This video was shot & edited by PCHG Guide Spencer Ray. There’s some pretty sick terrain in here, check it out.
I just checked in with Dave “Happy” Rintala, the owner of Pacific Crest Heli Guides, to see how their first season heli skiing in the Northern Sierra went.
Here’s what he said:
Miles: “How was the season, overall?”Happy: “Our season went great, we were very busy on the good powder days with flyable weather, and we had perfect safety. The excitement of exploring new terrain was one of the coolest experiences in my skiing life. We were skiing new terrain right through the final day of the season. Next year we will continue this exploration, as there is much more to explore still!”
Miles: “How many fly days did you have this year?”Happy: “We flew every day with good power and clear weather, and several killer corn skiing days in January and at the end of the season as well. Due to the amazing storm cycles our flight days were limited, and our total was less than thirty, but since we were busy on every flyable powder day, I think that the season was perfectly successful.
Miles: “Did you discover some pretty cool lines? What was the coolest line/zone you found?”Happy: “Every time we skied a new zone, or even a new chute or run it was exciting for me. There are so many killer zones, but the ones that stick out in my mind right now is a coulier we named The Screamer which is in the Far NE of our terrain. It is a area with steep chutes that splits and reconnects, like a maze, so you get to make an option on every couple of turns which alley you want to ski, and everyone in a group can ski a different option.”
Miles: “What’s the plan for next year? Anything new?”Happy: “Our biggest change will be adding a shuttle northward to access some of our more remote terrain. We also started using a shuttle westward this year to a remote landing zone to reduce flight times and make our day more efficient. This means that more of our flight time is used for skiing, and so made for more runs for everybody. We will also be adding another snowcat to ensure that everybody gets a powder day when they sign up for a day, even if it is snowing and we cannot fly. Our snowcat was sold out for most of the season this year, so this will make a big difference, especially for those who are traveling from out of the area.”