Sunday, April 2, 2017

China, eh?

"CHINA, eh?
           ..keep talking you certainly got me intrigued." Thats pretty much the essence of the initial conversation I've had with my friend and fellow ski guide Tyson R. when he approached me with the offer to look into the adventure of opening the first formal heli&cat skiing operation in China. So where abouts is this place again? Don't know, but maybe call Richard in Whistler! How many Richards are in Whistler, do I have the right one and is he Chinese or Canadian or both, or...

Altai Mountains - Xinjiang, China

My first impression was probably a bit like yours, "a bit flat and short runs, don't you think?" This was until I finally got the first footage of some skiing accessed by helicopter and deeper in the mountains. OK, now I see myself sufficient real estate to go and play in. 2000sqkm's you said? Hmm, CMH Silvertip had 1475 or so and we only ever used 2/3 of the area due to all sorts of restraints from flight distance to weather, wildlife and you name it. I really want to see this! ...and so begins a lengthy process putting our patience to the test with getting the proper Visas, ordering and shipping gear, language and communication issues and few other epic fails that are all part of setting up new operations. Good thing its not our first rodeo otherwise one might just get too excited...
Let me just say this much. While not impossible, its also not that easy to get into China. And if you do get in, ..not everything is at it seems. Little did I know that this nice "skiing real estate" movie was actually taken in NZ and used to promote the (at the time) non existing heli-skiing in China. But the guiding world is a small world, the Heliskiing World an even smaller one and pretty soon we were made aware of that fact. By that time however, ..we were sufficiently intrigued to carry on. You mean there isn't even good footage or photos out there. We have to travel there!

So lets talk about Travel:Unless you have a good understanding in international travel, visa requirements, speak some mandarin, all I can say is, do yourselves a favor and get some help. Professional Help that is, like the nice folks from mychinavisa in Vancouver. Our contact was Rachel and we pretty much just dropped what ever was requested from us into her lap to get sorted, translated, stamped in different offices, sent, returned, dropped off, signed, sent again, reviewed, you get the idea!

Tyson and Rachel on December 05th, 2016 in Vancouver. 

MyChinaVisa was an invaluable help and looking back at all the work that had to go into it, no way we would have been able to navigate ourselves through all the procedures, rules, regulations, and you name it. So if you are even remotely thinking about undertaking travel in whatever kind of capacity from a simple tourist to working as a foreign specialist here is their contact. 

1 604 522 2550

Suite 345
555 Sixth Street
New Westminster, BC

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