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For over 30 years, and longer than Blackcomb Mountain has relied on chairlifts, Whistler Heli-Skiing has relied on the Spearhead Range as a key component of this business. Its classic broad glaciers within a few kilometres of the heliport are critical to our efforts to ensure our guests end up with the trip they had planned on. The Garibaldi Park has a history of heli-skiing dating back to 1966, within a year of the birth of the heli-skiing industry in Bugaboo Provincial Park where it still thrives today. We are owned by Whistler Blackcomb, which provides easy access to the park and is an important partner for the future of the park.
Whistler Heli-Skiing is proud of its track record over those decades in the Spearhead Range in what can be a complicated, yet highly rewarding environment. We've limited direct conflicts to a bare minimum; have assisted search and rescue on numerous occasions including flying out more people than we've flown in with; and been good citizens and stewards of the park. When we pull up our landing stakes after the season, we leave the park looking like it did 10,000 years ago.
The recently released draft plan from BC Parks proposes heli-skiing continue in the Spearhead, a direction we support because it speaks to compromise. As guides we grew up ski touring before taking to the air and have much in common with our ski touring brothers and sisters, and so we remain motivated to make further efforts to reduce our impact on those that share this special place with us.
General Manager, Whistler Heli-Skiing
Re-think urbanization of the alpine
Interesting reading the letter from John Baldwin in Dec. 6 edition of Pique. It leaves the reader with the impression the hut proposal is a done deal for Spearhead region of Garibaldi Park. While popular support has been expressed to Parks for this initiative during the public comment to draft amendment phase, I for one hope people take a second look at this prior to endorsing.
Consider the fact many huts already exist within Garibaldi Park. The ones located on the Garibaldi Neve all support an existing World-class ski touring traverse. Huts located at Russet and Wedgemount Lakes are also available to use. One thing most have in common is a state of disrepair and need of TLC. Would bringing up existing backcountry accommodation to standards not be preferred over building more?
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