Our operations include terrain suitable for advanced to expert skiers. Skiers are generally grouped according to ability, if possible, in order to optimize the enjoyment for everyone. Groups consist of four clients and one guide, the maximum number of groups during a heli day is generally 4 (16 guests) but we typically only send out 3 groups.
Anyone going heli-skiing should be of an advanced to expert skiing ability, able to make good parallel turns in all conditions, trees and deep pow. With the advancement of powder and fat skis, powder skiing experience is not completely necessary. Powder skis can easily be arranged right in our shop, and are always encouraged.
Would you prefer to have a private day without the added pressure of others in your group? We fly the modern AS-350B3e A-Star helicopter, which seats 4 skiers and your guide. It is strongly encouraged for groups to come in groups of 4,. The advantage is, you get to set the pace and your guide will be able to customize the day to better suit your needs.
1.) You have extensive skiing experience for a number of recent seasons at conventional, big mountain resorts.
2.) You choose black runs in all snow and weather conditions without hesitation.
3.) You’re keen enough about the sport to have made multi-day ski trips, and you’re fit enough to ski a number of consecutive days. Fitness is often more important and can make up for lack of experience.
4.) You can keep up with most skiers, even if you don’t have the style of someone with more experience.
5.) When the situation warrants you can, with your skis on: side-slip, step uphill sideways, traverse, and make kick turns (changing your direction while standing in one spot). You may never have skied powder, but you have ventured off the groomed slopes and can stay well in control in backcountry conditions.
6.) You are now skiing on high performance gear and notice the difference. Powder skis are essential for heli-skiing and will maximize your enjoyment of the sport. It’s the right tool for the job. If you need to rent skis, we have a full line of Armada Skis which are available in our shop to rent.
Super Important to come correct with gear that’s not going to breakdown or break out in the field… using new gear is usually not such a good idea on a heli trip. The last thing you want is to tell the guide you have to sit this run out because your new boots are cramping up your feet or the blister on the back of your foot has just exploded! On the flip side, your gear shouldn’t be so old that it could break at any moment. Equipment failure is not only a bummer, it could be unsafe and definitely be a day ender!
There are many options out there for the powder enthusiast from super long powder guns to the super short “fish” style boards that use width and taper instead of length to achieve great flotation. Most people that don’t have the chance to ride powder that much often prefer a fish over a longboard because they are easier to maneuver, lighter and more versatile(especially in tight trees). In fact, more and more people that ride powder everyday are riding shorter, tapered boards that come in much smaller lengths, typically 10CM shorter than your average all mountain board.
Use your regular boots…. Its that simple. Your boots don’t have to be terribly stiff yet you don’t want something too soft either. Just make sure you have spent a few days in the boots to break them in BEFORE you get in the heli with them! Step-ins work but are not suggested and tend to create more problems than they are worth i.e. powder clogging up the system making for frustrating moments when its time to ride and you can’t get your boot to stay in!
As stated above, No step-ins. There is too much clog potential. Plate bindings means hard plastic and that’s just too much boot for ripping powder. Standard freestyle or freeride bindings will do just fine. If you have some spare parts like ratchets, ladders, straps, and such bring them with you.
Waterproof, breathable, gore tex or similar for the best results. Layering is Key. At first you might be cold to start, getting warmer with each run and finishing off with a chill because your were sweating! Bring extra base layers and even an extra puffy coat for lunchtime! Layering helps prepare you to deal with the changing climate both inside and outside your clothing. Warm, waterproof gloves are a must. Bring buff or buy one at our shop! The blowing snow from the heli can certainly add a little bite if you don’t have something to protect your face from it. Speaking of protecting, helmets are not a bad idea as well! Bring two pair of goggles… one is surely going to get caked with snow and fog up on you and extra lenses for both if you have them.
This should not be your first time riding powder and you should be able to ski/ride all blacks and tree runs at your home mountain. Make sure you can start, stop and control speed W!ITHOUT sideslipping… in other words, turn! While sideslipping is a great tool, there is no quicker way to lose the respect of all your powder craving friends by sideslipping it all away. Don’t be that guy! Spend some time in the trees (with deep snow if at all possible) getting comfortable with your timing and control.
First time heli-boarding? Here are a few suggestions for you to follow to make sure your trip is as rad as possible…