Whistler Heli-skiing stats
- Approximately 90% of the world's heli-skiing takes place in British Columbia, Canada. The province’s glacial climate, vast wilderness and abundance of powder snow, make B.C. ideal for big-mountain skiing and snowboarding.
- Proudly operating on 432,000 acres and 173 glaciers, with exclusive rights to most of the classic, glacial terrain in the region. Whistler Heli-Skiing has been operating since 1980.
- The heli-ski area is made up of several zones in the Pacific Coast Mountain Range, approximately 50 miles north/south by 30 miles east/west (80km by 50km)
- Longest run: Ripsaw Glacier, 5000 vertical feet
- The average run is over 2000ft. (600m), but they vary from 1,400 to 5,000 vertical feet.
- Highest peak: Overseer Mountain, approximately 2,588m
- Blackcomb Aviation is Whistler Heli-Skiing’s helicopter partner utilizing 5 and 10 passenger helicopters.
- Guides that work for Whistler Heli-Skiing have an average of 15 years guiding experience with the company
For further information please visit whistlerheliskiing.com »
90% OF HELI SKIING TAKES PLACE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
British Columbia is home to 90% of the world's heli-skiing. Glacial climate, ideal terrain, vast geographical area and scenic beauty make Whistler one of the most desirable heli-skiing destinations in the world. WHS operates in challenging terrain that is consistently covered in knee-deep powder, making for an exciting and rewarding guest experience.
THE MAN RUNNING THE SHOW AT WHISTLER HELI-SKIING - MIKE SADAN
Mike Sedan is the General Manager of Whistler Heli-Skiing. Owned by Whistler-Blackcomb, Mike has been managing the team since 2008/09 and has guided guests since the 1991-1992 winter season. Mike’s career both in the field and in adventure recreation management has spanned several sectors and over 30 years in ski resort operations, international adventure travel, snowmobiling tours, paragliding, and river rafting. Mike was owner-operator of one of British Columbia’s busiest river rafting companies for two decades and is currently on the BOD of Heli-Cat Canada. He recently completed the Canadian Avalanche Association’s Level 3 Certification, the highest standard in the program.
What is your favourite part about working for as a guide?
Stepping into the helicopter still seems as much of a privilege today as it did the first day.
Take us through an average day at work:
My day starts at 5:45am, this is when I’m constantly checking weather and snow conditions. I have to make sure it’s safe for our team to fly. Before I give the green light for a trip I have to make sure conditions are almost perfect. My day ends at about 10:30pm once we’ve worked out the final bugs of our group lists for the following day. Lots of stuff happens in between.
How many people do you manage/supervise?
All together there are about 40 people on our team and I manage all of them, directly and indirectly.
What is your favourite part about guiding?
I really enjoy spending the day with a group of guests who have very high expectations about the experience they are going to have in such a challenging environment. It’s rewarding for me to play a key role in meeting or exceeding their expectations and meeting new people along the way.
What has been your favourite moment working for Whistler Heli-Skiing?
My favourite moments are when the whole team gathers in a bar full of 100 clients, staff and pilots, all celebrating a day that went as perfectly as we had all hoped it would.
UNMATCHED EXPERTISE OF WHISTLER HELI GUIDES
John Furneax wanted to be a guide since he was 12 years old living in Newfoundland. His career path was solidified when he was flipping through a magazine and saw a picture of a guide with clients in the Tantalus range above Squamish B.C. At the tender age of 15, Furneax packed his bags and moved to Squamish.
Now, a certified ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide and Whistler Heli ski guide, Furneaux has been inspiring clients for many years. Aside from leading helicopter skiing trips, Furneaux is also a keen mountaineer and has been responsible for many challenging first ascents in Squamish and the Waddington Range of BC's Coast Mountains. As well, John has climbed in the Yukon, Alaska, Himalayas and has led teams on two ascents of Mount Everest.
Furneaux’s passion for mountains is felt by all of his clients, making for engaging stories and a wealth of information.
WHISTLER HELI-SKIING HELICOPTER PARTNER – BLACKCOMB AVIATION
Blackcomb Aviation is the Pacific Northwest’s leading independent helicopter and jet charter company. They have been providing specialized aviation services to industries, business travelers, and private citizens since 1989. Blackcomb Aviation operations 26 aircrafts out of many Canadian and US bases. Their reputation for safety and service is their principal asset. It governs every decision they make from the people they hire to the aircraft they purchase and the services they provide.