The benefits of this memory definitely outweigh the costs | Reuben Krabbe
Skiing in general is not a cheap sport. Between the cost of your skis (which will probably be more than one pair considering that it is ideal to have one that works for every condition – powder, frozen granular, crud, mashed potatoes, ice, slush), bindings, boots, poles, ski clothes, goggles, and the rest of your shred-ready get-up, just skiing down the mountain in comfort can cost a pretty penny. We all do it because we love it and because the benefits far outweigh the costs. What if skiing could get even better than anything you’ve already experienced? What if fresh tracks were endless and you could ski up to 180,000 feet in just 7 days? What if you got to soar above the clouds and see breathtaking, once in a lifetime views while sitting right next to your best buds after a helicopter ride? The cost of heliskiing isn’t cheap, but the benefits of this type of ski trip far outweigh the dollars spent.
On a private tour, you get your own guides and your own helicopter for your trip.
Photo – Caton Garvie
Wake up, cause today is the day you and three of your friends are going on the ultimate ski trip. First, pack your gear. Then head to the airport. After a quick espresso, you all hop on a flight to Vancouver. There, we’ll meet you at the airport and load you, your friends and your gear into a limo and take you to your hotel. The next day (or that same one), it’s a short flight to either Smithers or Terrace in Northern British Columbia. Now it’s time for the last leg of the trip. We’ll drive you to your lodge of choice. Did you book yourself in at Ripley Creek for a week of skiing in the wilds of the Southeast Alaskan Panhandle or are you headed to Bell 2 Lodge for a week of skiing in some of the most rugged and beautiful mountains in the world? Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, we profiled our long time guide and Assistant Director of Operations Cliff Umpleby. This week we spoke to one of our newly recruited heliski guides Jeff Van Driel about his entrance into the guiding world eight years ago, what he’s looking forward to this winter at Last Frontier heliskiing and why he chose to settle in Pemberton, B.C.
Van Groovy himself, heliski guide Jeff Van Driel
Relationships 101 – Have fun climbing mountains with your partner: Andy and I up at Chinook Pass | Remote Trigger
Relationships and skiing… where do I start? Growing up with a father from Greece and a mother that lived and breathed skiing (it is very well possible that my mom can still beat you down any mogul-littered face on the mountain) my family was a bit of an oddity at our local hill. My mom led the charge, taking me down double black diamonds and teaching me how to shred moguls, all while I was still in elementary school. My dad, who has always worked two jobs and is still the hardest working man I have ever met, didn’t grow up skiing, and therefore had to learn as an adult.
The other day my son asked me about skiing. No stranger to the endeavor himself, he asked me why I like to ski. Big question. At first, I was hard pressed to answer. I spent a few moments letting my mind wander and tried to come up with an answer a six year old would understand. I went from thinking about big explanations of the mountain lifestyle and being free and a whole host of other things and finally, as his patience was wearing a little thin, I simply said, “I ski because it’s fun.”
Yep. This would be one of the reasons…
Photo – Dave Silver
A few weeks ago I was hired by Arcteryx to photograph behind the scenes action of the Deep Winter Photo Challenge. For those not familiar, Deep Winter is a photography competition held in Whistler every January, a month usually blessed with plenty of snowfall and deep snow conditions. Competing photographers and their teams of athletes are given 72 hours to shoot as much action, lifestyle, portrait and landscape as they can and then edit their best shots into a three to five-minute slide show.
A solid crew of athletes makes all the difference when the photos matter. Tobin Seagel, Meredith Eades, Dave Gheriani and Flo Göller await instructions from Guy Fattal | Photo Vince Shuley
Prepare for the time of your life – All smiles from the pilot! | Steve Rosset
As with any heliskiing operation, good pilots are a must. They can get you safely into the best zones, and out of the areas (that are sometimes rather tight) that you end up in. For this Friday’s tantalizing post, we are going to take a look a closer look at our pilots. But before we begin, you are definitely going to want to grab that cup of coffee, snatch up that last stale donut and sit back and relax – this one may be short, but these guys are definitely sweet.
Nothing in the world compares to skiing or riding in deep powder. It’s what keeps us motivated, season after season, to keep coming back to the mountains. But like any sport, skiing and riding are not without risk. Some of those risks are obvious; falling, catching an edge, getting injured. If you’re a backcountry skier, then getting caught in an avalanche is another risk. But one hazard that is often overlooked is the danger associated with tree wells. Every year, tree wells or Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS), present a real hazard to those skiing and riding in the trees at both the ski resort and in the backcountry.
At Last Frontier Heliskiing, much of our success revolves around having a skilled, knowledgeable, and personable roster of heli ski guides at our remote lodges in northern British Columbia. This week we reach behind the curtain and speak with Cliff Umpleby, a heli ski guide of 19 years (almost 15 years guiding for Last Frontier Heliskiing), now our Assistant Director of Operations. We explore what he thinks about working in a remote location, balancing guiding with family time and taking on a management role in his career.
Cliff Umpleby, Assistant Director of Operations at Last Frontier Heliskiing.
Photo Aurelien Sudan
Be the “Vertical Champion” of your crew | Reuben Krabbe
Let’s be honest: we all want to make the most out of a ski day. The question is, how can we help our muscles (and bodies as a whole) recover more quickly so we can accomplish our goal of shredding more vertical? I will let you know now that there is no golden ticket to being the “Vertical Champion” of your shred posse – it will take commitment and a certain amount of willpower to consistently follow some of these rules. But if you are interested in helping to speed up your muscle recovery (and in turn, have the ability to shred circles around all of your buddies while chanting “You guys are tired?! HA!”), then look no further: these 5 tips will have you “ready to shred” no matter the adventure.
January 2016 News
This month we have an update of recent heliski conditions, and some fresh photos from Red Bull’s visit last March.
Everywhere you go, there you are. Life is difficult and none of us can run away from our problems. Sure, the odd ‘geographical cure’ now and again can be a good thing, but regardless of where we live, whatever stresses us out tends to follow us around. So even if you move from the city to the mountains or the ocean, some of what ails you will follow. But living somewhere that inspires you can make life just a little bit easier sometimes.
One of the many reasons I live in the mountains…
Photo – D’Arcy McLeish
Excellent conditions throughout Week 1.
Photo – Thomas Reissnecker
Early 2016 has been good to Last Frontier Heliskiing. The first two weeks of our season have seen conditions that skiers and riders dream of in the mountains. Good weather, good snow stability and beautifully preserved powder. In short, it’s been solid.
With a base of 180 cm at 1,000 metres, our first two weeks of operations have allowed us to really dig into our heliski area. We’ve had groups skiing upwards of 30,000 ft on some days. Continue reading
If you’ve ever lived in a ski town, you’re probably familiar with the idiosyncrasies of dating a ski bum. If you are about to move in a ski town, beware. The disheveled living quarters, the rust bucket vehicle (if any vehicle at all) and choosing to blow money on ski gear and beer over groceries are all telltale signs that your squeeze might be prioritizing powder days over career goals and relationships.
Now that’s a good looking lunch! | Dave Silver
Let’s face it; most of us don’t really spend a whole lot of time focusing on eating “right” every single day. When French fries and a beer (or four) sound good, we go for it. When our buddy orders nachos loaded with cheese, mystery meat and sprinkled with lard, we dig in. But what we eat (and drink) not only affects our energy levels, but they also affect our health in the long run. So since it is a lot to ask to follow the rules of healthy eating 365 days a year, here is a simple nutrition guide of what to consume for those days that you are heading out on an epic adventure – and also how to properly après to ensure that you will be alive to live and shred another day.