On December 29th, Jason was over and we were watching the movie Frozen with my kids. Jason was singing along to "Let it go" when I got a text message from Matt Galland asking if I wanted to ski the next day. There was a disclaimer that I couldn't be opposed to getting into a helicopter. Intrigued, I replied, "I'm in!" I figured I could ask questions later.
Turns out, his brother York flies a R66 and goes by the Instagram handle @iflyheli and he happened to be in town for the holidays. I mention the Instagram because his photos and videos from the air are amazing.
York was kind enough to fly his brother around for some adventure and Matt was kind enough to invite me to tag along. They had taken the doors off so we could hover above some TBD peak, throw our skis out, and then jump out to ski out to the valley. They were also kind enough to indulge me in a quick flight around Timp before heading south to our destination.
Given the weight/elevation limitations and the fact that there were swirling clouds among the high peaks, we decided to try and ski either Buckley or Maple Mountains, ultimately choosing Buckley when a hole in the clouds appeared.
The ordeal of exiting the helicopter was exciting and the ski down the west face of Buckley was much better than anticipated with fast powder and good coverage. We ended up in a neighborhood south of Provo and walked to the 7-eleven where we ate some donuts and waited for a ride.
Oddly, this seemed like the most Euro "tour" I've been on in the US as we took a mechanical assist to ski some cool terrain, ended in a town, and ate pastries at a local coffee shop (donuts and 7-eleven do count!)
Typically, I'm pretty against heli skiing in the Wasatch but this was a damn fun exception.
|I'll admit I was a little nervous but the R66 and York's skills were impressive. Photo by Matt Galland|
|Photo by Matt Galland|