Catching first chair. Is there anything better? Even if it’s not a powder day, there’s something to be said for being up there first. Getting off the lift with an entire ski area of untracked snow just waiting to be skied, is one of the great pleasures of being a skier. But at every mountain, catching first chair isn’t always as simple as it seems. There are decisions that go into it.
Sunrise on the first chair…happy days.
Photo – D. McLeish
There are a few questions in life that are similar, because they have a simple answer. They are questions like: is the Pope Catholic? Is the sky blue? Is heli-skiing in BC the best in the world? That simple, one-word answer: YES.
Woohoo! So much fun. Photo: Michael Brackenhoffer
Photo – Steve Rosset
For those of us that work at Last Frontier Heliskiing, our passion for the mountains always comes first. But many of us, be it our mad scientist ski tech at our Ripley Creek location, Guido Schnelzer, or some of our ski guides who spend their summers doing things most of us only dream of, all of us have some hidden talents. Enter Steve Rosset. Born in Switzerland, you could say Steve was born into the mountain culture. His dad, George Rosset, is one of the great heliskiing pioneers in BC and the founder of Last Frontier Heliskiing. Steve grew up around guides, ski bums, helicopters and deep snow and his love and passion for skiing on the last frontier has led him to be the Media and Marketing Guru at Last Frontier. Continue reading
If you’ve never been on a ski vacation at Last Frontier Heliskiing, then you are facing a few points of adversity in your life:
1. That you have never skied with us (it’s heaven).
2. That you don’t know what to pack.
Our tech room. Photo: Steve Rosset
We want to ameliorate both of these tough points and set you up for success on the dream vacation of your life, as well as help you to be prepared for it. So, pack the following:
There are a few ski films that are cinematographically mind-boggling. Drones and helicopters and cross-valley shots keep your jaw-dropping and your head spinning. Split screens, original scores and super athletes skiing lines all over the world. These are the big budget films: the ones that we are all suckers for. But what about the other ones? The ones that are making magic with GoPros and hand-me-downs. Here are a few of the best low-budget ski videos:
Not everyone shoots with a RED. Photo: Michael Brackenhoffer
Heliskiing in BC at its finest – on the Last Frontier.
Photo – Eric Berger
We often get asked when the best time to go heliskiing in BC is. British Columbia offers up the best skiing in the world so it can be tough to decide. At Last Frontier Heliskiing, every month offers something unique. Early season is a little less busy, January is deep, February and March are the high season and April? Well let’s just say that last year we had a week in April that was absolutely all time. Difficult decisions. Each month offers up something a little different and it isn’t just the weather. Continue reading
It snowed in the mountains last week. The next morning there was a thin blanket of white on the tops of all the local peaks. I understand it’s only August and aside from that little blip of precipitation, it’s been blazing hot every day and people aren’t so much thinking about skiing as they are about swimming. But even with all that, it was a sign. Winter is coming. Maybe not right now, but ever so slowly, as the days shorten through the fall, those little precipitation events will get a little longer and a little colder. By early October, winter starts making its mark. With that change comes the opportunity to start fresh and awaken our obsession with snow.
Bliss. I’d way rather do this than just about anything else…
Photo – Caton Garvie
A lot of people don’t understand the joy of being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the fierce elements, vulnerable to the harsh environments. They don’t get why people are pulled to put themselves in deep snow, in the freezing cold, in the toughest physical situation possible, to experience the rush of connecting through nature with sport…
Connecting humans and nature. Photo: Randy Lincks
There’s nothing so satisfying as bringing home a new pair of skis. But are new skis good to go, right out of the box? Should you do anything to the skis before taking them out for a rip? There are different schools of thought on this and different skis require different treatment but for the most part, it is better for you and for the ski if they have some work done to them before going skiing. This can involve sharpening edges, waxing or even a base grind.
What new skis are really for. No tuning required for this.
Photo – Randy Lincks
You’ve got options, yes. But choosing a heliskiing vacation is like finding your soulmate: there really is only one option. That option looks like great terrain, massive snowfall, solid pilots, great chefs, good people, lots of drinks and awesome skiing. That option is with us. Why?
That’s why. Photo: Dave Silver
Guess what!? It’s not Ontario.
Mapping the mountain ranges of British Columbia with snowfall comparison. Also plotted are the major heliski and catski operations.
Imagine a wild and untamed mountain range deep in the heart of the Coast Mountains Northern British Columbia. Here on the Last Frontier, snowstorms are measured in metres and over 25 of them fall each year in an area spanning over 9000 square kilometres. Shredding neck deep lines that have never been skied is a daily occurrence in the world’s single largest helicopter ski tenure. It’s a wild place, with massive peaks, old growth trees and the deepest snow you’ll ever ski.
The history of heliskiing in Canada has been about pushing the boundaries of what was possible in skiing. From the early days of mountain guides owning their own helicopters to the modern luxury heliski operation, heliskiing in Canada has always been about one thing: finding the best snow and the deepest turns. It’s been about getting away from the ski resorts and leaving the known world behind to spend time in places few have skied, let alone even ventured into.
Teeing up the best BC has to offer at Last Frontier.
Photo – Caton Garvie
Last week, we couldn’t stop thinking about how we could go skiing this summer. To Bariloche to explore the backcountry with Chris Rubens and Eric Hjorleifson? To the Blackcomb Glacier to do slushy backflips with Zoya Lynch? This week, a real shocker: we’re still thinking about our options. Ladies, read on!
Go skiing with professional freeskier Leah Evans, and take it to the next level. Photo: William Eaton
There are different ways to achieving 150 day ski seasons. You could work nights, for instance, as a cleaner or a bartender and shred every day. Or you could pick a job that requires you to ski at work. Those can work. But to truly dirtbag a season, or multiple 150 day seasons, you need to be free of the constraints of regular employment. Being unemployed gives you the freedom to rip lines every day and never be worried about showing up for work. But unless you’re independently wealthy, financing a winter devoid of work but filled with mountain pursuits on two skis tends to get a little expensive. If you’re really good, sponsorship can help, but free skis don’t put food on the table so regardless, you need money, plain and simple. Which leaves only five to six months out of the year where gainful employment is a necessity. But what pays? What jobs, over the summer months, allow for big pay cheques that you can stash for the first storm of the season?
Dirtbagging in style on the Last Frontier.
Photo – Bryn Hughes