One of the best teams in skiing tackles deep snow in BC
Part III – Words by Chris O’Connell
JANUARY 11 – 12 – STELLAR HELI SKIING
“That shit was crazy! The register guy in 7-11 recognized me and was asking me if that was Seth Morrison out there.” It’s 5:30 a.m. in Nelson and Tanner is already moving 100 miles an hour, ready for the 45-minute drive around the lake to Kaslo for the heli pickup. He’s in his ultra-stoked mode and is probably the happiest guy awake in Nelson. Tanner has two chocolate éclairs in hand and a cup of coffee that happens to be infused with Astralagus, Ginseng and Echinacea. Only in Nelson will you find 7-11s that carry coffee infused with hippie herbs, but that’s why Nelson is so damn cool.
An hour later, at the staging area, Jason Remple, the owner/operator of Stellar Heli Skiing briefs the crew and loads everyone up for the quick drop into the Goat Range. Jason has secured heli tenure in this remote range, which has runs that are hidden gems. The terrain is long and steep, with plenty of features. Jason holds the ticket to some of the best Alpine runs in the Kootenays. Some of the runs are 3,000 vertical feet of features, faces, cliffs and cornices; just about everything you would want. It’s kind of like a giant park made of powder. It’s a great alternative to the snowcat operations, which tend to have more tree skiing than true alpine. If there is a day of sun and stability is good, Stellar is worth the investment for an unforgettable day of skiing.
Tanner steps a take-off on a cornice and proceeds to straight line switch from about 100 meters back on his reverse camber skis. First hit, cab cork 540, about 60 feet down to a perfect 10-point landing. Jason shakes his head in amazement, having never seen Tanner ski before; he’s in awe.
Kye Petersen stepped it up at Stellar, hitting cliffs and poppers and using the terrain like a snowpark. Kye is probably one of the most well-rounded young skiers out there. As son of the late legend Trevor Petersen, Kye was born with backcountry roots.
Jason Remple is also a guide at Selkirk Wilderness Skiing during the week and runs his heli operation on the weekends. It’s relatively new, and you can be guaranteed to be away from the crowds,skiing an area in the Goat Range that few people have ever skied. It’s the perfect bluebird alternative to the snowcat ops in the area.