Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

How to Organize a Helicopter Ride

Every summer, the Chilcotin Holiday's Guest Ranch welcomes geologists who are working in the area. These geologists find accommodation at the ranch, and work in the alpines during the day, looking for  precious minerals. Chilcotin Holiday's guests and staff members travel mostly by horse-back riding, but the geologists have found a faster way of reaching the snowy summits: a helicopter. Every night and morning, they fly in and out by helicopter, to the joy of the visitors and personnel who can admire the helicopter in the air. As inspiring and admiring it can be, wouldn't it be more thrilling to be flying? So here we go, let's organize a helicopter ride!

The main challenge is to make the schedule match for everybody. Guides are up in the alpine meadows, cooks are too busy to leave the kitchen, phone calls keep the office clerks inside... Oh wait, let's go back to the start: we should plan a date and time with the pilot first, and then make every schedule match. After a short chat, Kevan, manager of the ranch and Jason, pilot of the helicopter, agree for a ride on Wednesday July 28th at 3 pm. There will actually be more than one ride. There will be three rides that day, and one more a week later for the wilderness guides who were not present. The helicopter can host six people at once, including the pilot. So, we divide our team in groups of five. The three teams flying on the first day attend a brief orientation together, which includes safety and security measures. The first five people then step into the helicopter, while the others sit down in the sunshine, eagerly waiting for their turn.

The helicopter leaves the ground in a deafening roar and ascends into the air. It takes no more than five minutes to reach our Eldorado mountain camp, a trip which usually means a 6 hour horse ride. How unbelievable! We planned it wisely, and brought equipment to the camp that is difficult to bring on a horse. Kevan, who is on the first ride, brings a chainsaw. The helicopter lands not far from the camp, and Kevan completes the necessary work while the helicopter goes back to the ranch. Then the helicopter returns to pick Kevan up during the last ride. The helicopter did not, however, have an empty seat during any portion of the journey! Our Eldorado camp caretaker takes Kevan's seat while the latter is in the mountains. In a single day, fifteen people got to fly, we brought important equipment to camp, did the required work at Eldorado, and the five guides who were absent today will fly in a few days! Most important of all, everybody has had the opportunity to admire the mountains ranges from the astonishing height of the helicopter.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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