Heli-fun for skiers in Cape Breton
HALIFAX -- Since carving-down Ski Cape Smokey in Ingonish, N.S., for the first time as a little girl, Lisa Hirtz has always dreamed of making it to the very top. However, she would have never imagined that over 40 years later, she would fulfill her dream via helicopter.
"It's been a goal since I was a child,” says Lisa Hirtz. “I was about eight years of age, and I really wanted to get to the top."
Hirtz travelled from Toronto to take part in the first Heli-skiing event at Cape Smokey, which took place on Friday and Saturday.
"It's not just the helicopter ride itself; it's the scenery, and what you're getting to,” says Breton Air CEO, Parker Horton. “The gondola system will be put in place soon. So right now, this is the quickest way to get to the top of the hill."
The high-flying views speak for themselves, with amazing wilderness scenes of the Cape Breton Highlands from an eagle-eye perspective.
With snow-capped peaks at their prettiest, Ski Cape Smokey and Breton Air, who teamed up to bring skiers to the mountain tops in an invigorating new way, couldn't have asked for a better day.
"Economically for us, it's a boom,” says Ski Cape Smokey volunteer, Kevin Dauphinee. “Economically for Breton Air, it's a boom as well because the people that are going to travel, that wouldn't come on a normal day, are probably going to travel in."
And it’s making ski lovers’ dreams come true.
"That was phenomenal,” says Hirtz. “That was like a once in a lifetime experience that I've been waiting over 40 years to do."
"We saw the ocean, some great valleys,” says skier, Ben Webster. “We saw what the Highlands look like on the top – they're relatively flat."
While the Heli-skiing experience was fully booked on Saturday, organizers say another Camp Smokey-Breton Air collaboration is likely. However, for those who had the opportunity to have the exhilarating helicopter ride, they’re crossing an item off the bucket list.
"That was like adding, I don’t know – icing on top of a really delicious cake,” says Hirtz. “It was absolutely spectacular. Like, what an extraordinary, 'pinch me' moment."