Photos by Sean Hannah and Barb Sanders
We were flying today. After a quick breakfast we put on our boots, beacons, and loaded into the heli. We did a quick buzz over Silver Star and headed into Kingfisher’s tenure in the Monashees. It was still a bit cloudy, so Matt Devlin, our guide, made a last minute change to set us up for a super gentle warm up run that was cloud free. The first run is critical, whether you are a newbie or a seasoned heli skier, it’s nice to get your body warmed up a bit and get used to our fatter heli skis. Matt had us on Armadas which felt great. Micah was having his second day on his Volkl Gotama Jrs.
We descended from the heli and Brad the pilot took off. We were all by ourselves on the side of a mountain. Micah and I, Heather and John, Sean who was our photographer and worked with Kingfisher, and Matt. We took in the scenery and the absolute quite around us (when the heli flew away that is!). I’m in the mountains almost daily, but standing with our small group evoked almost a reverent feeling.
I had never seen Micah so serious and concentrated in his entire life. He told me he was a little scared the night before and I told him that fear is a good thing and he should be a little scared. But we were going to be skiing in a very safe environment and if he felt at any time it was too much, he could just get picked up.
He put literally sunk into the deep powder once we got off the heli but then got his skis on and did as instructed and followed right behind Matt the guide. Halfway down we stopped and the first words out of his mouth were, “Mom, I love heli skiing” to which the group replied, “you’re in trouble now mom”! The smile on his face was priceless. We kept skiing some nice low angle powder, in and out of trees and small clearings. We skied to the bottom and the heli picked us up. I had been a little concerned that he might hold the group back. John and Heather are amazing skiers and have their own ski school that puts on camps in the US, Canada, and Japan. Heather was impressive, she learned to ski in her late 20s, but has mastered the sport and she was also the first female jockey ever in Australia. I can only imagine the road she traveled to accomplish that. They were both super supportive of Micah and and Sean was shooting away making us look like rock stars in every image.
Micah in the powder
We took a few more runs in the same area till it was time for coffee and hot coco. Not only was Brad, our pilot a great pilot, but he made a mean cup of espresso. Warmed up, we climbed back in the heli for more! Our next run was in and around big powder marshmellows, you could ski around them of ski off them and get a bit of air. It was a magical playground and I did my best to keep up with my son who was now in full charge now. We skied one more runand then headed to the Gold Panner Lodge for lunch. Heli lunches are always a highlight and we were excited to see the lodge where some of their guests stay and warm up, dig in and rest our legs.
Heather in the pow pow
Barb in Bogner in Pow