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Whistler BC – Welcome to my report of Meesh and Margie’s Heli-ski adventure. That’s right, on March 15th, 2006, we cashed in Margie’s winning heli-trip and my birthday present and left on the ultimate adventure. We arrived at Whistler Heli-Skiing at 8:45 to meet our guide Vlad. It was here that we were informed that out group would only be 3!!! Just Margie, myself and Jerod from New Jersey. That meant that we wouldn’t be in the big 212 helicopter, but instead have the luxury ride of the 407. Also joining us were video/photographer Mark and tail-guide Mike. 3 clients, 3 staff, not a bad ratio!!! Vlad drove us up the highway to the Heli-pad were we went over the helicopter safety check and transceiver test. From there we drove up to the Rutherford Creek staging area where we meet our pilot Top-Gun Tim.
Tim picking us up in the 407, Whistler area BC – March 15, 2006
The weather was overcast and snowing lightly but Tim assured us he could get us to the goods. Margie’s first helicopter ride couldn’t have gone any better as Tim dropped us off atop the Ipsoot area. The first little bit was wind affected but as we dropped into the bowl the snow was beautiful. Soft, fluffy and plentiful. We had a blast skiing down the bowl into the sub-alpine trees and all too soon we arrived at the pick-up point. We all hunkered down as Tim flew in to pick us up, snow flying everywhere due to the rotor-wash. Within a couple of minutes, everyone was on board and we were back up to the top.
Margie rippin’ up the powder, Whistler area BC – March 15, 2006
For the second run we stayed closer to the trees as the light was flatter, but the skiing was excellent. The trees got tighter and the snow deeper, an excellent combination for an ex-Jay Peak skier. We skied longer as we skied by the first couple of pick-up points further down the valley. The third run brought us over to the Millar Basin where we were able to land higher up the bowl as the light got better. The snow was knee to mid-thigh and LIGHT!!! It was here that Mike managed to throw in the crash of the day, a spectacular pirouette to cartwheel.
Meesh enjoying his birthday present, Whistler area BC – March 15, 2006
We got a lot of great turns before we even hit the tree line. Once in the trees, the snow got even deeper and the smiles bigger. Tim picked us up at the bottom and brought us to lunch. After our sandwiches and tea, the group was down to just Margie and myself. (along with Vlad, Mike and Mark) The run we did after lunch was definitely my favourite. After skiing the wide open area up top, we dropped back into the trees. The terrain was nice and rolling, so one had a lot of fun “popping” off things. Several sections were quite steep and one point Vlad stopped and spoke the words Margie wanted to hear. “There’s a cliff here and here”, pointing to either side of him, “but we can get through here….I think.” The snow was so deep we weren’t sure if we were skiing a steep slope or just falling vertically. Either way it was great and we carried on down the trees. After a short steep gulley, we hit the wide open meadow at the bottom and there was pillows everywhere. After confirming with Vlad that the pillows were all good and didn’t hold any surprises I was off…...and what a run!!!! :-) What fun that part was, popping off rock after rock, snow exploding all around you as you landed. I could’ve done that all day.
We met Tim there and he took us up for one last run. Again we started high up and enjoyed the wide open slopes before once again hitting the tree line. We skied several nice gulleys and one nice 15 ft rock drop. Sadly we got back to the bottom where Tim was waiting to take us home.
We arrived back in Whistler, had a quick change and met up at Buffalo Bill’s for a little apres session. We watched the video had a few laughs and vowed to do it all again soon. We both would like to thank everyone at Whistler Heli-Skiing especialy our great guide Vlad, our tail-guide and comic relief Mike, video/photographer Mark (thanks for the great photos) and of course Top-Gun Tim, our fantastic pilot who got us there and back safely in less than ideal conditions. A big thanks to you all and hopefully we’ll see you again shortly.
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