Sunday, January 25, 2015

NEH 2015 Heli-Skiing Guides Training Week Photos

Working as a heli-ski photographer requires a solid understanding of the risks and dangers involved with working in the mountain environment in the winter. Knowing how to avoid potential risks and what to do in case of an emergency comes through planning and practice. Team work and communication is key to the safety of all concerned while out working in the mountains.

The guiding staff and helicopter pilots at Northern Escape Heli-Skiing are second to none. I had the opportunity to take part in the 2015 heliskiing guides training week with them, which was a great team building and learning experience for everyone involved. It instills confidence knowing how much planning and preparation each member of the team has gone through to reach this point.

Northern Escape Heli-Skiing Guide Staff 2015
Left to Right: front row: Yvan Sabourin, Clair Israelson, Mikey Olsthoorn,
back row: Robert Thor Haraldsson, Dave Healey, Owen Day, Gerry Israelson, John Forrest, Peter Wainwright, Oyvind Aanes
One of NEH's longest serving guides, Yvan Sabourin, shovels off one of the fuel caches. Overloading of snow could prove to be a hazard to pilots when re-fueling. Shoveling it off eliminates the hazard.

I see lots of potential ski lines up in those mountains...
The tail section of Summit Helicopters Bell 407.

Where the magic happens. The helicopter turbine rotor.
To get invaluable information on the stability in the snowpack through digging pits and assessing each layer is critical to evaluating terrain choices in any given situation moving forward. It is part-hardwork, part-science, part-artform that requires great attention to detail. Clair Israelson, (foreground), is a veteran in the field of avalanche awareness and safety. 
The sun strives to break through the moody clouds.
My planks... *Name that ski*, in the comment section below. First person to get it will receive a custom 8x10 print.

Skiing Operations Manager, Clair Israelson, radios in a mock avalanche scenario and calls in the other group for back-up. 
Heli-Skiing in British Columbia, Canada, is as good as it gets.

An effective heliski program relies heavily on excellent communication between guide and pilot.
Northern Escape Heliski guides are pumped for the winter of 2015. Here we go!

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