There are several factors that play into a successful day in the backcountry: your comfort level and ability, snow conditions, group size and composition and, not to be underestimated, the suitability of your gear. With new technology emerging every season, it can be tricky to separate the money-grabbing fads from the genuine innovations. Here, we give you the rundown on a few key components to ensure you are well-equipped for your next heliboarding trip.
Floating above Photo: Lorenz Masser
Lots of exciting stuff this month. Enter to win a 5 day heliski trip courtesy of Goldwin, get a first peek at our new heliski video and enjoy a host of new Last Frontier Heli photos. Continue reading
Why we play in the mountains…
Photo – Caton Garvie
Playing in the mountains is not without risk. For those of us who spend their work and pleasure time in the mountains, managing that risk is the key to staying safe and helping others to stay safe. Over the last few years, the numbers of folks heading into the backcountry has increased significantly and as a result of that we are starting to see more and more situations, specifically with avalanches, where inexperienced groups are getting caught in slides. There have even been cases where the convergence of different user groups in the backcountry have led to incidences of avalanches where one group has caused a slide to take out another group. Continue reading
Suz Graham ripping it up on our heliski safari.
Photo – Reuben Krabbe
Every year at Last Frontier Heliskiing, we pick a week well in advance, invite our filmer, Grant Baldwin, a couple of athletes, and a professional photographer, and we film our short feature film for the next year. We feel it’s important to give a true sense of the heliski experience we offer on the Last Frontier. That’s why we book the time well in advance; there’s no picking and choosing, the dates are the dates and we see and ski what we see and ski. We’re confident that at anytime during the season, there is epic skiing and riding to be had and filming over a 1 week period allows us to showcase the vastness and variety of what is the world’s single largest heliski tenure.
Living the dream is exhausting. A full day spent crushing dozens upon dozens of vertical metres in the steep and deep requires unlimited stamina, remarkable physical fitness and a whole lot of adrenaline. It’s been my experience that three things set winners apart when it comes to going the distance in the backcountry: efficient technique; lightweight, high-performance gear; and really great snacks. Today, we focus on power foods.
Eat. Drink. Be Merry! Photo: Dave Silver
When it’s like this, it doesn’t really matter what ski you’re on…they’re all going to be fun.
Photo – Willi Kunz
It’s tough buying skis these days. There’s just too much choice. Skinny, fat, super fat, reverse camber, rockered, not rocketed, big mountain, all mountain, park, race, jib…it’s getting a little ridiculous. Plus there are more ski manufacturers now than ever, from the big companies to the dozens of small, independent ski fabricators cropping up all over the world. It’s a tough choice, especially if you are like me, where owning a quiver of skis is first not financially viable; second, only practical if you are sponsored or just plain rich and third, easier to fit in your little dirtbag car when you’re on the move. So what’s a dirtbag who needs one ski to shred them all to do? Continue reading
This post is all about cooperation: two individual forces working together to make simple, wonderful things happen in this otherwise rough-and-tumble, dog-eat-dog world. This post is also all about free heliskiing and how you can do that, thanks to the combined efforts of Last Frontier Heliskiing and Goldwin Sports in their Reach the Peak contest. If you like cooperation and free heliskiing, I think you’re really going to love this post.
Thumbs up, indeed! Photo: Caton Garvie
Shoulder season is officially upon us – that time of year when it’s too cold and wet to bike or hike or climb, but not yet cold enough to ski. Those able to escape hop the first train/plane/automobile south in search of sun and surf in the few weeks before the snow flies. Others, like me, can’t leave for one of at least a dozen reasons and, thus, we mope. We also watch a LOT of movies. Fortunately, this year’s shoulder season lineup features an unprecedented number of female skiers ripping and hucking and shredding like we’ve never seen before. Here, we review a few of the season’s most righteous chick flicks.
HEY, LADIES! Photo: vimeo.com
Waist deep at Last Frontier Heliskiing.
Photo – Reuben Krabbe
For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamt of going heliskiing. As a teenager I would have visions of endless lines deep in the heart of some remote mountain wilderness where a few hearty souls spent their days out on the edge of snow exploration flying in helicopters to shredd waist deep blower until their legs were jello. Continue reading
Have you grown tired of the ski resort experience and you’re considering backcountry skiing? Perhaps you’ve calculated all the time spent on the chairlift and in cafeteria lines compared to the amount of time spent on the slopes. Have you chosen ski routes for its location to the lodge cafeteria rather than for pure enjoyment? Let’s be honest, claiming a fireside lunch seat or getting any seat at all can take precedence when spending a day at the resort. We’ve all done it.
But then your friends told you they were away all weekend skiing soft, fluffy powder away from the crowd. Perhaps photos of stunning mountain lines started to occupy your mind and you started wondering if backcountry skiing was for you. Switching from resort to backcountry skiing can be daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of backcountry ski tips for beginners.
No lunch lines here…Can’t beat the fresh alpine!
When it comes to safety in the backcountry, there are no shortcuts and no guarantees. Understanding snowpack behaviour, being familiar with regional weather patterns, and learning to read the terrain are all important factors in mitigating the risk of being caught in an avalanche. However, pushing the limits inevitably means accepting and embracing a certain amount of risk. While even the most recent advances in technology cannot replace education and experience when making good decisions in the backcountry, there’s one piece of equipment that has become a staple for many a pow slasher: the airbag.
Safety first! Photo: Dave Siilver
Enjoying a roaring fire, a good meal and a hot tub after doing this all day is icing on the cake.
Photo – Willi Kunz
At Last Frontier Heliskiing, we pride ourselves on the skiing and riding experience. Based out of our two lodges in Northern British Columbia, Last Frontier Heliskiing is home to the single largest tenure on earth. Our terrain is epic; wide open glaciers, endless trees, beautiful alpine couloirs and pretty much the deepest snow you’ll ever ski. Small groups, some of the best guides in the business and a passion for finding the best snow every day are what sets us apart. But choosing a heliski operator involves more than just the snow side of things. Accommodation is right up there with weather patterns, snowfalls, helicopters and guides. At Last Frontier Heliskiing, we offer two choices for our skiers and riders: remote Bell 2 Lodge and the Ripley Creek Inn, in Stewart, BC. Both offer some of the best skiing and riding in the world, but they do have their differences. Continue reading
It’s coming. That fall nip in the air can only mean one thing—a fresh season of backcountry touring is just around the bend. And for those of us who love to seek out the latest avalanche backcountry gear, there’s a big one on the market. No, it’s not another shovel that’s even lighter and more compact than last year. It’s a digital product and the first of its kind in the realm of avalanche safety prevention. Many are saying it could revolutionize the backcountry industry.
AvaTech Smartprobe SP1 – Photo Courtesy AvaTech
Après ski: it’s the ultimate reward after a hard day spent chasing pow and living the dream. Your legs are Jell-O, you’re dehydrated and – let’s be honest – you don’t smell great. In real life, you’d have to go home, get yourself cleaned up and eat half a jar of peanut butter with a spoon before you could even think about heading out into public. But this is not real life. This is the dream and, as such, there’s a bar full of huge grins and red cheeks, not to mention nachos and cold beer, and they’ve saved you a seat. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you in the loop on the après ski circuit this winter.
Capping it off in style! Photo: Caton Garvie
Cold smoke, at Last Frontier. Soon…
Photo – Reuben Krabbe
Somewhere in the world it’s snowing. Right now that happens to be just down the road and about 6000 feet higher than where I am currently sitting. I’m excited. Winter is coming. Soon I’ll be shredding waist deep turns in blower pow. At least that’s the theory. Depending on the winter ahead, that may or may not happen on a regular basis. Regardless, once will be enough. But how best to prepare yourself for ski season? Continue reading