Safety is our first priority at Stellar Heliskiing. Our guides and the pilots are well trained to manage the risks of wilderness skiing and travel. The safety briefings and training you receive upon arrival are designed to explain these risks and to allow you to help us in managing them to the fullest extent possible. Heli-Cat Canada sets strict safety standards for operating a helicopter and/or snowcat ski operation. Only by skiing with a member of Heli-Cat Canada can you be assured of skiing with certified ski guides who follow a strict set of operating procedures. At Stellar Heliskiing we follow a comprehensive snow and avalanche management system which includes procedures for collecting weather and snow information, evaluating snowpack stability, assessing hazards in the terrain, and determining an appropriate skiing program tailored to on-the-ground conditions and the needs of our clients.
Our helicopter service provider, High Terrain Helicopters, has been in operation in Nelson for 22 years with an excellent reputation for safety and client enjoyment. High Terrain’s pilots are highly capable, experienced, and specially trained in our mountain environment. As active participants in our safety network, they monitor our guests’ compliance and give a safety talk around the helicopter just before the groups lift off for their first run. The helicopter we use is the A-Star Eurocopter which carries four clients, a guide and the pilot at one time. The helicopters are equipped with radios and a SkyTracker GPS to ensure continuous communication between the pilot, guides, the base operation, and outside resources. As is standard with Heli-Skiing, contact is made from the backcountry to the base every half hour to ensure continuous contact is maintained and the maximum efficiency in accident response time is observed.
All skiers are given an avalanche transceiver to wear during their day of skiing. Whether you are a pro at transceiver use or new to the device, a training session is given before you go out for the first day followed by a practice avalanche rescue scenario. The helicopter is equipped with a trauma pack for emergency situations and has quick access to an advanced first aid kit should the need arise. For each group there are four guest packs per person equipped with avalanche shovels, probes, and a radio. These packs must be worn on every run.
In spite of all safety precautions, accidents can happen. This is part of the intrinsic risk of skiing in the wilderness. Before we can invite you to explore our terrain with us, you must sign our liability waiver acknowledging that you understand and accept the risks involved in heli skiing. Please read through our digital waiver closely so you are familiar with the rights you are signing away before you book with us and arrive for your vacation.