February 2020 Heli Skiing Photos & Conditions Report
2020 is quickly turning into a year for the record books. It all started in November when early season storms built up a formidable snowbase for our late-December heli skiing season start. The snow kept falling throughout January with over 320cm [125″] of accumulation [see January ski report]. As we close February, another 300cm of snow has fallen in parts of our tenure. To help visualize the epicness of current conditions, we’ve pulled together our 50 favorite heli skiing photos from February 2020.
Highest Snowpack in North America
On February 16th, our heli skiing guide team dug a snowpit at 1,200m [3,900ft] in elevation, recording a depth of 555cm [218″]. That’s more snow than is currently reported anywhere in North America. While February snowpacks in the 400cm range are not uncommon in our part of the world, the last time we had this much-settled snow was the winter of 2012. Historically our snowbase peaks in early April, so we have at least another month to add to this total. This means that we have been able to ski extra-long runs, in some cases all the way down to around 300m [980ft] in elevation. It has also provided excellent coverage over glaciated areas and smoothed out terrain features. In short, the heli skiing conditions are some of the best we’ve ever had.
Less Than One Down Day Per Week
Given the continual snowfalls, our guide team and aircrew have done a tremendous job navigating tricky weather conditions. They are constantly monitoring incoming storms to find the best terrain access points. Since February 1st, we’ve only had 2 down days at Bell 2 Lodge & Ripley Creek. This means on average, we’ve had less than half a down day per week at each location.
Plenty of Heli Skiing in Amazing Conditions
Consistent breaks in the weather have allowed us to ski plenty. We’ve averaged 46,000 vertical meters [151,000ft] of skiing per week at Ripley Creek and 49,000 vertical meters [161,000ft] per week at Bell 2 Lodge. On top of that, the reported skiing quality has consistently been Excellent to Awesome in both alpine and sub-alpine terrain. The seldom-used “Wicked” category has been used on multiple occasions in the past two weeks. The heli skiing has been so good that some of our guides are calling it their best season to date.
Keep Up With Our Daily Ski Reports
If you’re keen to track our daily heli skiing, head on over to our weather & ski reporting portal. There you’ll find a summary of the current week daily ski reports, and weekly summaries from the past three seasons. Or you could just stop procrastinating and book a trip with us.
A huge thanks to our crew and guests that have shared their amazing heli skiing photos with us this month. See you again next month with a recap of March conditions.