Those seven words were the start of the most epic adventure of my life. They came in the form of a phone call from a remote lodge in Eastern British Columbia. As Mother Nature becomes even less predictable, often the most sensible thing to do when planning your heli skiing Canada is to go for the dates that best suit you.
Man you will not believe what the last 2 days were like. It hasnt stopped snowing here for 42 hours. Dude it is almost waist deep. We signed up for another 4 days. There is one spot left. Grab your skis and get out here.
I am in I hastily declared not quite sure how I was going to get away from work.
it is waist deep I can always find a reason for getting out of work. I
was buzzing. It has been a long time since I have gone skiing in the
back country. I quickly threw a couple changes of clothes into my pack,
gloves, helmet, goggles, in also. Transferred some money around and I
was on my way to the adventure of a lifetime, literally.
going to Golden BC to enjoy some great snowcat skiing about 80 north of
the small mountain community. Some guys I knew from Calgary were up on a
3 day tour at Chatter Creek and called me after their second day in
waist deep powder. The excitement in their voice (and probably a bit of
alcohol as well) had me vibrating within seconds of hearing the words
Of course with a lot of snow falling in the past
several days the mountain pass between Golden and neighboring Revelstoke
was treacherous to say the least. Traffic had been getting through
intermittently between closures for avalanche control.
into Golden was a relief since the helicopter flight to the lodge was in
just under an hour. I had just enough time to stop at 7-11 for gum and
other junk food, get to the airport, sign a waiver and board the
The 22 minute flight was something else. We skirted up
the valley from Golden with the Selkirks on the left and the Rockies on
the right. A final quick jump over the Kitchen Range and we were into
the Chatter Creek Drainage. I could see the blue roofing of the lodge
appear like a sapphire in the green and white of the surrounding
The first night of the trip was a blur of food, booze and
faces. 35 other people with the same crazed look of powder that I had.
It was hard to get to sleep the first night but before long I was woke
up by my watch. First thing was to look out the window to see how much
new; 22cm on top of the 96 cm that fell in the last 4 days.
The morning continued with breakfast at 7:30 followed by a safety briefing about the snowcats and more importantly avalanche safety and the use of transceivers. This was followed by boarding the cats for a 15 minute ride to the East Ridge.
Running almost east to west for 7 km, the East Ridge is 2200 vertical feet of north facing trees and south facing cut blocks.
snowcat stopped at the top of a run called Bad Boys. The top 1/3 of the
run in the alpine and continued down through old growth spruce and
larch. Bad Boys certainly looked great. Our group of 12 got out, the cat
roared off to the bottom to wait for us. We all got geared up and
followed our guide to where we would drop in. The guide said to stay
center and stop at the tree line. With that he turned and disappeared
into a cloud of white.
I sliced my way past a couple of my buddies and dropped in. The first turn took me by surprise. It was like there was no bottom. By turn three I was able to get a glimpse of where I was and pointed to where I needed to go. With that the most epic 4 days of powder skiing began.