Mont-Tremblant seen from the sky
A first flight on a jumbo jet or a Cessna is nice. But in a helicopter, it’s better. Much better. And to discover our magnificent part of the country from a completely different angle, well, it’s simply brilliant. That’s what’s offered by Héli-Tremblant, located beside Hwy 117 in Mont-Tremblant.
Equipped with a fleet of three Robinson R44 machines and an equal number of considerate pilots, the company offers 10-, 20- and 30-minute excursions for an unforgettable helicopter experience. The flights not only allow you to explore vast parts of this mountainous region, but also to learn more about its major attractions.
“In addition to the flight portion, we make sure that our pilots act as tourist guides. They are ambassadors for the region,” explains Jean-Benoit Daigneault, pilot and president of Héli-Tremblant. Which is why, during our initial flight, our likeable pilot Anthony Marcy made sure we noticed that an ice-skating ring now encircles Lac Raynaud at the Domaine Saint-Bernard.
After flying over the Casino, the Versant Soleil and Lac Tremblant, Anthony pointed out that the baths at the Scandinave Spa, closed for the reasons of which we’re all well aware, usually send up clouds of steam at this time of year. He also made a point of emphasizing that the spa company is open and continues to offer treatments and massages.
When’s the best time to fly?
Created in 2006 – just after the Gray Rocks seaplanes on Lac Ouimet stopped their activities – Héli- Tremblant is starting its 15th year of operation. An airplane pilot for around thirty years and a helicopter pilot for two decades, Jean-Benoit Daigneault has been flying over the region for more than 15 years.
He notes that he never tires of it, at any time of year. “Everything is beautiful here,” he states. “I’m not tired of it, even after 15 years. The Rivière Rouge, the parc du Mont-Tremblant… I really love flying on winter days like today. You see the deer everywhere because the trees are bare.”
Built in Torrance, California, the Robinson R44 is particularly well-suited to tourist flights. Fast, comfortable and easy to manoeuvre, these helicopters also provide superb visibility and a fairly modest operating cost.
The only negative is that each aircraft can only seat three passengers.
The solution offered by Héli-Tremblant is to opt for a slightly longer flight, divided in two parts. This way the children take off with Dad who, for the second half of the flight, cedes his place to Mom. Just guess who’s happy….
“The children are happy and we reduce the price a bit so that it’s still manageable. It works well for families of four, five or six people,” Jean-Benoit explains. “It’s important to show some flexibility, because three is not a magic number for everybody,” he admits.
That same flexibility also applies to the various services the company offers, as well as to the personalized packages. As to the price, it’s $99 per person for an introductory flight of 10 minutes. That amount of flight time can be doubled for an additional $49 per person. The third person pays only $49, no matter which package has been chosen.
“Our price structure encourages slightly longer flights to limit the number of departures, because I am sensitive to the issue of noise,” Jean-Benoit Daigneault emphasizes. “We have adapted our routes and our approach and arrival procedures to minimize the sound impact. Showing ourselves to be as respectful as possible is part of our business philosophy.”
In other words, it’s better – if your budget permits – to choose a 20- or 30-minute flight. You can be sure, however, that even with a 10-minute introductory tour, the children’s sense of wonder can be seen on their faces several days before, and during, and after the flight. It’s an unforgettable experience to have at least once as a family.
Guillaume Vincent261 Posts
Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.