Building in remote locations presents several challenges not found in other construction projects. When combined with biting cold, deep snow and a desire to preserve pristine natural beauty, those challenges become even more daunting.
Those challenges are why Skeena Heliskiing chose WeatherPort Shelter Systems when they needed glamping shelters for their base camp in Canada’s ruggedly picturesque Kuldo Valley.
Located 1,900 feet above sea level and surrounded by trees, the seasonal ski camp is only accessible by helicopter. Skeena needed a shelter solution that could be ferried in and out of the camp by aircraft with small cargo holds and strict payload limits.
“That was a hard thing … because 1,800 pounds is the most we can lift, and you can use that up pretty quick,” said Giacum “Jake” Frei, Skeena’s president and lead guide.
With low-cube packaging and lightweight-yet-durable covers and frames, WeatherPort’s SQ Series of 12’ x 10’ tensioned membrane structures were the perfect shelter solution.
Skeena’s SQ Series glamping shelters also had to withstand temperatures as low as minus-31°F during an eight-week ski season.
“We have to set them up in those temperatures, so it also stresses the equipment. Building them and taking them down in those temperatures, we have to do that every season,” Frei said. “The guys have done it a few times, so it doesn’t take long for them to put the tents up. It works great.”
Skeena Helicamp Shelters under the stars.Another challenge Skeena faced was the misconceptions about fabric buildings and portable shelters. A Skeena Heliskiing excursion comes at a premium price, and well-heeled guests expect a certain level of accommodations.
“We ran into stumbling blocks at the beginning because of peoples’ perception of what ‘outdoor structure,’ ‘tent structure,’ ‘cloth structure’ in the Canadian wilderness (in sub-zero temperatures) looks or feels like,” Frei said.
Once guests started staying in Skeena’s luxurious, insulated glamping shelters, those misconceptions melted away.
“We’re really happy with (our WeatherPorts). Clients really like sleeping in them,” Frei said. “… That’s a winner.”
Of all the daily challenges WeatherPort SQ Series portable shelters must overcome in the Kuldo Valley, heavy snows top the list.
The rugged construction and certified engineering of WeatherPort SQ Series Quonset glamping shelters allows them to safely withstand heavy snow loads at Skeena Heliskiing’s Kuldo Valley basecamp.
“The tents shed well. They hold snow really well,” Frei said. “They can be totally buried and still work awesome. There is absolutely no problem with snow loads.”
And best of all, at least from an environmental impact point of view, is that WeatherPort Shelter Systems can be quickly installed and securely anchored on any level surface with minimal site preparation and no foundations required.
“That was our thing — leave no trace,” Frei said. “… That was our concept from the get-go, to provide a low environmental footprint. That’s why we thought the takedown option was the best.”
When asked if he believed he’d gotten good value from his WeatherPort shelters and shower systems, Frei was quick to respond.
“One hundred percent,” he said. “I did my research. The only other competition was a company in Canada. They came in, maybe, $1,000 cheaper than you, but they were terrible to deal with, and the quality of the product was not near (WeatherPort’s) standards.”