Popularizing heli-skiing through virtual reality
From March 7 to 12, resort-goers and locals will have the opportunity to try heli-skiing through virtual reality (VR), right at the base of Mont Tremblant.
Up, up and away…
Heli-Skiing means taking a helicopter ride to peaks and slopes that are inaccessible via traditional ski lifts. Heli-skiing was invented more than 50 years ago by the founder of CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures. Today, the company operates the largest heli-skiing and heli-hiking network in the world.
As part of its North-American tour, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures will bring its tech gear and install a temporary virtual reality experience lounge in various ski resorts to demystify heli-skiing. Tremblant, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley will be among the mountains on the tour. The dates and complete list of destinations can be found at cmhheli.com/VR.
Much more than just a movie
In the screening lounge, viewers are immersed in a multi-sensory experience, albeit with their feet planted firmly on the ground. They buckle up for the helicopter ride, begin their mind-boggling ascent, arrive at their destination, then descend the slopes of the Cariboo Mountains in British Columbia.
The vistas are breathtaking, the setting is stunning. The movements of the skiers are graceful, as if they were part of a natural choreography on uncharted territory. The result is true inspiration for those who deliberately abandon themselves to the beauty of the entire panorama.
From reality… to virtual reality
The five-minute film titled Lines of Sight:A Guided Virtual Reality Experiencearises from a partnership between CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, Google VR and Sherpas Cinema. Filmed entirely in the Cariboo Mountains, the movie was produced with highly customized, site-specific equipment from Google VR and Sherpas Cinema.
In the end, the film showcases the future of cinematic virtual reality. “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 audience,” says Julia LoVecchio, director of marketing for CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures.
When the mountain comes to you
The purpose? To demonstrate that heli-skiing is more accessible to the average skier and boarder than commonly thought. To dispel the myth that it is an extreme sport only available to a handful of insiders who engage in the activity in remote, even inaccessible, areas.
Sarah Steele, Google VR platform manager, says the main thing people ask for in virtual reality is to live experiences they couldn’t have otherwise. And virtual heli-skiing, as designed by the partners behind Lines of Sight, meets these expectations.
Stay tuned between March 7 and 12: when you see the giant inflatable helicopter, go on in! There’s a fully installed virtual reality lounge inside.
And the journey continues for CMH: Lines of Sightwill again be touring six Ikon Pass mountain ski resorts across North America throughout the 2019-2020 winter season.