Even when it’s like this, it’s nice to have a properly tuned pair of boards strapped to your feet.
Photo – Reuben Krabbe
I know, I know, most of you are thinking, when it’s waist deep and blower, the last thing I need to worry about is tuning my skis. To a certain extent, you’re right. When it’s deep and dry, it doesn’t really matter what you’re skiing and whether your skis, or boards, are tuned. You’ll be having fun no matter what shape your equipment is in. But even in fresh pow, it makes a difference to keep your skis in good nic and always have a relatively fresh tune. Continue reading
When visitors ask why I moved to Whistler, I used to give a long, elaborate answer about my origins of skiing as a child in Australia, how I dreamed about one day following in the footsteps of my high school friend’s older brother who worked as a ski instructor in Canada.
These days I condense the reply to the common question by simply replying “the mountains,” usually with a gesture towards the surrounding peaks visible from pretty much every vantage point in Whistler.
No regrets with this career choice | Photo Dave Silver
Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Sonny and Cher. Some things just go together, don’t they? At Last Frontier, we happen to think that heli skiing and massages make for a pretty perfect combination. This is why we encourage guests at both lodges to take full advantage of our in-house relaxation stations: our talented team of experienced, fully certified professionals have exactly what you need to stay rested and ready for action day after sweet, sweet day.
Helping hands | Photo: Greg Foster
When it comes to shredding pow, BC kinda tops the list in the world of skiing.
Photo – Lorenz Masser
BC is truly a place apart when it comes to snow. Almost completely covered in some of the most spectacular and beautiful mountain ranges on earth, British Columbia is a wonderland when it comes to skiing and riding. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of heliskiing. Taking people out to ski from a helicopter was pioneered in BC and since those early days in the 1960s, BC has become the world’s foremost destination for heliskiing and heliboarding. There is a myriad of operators and mountain ranges to choose from. Whether it’s the deep snowpacks of the North Coast, the champagne powder of the Interior Ranges or the majestic, sweeping peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the mountains of British Columbia offer something fantastic in the world of heliskiing. Continue reading
When skiing or snowboarding is part of life, sooner or later everyone does their time. Injuries are an unfortunate reality of sliding on snow, whether it’s a minor sprain or a season-ending fracture. But while accidents happen, there are steps to avoid a lot of mountain mishaps. Think of it as preventative maintenance for your body.
A partial ACL tear will ruin your season | Photo regenexx.com
We like to think of ourselves as good communicators. Whether it’s talking about the weather or picking a lunch spot on the fly, we try real hard to keep everyone in the loop. This can be particularly tricky in a tenure as remote as ours, however. Cell reception is not an option for a variety of reasons and smoke signals are tough to read, so we rely heavily on radio communication at Last Frontier Heli Skiing.
Can you hear me now? | Photo: Mike Watling
At work, at play. Take a moment to look around and breath it all in. Everything else can wait.
Photo – D’Arcy McLeish
Living in a ski town, I hear that mantra a lot. Just let it go. For just about everyone, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Life tends to be difficult for most of us, even those of us lucky enough to ski a hundred days a year. Bills, mortgages, kids, sickness, stress, injury, financial problems; it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, all those problems exist for everyone. And they tend to be difficult to let go of. Worrying about life is normal and for myself, it can be tough to ‘let it all go’. But the older I get, the more I see that letting it go shouldn’t be something I try some of the time, but something I try all of the time. Life is serious enough without us making it worse so here are a few tips that might help you roll with things a little better. Continue reading
On the surface, it may seem that avalanche control is all about making ski slopes safe. That may be the case in ski resorts with alpine terrain, but where avalanche control is the most critical in British Columbia is on its mountain highways. Not only does this require closing sections of road for avalanche danger and control measures, Ministry of Transportation (MOT) teams need to get these roads open to ensure commerce and traffic continues once heavy snows storms have subsided.
Avalanche crew Ryan Foster, Ryan Boyle, John Buffery and Shane Spencer on the job to keep the Highway 37A safe from avalanches. | Photo TranBC
Our tenure is special for a number of reasons, but a large draw to the far reaches of northern British Columbia is the chance to escape crowded landscapes and explore someplace wild and untouched. In addition to world class powder and incredible terrain, guests are often treated to spontaneous animal sightings: bears, eagles, goats and moose are fairly common, with more elusive beasts such as cougars and wolves making the occasional appearance. While we keep cameras at the ready in case of a photo op or sneak peek, we do understand that wildlife spotting and protection in our tenure go hand-in-hand. We work hard to keep the peace and be a good neighbour.
Mighty neighbourly! | Photo: Dave Silver
Northern BC. Our tenure, our home, our passion. Endless.
Photo – Jun Yanagisawa
Back before Last Frontier Heliskiing opened its doors, the founder of the business, George Rosset, had been on the lookout for more terrain. At the time, he operated another heliski operation in Southern BC and felt that there was a way to offer more. More snow, more terrain, more skiing. Along with his future partners, Franz Fux and Mike Watling, George’s vision has always been about finding the edge and constantly working to improve what they offer their guests with passion, ambition and the spirit of exploration. With that, there was a dream of expanding into the vast, untouched wilderness areas of Northern British Columbia. Continue reading
With BC going through what was a historic heat wave, the Last Frontier Heliskiing Crew was in need of a road trip. So we packed up a convoy of vehicles with our dancing shoes and headed to Pemberton, BC for the 3rd annual Pemberton Valley Music Festival. Sometimes you just need to pick a place away from the ski season and away from the day to day and celebrate life with your fellow co-workers with music, laughter and a little free expression. Pembyfest was perfect.
Welcome to PembyFest 2015. Photo: Mike Watling
Mountain communities the world over share a common culture. They’re inhabited people who feel a connection to Nature’s highest stepping stones, the jagged, pre-historic geological formations offering daily excitement of climbing, descending and for some, even flying. These are the places from where mountain legends emerge.
Shane McConkey pushed the limits of freeskiing his entire life | Photo Gramem Murray/AP
Photo – Reuben Krabbe
Ok, so maybe I’m longing for winter a little. First, it’s been hot here. So hot, in fact, that much of the province is under an extreme fire danger rating. Second, all I seem to see on social media these days are reports and videos of people shredding never ending deep pow in South America and New Zealand. So I’m in the mood to ski. That deep seated, powder addiction has crept back to the surface of my consciousness. Because of that, I thought I would feed that fire a little for anyone contemplating a life in the mountains, away from their office job, where they can ski every day. Continue reading
Heli skiing has come a long way since its first incarnation in the Bugaboo Mountains 50 years ago. Austrian mountain guide Hans Gmoser – considered one of the founders of modern mountaineering in Canada – guided his first heli ski trip in 1965 in a slow, piston-engined Bell 47 helicopter, ferrying passengers from a disused saw mill camp into the alpine.
British Columbia is heli ski heaven | Photo Andrew Doran
We know where the secret stashes lie. In the trees, safe from wind effect and sun crust, powder lives longer, undisturbed in its hiding spot until the more adventurous happen upon it, whooping and high fiving all the way home. At Last Frontier, we love our glades. Fortunately for us, there is tree skiing out the door at our remote Bell 2 Lodge!
This way to the goods | Photo: Cedric Bernardini