Where To? Terrain Breakdown
Our heli-ski playground is 2,000 square kilometres (that’s a half million acres) of exclusive, empty, snow-covered backcountry.
Where we go each day is determined by of-the-moment factors like weather, visibility, avalanche stability and best snow quality. The guiding team assesses all the variables at hand each morning, they make a plan, plus a few back-up plans, and take off.
The massive amount of terrain we have access to, plus how few skiers we take out there per day, means there’s always freshies to be found. Each one of the major zones described below would rival or well out-size a major western ski resort.
ALL MINE, YOU SAY…
Pretty much. Let’s go!
Here’s a breakdown of the main zones we call our office, and the unique opportunities they offer.
Quintessential B.C. backcountry, and perhaps my current favourite. Long runs of deep powder in perfectly gladed steep forest, starting with glorious open pitches at the top and interspersed with cutblocks. The trees feel like they go on forever, and the blocks come at just the right time to open it up, hit some booters and keep on shredding to the pick-up.
Run Highlights: Caribou South-East, Still Smoking, Silent East
We go here on the truly special days. It’s seriously big country, so good stability is required to keep things safe. Ridgetop and exposed saddle landings make for massive views in every direction. Lines in this zone are characterized by big alpine features (feel-like-an-ant big alpine), convex rolls, half-pipe-like basins and few trees. Guaranteed to make you go ‘Wowwww….’
Run Highlights: Chateau, Mad Holms North
Here we bump right up to the border of Glacier National Park to the north, and the views are like nothing else. Many, MANY a photo has been taken from these landings, staring across to Mt Sir Donald and Glacier Circle. Streams of glades, trees and rolling alpine pitches. FUN.
Run Highlights: Bella Vista, Trapper’s Cabin
An extended flight gets you back to the Duncan and the start of our terrain in the Selkirk mountains. The river valley drops low and the peaks reach high. This neighbourhood is all about big relief and long runs. A massive burn from many years back has left some wide sections of burnt-out forest – charred sticks for long visibility and slalom-like good times. It’s memorable and then some.
Run Highlights: Black Forest, Schooner Ridge
TOP OF THE WORLD
Named for some of our highest landings, at a central point in our terrain, this zone is a favourite and offers tons of variety. From the cold ridgetop of Top of the World at 10,000 feet, it’s the perfect mix of big open alpine, and steep trees. We’ve put in a lot of glading work (thinning of the forest for best ski spacing) here and it shows. Those trees you’ve been dreaming of? These are them.
Run Highlights: Hump East, Amie Trees, Poachers
CANYON CREEK NORTH
At the far north of our terrain, but not far from the base, this fork offers some of our highest landings, the extremely photogenic Moonraker peak, and borders Glacier National Park. Runs are more than 60% alpine, with a super fun sampling of perfect glade corridors funnelling right to the heli and your next lift.
Run Highlights: Upper Whitehorn, Moonraker
CANYON CREEK MIDDLE FORK
Another portion of stunning Canyon Creek, the Middle Fork is a great destination in stormy weather or blue sky. There’s the perennial crowd pleaser, Ticino, that rolls over from one incredible open pitch to another, slowly narrowing to a half-pipe like feel as it squeezes down the drainage; or if visibility isn’t great, some deep tree pitches on Breaker. At the pick-ups here, you really feel like you’re in big country.
Run Highlights: Ticino, Upper Breaker
CANYON CREEK SOUTH FORK
Last but definitely not least, the south fork is all drama. We need some good snowpack stability to hit these impressive alpine lines, most ending above tree line and showing off some of the best steep terrain Canyon Creek has got.
Run Highlights: Upper Nosedive, Rollercoaster
Way, way back there, you’ll find International Basin. A late-winter favourite, these massive runs feature smooth rolling glaciers and endless white. Bring your sunscreen and some strong legs.
Run Highlights: Kodak, Sandilands
Give us a blue bird day and McMurdo will likely be on the list. Back in glacier country, the peaks of David and Cony dominate the skyline. The glacier lines are long, smooth and perfect for scoring that famous heli-ski feeling of turns that go on forever. There’s slide path steeps, big trees, and exposed landings. Score.
Run Highlights: David Peak, Neophyte
Hope to see you out there!
Wondering how your skills will stack up out there? Check if you’re ready for our backcountry with this Heli-Ski Quiz!
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