Canadian Heli-Ski Season Swings into Full Gear

Canadian Heli-Ski Season Swings into Full Gear

18-Feb-2010 Source: Mica Heli Skiing

Skiers from the around the world are flocking to B.C. in droves as the Canadian winter ski season progresses. During the past week, there have been particularly favorable conditions in and around Revelstoke, British Columbia, an area that is known as a haven for heli-skiers who come here each year to take advantage of the mountainous terrain, consistent snowfall and breathtaking natural surroundings.
The area surrounding Revelstoke, which was recently named among North America’s top ski destinations by Outside Magazine, is home to Mica Heli Skiing, one of the world’s premier heli-skiing outfits. Mica’s impressive tenure consists of nearly 178,000 acres, a vast expanse that contain a seemingly endless number of alpine ridges, deep bowls, fall line tree runs, pillow lines as well as some extraordinary glacier runs. Because this far reaching territory is located on the Western slopes of the Canadian Rockies, the area boasts consistently deep, dry champagne powder, which is enough to make any skier’s wildest fantasies a reality.
Mica’s skilled staff specializes in transporting skiers and snowboarders into hard to reach backcountry locations via helicopter. Over the past seven seasons they have averaged only 1.5 “no fly” days per season, which means they are in the air practically every day between December and April of each year. It is for that reason that they are able to produce accurate winter ski condition and weather reports on a daily basis.
Over the last week, Mica’s guides and helicopter pilots have reported excellent conditions with approximately thirty centimeters of snowfall in the last seven days alone and a total snowpack depth of about three meters at two thousand feet. One of the reasons that Mica’s territory is home to some of the best ski country in the world is the fact that it is strategically situated between the Monashee Mountains and the Canadian Rockies. Typically, the moisture that comes in from the Monashees combines with the cooler dry air of the Rockies resulting in an abundance of dry, powdery snow, which is perfect for skiing and snowboarding.
According to Mica’s trained experts, the prognostic for the rest of the heli-ski season is quite positive and as they are quick to point out, the Farmers Almanac for 2010 calls for cooler temperatures and deeper snow than usual. That comes as no surprise, given the fact that this winter season coincides with an el El Niño year. This periodic climate phenomenon, also known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), involves a global shift in ocean temperatures and atmospheric pressure, which can in turn lead to unusually severe weather patterns such as heavy rain fall and flooding at lower latitudes and especially heavy snowfall in the Pacific Northwest.
These weather patterns are especially favorable for the Revelstoke area because that region and Mica Heli Ski territory in particular, enjoy unusually heavy snowfall during most winter months anyhow, which means that El Niño will only serve as an added push to an what is already a normal phenomenon. It is also true that one of the big advantages that heli-skiing has over traditional skiing is the fact that it allows skiers and snowboarders to access particularly hard to reach locations. This means that heli-skiers have a much wider variety of runs to choose from, allowing them to select the areas that have the best conditions at any given time. With the help of a skilled guide and an experienced pilot, heli-skiers can usually find some fresh powder to ski, even when conditions at traditional ski resorts are quite poor.

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