Revelstoke is renowned for it’s legendary pow and last season was record breaking with over 12 metres of snowfall (a 10 year high!). This season looks set to compete with that with nearly 7 metres already at the start of January, incredible conditions on and off the slopes and the season’s only just getting started! This is what makes January skiing momentous – it’s a quiet time of year to ski (shh…don’t tell everyone!) and the pow is amazing! With conditions like this, what more can we say? Enough talking, let’s go skiing!
Last week, we were invited to spend the evening with the GB Olympic racer, Chemmy Alcott at the Ski Club of Great Britain’s new partner venue, the White Haus in London. Hosted by James Orr Heliski and attended by members of the ski press as well as heli ski enthusiasts, it was another brilliant evening allowing us to talk all things skiing with fellow ski fanatics.
Chemmy, widely regarded as one of Great Britain’s best ever female skiers, has recently been speaking about sexism and the gender gap in skiing in the press and makes some interesting points about why there aren’t more women heliskiing. She’s passionate about changing this and we couldn’t agree more! Check out the article here.
At Bighorn, our trusted heliski operators CMH, EaglePass and Selkirk Tangiers are all highly professional and prioritise safety, as well as ensuring all our guests have the most amazing heliski days possible…guys and gals alike! No sexism here, just a mutual respect, not just for the beautiful area we are privileged enough to ski in, but also for every single skier who wants to bring their game.
Amuse – the premium travel and experiences destination publication for the global explorer boasts inspiring the adventurous mind with the world less travelled.
Last season, they included Bighorn in their list of the 9 best things of the 2017/18 ski season:
“British brothers, Michael and Chris Kirkland, created a whirlwind when they built Bighorn Lodge in British Columbia. Revelstoke already boasted the longest vertical drip of any lift-served resort in North America, as well as globally envied snow-cat and heli-skiing operations. What it missed was a palatial chalet, with it’s own helipad, so guests could be whisked direct from breakfast to bountiful powder. As well as that, Bighorn Lodge has an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, sauna, steam room, massage, cinema suite and first-rate chef.”
Well, what more can we say… here’s hoping that this coming season is as epic as 2017/18!
Revelstoke has once again been voted Top of the Top 10 Ski Resorts in the World by Snow Magazine. Hotly contested by some readers that it is above Whistler in the ratings, but Snow Magazine stand by their choice – “we still love Reve, as it has the lot: steeps, trees, perfectly maintained pistes – all covered in tons of the legendary Powder Highway snow”.
Listed amongst other fabulous resorts such as St Anton, Telluride and Niseko, which all have their plus points, we of course, agree that Revelstoke has it all and here are some of the reasons why:
Powder – and not just any powder, the best champagne powder you can find anywhere in the World.
Bighorn – of course! The award winning best ski chalet in Canada with it’s own private helipad. What’s not to like? Fly in and out of Bighorn in style.
Countless ski options:
Heliskiing: Take advantage of your own private Helipad at Bighorn to discover the heliski mecca of the Monashees and Selkirk mountains.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort: With the highest Vertical Descent in North America and a plethora of offpiste skiing in diverse terrain, you won’t find it hard to get those fresh tracks.
CAT skiing: Discover further exceptional ski adventures in fresh powder backcountry.
These days, on mountains all over the world, you can’t help noticing how many skiers and boarders have a GoPro attached to some part of their body. We’ve become obsessed with digitally recording ourselves … and there’s nothing wrong with that as far as we’re concerned at Bighorn. The breath taking vistas and snow conditions here at Revelstoke lend themselves perfectly to shooting incredible footage of your ski adventures. So move over Warren Miller, here’s a few tips to ensure you actually record the memorable images you want (rather than a long bumpy video of your ski pants)!
Where to mount the camera?
Helmet mounts: a unique viewpoint from your own perspective – but make sure you mount it near the front (not on top). Before you put it on your head, angle it down slightly.
Chest mounts: work equally well for skiers, not so much for boarders as they are often standing sideways on, unless of course you just want to shoot your friends skiing.
Boot, board or ski mount: provides a unique angle to show the view of the ski or board as it moves or you can invert it to show the skier. The only issue is the adhesive doesn’t tend to last long in very snowy conditions and damage is more likely with it being so close to the ground.
Ideally to get the best varied footage, use a combination of the above.
Filming your ski buddies? With the GoPro’s wide field of view, it’s best to get as close as possible to the action, ideally no more than a couple of metres away and aim the camera at the middle of the person, keeping their head to toe in shot.
Which resolution? (i.e. the number of pixels). Whilst it’s tempting to go for the highest res, unless you really are planning on being the next Warren Miller, 720 is actually good enough for most computers and will save you memory space whilst making editing much easier.
Anti-Fog Inserts. The conditions can be cold and humid on the BC terrain leading to a fogged lens. GoPro has the answer with anti-fog inserts that protect your lens from fogging up.
Battery Packs. Even if you fully charge your battery before you spend the day heliskiing, your charge may not last the entire day, so bring a spare battery pack or two.
Get the GoPro App. It makes it really easy to control the settings and preview your amazing powpow shots from your phone.
Do a test run with your trusty GoPro to check you’ve got it set up properly before your head off on one of the best powder descents you’ve ever done (speaking from experience!)
Finally…sit back and relax at the end of the day with a well deserved drink in hand to watch your amazing powder adventures in HD in the Bighorn cinema.
“Quite simply Revelstoke has to kick off our list, as talk to anyone who has been and they’ll tell you, not just how good it is but how truly epic it is. Revelstoke has the lot when it comes to on-mountain terrain, there’s steep and open powder faces, fantastic tree skiing, long well-maintained pistes, an adjacent cat-skiing operation and if that’s not enough then the ½ a million acres of heli-sking terrain should keep you happy”.
This top ranking comes as no surprise to us. Our guests have been enjoying Revelstoke’s deep powder snow, incredible terrain and uncrowded slopes for 3 seasons now.
Bighorn is unique in offering skiing at a world-class resort, private heliskiing, cat skiing and backcountry touring all from one base. The luxury lodge offers the most indulgent accommodation imaginable with every kind of ski adventure right on the doorstep. Heliski direct from the house helipad or be on the Revelation Gondola heading up North America’s highest vertical descent in a matter of minutes.
After 62cm of snow in the last 7 days we now have bluebird skies and perfect conditions to ski all the powder snow. Revelstoke is famous for its consistent and heavy snowfall, so the few sunny days after the storm are to be cherished! Check out this video of the heli coming in to land on the Bighorn helipad. It shows not only how quickly guests can be whisked into the world famous heliski terrain, but also the stunning views from Bighorn when the sun shines.
Clear skies mean guests can fly higher and access some of the alpine terrain – glaciers and powder bowls. The beauty of heliskiing in Revelstoke is that there is terrain for any weather. On snowy or cloudy days skiers can rip it up in the forest – Revelstoke has epic tree skiing that attracts ski fanatics from all over the world. There is so much fun to be had popping off terrain features and landing in pillows of soft powder snow.
Needless to say, the guests heliskiing in the video had an unforgettable day, polished off nicely with a brandy hot chocolate on the helipad when they returned!
Using a new formula to rate ski resorts, Snowbrains.com have named their Top 10 Ski Resorts in North America. Right up there is Revelstoke Mountain Resort, giving long-established resorts such as Whistler and Jackson Hole a run for their money.
Rankings have been created using the following formula:
Ranking = [Average Snowfall + Access to Challenging Terrain] x Radness Factor. We like it!
Revelstoke’s huge annual snowfall (480 inches at the top of Mount Mackenzie), massive inbounds terrain (3121 acres) and North America’s highest vertical descent (5620ft) mean it ranks up there as one of the best ski resorts in the continent. ”Man, this place is amazing. I’d love to get back up here. On a powder day, it seems like there’s nobody here and the terrain’s incredible. I gotta get back.” – Arne Backstrom, 2010 Overall FWT Champion.
Aside from the awesome resort skiing, what sets Revelstoke apart is access to millions of acres of world class heliskiing. The lucky guests at Bighorn can either ski the resort, or take to the skies from the private house helipad. Now that is rad.
For most of the winter heli skiers flock to Revelstoke to experience the deep powder snow conditions, but the spring season offers a different yet equally special experience. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider spring skiing:
Who doesn’t like skiing under a bluebird sky? The spectacular Selkirk and Monashee Mountains provide a stunning wilderness backdrop to your heli ski experience and they are best viewed in blazing sunshine. Catch a few rays when you take a break for a gourmet picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera.
The snow storms that deliver dumps of snow in December and January are less frequent as the season progresses meaning skies tend to be clearer. Improved visibility allows heliskiers to access the high alpine terrain that is sometimes impossible for the heli to land in during midwinter. Discover high alpine powder bowls and glaciers – flattering skiing with incredible scenery in the background. You’ll feel on top of the world.
3) Longer days
Maximise your heli ski experience with longer day light hours. This not only allows you more vertical per day and a more flexible schedule, but also means you can enjoy sunset with a beer in hand from the Bighorn hot tub!
4) Spring snow
The Selkirk Mountains receive an average of 40-60ft of snow each season, meaning they are snow-sure until mid April. Warmer conditions in spring mean the snow is continuously frozen and thawed which makes it form large crystals called corn snow. These snowy granules make for smooth, soft and fast skiing – great fun for flying down a wilderness glacier on. Revelstoke’s extensive forests make for the best tree skiing in the world. In the spring the trees provide shade from the sun, preserving the snow late into the season.
The beauty of heli skiing is that your expert guides can take you to the best spots in their 500,000 acre terrain. This is never truer than with a private heliski charter from Bighorn, when you have exclusive use of the helicopter and your guide. So if you want to avoid south facing slopes, stay high or stick to the shady trees, the bespoke experience is designed to meet your needs.
Heliskiing is the ultimate thrill for any avid skier. Unsurprisingly this comes at a price, so careful consideration is required when deciding where to go for this indulgent trip of a lifetime. We asked one of our experienced guests at Bighorn to discuss the risk reward profile of two of the best heliski destinations in the world: Valdez in Alaska and Revelstoke, BC.
Alaska has the best steep skiing terrain in the world. The proximity to the coast and extreme cold throughout much of the winter create a very low risk of avalanche. This allows skiers to ski terrain as steep as 60 degrees. Revelstoke has the best tree skiing in the world, and also has an abundance of excellent high alpine skiing in large glacial bowls. The terrain is extremely varied but, on average, will not be as steep as Alaska.
Both Alaska and Revelstoke are snowsure places to ski, the difference is the quality of the snow. As Revelstoke is located away from the coast in the interior of British Columbia, the snow has less moisture and is lighter. In Alaska, proximity to the coast means the snow can be wetter and heavier.
3) Down Days
This is the major difference. A week of heli skiing in Alaska will typically on average have 3 down days, Revelstoke will on average only have 1. In Alaska, when you cannot ski, there is very little to do as there is no lift skiing. There is only so much table tennis one can play in the mountains. In Revelstoke, guests at Bighorn can experience the all new Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which provides the perfect alternative to heli skiing. Boasting the longest vertical drop in the whole of North America, it is the perfect antidote to being told you cannot fly. In the wider Revelstoke area there are also a number of cat skiing operations which operate irrespective of the weather. In short, there is never a zero ski day in Revelstoke.
No one can argue against the fact that Alaska has excellent ski terrain. Every real skier should tackle an Alaskan spine at some point in their life. However, to travel so far, and then not to ski is unthinkable. It happens. Revelstoke provides endless options for amazing skiing whatever the weather, and with the addition of Bighorn, can boast the ultimate in luxury ski accommodation and service.