Access & Resources
THERE'S THE ONLY ICE I know that you can ruin with a fine scotch, Craig Murray proclaims, pointing to our landing spot, a glacier-crowned peak rising from a fjord. Moments later, sudden fog foils our attempt to set down and dine al fresco at 6,200 feet. Instead, the helicopter lands at remote Avalanche Lake, cupped between two parallel granite massifs. Soon after, my fly is the first of the season to break the lake's surface.
So it is at Nimmo Bay Resort, owned by Murray, where heli-hedonism is the rule of each thousand-dollar day. Tucked into a thickly wooded inlet on the British Columbia mainland 200 miles northwest of Vancouver, Nimmo Bay regularly hosts the likes of Boeing's chairman and other gentry. You'll see why when you arrive, stepping from one of six private helicopters to a cluster of nine cedar-wood chalets, tidal boardwalks, and a floating lodge.
Sure, the price tag's stratospheric, but you've got pilots on call, and your every need is covered. Guests come for the unparalleled heli-fishing: catch-and-release for salmon, steelhead, trout, and char. But the chopper can also drop you near Mount Waddington for a hike, at one of three cave systems on northern Vancouver Island for spelunking, and at the Klinaklini River for rafting. Or just slip into the bay by your cabin to kayak.
Nimmo Bay is more like your rich uncle's private retreat than like the Four Seasons. The food is splendid (be sure to try the maki sushi), and the service is meticulous but never stuffy. And although it wasn't glacier-chilled, I did get my 25-year-old Macallan.