing the same searches will come across this and I’m more than happy to answer any questions about the experience. Just leave your questions in the comments section.