Heli Skiing - an Introduction
What is Heli Skiing
Heli skiing is off-trail, downhill skiing that is reached by a helicopter, not a ski lift. Heli skiing can be a great opportunity for most skiers, but read on for more information about Heli skiing and how to choose a Heli Skiing experience that will be safe and enjoyable.
The birth of Heli-Skiing
In April 1965, Hans Gmoser was intrigued by an idea that, although fanciful, seemed practical - an idea that had never been tried by any resort in the world. Hans began using helicopters to transport enthusiastic skiers high into the thin air of the otherwise-inaccessible Bugaboo Mountains in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Heli skiing, as it became known, was born and became an instant success.
Is Heli Skiing for You?
Heli skiing isn't for everyone, so before you plan your trip, it's best to see if a Heli skiing tour is something that will be safe and fun for you. So, is Heli skiing for you? Ask yourself the following questions.
1. Are you a good enough skier or snowboarder?
Heli skiing isn't for first timers. You should be both capable and experienced in handling a mixture of conditions, whether they are on one plank or two.
- You should have considerable skiing experience in a conventional resort setting.
- Your run choices are predominantly blue/ black and you ski them with confidence in almost any conditions (flat light with dust on crust to give an extreme example!).
- Your skiing ability has improved year after year and you are capable of multi-day ski trips.
- You may not have the style of a paid skier, but you have the confidence to keep up with friends and you know when you are making some 'good turns'.
- You can make parallel turns with confidence and if the situation arises, you can; side-slip, step-up sideways, traverse and make kick turns.
- In the process of becoming a better skier, you have made the transition from novice level equipment to high performance gear and can also spot the difference.
- You may not have tons of powder skiing experience but you can maintain control in backcountry conditions.
2. Are you fit enough?
Skiing and riding powder all day is super fun but it is physically demanding. You need to be of a good level of fitness to get the most from your heli skiing experience.
3. Can you accept that there are risks involved?
Safety is always the number one priority for Heli skiing oeprators. However, it's necessary to realize that when you take on mother nature and her mountains, anything can happen. All heli skiing operations will require you to sign a comprehensive waiver of liability before you can go skiing.
Find out more
This information has been kindly provided by Pantheon Heli Skiing, operators located near Whistler in British Columbia, Canada.