portable sauna, hot tubs, dining hall, lounge, billiard room, both indoor and outdoor bars, and a fire pit. A cell booster aids in phone reception, and satellite WI-FI permeates the grounds. In other words, all the comforts of modern «wilderness» to keep you connected, aided by a daily spread of afternoon appies and a fridge stocked with B.C. microbrews. After a day in the Skeena Mountains, dinner proceeds in an intimate dining room with views to the mountains on one side, and on the other, an open kitchen where chefs prepare coastal fare that could make a Vancouver gastronome weep. But that’s all noise compared to the scope and variety of skiing, and who better to put that in perspective than someone who has been there since the beginning? After a 12-year stint doing on-snow crowd control for other, much larger heli ops, guide Yvan Sabourin was looking to settle into a lower-profile boutique operation when he heard about the epic snows of Terrace. Along with one of NEH’s co-founders and fellow guide, John Forrest, Sabourin spent the first few seasons exploring, developing safety protocols and naming runs. «The first year, we were really lucky with weather – but even when it gets bad here we have good escape routes.» One «escape route» in particular stands out: for several seasons now, NEH has offered cat skiing with a mind to obviating down days and keeping clients turning on their ski holiday; currently the highest drop with the cats is treeline, a low-ish seeming 1,200 metres but one that yields 600-vertical-metre-plus runs. «Overall, I’ve seen more and better powder days here than other places I’ve worked because it’s refreshed so often,» says Sabourin of the region’s often relentless snowmaker. «And after nine years, we’re still learning how to use some of the more distant terrain more effectively.» Good to hear since the more they learn the more adventure there is to go around.
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