Heli-Hiking Day 1

 

Day one of our adventure started with a 2 hour bus trip to the heli pad. Along the way several interesting sites were pointed out. In addition we got to watch a helicopter safety video. If fact we watched it twice, once in English and then in Japanese. We arrived at the pad and were introduced to our helicopter pilot, Ted. We got another safety briefing from him. We will be flying in a Bell 212 wide body twin engine, 11 passenger aircraft . Since there were about 30 people on this trip, there would be multiple flights in. We were on the first one. Wyatt thought that flying in a helicopter would be just like flying in a jet plane. Once the helicopter cranked up, Wyatt learned it was nothing like a jet plane. When we landed at the lodge Wyatt's first remarks was "that was cool!".

We proceeded to the lodge and were given our room assignments and then went to the equipment room to get outfitted. CMH provided just about everything you needed. We then went to our room and unpacked.

After unpacking we explored the lodge. Downstairs they had a ping-pong and pool table. Karen and Wyatt played a game or two. I explored the outside of the lodge. The view was spectacular. I hung outside and read a book for a while.

We then had an awesome lunch. Did I mention they have a chef and a pastry chef there? We ate and then got ready to hike.

We were on the first flight out. We had two guides with us, Bob and Erin. Erin was there for the kid's week to keep the kids having fun the entire time. 

When the helicopter lands, the guide opens the door, you step out and squat on the ground in  a circle, right next to the helicopter skids. The backpacks are off-loaded, and the aircraft takes off. The plane generates a lot of wind when it takes off. 

After we landed, we went up a ridge and Wyatt reached his first summit. Along the way up the ridge Bob and Erin pointed out lots of different flowering plants. We also got a geology lesson about the composition of the mountains we were climbing.

We then proceeded down, following the ridgeline. We had not seen snow this year in Cary. Wyatt really wanted to play in the snow. At the bottom of the ridge we came to a snow bank left over from the winter. Bob taught Wyatt how to kick steps into to snow in order to climb up it. It was a lot of work, but at the end Wyatt started catching on.

Bob also pointed out the faint pink color you see in the snow. This is cause by a form of bacteria. If you scoop up some, you can get the faint smell of watermelon.

We hiked further down the mountain and up another ridge line. Then it was back in the helicopter for the trip back to the lodge.

Karen went for a massage. Wyatt went downstairs to play with the other kids. I went to the bar and had a drink and appetizers.

At 7:00 p.m. we had dinner. The staff eats with the guests. You get to know the guides and the people at the lodge as well as the guests. For dinner we had mussels, Cornish game hen, and a fruit tart for dessert. 

 

Loading up

Views from the bus

View from the lodge

And another

Wyatt running the tbl

Heading to 1st summit

At the top

Heading down

Snow time!

Bob showing Wyatt how to go up the slope

Mom says "no way"

The heli waiting

Lenticular cloud

Another one

Slightly windy

The ride home

 

 

Panoramic shot

Movie