Heli-hiking? Me? The woman who boasted for decades that she would never use mechanical assistance to reach a mountain top? I guess old age teaches humility. Not only did I go heli-hiking for six days, I loved it.
Not surprisingly, heli-hiking tends to the luxury side of wilderness experiences. It’s certainly not as off-the-charts expensive as heli-skiing, but Canadian Mountain Holidays uses the same lodges and provides the same high standards in selecting the guides, chefs and other staff.
In this part of British Columbia the undergrowth in the forest is pretty thick and there are few trails, but if you put your mind to it you can reach the hilltops after a few hours of slogging. I found that I didn’t object at all to being deposited above the tree line shortly after 0900 each morning by our handy helicopter.
Using a helicopter doesn’t mean that you don’t do strenuous hiking: you just start higher.
So many wildflowers compete for growing room in the meadows that one must stick to the narrow paths to avoid crushing them.
Other days we climbed higher beside massive glaciers.
Lunch was always in a scenic spot. There were too many lakes, too many mountains, too many glaciers to remember the names. I walked, gazed in awe, overwhelmed by the beauty of this area.
Out of the rocks, a lone flower triumphs and blooms.
In other places the flowers run rampant.
Sometimes you just want to sit and enjoy.
I didn’t do all of the activities that were offered; a Via Ferrata (metal rungs driven into vertical rock to allow safe climbing) seemed too strenuous to be enjoyable. But I did finish my three days at Bobbie Burns with a ride on their zip lines.
Next morning I would hike toward the second lodge of my week: Bugaboo.