Heli Skiing

NEH as Heli Ski Research Location

Digging a snow pit for avalanche research.Northern Escape Heli-Skiing (NEH) is proud to be selected as the primary heli ski research location by Dr. Pascal Haegeli, the recently announced Chair of Avalanche Risk Management at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. The new Research Chair aims to complement traditional avalanche research by combining the natural science understanding of the avalanche phenomenon with human factors research.

NEH was selected for a lead role in this ground breaking research program because of our leadership in developing procedures and practices for our guiding team that captures daily snow, weather and avalanche data, informing the terrain choices we take on any given day. For the past two years NEH guides have carried GPS tracking units, allowing Dr. Haegeli and his team to investigate relationships between data analyzed at our morning guides meetings and the terrain we use that day.

Until now most avalanche research has concentrated on the physical properties of the mountain snowpack and the mechanics of avalanche release. Dr. Haegeli and his colleagues will study how heli-ski guides interpret their daily avalanche forecasts and other guides meeting data into decisions directly affecting the safety and enjoyment of our guests. We believe this research will identify science based best practices and decision aids (decision trees, quantitative analyses) that will improve avalanche risk management in heli-skiing at NEH and among the rest of the Heli-Cat Canada membership.

NEH contributes to this research effort because it supports our corporate goal of providing our guests with the very best heli-skiing experience possible. As new knowledge and best practices evolve you are assured we will be leading the way, ensuring all of our customer services are world class.