Almost everyone carries a camera heliskiing or snowboarding these days, even if it's just a camera phone. Of the hundreds or thousands of photos taken by a heliskier or snowboarder during a heliski week with Canadian Mountain Holidays, there will be a couple of great photos, a lot of mediocre photos, a few really bad ones, and one or two that were almost great except for one problem. Those can be some of the most fun. Here are five of my favourite shots that best exemplify the almost-great heliski photo:
Timing: When you’re just about to snap that shot of your friend with snow up to his waist, right in the middle of a sunlit pocket in the trees, in perfect control, another powder hound cartwheels out of control across the photo.
Snowing too hard: There is a good reason the Columbia Mountains in interior British Columbia were the birthplace of heliskiing – it’s one of the snowiest places on earth - but sometimes it can dump too hard to see, ski, or fly and even the best cameras finally succumb to the elements. You’re probably thinking, “Show me!” This was the last run of the day at CMH Bobbie Burns.
Too many boards: Snowboarding zenmaster Rob Stevens decides to try heli-noboarding, a snowboard without bindings, at CMH Gothics, but accidentally ends up on the summit with both his boards. Rob rides the entire 1200-metre run with no bindings and his regular snowboard strapped to his back. It was a great display of skill, but a weird photo.
Trick goes sour: Needs no explanation. Approaching lunchtime at CMH Bugaboos.
Too much fun for fashion: Heliskiers are usually having such a raging good time that they forget to dress for the camera. They also tend to forget about life’s pressures for a while, forget what day of the week it is, and forget to use their smartphones - except for taking pictures.
Ready to go heliskiing already? During early season the powder is often as good as it gets - and it's cheaper.