From the initial helicopter flight, to the last run of your holiday your safety is paramount. All of our guides are trained and certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and participate in regular professional development sessions in first aid and emergency procedures and prevention. Each snow cat is equipped with first aid and rescue response equipment. The lodge has a dedicated first aid room complete with an automatic external defibrillator (AED).
On the first morning of each tour, all guests participate in a safety briefing with their guides and snowcat operator. The safety briefing and training are designed to explain the risks involved and to allow you to participate with us in managing them. Most risk avoidance, regardless of the environment, boils down to prevention and preparation.
Chatter Creek provides every guest with a small backpack that includes a compact shovel and collapsible avalanche probe. It is mandatory that each guest carries this equipment. We offer Avalanche Balloon Pack (ABP) rentals for those who prefer the option to the regular backpacks. A radio for each guest is also included.
Snow and weather conditions are constantly monitored throughout the season. On a daily basis, a specific skiing plan is developed based on the snow, weather conditions and risk assessment. All information collected is shared with other commercial backcountry operators through a network called the Information Exchange System (InfoEx). Facilitated by the Canadian Avalanche Association in Revelstoke BC, the InfoEx gives us detailed information on local weather, snow and avalanche conditions at more than 50 locations throughout the province. This helps us forecast changing conditions and plan our skiing itinerary accordingly.
Chatter Creek has a dedicated full time ‘snow safety’ guide. The senior guides rotate through this position and provide real-time information to the other guides in the field such as avalanche activity, snowpack, weather and snow quality. During times of elevated avalanche hazard, the snow safety guide will often assess conditions in certain areas prior to the groups skiing or snowboarding. Under certain conditions throughout the season, we use explosives to conduct avalanche control. Most of this work is done by helicopter in terrain that affects our road network.
Regular radio communication is maintained between the guides, the snow cat operator and the lodge. Communications with Golden are by internet phone backed up by a satellite phone from the lodge, and by direct radio link through a permanently installed mountaintop repeater. In the event of an emergency, the guides can quickly communicate directly with the lodge, Alpine Helicopters in Golden and neighbouring cat and heli ski operations in the area.
On arrival at the Donald Heliport, every guest is asked to sign a Waiver of Liability and receives a safety briefing about their helicopter flight. Once at the lodge, our guests are oriented and instructed on fire emergencies and other safety procedures related to our lodges.
As a member of HeliCat Canada, Chatter Creek has developed specific operating guidelines to maintain the highest possible safety standards. Only by skiing with a member of the HeliCat Canada can you be assured of skiing with an operation that follows a strict set of operating procedures.