Radio Communication Safety at NE Heli Skiing

Communication Is Key

Here at Northern Escape Heli Skiing in British Columbia Canada, safety is our highest priority. Next to small group heli skiing with low “guest to guide” ratios, two-way “radio communication” is paramount. When it comes to prevention, response, and safety, we rely heavily on our heli ski radio system to provide clear, effective two-way communication. To that end, we’ve developed a highly efficient and very reliable heli ski radio communications system.

Have you ever wondered how our communication radios have such a large range?

It all has to do with a whole network of devices spread out all over our vast heli skiing terrain. It takes a lot of logistics to make a heli ski day happen and at the heart of it all is our heli ski radio communications system.

Mountain Top Radio Repeater

The main hub of our radio communication system is our mountain top radio repeater. This is a powerful heli ski radio that takes all of our radio transmissions and blasts them out to all 12 heli skiing zones within our Skeena Mountain range. The mountain top radio repeater is located off a knife-edge ridge in out Central Park heli ski area, where it is permanently fixed to the mountain and runs on solar power. The solar panels charge a large battery bank that keeps our heli ski radio operating 24/7.

Our Other Communication Radios

Each of our other heli ski radios has 2 channels, including simplex and duplex.

Simplex Radio System – Simplex is “line of sight” communication, which means that you need to be able to essentially see the other person you want to talk to. Things like trees and snow can interfere with the simplex radio signal but it would have to be extremely thick to cause the signal to not get through. Simplex radio signals can travel a great distance but if there is a mountain in the way, we need to call the mountain top radio repeater to help get the communication signal around the mountain!

Duplex Radio System – The Duplex heli ski radio signal is re-directed out to the mountain range back on the simplex channel for all to hear. Our dispatcher is constantly talking to our helicopters and heli skiing guides so that they know their every move. We use a powerful radio that is located at the Yellow Cedar Lodge that has a large range that is capable of “hitting” the repeater from over 50-kms away. Northern Escape Heli skiing has strict call-in procedures in place to ensure that everything is running smoothly during the heli skiing day. Should a helicopter become overdue for a check in, we implement our emergency response plan and immediately figure out what is going on.

Radio communication is the most important part of our heli skiing safety program, and we take that very seriously for sharing heli skiing conditions, for issuing hazard warnings, and if necessary, to facilitate rescue operations.

About NE Heli Skiing

In 2019, Northern Escape Heli Skiing will celebrate 15-years of heli skiing in British Columbia, Canada. We are proud to welcome international guests from around the world for 3-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 7-day small group heli skiing packages including:

  • Classic Heli Skiing Package – up to 18 skiers/boarders in 3 groups
  • Elite Heli Skiing Package – up to 10 skiers/boarders in 2 groups
  • Private Heli Skiing Package – up to 5 skiers/boarders per group

Come heli skiing in Canada and experience the lightest, driest, and deepest untracked powder ever! NE Heli Skiing operates a tenure of over 5,500 square kilometers with 12 heli skiing zones (including our Catland Snowcat backup area).

Check out our Booking page for available heli skiing dates for 2019 or for more information about heli skiing in Canada, give us a call at 1-866-619-3184 or send us an email.


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