Print and Go Back Freeskiing [Print without images]

Friday, February 26, 2010
Updated: June 14, 5:15 PM ET
North Cascade Heli

Always a good start to the heli season at NCH.  Launch Gallery »

Weather is always an issue in the Pacific Northwest, and that's why we like it up there -- it's all about the pow! New this year at NCH was as A-Star B3. This helicopter is by far the most powerful machine you can fly in -- people have even landed it on Mt. Everest. That, combined with the fact that Seamus was our pilot, meant that we were accessing peaks like a high-speed chair lift.

NCH is located west of Spokane in Mazama, a sleepy little town that services many nordic skiers on the weekends. You pretty much have the whole place to yourself. Skiing-wise, we sampled everything from pure alpine to pillowy trees. Erik Roner came with us this year to try some of the big cliff faces in the area, while Sage and myself stayed entertained with some newer lines for on the shooter chutes -- a classic we have skied each trip.

Big thanks to everyone at NCH. We got out every day on our 10-day trip, and it's always fun to go off the radar, shred the area and kick off the heli season. The most southern part of the Coast Mountains stretch all the way up into Alaska. Check them out -- the best heli skiing in the United States. These guys have a laid back attitude. Look for more on TGR's "Live From The Field.". I look forward to coming back here next year.