When blinding sun strikes alpine snow in British Columbia backcountry, the enthusiasts strapping on high-end ski goggles will describe the mood as transcendent.
Until, of course, they chopper up to the very top, where the euphoria kicks up yet another notch.
"I liken it to the sensation of flying,'' said Tom Jackson, who's been heli-skiing for the past 15 years.
"On the way up, you're in a helicopter which moves 3-D, which in itself is pretty cool. On the way down, you have the sensation of floating through the powder and the sensation of weightlessness that's hard to get-except in your dreams.''
At thousands of feet in elevation, it becomes the mountain guide's job not to let that elation get to people's heads. Because missteps frequently have lead to deadly avalanches.
Three people have died in avalanches so far this winter season, including a heli-skier near Revelstoke, in southeastern B.C., who was the second person killed in the outdoors over two days last week.
Thrill-seekers will pay $1,000 to $1,500 per day in Canada for the insatiable rush of carving up uncharted territory, while taking in sensational views.