Dream BIG. Dream DEEP.
“Heli-skiing is like sex: when it’s good it’s great, but even when it’s bad it is still pretty damn nice,” our guide Willy mischievously jokes before I climb into the helicopter. The adrenaline races through my body as our very experienced pilot Ben clamps on his headphones, the propellers begin to rotate faster and formidable mountains loom in the distance.
The pilot flies straight to a ridge, skilfully swings the tail around and lands on a minuscule plateau marked by a stick with orange tape, which turns out to be the landing zone (“LZ”). Kneeling, we watch the helicopter as the snow whips up and stings our faces. Slowly, the humming sound fades and a deafening silence fills the air. Caroline and I are standing on the top of a mountain, hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest ski lift or town. Everywhere we look, we see endless untouched powder fields and breath-taking mountains.
The wait is finally over and I am about to experience the descent that I have already skied hundreds of times in my mind.
The powder curls over me like a giant wave and at every turn the snow explodes in my face. Gasping for air, I ski at full throttle through the ghost trees.
With aching legs and a massive grin I ski towards our “taxi”, the sky is the limit! Each run is more spectacular than the last; I’m completely high on life and can’t get enough of this heavenly playground.
A very exclusive, high-end ski lodge is nestled in the complete wilderness upon the Quesnel Lake surrounded by a pebble beach – quite a memorable setting for a heli ski lodge!
The Silver Tip Lodge is so remote; it is only accessible per helicopter on a 45-minute flight from Williams Lake, making your stay a grand backcountry adventure. In the winter of 2017 this private heli-ski operation opened its doors for private groups up to 10 guests. With an average snowfall of 14 meters per year and 118 different runs you will be skiing fresh lines every run. The lodge is located in the Cariboo range, the most northerly mountain sub-range of BC and this northerly location ensures great snow quality throughout the whole season. Heli-skiing in the Cariboos is a proven formula for success as the first two heli-ski operations carefully choose this range too already in the 1970’s. According to Willy, our Austrian guide who has been guiding in this area for over 10 years, an additional benefit is that the tree runs are naturally well spaced, no glading has been done and every time he proudly speaks about his “backyard” of nearly 1500 square meters, his face lights up. He ensures us that Silvertip has some of the best heli-skiing terrain in the world. And who knew it was possible to climb into your private helicopter just meters away from the breakfast table?
In addition to drinking, typical après-ski activities at the lodge include fishing on the lake, hiking through the old growth Cedar forest avoiding the moose that sometimes hangs out right in front of the lodge or enjoying some appies in one of the comfortable chairs. The majestic wooden lodge offers indulgence and comfort, including all the usual luxuries plus an outdoor hot tub with a lake view and a fully stocked bar. Every evening a three-course dinner is laid out for us. But if you aren’t careful, you might end up with a heli-belly with all that tantalizing food.
Heli-skiing at the Silvertip Lodge is not just all-you-can-ski; a more accurate description would be all-you-can-wish-for-and-more. Life just doesn’t get any better than at the Silvertip Lodge!