Blackomb Helicopters Secret Picnic Spot

With all the incredible lakes and mountainscapes here, Whistler is loaded with picnic potential, but the grandmaster picnic experience of all is a heli-picnic. In September 2016, The Insider was lucky enough to hitch a ride with Blackcomb Helicopters as they field-tested their newest, fully-catered heli-picnic spot. It’s picnicking taken to the highest possible level, and here’s why:

Helicopter Flightseeing British Columbia

The Ride In

The old motivational poster about the journey being just as important as the destination is especially true when you have a helicopter. Lifting off from the Whistler Heliport, the chopper quickly gains elevation as we rise up over the valley and into the stunning ridges, glaciers and peaks of the Coast Mountains. Armchair Glacier, Wedgemount Lake, the back side of the Spearhead Traverse: to suddenly have an up-close look at this legendary terrain is an incredible experience in itself.

Helicopter Tours Whistler

Location Location Location

“This place would be really difficult to hike to,” explains Blackcomb Helicopters pilot Steve Gray as he circles the most azure blue lake any of us have ever seen. “There’s very little chance we will see anyone else here, ever.” And we don’t. Instead we spend the afternoon surrounded by the beauty and solitude of a sunny autumn day in the mountains in absolute silence.

Table Nineteen Picnics

The Heli-Picnic

Forget the baloney sandwiches at home and let the experts handle lunch. Down in the Whistler Valley, Nicklaus North’s Table Nineteen Eatery sits on the shores of Green Lake and is considered one of the most scenic dining spots in town. Who better to cater the most scenic mountain picnic spot you’ll ever find? With fresh gourmet salads, four different charcuterie boards, British Columbia fruit and refreshing beverages this picnic will impress anywhere. Served lakeside on the highest picnic table in the Whistler area, it’s an unforgettable feast. Is there such a thing as six-star dining?

Heli Paddleboarding Whistler

Post-Lunch Activities

There’s certainly nothing wrong with sitting down to read a book or enjoy the views after lunch but for more adventurous sorts, the lake is beckoning. Blackcomb Helicopters flew in some inflatable stand up paddleboards from Whistler Eco Tours for mellow cruises or splashing fun. The clear, perfect-blue water is brisk, but very swimmable.

Cliff Jumping Whistler

Homeward Bound

Leaving a picnic is rarely one of the best parts but the flight out is like the cherry on top. Lifting deftly off the lakeside ridge, Steve delights us with a waterfall flyby before gaining elevation to zoom over one of the many large glaciers tucked in behind Wedge and Whistler Blackcomb. Even with plenty of heli time this summer, it’s the ride of a lifetime for me and so incredible to see this area from a new vantage point. The Coast Mountains seem enormous from the ground, from the air it’s like an endless sea of peaks and glaciers.

Helicopter Flight

Food has always been a way to bring people together, to share stories and reflect on experiences. When you’re literally creating those experiences and stories as you picnic it makes for an unforgettable afternoon.

Bon Appetit.

Bonus: Heli-Picnic 360 Video

Cinematographer Brian Hockenstein went along for the ride and captured incredible 360 degree footage of the day. Fly alongside the heli, sit at the table and spin around to see that incredible blue lake from every angle in this interactive video. Check out the viewing instructions below, load up the video and escape to the lake with us.

Viewing on a Mobile Device? Click here to open the 360 video (requires YouTube App)

360 Video Viewing Tips

Phone or Tablet (Recommended): Load the video on your mobile device. The motion sensors in your handset will let you move the phone and look around like you are actually there. Requires the You Tube App for the full 360 goodness – available to install for free for iOS and Android.

Desktop: Play the video, go to full screen and use the cursor to move around inside. Alternately, use the navigation circle in the top left corner of the film, or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Virtual Reality Headset: If you have a viewer  like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, throw your phone inside to watch.

If you’re interested in getting out and seeing the Coast Mountains from a new angle, can help.


Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.