Whistler Heli Skiing. Are you prepared for “The Chills?”



"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Bill Cosby

Whistler Heli Skiing. Just the thought brings a shiver to my spine. Oh to be young again. Wouldn’t I love to go.

Unfortunately time has caught up with the old bones and I’m only able to dream about the adventure.

Can you really imagine what it must be like to go up to take part in Whistler Heli Skiing? Just to arrive in whistler is a thrill in itself. The village, the shops, hotels and mountains that attract more than two million skiers per year. The whole scene is like a gigantic ski party.

Each time we visited Whistler and and joined the happy skiers heading off to play in the snow, reminded me of a time a lot of years ago when I was attending Mount Carmel School in the coal mining town of New Waterford on Cape Breton Island on the northern end of Nova Scotia. It wasn’t whistler heli skiing, but in our minds it was on the same level.

We didn’t have an artificial rink to skate on. Instead, our school yard was turned into an outdoor rink when we all had to help to erect the boards which had been built a few years before. They were in 10 foot long panels four feet high. Once up we waited anxiously for winter. It did come as it always did. The older boys were allowed time off to flood the place to make ice. In a couple of days a good sheet of ice was ready and we were told to take our skates to school.

At noon hour on the great day we were given the afternoon off and everyone raced to the ice to have a ball. It was fantastic. What a time we all had during those days. It wasn’t all fun, for as winter will do what it can do best, it snowed. More fun, we were let out to help clean off the ice. Sometimes we had to tackle three feet of the white stuff. It had to be shoveled over the boards. By the end of the winter the banks of snow surrounding the rink would be over nine feet high.

Those days when we were let out to skate or play hockey were like the atmosphere of Whistler. Friendly, exciting, free wheeling. We loved it. Put yourself in the boots of a participant making ready for a Whistler Heli skiing trip to the beautiful mountains you view off in the distance.

Arriving at the heli pad you are greeted by the pilot and ski guide. They explain what your day will be like away up there where the more than 30 feet of snow that falls each year awaits your skis.

Getting you boots on and checking your bindings and equipment you feel a tingle of excitement as you and your friends get seated in the helicopter and await with extreme anticipation for the journey to get under way.

Feel your blood getting hot. The engine begins to run up to operating revs. Your heart pounds with wild ecstasy at lift off and you are on your way. Suddenly the whole whistler valley spreads before you in fantastic detail. Wow the beautiful hotels, the golf courses tucked under their winter blanket of pure white snow.

The luxurious ski in ski out condos nestled into the edges of the ski slopes. You can almost see the smiles on the faces of the hundreds of skiers as they glide along oblivious to the expectations racing through you mind.

Quickly you are rising into the mountains, as the bald eagles ride the thermals in search of an early morning feed. Rising forever upwards until your pilot points out your wonderful ski slope waiting for you in the huge bowl just ahead.

Your Whistler Heli Skiing adventure you have been dreaming about for months, is rapidly approaching as the pilot settles upon a flat mesa adjacent to a huge rocky peak exposing its hard gray granite to the dark blue heavens.

This is it. The final chapter. The thrill of what you have experienced, that excitement only you will be able to describe to us, who may never live it.

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