Behind the Scenes: Creating Heli-Skiing in Virtual Reality

In Heli-Ski

Filming Lines of Sight: A Guided Virtual Reality Experience | CMH Cariboos

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WORDS BY ALISON JONES | October 24, 2018

It was winter 2018 at Cariboos lodge, 50km from anywhere and anyone else, when a tight-knit crew of 11 pioneered an entirely new technology within one of the wildest places on Earth.

The goal? To create the first ever entirely immersive experience of heli-skiing by shooting it in virtual reality.

heli skiing in virtual reality
CMH Cariboos | Dave Mossop, Director at Sherpas Cinema, sets the 360 in place before the team descends at first light

Driven by the collective vision and ingenuity of award-winning filmmakers Sherpas Cinema, a team of CMH guides and staff set out into the remote tenure to capture something that would allow others to share the all-consuming joy of heli-skiing.

The footage was captured over the course of ten 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 created a smooth, continuous experience for the viewer.

CMH Cariboos | Equipment built to brave the elements. Capturing lift-off at the summit.

“The ultimate goal with VR is to make you completely forget about the world that you are currently in,” says Director of Photography and co-Director for Sherpas Cinema, Steve Henderson. “You feel as though you embody the story.”

The resulting film is a cinematic piece using cutting-edge technology in the virtual reality and ski industries.

Take a look behind the scenes ‘on set’ in one of the most astounding landscapes, as we navigated new terrain, and ultimately discovered what it means for the film to not only break new ground in this field but to understand the impact it has on those who watch it.

We’re Taking the VR on Tour

Lines of Sight: A Guided Virtual Reality Experience will be touring Ikon Pass destinations across North America throughout winter seasons 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Guests will be able to step into the 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.

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

To watch Lines of Sight at home visit