The engine whine pitches higher as the rotors pick up speed. The anticipation of the passengers matches the intensity of the aircraft and moments later the helicopter lifts off the pad and rises into the sky above the island.
The lodge guests are suddenly immersed in panoramic views of Desolation Sound. In just a few minutes they are whisked away to see mountain ranges that seem to explode into the sky.
“Most of our passengers can’t believe mountains that high are so close to the lodge,” said Bastian Fleury, a pilot and marketing manager for 49 North Helicopters. “It’s definitely a breathtaking moment.”
The lodge introduced 49 North Helicopters to our guests five years ago, bringing this amazing experience to our doorstep. Several days a week during summer, pilots with 49 North Helicopters make the journey from the company’s headquarters in Campbell River to the lodge.
Most of our guests opt for an hour-long scenic tour where they are treated to stunning views of the sound, mountains and glaciers. At some point, the helicopter will land atop one of the peaks to let guests enjoy a drink we’ve provided and to explore the area. Then it’s back into the whirly bird for the return trip home.
49 North Helicopters’ roots in the area date back to 2007 when it initially started as a flight school, which continues today. The co-founders brought with them more than 50 years of combined flight experience.
The school has become a destination for pilots around the world to visit and gain valuable experience flying in the varied terrain in this part of British Columbia.
The company added the tour element to the business to satisfy a growing tourism industry.
The scenic tour might be the most popular option for guests, but it’s definitely not the only flight available. Imagine dipping your kayak or stand up paddle into a remote glacier lake. That’s entirely possible with a half-day trip that lets you experience the pristine glacial waters and astounding scenery.
Or you can join a certified guide and spend a full day hiking around a majestic British Columbia mountain. Either option will leave you with a memory you won’t forget.
The helicopter tours give guests an amazing alternative activity to fishing. They get a greater appreciation for the beauty of the area and understanding of Mother Nature’s forces. As you plan your trip to the lodge, consider fitting a helicopter tour into your schedule.