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preparation

Adequate Preparation Makes for Better Heliskiing

Find Out What You’ll Need for Your Vacation

Mornings at Crescent Spur start with a stretch class (optional, but recommended) at 6:45. Once we’re limber, we come together for breakfast—and our guides give us an update on weather and conditions. After grabbing a quick espresso, we make our way to the helicopter to embark on our day of skiing and snowboarding.

By 9:00, we’re in the mountains, ready to make our first turns. We allow weather and snow conditions to inform what we ski, as certain days are great for tree skiing, whereas others are better suited to glacier and alpine terrain.

We break at noon for a mountain picnic, before leaning into a big afternoon on the mountain.

As the sun start to fade (between 3:30 and 5:30, depending on the time of year) we head back to the lodge for après ski hors d’oeuvres, beer, and relaxation. Healthy, local, and delicious cuisine is served at 7:00, and we spend the rest of the evening lounging, playing games, and sipping scotch.

Skill and Fitness Requirements

Skiers who get the most out of a holiday at Crescent Spur tend to be strong parallel skiers, comfortable with most runs at major ski areas. Similarly, snowboarders who visit should be comfortable in treed and open areas. Our guides work to choose runs that suit your abilities and interests—and can also provide instruction to those who wish.

Mountain skiing and snowboarding demand a reasonable level of conditioning. If you’re generally fit and can ski at an intermediate level, you’ll likely do fine here. That said, we strongly recommend you start a fitness program (concentrated on improving your endurance, strength, and balance) at least 8–10 weeks prior to your arrival. Be sure to include stretching and aerobic exercises in your regimen.

Our terrain contains many steep runs and naturally gladed forests, which will give you a real workout. Your first day of heliskiing here is likely to be the toughest, and most feel the day’s impact in their thighs, calves, bum, groin, lower back, and stomach. Again, the more fit you are, the more you’ll enjoy your heliski experience.

Clothing and Gear Recommendations

We experience a wide range of weather conditions and terrain at Crescent Spur. Therefore, we recommend you pack the following for your safety and comfort:

A two-piece powder suit shell, usually made of Gortex or some other moisture proof fabric, coupled with a lightweight vest, will give you flexibility to shed and add layers as necessary. Pack some thinner polypropylene or merino wool undergarments for insulating layers. Bring a helmet to protect your head, and some warm gloves/mitts designed for powder. High quality goggles and sunglasses are also a must.

Don’t take any chances with your ski boots—take them on the plane as carry on baggage. And if you’re planning to telemark, bring your tele skis—because we don’t provide them. If you’re visiting from outside Canada, you’ll also need a valid passport.

Most guests like to bring along comfortable garments for morning stretch class, a bathing suit for the hot tub, and some casual après ski attire—like jeans, shirts, and inside shoes. (A pair of slippers can be nice, too.) Our small retail shop carries some essential items including outerwear, insulating layers, hats, mitts, gloves, goggles, sundries, and some souvenirs.

Gear We’ll Outfit You With

We provide specialized powder skis and poles for all of our guests. This equipment is specially selected to make skiing in powder and adverse conditions easier, and more enjoyable. We also have a small selection of snowboards available—but no telemark skis.

Every guest is outfitted with a Mammut Rocker Avalanche Airbag pack that you’re required to wear while on the mountain—it has limited room to carry a small clothing item, like spare gloves. This pack contains a shovel and probe. (Another small pack in the helicopter can contain extra items.) We also supply each guest with a transceiver and radio.

Traveling To and From Crescent Spur

Crescent Spur is located in Western Canada, between Prince George and Jasper. Most guests fly to our nearest airport, in Prince George (YXS). Air Canada and WestJet provide daily nonstop service from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Please call our office for specific details, before booking your flights, and remember your passport!

We ask you to arrive in Vancouver the day before your package starts, and provide a room for you at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel as part of your package. The next morning, you fly to Prince George for a mid-morning pickup, where our bus and driver will be waiting to transport you to the lodge (travel time is just under 2 hours).

We’ll have lunch ready for you, when you arrive at the lodge, shortly after noon. Planning to drive here? Call or email our office and we’ll provide directions from your location. If you’ve booked a 6 Day Package, be at the lodge by 1:00 on Saturday, or 1:00 on Sunday for 5 Day Packages. This allows you time to complete your safety orientation, so you can get on skis bright and early the next day!

At the end of your trip, our scheduled bus will transfer you to Prince George Airport. We request you book your departing flight for the morning of your outgoing day—and recommend you allow at least 1.5 hours for your connection in the Vancouver Airport, on your return flight home.