Heli-Skiing the Canadian Rockies

      7 Comments on Heli-Skiing the Canadian Rockies
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Making turns through Canadian powder – a shot for the sales brochure.

When you think about it, skiing is kind of a ridiculous activity (as are most that don’t involve hunting, gathering, constructing a shelter, building a fire or running from saber tooth tigers). Add in a helicopter that flies you to the top of a mountain and it becomes the most ridiculously awesome activity on the planet. Ok, so maybe I embellished a little there, but it’s freak’n rad, and if you enjoy skiing or boarding in the least little bit I highly recommend you do it at least once in your life.

Canadian Mountain Holiday (CMH) is the oldest (since 1965), and largest, heli-skiing operation in the world. It’s safe to say they have the heli-skiing system dialed! Our friend Carl organized the trip to the Galena Lodge. The idea was simple: find 10 skiers/snowboarders of moderate skill and go heli-skiing in Canada for a week. Why 10? Because is more fun to ski with a bunch of friends and that’s the number that will fill the heli – we wanted to maximize our time skiing instead of waiting on some random assholes to fall their way down the mountain. Of the plethora of lodges CMH operates, why the Galena Lodge? In a word: Terrain! The terrain surrounding the lodge is rumored to be best in terms of pitch, trees, pillows, cliffs, etc. I have no basis for comparison or ability to substantiate that claim as I’ve never visited any other lodge, but all I can say is the terrain did NOT disappoint.

Heli-skiing is tailored to the wealthy and our group certainly did NOT fit the typical heli-skiing demographic. In order to save a few bucks we organized a “fusion” trip which meant we had 4 days of pure heli (60,000ft vert guarantee) and 3 days of heli-assisted touring. The average net worth of a typical guest is quite high and the design/accoutrements/refinements of the lodge reflected that fact. It was gorgeous! The lodge sleeps 44 guests (not including staff) and was complete with a giant hot tub, sauna, steam room, 4 massage rooms, game room (darts, foosball and a pool table), stretch/yoga room, workout room, a few different offices, bar, dining room and equipment drying room. The staff of the lodge consisted of 2 massage therapists, 2 chefs, 2 heli pilots, a heli mechanic, a bartender, 3 or 4 house keepers, a lodge manager, 6 or 7 ski guides and 2 dogs. Oh yeah, and the food was fantastic! This winter (2014-2015) was below normal for them in terms of snow pack. Don’t be fooled, they still had over like 250” of snow (equivalent to keystone’s best year EVER), but for an area that normally averages 650-700” a year, 250” is a paltry pittance.

We, however, lucked out with conditions – it snowed 3+ feet the day before we arrived and snowed another 18” mid-week while we were there. Which wasn’t really surprising since Chris Davenport was heli-skiing out of an “adjacent” lodge that same week……I’ll just let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Anthony air

Anthony airing it out at the top of MEGA-BUBBA!

carl the model

Carl whoring it up for the camera.

cool reflection in goggles

Just a cool reflection of the heli in Kling’s goggles.


Marc airs it off the summit of a small peak we summited


Kling makes boarding look really fun.


A fine example of the lodge name sake “galena” or known by it’s chemical name: lead sulphide. Mined extensively in the area and was a popular white pigment back in the day.

heli (2)

Heli! And just look at the couloir potential behind it.


The crew


The view from inside the heli never got old.

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mark 2

Marc throws up a cloud of goodness.

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Nothing overly epic or rad about this terrain, but for the first run of the trip it was pretty damn good.

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Ben demonstrates one of the reasons why he’s a kick-ass patroller.

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I’m expecting a sponsorship call from Atomic any day now……

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Rob showing us how to do it “tele style”

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Nick. Endless pillows in this place.

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Marc and, yes, more pillows.

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Scenery - Bugaboo Spires

Bugaboo spires. I hear there are a few alpine rock climbs on those things…….

scenery 1

Carl and Josh on a summit of a small peak. The bad shot spires are behind and to the right of Carl.

scenery 5

Top of “Graceland Left”

scenery 7

The peaks here go on forever – move over Weminuche!!

scenery 9

More forever. So much skiing potential. We didn’t even touch a small fraction of it during our week long stay.

The vid:

7 thoughts on “Heli-Skiing the Canadian Rockies

  1. Dillon

    Ricardo – He can write and take pics, who knew! I’ve been waiting for this one since tax season my friend. Actually I’ve been waiting to read a TR from you since, well 2012? And man you killed it. This looks incredible dude. Well done out there. 700 inches of snow on average?!?! Holy crap. I hope that heli shot is on your wall. Lead sulphide… noted. Well done to the whole gang. Probably damn hard to come back to the real world after this one.

  2. Jason

    OMG….drooling with jealously. This is definitely on the bucket list…I better get to saving!

  3. Ben

    Thanks for throwing this up, Richard! Awesome shots and great job on the vid. I agree with Jason, I need to experience a heli trip at least once before I kick it and this TR shows why.

  4. Brandon Chalk

    Wowser, Rickster! What a cool experience, buddy! Great group sounds like to boot. Now, that is Living: L-I-V-I-N!

  5. DKYarian (Zambo)

    I had no idea you did this – I guess I should pay closer attention on social media……
    Haha…joking aside, what a trip, buddy. The shots are gorgeous and it looks like quite the outing. Glad this was so fun for you guys.
    Move over Weminuche tho? That is quite the claim. Guess you’ll have to keep sampling to see what’s best!

  6. Rick Post author

    Thanks for the comments guys! It was an awesome trip – one I hope to repeat in the near future!

  7. Brian

    Rick – you go from a social media-less hobbit to having a Facebook, Instagram and a GoPro who writes TR’s!
    If Carl can extend the 100% off discount to me, I would be happy to join on one of these. Looks incredible nonetheless. Pictures are top notch.


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