5 Favourite Heliski Helicopter Photos
The last Heliski Blog entry is an atmospheric video of Alpine heliski helicopters in action in the Columbia Mountains at CMH Gothics. To compliment it, here are my five favourite photos that capture the most thrilling and versatile ski lift in the world.
#1 Pilots Like Face Shots Too – More than one heliski pilot has told me that this is one of the things they love about transporting heliskiers. Flying through snow flurries in the beautiful valleys of the Columbia Mountains:
#2 Bugaboos Ship and an Ocean of Summits – A Bell 212 in the Bugaboos juxtaposed against endless mountains is a view familiar to every heliskier, but few photos capture the iconic heliski moment:
#3 Adamants Mountain Machine – Nobody steps off a chairlift or gondola, and then stares in awe as the lift goes back down the mountain. When the helicopter leaves, like here in the Adamants, every heliskier’s eye is on the machine and even the guide waits until the impressive spectacle is over to give directions and prepare skiers for the run ahead:
#4 Helicopter Emerges from Gothics Clouds – When the helicopter pops through the swirling clouds in front of you, while you’re in the middle of ripping 1200-metres of powder in the Gothics, even the most stoic heliskiers stop to laugh, point, sigh, giggle, and be thankful for the opportunity to experience the unique thrill of heliskiing:
#5 Bobbie Burns Lunch – THIS is heliskiing. Sitting down to lunch after a 10,000-metre morning in the Bobbie Burns. Cool sunshine, big terrain and deep snow provided by the Columbia Mountains; hot tea, nourishing soup, gourmet sandwiches, and irresistible cookies provided by the Bell 206:
The helicopter element of the CMH heliski program is fascinating. On your next heliski vacation, check out the complicated logistics orchestrated between the pilots, guides and lodge that makes your ski trip of a lifetime as seamless, safe and fun as possible.
Photos by Topher Donahue