Kingfisher Heliskiing

Posted By: Freeride Chronicles on December 22, 2016 5:16 pm

When you get the call there’s an open seat at Kingfisher Heliskiing, you drop what your doing and make the 7 hour drive north into the Monashees! That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night and late Monday morning I was showing Customs my passport heading into British Columbia.

Kingfisher Signage

Kingfisher Heli is a 4 year old operation and the brainchild of Tim Shanks and Matt Devlin long time ski guides. Kingfisher is located in the Monashee Mountains a short 75 minute drive from the Kelowna airport. This zone is known for it’s Legendary Monashee Powder. Over the past few years I’ve driven by their Heli base numerous times and it has been on my Hit list since then, plus I’ve heard and seen some great things operation.

The A-Star positioned in the Kingfisher Heli Village

The A-Star positioned in the Kingfisher Heli Village

Monday night I arrived just in time for a full blown gourmet dinner at the Gold Panner Lodge where I was able to meet the Kingfisher team and the other heli guests.

Fanatastic cuisine at Kingfisher's Gold Panner Lodge

Fanatastic cuisine at Kingfisher’s Gold Panner Lodge

I was grouped up with a family of Heli Ski Virgins from Ontario. This Father, son and daughter crew were very excited but on the other hand a little nervous about this adventure. Andrew the father said Heli skiing was on his Bucket list and he wanted to share this experience with his kids. We’ll here they are!

The Crew L-R, Abby Baumen, Andrew Baumen, Chris Baumen, Felix Viax-Guide, Bob Legasa

The Crew
L-R, Abby Baumen, Andrew Baumen, Chris Baumen, Felix Viax-Guide, Bob Legasa

Tuesday morning we woke to 15cm of blower and temps in the -7 Celcius range down low. After our heli Safety briefing and transceiver introduction we were flying in the A-Star heading for higher ground. As the bird took off Daughter Abby’s eyes were as big as saucers only to match her smile.

Tim Shanks giving the crew a Heli safety Briefing before we fly

Tim Shanks giving the crew a Heli safety Briefing before we fly

After a short flight we were dropped off on ridge that had a nice moderate slope with just a few trees. Perfect spot for our Guide Felix Viax to assess the Heli ski Virgins. This Family got it figured out quickly and by the bottom of the run they were on their skis like they’d be a dozen times before.

Blower Pow!

Blower Pow!

Now it was time to move on to some other spots and with over 120 Hectares of tenure Kingfisher has plenty of terrain options and some sweet tree skiing zones. Due to the weather we held up in little basin with plenty of choices of trees, chutes and some steep open shots.

Take me to the Top!

Take me to the Top!

C'mon Up for some Air after leaving the Kingfisher Heli White Room

C’mon Up for some Air after leaving the Kingfisher Heli White Room

The snow was incredible as the area just previously got hit with a brutal cold spell (-25 Celcius) sucking any moisture there was in the snow out! Blower Pow was to be had as we popped in and out of a variety of terrain. With some cloudy skies and flat light the trees were the place to be.

It's Deep in the Monashees

It’s Deep in the Monashees

Kingfisher is Legit and I can’t wait to get back!

Check it out kingfisherheliskiing.com

Here’s a short :30 GoPro edit from the day.

Freeride Chronicles ( More Posts)

A former member of the United States Freestyle ski team, Bob Legasa combined his passion for skiing, outdoors and storytelling and created Freeride Media. Bob has won numerous Society of Photo Journalism Awards and a highly coveted Emmy Award. With over 25 years as a professional Freestyle skier Bob has taken his knowledge of the sport into a variety of different fields including, Television, journalism, coaching, and event management. Bob's passion for skiing can be seen on The Freeride Chronicles Together with his wife Jane of 21 years Bob has two beautiful girls Alli and Hannah. The entire family loves to ski and they can be found most every winter weekend skiing at Schweitzer Mountain.


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