CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, the world’s largest Heli-Skiing and Heli-Hiking operator, has produced an awe-inspiring virtual reality film to introduce the sport of Heli-Skiing to the world. The cinematic piece entitled “Lines of Sight: A Guided Virtual Reality Experience” was created in partnership with the award-winning Sherpas Cinema with support from Google’s AR/VR team, using cutting-edge technology in the virtual reality and ski industries.
Filmed entirely at CMH Cariboos with highly customized, site-specific equipment from Google and Sherpas Cinema, the five-minute film was created to immerse the viewer into the experience and dispel the myth that Heli-Skiing is extreme, instead demonstrating that it is highly achievable. The end result showcases the future of cinematic VR. “Being able to work with the best in the industry in a truly collaborative manner allowed us to push the boundaries of technology and bring the Heli-Skiing experience to a wider market,” said Julia LoVecchio, Director of Marketing at CMH.
“To grow the VR experience for users, we need to empower independent filmmakers to take this medium and bring their own creativity to it,” said Sarah Steele, Google VR Program Manager. “The biggest thing people ask for in VR is ‘take me places I can’t go,’ and Heli-Skiing is an incredible experience that only a lucky few could even imagine.”
CMH founder Hans Gmoser was a visionary who invented Heli-Skiing more than 50 years ago, and it is in the spirit of this legacy that the team continues to provide such innovative experiences. Led through the terrain by ACMG Mountain Guide, Craig McGee, the viewer experiences every part of the journey from buckling in for the helicopter ride to gliding down the powdery slopes of the Cariboo Mountains of British Columbia. The vistas are breathtaking, the movement of the skiers magical, and the result is pure inspiration.
“The ultimate goal with VR is to make you completely forget about the world that you are currently in,” says DP and co-Director for Sherpas Cinema, Steve Henderson. “You feel as though you embody the story.”
“Lines of Sight” was captured over the course of 10 days using the Yi Halo, GoPro Odyssey, and Google’s Jump platform. Site-specific camera rigs were built for the project, including a helicopter long line for sweeping alpine aerials and aerial action shots, a hardware stabilized ski-dolly platform built in collaboration with Levitezer, and an RC car dolly built in collaboration with FreeFly. Highly choreographed action scenes of extended durations while shooting, result in a smooth, continuous experience for the viewer.
“Lines of Sight: A Guided Virtual Reality Experience” will be touring six Ikon Pass mountain destinations across North America throughout winter seasons 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Visitors will be able to step into a giant CMH helicopter located at the base of the resorts to experience the film in virtual reality firsthand and take the ride of a lifetime.
“Lines of Sight: A Guided Virtual Reality Experience” 2018/19 tour dates and destinations:
- 11-13 Jan 2019: Winter Park, Colorado, USA
- 24-27 Jan 2019: Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario, Canada
- 2-3 and 9-10 Feb 2019: Stratton, Vermont, USA
- 7-12 Mar 2019: Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
- 22-24 Mar 2019: Mammoth, California, USA
- 29-31 Mar and 5-7 Apr 2019: Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows, California, USA
Tour dates and destinations can be found at www.cmhheli.com/VR.
Experience Heli-Skiing in virtual reality via download at www.cmhheli.com/VR, in any VR headset, or on YouTube360.