[R493R, Whistler] Heli-Skiing is making plans for operations during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The resort's new heli-skiing store opens in mid-November in the Carleton Lodge to service skiers and riders, and bookings are already coming in concurrent with Olympic events.

Heli-skiing operations commence Dec. 5, with 432,000 acres available for skiing and riding on 173 glaciers. Guests who participate in Whistler Heli-Skiing trips during the Olympic or Paralympic Games must undergo a brief security screening, much like the screenings at airports before taking a flight.

"Imagine having a fresh-powdered ski area that covers over 430,000 football fields with 475 runs to choose from, and you've got Whistler Heli-Skiing in a nutshell," says Mike Sadan, general manager of Whistler Heli-Skiing.

It is available to those with expert and intermediate skills. "There's been a myth that heli-skiing is an experts-only experience where you leap 20 feet out of a helicopter onto the most challenging, wind-crusted terrain, but this simply isn't true," adds Sadan. "While experts can certainly tackle the more challenging slopes, the reality is, heli-skiing is an exhilarating trip through natural terrain that intermediate level skiers and riders, not just the pros, can enjoy."

The company is offering a new, two-day program this year called Introduction to Heli-Skiing. The first day sends you out with a Whistler Blackcomb ski or snowboard instructor to learn how to ski powder and how heli-skiing works. The second day is with a group of skiers or riders of the same ability for guided heli-skiing.

"We're already seeing a number of bookings during the Olympic months and we expect that number to continue to grow," says Sadan.

More information. Or call 888-435-4754.