Bell 2 Lodge – How We Operate Remotely

August 05, 2016 Liam Harrap

I will never forget the first time I saw Bell 2. It was December and late at night. Or at least it felt late, being so far north the daylight hours are short, so what probably felt like midnight was only 6 pm.  I had been driving for two days. Northern British Columbia, is a hard place to get to from Alberta. You always hear that terrain is big in the north, but it’s hard to comprehend until you see it. Places of civilization are few and far between. After driving for hours in the dark, along a lonesome, twisting road, I finally arrived at my new home – Bell 2 Lodge. Bell 2 is four hours north of Smithers on the Stewart-Cassier Highway, and it’s not uncommon to pass no vehicles for hours. It’s a quiet part of the world.

| Photo - Grant Baldwin
The village of Bell 2 | Photo – Grant Baldwin

Bell 2 is like a small village, and everyone in northern BC knows Bell 2. It’s one of the only places in the area where you can stay the night, have a hot meal, get a tire fixed, watch a firework show, and buy gas. We’re completely “off grid”. We make our own electricity and treat the drinking water/sewage. Our food orders come in twice a week, so the kitchen has to be organised and prepare ahead. The phone and internet system is run through the satellites.

The Stewart - Cassier Highway is the main access road in Northern Western British Columbia. It's shared between loggers, travelers, and heli-skiers alike | Photo - Steve Rosset
The Stewart – Cassier Highway is the main access road in Northwestern British Columbia. It’s shared between loggers, travellers, and heli-skiers alike | Photo – Steve Rosset
It's not easy making gourmet food 4 hours from a grocery store, but our chefs relish the challenge | Photo - Dave Silver
It’s not easy making gourmet food four hours from a grocery store, but our chefs relish the challenge | Photo – Dave Silver
| Photo - Dave Silver
The breakfast buffet is a work of art. Awesome job guys and gals! | Photo – Dave Silver
At stay at Bell 2 is more than just a ski holiday. We strive to go beyond the expected | Photo - Dave Silver
A stay at Bell 2 is more than just a ski holiday. We strive to go beyond the expected | Photo – Dave Silver

It’s important that we’re organized. Safety is the utmost priority at Last Frontier Heliskiing. We employee the best guides and pilots. We train, train, train, and then train our staff again. Being so remote, it’s important that you know what you’re doing.

The radio operator (me!) following the helicopter on each run. If the worst should happen, we know where to send help | Photo - Caton Gravie
The radio operator (me!) following the helicopter on each run. If the worst should happen, we know where to send help | Photo – Caton Gravie
The pilots and guides check into base every half hour | Photo - Simon Pukl
The pilots and guides check into base every half hour. Roger that! | Photo – Simon Pukl
Our guides spend a week every season training for the upcoming season. Here the guides are practicing crevasse rescue | Photo - Steve Rosset
Our guides spend a week every year training for the upcoming season. Here the guides are practicing crevasse rescue | Photo – Steve Rosset
Nevertheless there are perks being so remote - The skiing doesn't get much better | Photo - Reuben Krabbe
Being in the middle of nowhere is hard. So why do we do it? Because the skiing doesn’t get much better than this | Photo – Reuben Krabbe

Living in the north isn’t easy, but with some hard work and organisation – it’s paradise. We wouldn’t change it for the world.