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Drones in Whistler ??

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Going to Whistler March 18 for 11nts.

Have been looking at buying a Drone to use and must say the opportunity to use in Whistler and Surrounding area would be amazing. I initially thought it could be a great way to record and playback some great video and as a training tool tool. I still do,..

However I have heard from a mate and a press release that flying drones could be almost possible. Any help on help;

1) Firstly as a foreign traveller (British to Canada) that I need to apply for a SFOC Permit ?? Is that right.
2) Can you use a drone on a slope if under 750g ??
3) I understand you have to put your Name, tel number and hotel/apartment address on drone casing ??
4) Fly drone under 90ft ?? I was ideally looking at 20ft max

These are just a few questions

Could anyone help, Your info would be much appreciated...

Or is it just 'yes or no....

Part of me is wondering, is it "Too complicated too consider taking one..

Thanks

SH's :; or Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@PremsUltim8,
Would think WhistlerBlackcomb will get pretty upset with you if you use it on their slopes, but you could ask them directly.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@PremsUltim8, All you need here - http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/media/contact/DronePolicy.pdf

Policy: Drones are not allowed to be operated on Whistler Blackcomb property without an approved, completed application.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Visited 3 resorts in summer drones not allowed without special permit from local gov office.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Operating a drone in a public area with a high density of people, aerial lift systems and helicopters? Perhaps not a great idea even if it was legal.

It's not safer flying close to the ground, as that's where the 70,000 other people at the resort are, along with pointy trees, lift infrastructure, and the sides of mountains.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
When I saw a drone buzzing around a campground I was staying, I was very tempted to reach for my bb gun (except I don't have one no more).

A slow flying object is just such an irresistible practice target! Smile

Sorry, can't help on the legality of flying them outside of the ski resort (almost all N America ski mountains I've been to ban drones).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks for replies...

Sorry that was meant to be off piste...

Would I be able to use on an itinerary run... or equivalent ??
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I assume you didn't read the linked drone policy.

At Whistler all off piste is within the resort boundary, so you need to comply with their rules and have proof of liability insurance.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 11-10-17 10:29; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
A lot of the good drone videos are taken with commercial-grade drones, not commodity ones. Or under ideal conditions with a ton of batteries to hand. For one thing, the altitude means you use much more power to drive the blades through the thinner air.

I watched the official Verbier Drone operator last winter at the Audi Skipark and firstly, he had an octocopter (massive 8-blade thing with big payload capacity, think well over £10K) and a big pile of batteries to hand.

Verbier set the example by offering a professional drone filming service at the skiparks. You pay for 30 mins filming and get an edited video the next day. You can also hire the official drone service directly and they will film you for as long as you can afford to pay them. The big advantage is they have very expensive kit, lots of experience, and know the best places for good shots. They do the official drone filming for the Verbier Freeride, for example.

I have a drone and I concluded that it just wasn't worth the hassle, even 'though I was driving down to the Alps. I'd need to get insurance, have a number of extra battery packs, practice, wouldn't get much flytime in the thin air, and risked an accident. Alternatively, I could wait for a good filming day and pay for the official guy to get some shots. But I can see it might be an option if I was off-piste in some spectacular remote area.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@LaForet, So Verbier has now entered my list of resorts not to go back to. These horrible buzzing things should be banned. And I think will be soon.

I was climbing in the Dolomites in the summer and we watched a party come up behind us, unpack one of these noisey things, climb a few metres then thankfully go home. They are getting more and more a nuisance.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@LaForet, @johnE, I'm with both of you. There are plenty of commercial and television applications for industrial drones, where they are operated by professionals. You can see the results in any recent wildlife program.

As far as I can work out, many drones are being used for anything other than their primary purpose, such as invasion of privacy, planning burglaries, smuggling drugs etc. While mountain biking, I've come across people sat in their car with a drone controller/screen, on more than one occasion, with no drone in sight or hearing.

What is probably needed is to make it an offence to film someone with a drone without their permission, as the current proximity rules aren't effective.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Whilst skiing in Lake Louise last year, there was some drone filming going on and the resort closed the runs in question whilst the drone was in the air - whilst I appreciate this wasn't Whistler, its interesting to see how that Canadian resort mitigated the risks...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
LaForet:/

I was in Verbier in Tail end of March and April. I decided to enquire and in the end used Drone guy for filming.

I will enquire about licence but will definitely enquire about Whistler Drone Guy or Gal..

Thanks
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
They'll take your ski pass if you try and use a drone in bounds at Whistler (and most US/Canadian resorts). They're super strict. But, once you're outside the fence. Your problem will be battery life. I took a Mavic to the BC back country last year and battery life was measured in very few minutes and I had loads of battery problems (low temps = low voltages).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
At least four helicopter companies regularly operate in the public land adjacent to the resort (out of bounds). I can't see how you could fly there legally without express permission.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
PremsUltim8 wrote:

Would I be able to use on an itinerary run... or equivalent ??

There isn't a concept of "itinerary run" in North America.

It's either inbound (ban drone). Or out of bound (public land/air space, aka wild west). I don't think anyone pay much attention if you're flying your drone while skiing outside of the resort boundry.

Apart from near airports, you can fly them drones just about everywhere. Public air space, that is. So for going back country, by all means bring your drone if you feel like it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There is footage of a drone on YouTube or BBC that shows a drone following (one of the auto trackers) someone skiing down a slope.

It ploughs into a ski lift and fortunately only hits the one chair with no one on it. If not then it would have the effect of putting the person on the next chair in a food processor.

If you injure someone in the land of litigation then prepare to be extradited back to face heavy charges (if you get out at all) and probably be sued for every penny you have or will likely to have.

Just not worth the risk.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
johnE wrote:
@LaForet, So Verbier has now entered my list of resorts not to go back to. These horrible buzzing things should be banned. And I think will be soon.


I'm with you on this, but I think the Verbier approach is a good one - the 'official' drone only operates right next to the two small ski parks, over ground which is off-piste and in a very limited area. If anything, you're less likely to see hobbyist drones because you'd get so much better shots by using the pro service.

You can legislate and in CH I believe you have to have insurance. But you can do a lot to deter hobby drones by just making it easier and better to use the official pro service.

What might upset this is the advent of the next generation of drones from people like GoPro. I can see enthusiastic GoPro hobbyists adding the Karma to their portfolio and a load of these suddenly appearing on the slopes. I still think the biggest issue is that no one has cracked collision detection yet (well, not in the under £30K segment anyway). Experienced operators and GPS pre-planned routing makes it look like these things have collision detection, when they don't.

As a hobbyist I'm keen to avoid the media hysteria and self-proclaimed 'experts' you see on the TV. Some of the reported drone-vs-'plane incidents are from 'conventional' model aircraft. And there have been more incidents of police helicopters filming people having sex in their garden than from drones. It's a shame, for example, that housing associations are prevented from using drones in urban areas to check their roofs for maintenance, instead having to use people on ladders or more often not bothering at all. I helped the RSPCA check on some nesting seagulls where I live, but only after first getting the OK from the neighbours - however, this isn't really within the guidelines of 'more than 50m from any property'.

But I'd absolutely agree that no one responsible should fly a hobbyist drone around public pistes. The risk of collision is simply too great.
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