Bella Coola Heli Sports
Canada: British Columbia
Bella Coola Heli Sports is your choice if you are looking for a special experience: small groups for skiing, all this within wild and breathtaking, heavily glaciated scenery!
Bella Coola Heli Sports is dedicated to providing the ultimate heli skiing holiday in as safe a manner as possible.
For the most part our clients never see all the work and thought that goes into our safety program. This is of course as it should be, but we encourage you to educate yourself regarding the risks associated with helicopter skiing and what is being done to ameliorate and contain these risks. We are proud of our staff’s qualifications, as well as the expertise and experience they bring to bear in making your day a great one.
Following are some of the key safety issues, as well as standards and protocols that define our operating procedures.
Heli Skiing Operating Standards
Bella Coola Heli Sports is a member of HeliCat Canada. We are regulated by the most comprehensive and exacting heli skiing guidelines in the world. In addition, our safety plan and operating procedures are audited every 4-5 years by an independent risk management evaluator.
The HeliCat Canada guidelines are the result of over 40 years of experience and development. It is the gold standard of helicopter skiing safety. There is simply no other jurisdiction or heli skiing organization with the experience and scope of HeliCat Canada. We have taken these standards as a base model and then improved where we could.
"Most risk avoidance, regardless of the environment, boils down to prevention and preparation. By skiing or snowboarding with a member of HeliCat Canada, one is assured that safety is the top priority and that one could not be in more experienced hands.
Given the number of skiers and snowboarders guided on a daily basis in the winter by members of HeliCat Canada, the small number of incidents speaks volumes for the measures taken to keep clients safe." Source: Heli Cat Canada
All BCHS guides are professionals with a lifelong dedication to their profession and are certified by the ACMG / UIAGM (Canadian and International Association of Mountain Guides) and/or the Canadian Ski Guides Association (CSGA). In addition to this, the guides all have years of experience specifically related to heli skiing, as well as outgoing and supportive personalities.
Our Guide Manager, Paul Berntsen, has over 30 years of working experience evaluating avalanche hazards, and more then 20 years as a heli ski guide. His prime responsibility is for the safety of clients, staff and himself, and he is in over all charge of everything and anything to do with safety.
The skills and training he brings to bear on this task include: certification as a full mountain guide, qualification as an avalanche planner as stipulated by Work Safe BC, and extensive training in medical first aid and mountain rescue procedures.
We encourage all our guides to continuously upgrade their professional skills and host a yearly “Guides Training” program at the start of our ski season.
While in the field, all guides carry radios and are in constant communication with other guides, the helicopter, the lodge, and radio dispatch. Most of our guides have families and have as much interest in getting back to them at the end of the day as the rest of us. In short, they are not going to take unnecessary risks. They are out there every day and want to keep skiing for many years to come.