Real Pros – Heli time with Johan Olofsson and Andrew Hardingham

I was sitting there minding my own business, thinking of a practical way to seed clouds in response to the abysmal winter I’d been experiencing when I felt a tingle in my armpit. It was my cell phone ringing. Since I don’t have one of those sweet ear jacks, I figure the best way to soak up those juicy emissions is by tucking it right under my arm close to my heart with a homemade holster I’ve created. I figure that’s more nutritious than keeping it pinched up against my reproductive organs – a method by which most people seem to abide. Anyways, the call was from a friend of mine who runs some sort of marketing racket with select cat/heli ops in Interior BC.

“Hi Nate, it’s Scott Martin, Catskiing Canada.”

“Hey guy, what’s new?”

“Well, I had a film crew bail on me and have some seats available next week at a place called RK Heli near Panorama, BC. Are you interested at all in making something happen?”

“Well, I’m kind of making something happen right now, but let me see… ”

“Ok, let me know what you can do. I need to know tomorrow though.”

“Sounds super reasonable. Let me call the miracle hotline and see what kind of scenario’s are available.”

So I shelved my mindful scheming, put on some pants and got to work.

Step one: Think of some riders, preferably Canadian. Hmm… DCP, he talks funny. I’ll try him.

“Hey David, want to go on a quick heli trip?”

“Yo Nate. Thanks for the invite but that’s right during Ultra Natural.”

Pussy. I guess amateurs are out.

Think Nathan, think. Ok, who lives in Canada, snowboards real good and is super sketchy?

Andrew Hardingham, of course. I met that dude once on a pharmacological blackout and he seemed like good people.

“Andrew…. Blah, blah, heli, free, blah…”

“Nate, you don’t need to ask me twice.”

“So… is that a yes?”

“I see your math skills are still tuned, eh…”

Just as I remembered, Hardingham is cool but barely makes any sense.

Ok, who else? Who else is a real pro? Looking for some high profile superstar here, someone who is super cooperative, a real “yes man”. I seem to remember last I spoke with Johan Olofsson he was dug in somewhere near Revelstoke, refusing to use bindings, fishing with his bare hands or something.

“Sweede. How’s about some heli laps for old times sake?

“Nate, sounds epic! But there is no “old time’s sake” and I don’t think you’ve ever actually been in a helicopter.”

I took that as a yes, and FYI, I have been in a helicopter. There was this black guy, TC, who used to fly me and my butler around looking for bad guys back in the ‘80’s. But that was when I had a moustache and drove a Ferrari and lived in Hawaii, so I doubt he would have any frame of reference.

With the talent secured I called up my two best friends who know how to hold a camera, Bluebird’s Willie McMillon and maddog Jeff Curley and invited them. The promise of no pay and absolutely no details proved to be more than they could resist. Both were down.

So I “phoned” Scott, that’s what they say in Canada. They also say “washroom” instead of bathroom, call cigarettes “darts” and all kinds of other cool shit.

“Scott, hey it’s Nate D. I have a crew. We’re ready to do this.”

“Nate, that’s good to hear. Just warning you though, I think our guide is pretty serious so professionalism is a must.”

“Bro, seriously? I have Johan and Hardingham!”


Depending on how you look at it, I either pulled off the greatest scam of the season or simply did my job; at this point it’s a little confusing, even for me. From there it was two days of smooth bird bumps in some of the sickest mountains in BC with a damn near legendary crew – no stress, no grabs, no worries. Whether or not that qualifies as “professional” in this day and age, is entirely beside the point. This is real snowboarding, the kind we all can appreciate. This is shred city, a miracle operation called RK Heli.


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