VHS BLOG

Espace Killy Backcountry Report 8th January 2016

The past week has given the Espace Killy over a metre of snow which has given some fantastic powder all over the mountain. There is also another metre or more of snow in the week long forecast which is going to continue give us fresh tracks all week!

All this fresh snow has created an extremely dangerous snowpack, as the fresh snow has sat on a weak layer of snow with a buried surface hoar hiding within the North facing slopes and a melt-freeze layer buried beneath all the fresh snow within the South facing slopes.

This extremely dangerous snowpack has sadly already taken the lives of two skiers in the Espace Killy, both of them were skiing in Val d’Isere. These two skiers could not resist the temptation of skiing untracked snow so soon after a big dump of snow, they were sadly not wearing the recommended equipment of a Transceiver, Shovel and Probe whilst travelling off-piste.

 

Super S Trees Val Disere 2

Please make sure you are adequately equipped what travelling off-piste and most importantly, have the knowledge of how to use this equipment effectively and select the terrain you’re descending based on the current avalanche danger rating – which will stay high for the rest of the week.

The Espace Killy off-piste has given some fantastic thigh deep snow after the recent storms. I have been sticking to many of the tree runs around La Dialle, Fornet and ‘Super S’ which all have an more than adequate snow base to run these lines.

Temperatures increased quite suddenly yesterday whilst in the Fornet trees which let to very water saturated snow underfoot, this snow was extremely heavy and slow to move on. However, there doesn’t look to be another spike in the forecast so that looks to be the worst of it over!

 

DSC_5331

If you do not know where to travel to find the best and safest snow, then please consider hiring a local guide or instructor who will have the knowledge and experience to select the best routes to descend based on your ability and the current snow conditions.
The pistes around the Espace Killy have been set up absolutely perfectly in the morning with the early risers sampling some freshly groomed soft snow. Later in the day, the pistes are becoming quite bumped out with all the soft snow being thrown about, get down into the lower pistes such as Les Boisses, Les Breviere & La Dialle where the trees will give you a little more contrast in this flat light and allow you to see the bumps.
The forecast
 for the rest of the week looks to be much of the same, with fresh snow falling Friday, Saturday and Sunday so expect flat light and lots more fresh. The avalanche warning will remain high (4/5) with the addition of more fresh snow on the weak layer below. Please be patient in the morning whilst waiting for the Pisteurs to blast the dangerous slopes before getting the lifts open.

 

Heli Photo from window

Heliskiing conditions have taken a sharp turn for the better with all this fresh snow, book onto a Heliski trip departing from Tignes this week with Val Heliski and enjoy the peace of mind whilst our guides select the best slopes for your group based on the current avalanche forecast.


Espace Killy Backcountry Report 4th January 2016

The New Year began with some fine, dry and settled conditions but the weather pattern swiftly changed from the 2nd January onwards which has led to the Espace Killy (the whole Alps for that matter) gaining some much needed snow!

Val Heliski Jordan 4th Jan

Over 60cm has already fallen through the period 2nd January – 4th January and there’s heaps more in the forecast for the week and the long term forecast.

The pistes in Tignes have obviously been topped up very nicely from the recent snowfall, with all the pistes that had been hit hard by the recent mild weather and were previously showing rocks have now been groomed to perfection ready for the morning sliding.

Please be aware that with all th
is new snow that has fallen onto a weak layer below, the Tignes Ski Patrol team need to spend more time in the morning to get the runs safe enough to be able to run many of the lifts, please expect large queues in the morning with only a couple lifts running whilst the Ski Patrol team are blasting the steep slopes to make it safe to open the resort.

Also, many pistes that were previously open before the big snowfall are now closed, for example, the pistes that allow you to ski from Tignes to Val d’Isere were shut due to avalanche control that was taking place around them.

Off-piste runs have also been topped up very nicely with the recent dump of snow. However, extreme care must be taken when heading off-piste due to the large volumes of snow sitting on a layer of weak snow that it will not bond well with at all.
Niall Chardonnet

The current avalanche conditions are category 4 (High) on all elevations and all aspects so please bear this in mind when heading off piste and carry the minimum requirement when travelling off piste – a Transceiver, Shovel and Probe which the knowledge and partners with the knowledge to rescue a potential victim of an avalanche.

It is highly recommended to hire a guide if you would like to head off piste in these conditions as they will know the best slopes that they can take you on to keep your party safe in this extremely weak snowpack.

The roads up to Tignes have been an absolute nightmare, with fresh snow looking to be falling all week please make sure that your car is equipped with winter tyres and snow chains in the boot, there have been many cars getting stuck on the road up to Tignes over the weekend!

The weather forecast for the week ahead is showing another approximately 100cm in the forecast with the potential for that number to be even higher. This is obviously going to be fantastic for the resort conditions, covering many of the rocks that had not been previously covered by the recent snowfall.

Heliskiing is very much open at Val Heliski with many of our drop zones holding some fantastic powder, there hasn’t been a better time to escape the crowds and jump onto a heliskiing trip departing from Tignes to find untouched powder!


Espace Killy Backcountry Report 27th December 2015

Christmas week has seen another week of calm and clear conditions with no extra snowfall to top up the pistes that have survived surprisingly well with the recent mild conditions – the Espace Killy looks to be fairing much better than many of the lower elevation European resorts.

DSC_4847

Snow conditions on the pistes have been firm for the whole week, with temperatures recently dropping, which has led to some excellent fresh groomers being set up in the morning but has sadly led to the soft stuff being scraped away by the end of the day. But with pistes running down to both Les Breviere and Les

DSC_4867 Boisses, you’re still able to escape the holiday season crowds and find some quiet(er) pistes!

The weather for the start of the week through to midweek looks to continue with the clear and calm theme. However, from the 31st December there looks to (finally!) be a change in the weather pattern which is going to bring some fairly significant snowfall for the rest of the week which should top up both the on and off-piste conditions very nicely.

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Please be aware that all the fresh snow that is forecast to fall in the middle of the week is not going to be falling onto a stable layer beneath it – it will not bond well with the current snowpack and will therefore create a potentially dangerous slab that is waiting for a skier or snowboarder to wander onto it and force it down the slope.

The current avalanche danger for the beginning of the week remains at category 1, but expect this to rise significantly with the new snowfall. The current biggest hazard within the snowpack is the abundance of rocks lurking at the surface of just below the surface of the snowpack, keep an eye out for these rocks when heading off-piste.

Again, my top tip for this week will be to hire a local guide in order to get the best out of your time in the Espace Killy as a guide will be able to show you all the best spots to find powder within resort and beyond the resort barriers  – there is still powder out there! After the midweek snowfall, a guide will be able to keep you safe with the predicted increase in avalanche danger and find the safest places to ride in accordance to this danger.

With the calm and clear conditions still prevailing until midweek, it’s still a great time to book onto a Heli Scenic Tour with Val Heliski and get some stunning views of Mont Blanc, departing from both Tignes and Val d’Isere altiports!

DSC_4912

Espace Killy Backcountry Report 13th December 2015

After another week of calm, settled conditions and amazing sunshine all day has continued to consolidate the snowpack further. The pistes around the Espace Killy are still in great condition thanks to the snowmaking facilities, however the off-piste conditions have been hit hard by the recent mild conditions with many hazards continuing to poke through the snowpack with the increasingly warm conditions affecting the snowpack.

ChardonnetConditions
Petit Chadonnet Couloir (North Facing)

I have been sticking to many of the north – east facing slopes which are still holding fantastic snow, whilst the southerly facing slopes are being hit hard by high south westerly winds and the recent mild conditions. Chardonnet bowl, Mickey’s Ears and the east facing slopes from the Col de Fresse have given some fantastic off piste riding on un-tracked fresh snow.

Today (Sunday 13th December) saw many new lifts opening in the Espace Killy with the Aguille Pércée section of the hill now being open which opens up the pistes Cyclamen and Corniche, not only this but the whole freeride south face of Aguille Pércée is open to those who are willing to hike for their turns – be aware though, as this is a south facing slope much of the snowpack has now thawed away leaving many rocky sections, think about heading down this face when we get another large snowfall to avoid hitting a rock on the way down.

Skiers are also now able to ski down to La Boisses (great lunch spot) to then get the Boisses lift back up and around to Le Lac, opening up the whole Sache side of the resort – if you’re looking for quiet pistes then head this way, or if you’re an avid off-piste skier, the Vallon De La Sache will give a very rewarding journey all the way down to Le Brevieres. The opening of these lifts also saves you a bus journey all the way back up the valley to Le Lac from both La Boisses (via Boisses gondola) and from Le Brevieres (via Sache gondola).

The start of this week’s weather looks to continue with the settled theme through to Monday and Tuesday, with Tuesday night bringing a little snow over night. The settled theme then looks to continue through the rest of the week with clear and calm conditions expected which will give some fantastic visibility and firm piste riding – keep doing those snow dances!

SouthFacing Conditions
Aguille Pércée Conditions (South Facing)

Avalanche conditions remain at category 1 at both 1500m and 3000m elevations but please keep in mind that at higher elevations (above 2000m), windslab could still be present, particularly within the north – north easterly aspects. As the snowpack continues to consolidate, be aware that rocks will continue to be an ever present danger to off-piste skiers. Snow depths are currently 30m at 1500m and 50m at 3000m.

Heliski operations are starting on the 20th December. With the current off-piste conditions the way they are right now, it’s becoming increasingly more evident that the best way to find fresh snow is to either hire a guide and ski-tour to some of the fresh snow or save all the effort and book onto a heliski trip – we’re always able to find some fantastic conditions in any one of our 32 drop zones!

Chardonnet Conditions
Petit Chadonnet Couloir (North Facing)

Top tip: Head for some of the more sheltered north facing couloirs that have managed to stay out of the sun and have not been stripped by the high winds that we’ve recently had. These couloirs are still holding some cold & dry fresh in them – however you will have to hike slightly to find them as all the couloirs in a close proximity to the lift system are heavily tracked out. If you’re of a suitable ability level, consider hiring a pair of touring skis or a Splitboard and a guide to venture out of the resort slightly to find some of the untracked fresh – it’s still out there, you just have to work for it!


Espace Killy Backcountry Report 9th December 2015

Backcountry Report 1

 

We’ve had another period of calm and settled conditions over the past week with a little snow (5cm) on Friday night which topped things up nicely. I’ve been out doing much less ski-touring over the week and much more lift served side country skiing as the off piste conditions from the lifts have been so great.

If you’re interested in the conditions of the famous Mickey’s Ears couloirs then read on as I’ve had two great runs down them in the past week and conditions on the North / North East facing slopes are still fantastic even after the recent mild temperatures.

On Friday 4th December (the day after my last report was written) I headed up Mickey’s Ears to see how early season conditions were faring after the recent mild temperatures. These are reached by skiing North from the summit of Toviere lift stations (down ‘Cretes’ piste) to then reach a very obvious ridge in front of you when the piste forces you to make a left or right turn.

Backcountry Report 2

The initial walk up the ridge to reach the first couloir is extremely easy with mild temperatures beginning to strip the snow off the S/SW side of Mickey’s ears. After you pass the first couloir, conditions can potentially become quite icy especially so early in the morning when the sun hasn’t had a chance to soften the snow of the S/SW face. I would recommend for snowboarders in soft boots and skiers with plastic alpine soles to purchase a pair of Cat Tracks to improve safety and security when traversing the ridge to reach the skiers left couloirs (beyond the large pinnacle where the radio antennas used to sit). Otherwise, there is currently large steps kicked out in the snow making a fairly straight forward traverse of the face.

Once the large pinnacle has been traversed, you can take a left or right boot-pack to reach the same couloir (both offer similar entrances to each other) with the left hand entrance being the more popular choice between riders and so this option is slightly more tracked out that the right hand entrance.

Both left and right entrances have an extremely easy slide in with a short steep section to negotiate  which then leads to the excellent, wide and open bowl allowing you to open out your turns and let your skis/board rip back down to the bowl of the face – there’s some great wall to wall snow coverage in the wide couloir. Once you’re lower down and out of the couloir, be aware of rocks (as usual this early in the season) that are beginning to poke through the snowpack.

Backcountry Report 3

Getting back to the lifts is straightforward, I’ve been heading skiers right out of the bowl following the now tracked out traverse to join the pistes that head down to La Daille – just make sure you keep an eye out for a bridge that crosses a gorge on your right to cross over to access the piste. Alternatively, you can ignore the bridge and piste and keep the gorge on your right hand side to follow The Hidden Valley down through the trees which will then lead to the Daille bubble lift, this descent is now seeing an extremely low snowpack though so be aware for any dangers lurking under the snow if your choose this route.

Backcountry Report 4

Saturday 5th and Monday 7th December, saw me mainly skiing the pistes which have great coverage thanks to the snow cannons and even better grooming with more and more pistes and lifts opening each week. There’s also some great off-piste accessed minutes away from the pistes if you’re not looking to hike as far as the Mickey’s Ears descents and with such quiet slopes, many of these runs are not getting tracked out at all, all you have to do is hike 1-3 minutes off the piste to reach them.

A particular favourite of mine is the face on your right as you are heading up Borsat chair, ski down to the Col de Fresse and hike the ridge for 1 – 5 minutes to drop into any of the lines on your right hand side which all have great coverage on their North to Easterly aspect.

Backcountry Report 6

Tuesday 8th December saw me heading back up to Mickey’s Ears with some friends who hadn’t skied any of the couloirs this season. Conditions on the ridge were similar to the 4th December with a little more of the scree showing through the snowpack. We were keen to head down the first couloir that you reach after following the ridge, with a wide open entrance that quickly narrows and steepens into a nice wee chute. Please be aware that before you head down a couloir this early in the season that you have had a look up it or climbed up it prior to dropping in – we foolishly hadn’t done this prior to dropping in.

Thus, after I dropped into the couloir I soon realised that it wasn’t actually complete as I got around halfway down towards the steep and narrow chute – please make sure you know what you are skiing this early in the season as not all the lines are complete and require another big dump to bring them fully into condition. After I hiked back out of the couloir, we headed for the safe option of the couloir I skied on the 4th December to give a much more straightforward ski compared to the one I’d just attempted.

Backcountry Report 5

There looks to be another week of fine a dry conditions with a smattering of snow here and there, it’s currently very overcast in resort with a centimetre or two forecast to fall toady (Wednesday 9th December). Following this, the sun is set to return for the end of the week to give some more settled days. All this settled weather has continued to consolidate the snowpack, even on higher elevations – the current avalanche warning is Category 1 (low) both down in Le Lac and Le Grand Motte, but as ever please be aware that there are still localised patches of windslab particularly on N / NE facing slopes and with the shallow snowpack, hazards such as rocks are starting to poke through.


Espace Killy Backcountry Report 2nd December 2015

Backcountry Report 02:12 5

Since the week’s worth of snowfall on the 20th November, we have been given some epic on and off piste skiing conditions.

The Val Heliski crew have been out ski touring in the L’Aguille Du Pércée, Aguille Du Chardonnet and Toviere regions of the hill before the resort opened which had given some fantastic conditions for those that were willing to work for their turns, before the lifts began running on the 28th November.

On the 30th November I headed up to L’Aguille Du Pércée and skied the south / south-westerly face from the summit of L’Aguille. Due to the aspect of this face, there are some rocks starting to poke back through the snowpack at the top section of the face where the snow is melted from the recent mild weather.

AguillePercee5

However, once in the bowl itself and down from the top 50 metres, the snow is still in brilliant condition, giving us some excellent turns so early in the season – this was a great introduction into the Tignes off-piste for the season!

There is still an easy traverse back to either the Aguille Rouge or Marias chairlifts from the summit of L’Aguille, just cut back skiers left once you reach the bottom of the bowl and a little rock hopping will lead you to the pistes back to the chair.

AguillePercee1

Since the lifts have started running, I’ve been lapping some of the classic Tignes / Val d’Isere off piste runs including the Chardonnet Couloir and Little Chardonnet Couloir (on the 2nd December) which gave some absolutely fantastic cold powder on the northernly aspect which has been kept out of the sun for most of the day.

Backcountry Report 02:12 4

The Chardonnet Couloir currently has an extremely easy entrance which allows for a simple slide in with some amazing fresh all the way down the couloir, although this might change over the next few days. As we came round to do our second lap in the Chardonnet bowl the snow was becoming slightly tracked out and heavy as the sun came round onto the face and more people were lapping it.

I also got a sneaky lap down towards La Daille in Val d’Isere by skiing from the Toviere bubble down ‘Familiale’ which has excellent snow coverage and then down ‘The Hidden Valley’ which has seen a lot of snow melt due to the recent mild conditions with rocks, branches and tree roots becoming a common sight from around 2000m. It is still offering a fantastic ski all the way back down to the La Daille bubble lift with a little hop over a stream at the bottom – early season conditions are looking great!

Backcountry Report 02:12 7

Heliski operations at Val Heliski are beginning from the 6th December due to the great early conditions we are experiencing. If you’re interested in Heliskiing departing the Espace Killy region then send us a message from the above website to secure your seat.

After a massive dump of snow on the 20th November, the snowpack has slowly begun to settle and consolidate after a period of settled weather following the dump. However, recent high winds have led to a build up of windslab, particularly on north to east aspects, where you will notice much firmer feeling snow and will look like much more of a ‘flat’ white. After a period of warmer temperatures and no significant recent snowfall, there are some hazards within the snowpack – watch out for rocks that are still not fully covered.

The avalanche danger was reduced from category 3 to category 2 on 1st December but you still need to be aware of the possible dangers lurking in the snowpack. We are going to see more settlement and consolidation of the snowpack (due to fine and dry conditions in the forecast) particularly on lower elevations, but it’s also worth remembering that we may see some persistently weak layers lingering due to the lower temperatures higher up.


Winter Sports Insurance Choice

When you’re taking part in any of our backcountry experiences, it’s mandatory that you have adequate winter sports insurance that covers Heliskiing and Off-piste skiing with a mountain guide.

Being the backcountry specialists, we have heaps of experience in choosing the correct insurance for both our clients and our own backcountry ski or snowboard experiences.

Here’s a list of providers that we use;

http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk – The Ski Club of Great Britain offer fantastic insurance at competitive rates, it’s important to purchase ‘Activity Pack 1’ to cover you for all of our activities.

http://www.assurance-multi-sports.com – Impact Multi Sports is a French based company that offer extremely competitive rates, make sure that you go for the cover that includes Italy.

 


Five Day Total Heliski Programme

BOOK NOW

 

ABILITY: 4-5

FITNESS:4-5

DISCIPLINE:Skier silhouette Basic RGB

PACKAGE DATES: 20th December – 5th May

PRICE: 

  • Shared helicopter (group booking of 3 persons) – £3,075 (€3,690) per person
  • Shared helicopter (group booking of 3 persons) with 6 nights accommodation at a 3* hotel plus return airport minibus transfers – £3,910 (€4,690) per person
  • Private helicopter (group booking of 4/5 persons) – £2,450 (€2,995) per person
  • Private helicopter (group booking of 4/5 persons) with 6 nights accommodation at a 3* total plus return airport minibus transfers – £3,290 (€3,945) per person

COURSE OVERVIEW:

Designed for skiers / snowboarders comfortable on red run gradient off-piste (minimum) your five day classic heliskiing experience begins with a heliski preparation day followed by 8 heli-drops over the next 4 days. Skiing / snowboarding a total of between 10,000 and 18,000 vertical metres; you’ll cover a massive expanse of terrain and will give yourself the best chance to experience a variety of snow conditions.

What if there’s bad weather? No problem. Val Heliski are unique in the fact we have 3 different heliski areas; each with multiple drop zones (See them here). Our vast array of options means we’re totally flexible in the event of poor weather in one area as we can simply go to another.

In the unlikely event that there’s poor weather in all of the heliskiing areas; we’ve got you covered – We provide a large diversity of backcountry products, other than heliskiing, including: Reverse Heliskiing in France, Non-heli backcountry experiences and guided off-piste around the 7 ski resorts on our doorstep – not to mention the mass of restaurants, nightlife, ápres ski and daytime activities available to us. Therefore we will always be able to find the best snow conditions and never leave you short of activities, even in bad weather.

We start off with a heliski preparation day – a private session catering for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels – on and off-piste with an instructor. From guiding to technique to avalanche training. A great way to explore the hidden gems of your home resort with the security and confidence that a professional brings. This enables our team to assess your ability level and give feed back in preparation for making the most of the terrain from step one during your heli package.

After your prep day you’ll spend five of the best weather days of your ski holiday heliskiing with Val Heliski. The 8 descents will allow us to travel deep into the Italian backcountry to get away from ski lifts, noise, people and get a true out-of-resort feeling. Each heli-drop descent takes between one-to-two hours of ski / snowboard time (around 1500-2000 vertical meters of descent). A local Italian UIAGM mountain guide will accompany you throughout the descents as well as train you to use the safety equipment we provide.

Four days of minibus transfers from resort to the Italian heliski base are included in the price. Extra descents are available at £190 (€225) per person per descent and if the group cannot complete all the descent due to adverse weather conditions we will refund at a rate of £190 (€225) per person, per descent missed. Heliski descents could be in either: Courmayeur, Valgrisenche or the Col Du Petit St Bernard – depending on time of year; snow conditions and groups preferences.

We can help find you accommodation, on your request to fully integrate your experience with us.

SAMPLE ITINERARY:

DAY 1: 

You have our guide to yourself and can choose from our wide range of off-piste activities; either Reverse HeliskiingMultiple Resort Reverse Heliskiing, The Tarentaise Tour with heli pick-up or a Heli Preparation Day in your local resort with a VHS guide or instructor for warm up, off piste pointers, equipment training and a great day exploring the off piste. We suggest this day should be used for more heli-drops (at a rate of £190 (€225) per person per drop). The beauty of our location and huge choice of off-piste activities means we can suit all weather and group preferences.

DAY 2-5: 

Your UIAGM mountain guide will accompany you on these further 4 days and 8 heli drops, where we will endeavour to show you our three different heliski areas as each has their own special terrain and makes for a totally unique day. A heliskiing day typically begins around 7-7:45am with a (return) minibus transfer going to La Rosiere, followed by a warm-up ski over to the Italian heliski base. From there we access the Italian drop-zones. Most of our fit customers do around 3 drops per day – our record is 6 in one day – additional drops can be purchased to extend your time on the snow.

return minibus transfers from your resort are included for these days or you could upgrade to helicopter-transfers on request. Heli transfers significantly reduce travel time, maximising your time on snow and making additional drops an extremely viable option. You’ll also save valuable energy – again beneficial if you’re anticipating doing extra drops.


MEETING POINT:

This Heliskiing package begins from your home resort, where the VHS minibus will meet you.

Package available from the resorts of: Val d’Isere, Tignes, Meribel, Courchevel, Paradiski, Ste Foy, La Rosiere or La Thuile.

5 days use of the VHS minibuses when required.

If you upgrade to helicopter transfers; they’ll depart from either Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere and take you to one of our Italian heliski bases.

COURSE INCLUDES:

What's Included:
Transceiver; shovel and probe
Transceiver training
5 days use of VHS minibuses when required
Eight heli-drops
UIAGM mountain guide for five days
6 nights 3*  accommodation local to the heliskiing in the Tarentaise Valley plus one return VHS minibus airport transfer from either Grenoble; Chambery; Geneva; Lyon (on the applicable packages)
Use of our radio communications for safety and instruction

Not included: Food/drink, lift pass(es) (including Carte Neige backcountry rescue to hospital), adequate travel insurance

Optional Extras:

Extra Price
Use of Salomon/Liberty VHS powder skis £21 (€25) pp/day
ABS pack £24 (€29) pp
Edited GoPro footage of your day £33 (€39) pp
Packed lunch £29 (€35) pp
Heli out of remote location at end of day £82 (€99) pp
Additional drop £187.50 (€225) pp
60 minute warm-down sports massage £60 (€72)
VHS hoodie £65 (€75)
VHS Hagloffs fleece £90 (€105)
VHS Hagloffs couloir 3 Jacket £410 (€490)

SWEEPER SERVICE:
According to best practice backcountry skiing / snowboarding we offer the use of sweeper on your backcountry day. A sweeper is employed to follow the group while the guide/instructor leads from the front. A sweeper is there to ensure the safety of everyone in the group thereby improving the group’s overall confidence and security. Price: £50 (€60) pp based on a private group of 4.

Sweeper Service Price
Val Heliski Sweeper Service (Private heli trips only) £200 (€240) per day

POLICY:

– Prices are based on a full helicopter of 4/5 seats.

– Payment is to be made in full to confirm the booking.

– We require you to leave all ski holiday days available to heli. We will contact you by SMS in resort to confirm your weather window.

– In accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and unless we have already provided the services we have contracted with you to provide or your booking is made in resort, you have the right to cancel your booking at any time up to the end of the 7th working day after the booking is accepted by us. You may do this by writing to us at the above address and you will receive a full refund of any monies paid. If you want to cancel your booking otherwise than as set out above please inform us as soon as possible. You will forfeit your deposit but please note that places on a trip can be transferred to someone else subject to any such replacement agreeing to these Conditions.

– In the event a guide directs the group to a route with better conditions (subject to availability), additional costs may be incurred depending on helicopter pick-up location.

– We reserve the right to exchange any of our products of a similar price or less in the event of adverse weather or snow conditions.

– If an alternative product, of a similar price or less, cannot be offered due to adverse weather or snow conditions, then a refund on the helicopter element(s) of the package missed will be given at the rate of £190 (€225) per drop missed.

– If a helicopter cannot fly due to adverse weather we reserve the right to use the guide/instructor for the time they have been booked.

– Adequate travel insurance is required for all VHS packages and is the responsibility of the participant to purchase and provide proof to a VHS staff member on the day of their activity. We recommend purchasing a Carte Neige for the full duration of your lift pass and can advise further, on request..

Got a Question?

Val Heli Ski Terms and Conditions

Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP, Partnership no’s OC358489 / OC358496
Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP – numéro d’immatriculation: 801 050 659 R.C.S CHAMBERY / 800 898 074 R.C.S. CHAMBERY
Contact: +4401329339621, info@valheliski.com
Head office: Shirral House, Church Road, Shedfield, Hampshire, SO32 2HY, UK

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Three Day Heliski Classic Programme

BOOK NOW

 

ABILITY: 4-5

FITNESS:4-5

DISCIPLINE:Skier silhouette Basic RGB

PACKAGE DATES: 20th December – 5th May

PRICE:

  • Private helicopter (group booking of 4 persons) – £1,000 (€1,199) per person
  • Private helicopter (group booking of 4 persons) including 3 nights in 3* accommodation local to the activities and return minibus airport transfers for the group – £1,415 (€1,699) per person

COURSE OVERVIEW: 

For skiers / snowboarders comfortable on red run gradient off piste (minimum). Spend three of the best weather days of your ski holiday trying a complete range of our best products tailored to suit a variety of snow conditions and weather patterns both in Italy and France. The package includes a UIAGM mountain guide or instructor (for the non heliskiing parts) for 3 days, PLUS the choice of  either (a) a full day reverse Heliski departing the Espace Killy, (b) a one or two resort full day reverse Heliski or (c) a full day Tarentaise Tour with heli pick up PLUS a days heliskiing including 2 Heliski drops (each drop lasts between 1 to 2 hours of ski or board time / between 1200 and 2500 vertical meters per descent) PLUS all your minibus requirements during the 3 days.  Extra drops can be bought on the day depending on group preferences and snow conditions at a rate of £190 (€225) per person per drop.

What if there’s bad weather? No problem. Val Heliski are unique in the fact we have 3 different heliski areas; each with multiple drop zones (See them here). Our vast array of options means we’re totally flexible in the event of poor weather in one area as we can simply go to another.

A local Italian UIAGM mountain guide will accompany you throughout the descents as well as train you to use the safety equipment we provide. Return minibus transfers from your chalet to an Italian heliski base are included in the price. However you can upgrade to heli-transfers on request and extra descents are available at £190 (€225) per person per descent. If the group cannot complete all the descents due to adverse weather conditions we will refund at a rate of £190 (€225) per person, per descent missed. Heliski descents could be in either: Courmayeur, Valgrisenche or the Col du Petit St Bernard – depending on time of year; snow conditions and groups preferences.

We can also help find you accommodation, on your request, to fully integrate your experience with us.

SAMPLE ITINERARY:

DAY 1 

You have our guide to yourself and can choose from our wide range of off-piste activities; either a day off piste guiding around your local resort or a Heli Preparation Day in your local resort with a VHS guide or instructor for warm up, off piste pointers, equipment training and a great day exploring the off piste. You could also make this an extra Heliski day using our day rate package prices.  The beauty of our location and huge choice of off-piste activities means we can suit all weather and group preferences.

DAY 2

Your group has the choice out of the following 3 packages to be chosen based on ability level, skiers or snowboarders, snow conditions and your guides suggestions:

(1).  Full day reverse Heliski departing the Espace Killy: or

(2). Multi-Resort Reverse Heliskiing – one or two resorts ( more resorts can be added on the day if you request) ; or

(3). Tarentaise Tour with heli pick up

DAY 3

Your package includes 2 Heliski drops and we will endeavour to show you the best snow conditions and most suitable terrain for the group out of our three different heliski areas available to us as each has their own special terrain and makes for a totally unique day. A heliskiing day typically begins around 7-7:45am with a (return) minibus transfer going to La Rosiere, followed by a warm-up ski over to the Italian heliski base. From there we access the Italian drop-zones. Most of our fit customers do around 3 drops per day – our record is 6 in one day – additional drops can be purchased to extend your time on the snow. You can also upgrade to heli-transfers to the Italian heliski base; significantly reducing travel time, maximising your time on snow and making additional drops an extremely viable option. You’ll also save valuable energy – again beneficial if you’re anticipating doing extra drops, or if you feel as though your ability level may be slightly lacking.



MEETING POINT:

This Heliskiing package begins from your home resort, where the VHS minibus will meet you at your chalet.

Package available from the resorts of: Val d’Isere, Tignes, Meribel, Courchevel, Paradiski, Ste Foy, La Rosiere or La Thuile.

If you upgrade to helicopter transfers; they’ll depart from either Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere and take you to / from one of our Italian heliski bases.

COURSE INCLUDES:

What's Included:
3 days with a UIAGM mountain guide / instructor for a Heliski Preparation Day (additional activities or Heliski can be added to this day)
Transceiver; shovel and probe
Transceiver training
All your return minibus requirements during your stay
Two heli-drops
A day doing one of the following: (1). Full day reverse heliskiing from the Espace Killy: or (2). Multi resort reverse heliskiing – one or two resorts ( more resorts can be added on the day if you request) ; or (3). Tarentaise Tour with a Heli Pick Up
3 nights accommodation in a 3* hotel local to the activities plus one return airport minibus for the group (on the applicable package)
Use of our radio communications for safety and instruction

Not included: Food/drink, lift pass(es) (including Carte Neige backcountry rescue to hospital), adequate travel insurance

Optional Extras:

Extra Price
Use of Salomon/Liberty VHS powder skis £21 (€25) pp/day
ABS pack £24 (€29) pp
Edited GoPro footage of your day £33 (€39) pp
Packed lunch £29 (€35) pp
Heli out of remote location at end of day £82 (€99) pp
Additional drop £187.50 (€225) pp
60 minute warm-down sports massage £60 (€72)
VHS hoodie £65 (€75)
VHS Hagloffs fleece £90 (€105)
VHS Hagloffs couloir 3 Jacket £410 (€490)

SWEEPER SERVICE:
According to best practice backcountry skiing / snowboarding we offer the use of sweeper on your backcountry day. A sweeper is employed to follow the group while the guide/instructor leads from the front. A sweeper is there to ensure the safety of everyone in the group thereby improving the group’s overall confidence and security. Price: £50 (€60) pp based on a private group of 4.

Sweeper Service Price
Val Heliski Sweeper Service (Private heli trips only) £200 (€240) per day
3 days with Val heliski

POLICY:

– Prices are based on a full helicopter of 4 seats.

– Payment is to be made in full to confirm the booking.

– We require you to leave all ski holiday days available to heli. We will contact you by SMS in resort to confirm your weather window.

– In accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and unless we have already provided the services we have contracted with you to provide or your booking is made in resort, you have the right to cancel your booking at any time up to the end of the 7th working day after the booking is accepted by us. You may do this by writing to us at the above address and you will receive a full refund of any monies paid. If you want to cancel your booking otherwise than as set out above please inform us as soon as possible. You will forfeit your deposit but please note that places on a trip can be transferred to someone else subject to any such replacement agreeing to these Conditions.

– In the event a guide directs the group to a route with better conditions (subject to availability), additional costs may be incurred depending on helicopter pick-up location.

– We reserve the right to exchange any of our products of a similar price or less in the event of adverse weather or snow conditions.

– If an alternative product, of a similar price or less, cannot be offered due to adverse weather or snow conditions, then a refund on the helicopter element(s) of the package missed will be given at the rate of £190 (€225) per drop missed.

– If a helicopter cannot fly due to adverse weather we reserve the right to use the guide/instructor for the time they have been booked.

– Adequate travel insurance is required for all VHS packages and is the responsibility of the participant to purchase and provide proof to a VHS staff member on the day of their activity. We recommend purchasing a Carte Neige for the full duration of your lift pass and can advise further, on request..

Got a Question?

Val Heli Ski Terms and Conditions

Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP, Partnership no’s OC358489 / OC358496
Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP – numéro d’immatriculation: 801 050 659 R.C.S CHAMBERY / 800 898 074 R.C.S. CHAMBERY
Contact: +4401329339621, info@valheliski.com
Head office: Shirral House, Church Road, Shedfield, Hampshire, SO32 2HY, UK

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Deluxe Advanced Multi-Drop Heliski/Board Experience

BOOK NOW

 

ABILITY: 5-5

FITNESS:4-5

DISCIPLINE:Skier silhouette Basic RGB

PACKAGE DATES: 20th December – 5th May

PRICE: 

From Tignes Val Claret Altiport or Val d'Isere Altiport Price (per person)
Booking as a 3 persons £1375 (€1649)
Booking as a 4 / 5 persons £1085 (€1299)
From Meribel Altiport or Courchevel 1850 altiport Price (per person)
Booking as 3 persons £1540 (€1846)
Booking as 4 / 5 persons £1205 (€1447)

COURSE OVERVIEW: 

An all-inclusive experience designed for confident off-piste skiers / snowboarders looking for a challenge. Fast paced, advanced terrain often including trees; traverses and couloirs. Helicopter transfers are included to / from Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere and the chosen Italian heliski base.

One benefit of helicopter transfers is the significant reduction in the travel time to the heliskiing locations, maximising your time on snow and making additional drops an extremely viable option (our record is 6 drops in one day!). You’ll also save valuable energy (as with minibus transfers we usher you on a warm-up ski from La Rosiere to the heliskiing location) – again beneficial if you’re anticipating doing extra drops.

Soak in the sights as you fly over snow-dusted peaks to access the start of your heliski day. The three descents that follow take between one-to-two hours of ski / snowboard time each (around 2000 vertical meters of descent) and will take you deep into the Italian backcountry, covering a variety of terrain and snow conditions. A full day with your UIAGM mountain guide and training on the safety equipment we provide are included. Heliski descents could be in either Courmayeur, Valgrisenche or the Col du Petit St Bernard depending on time of year; snow conditions and groups preferences. Extra drops can be purchased in advance or on the day.

Also included is everything you need for a backcountry heliski adventure; ABS packs, use of Salomon / Liberty powder skis, edited GoPro footage of your day, and a Savoyard style Val Heliski packed lunch.

SAMPLE ITINERARY:

9:00 AM: Meet your UIAGM mountain guide at either Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere where you will be given your safety equipment and briefed before stepping into the helicopter. Then you’ll fly straight to one of our Italian heliski bases where you will begin the heliskiing day.

9:30 AM: You’ll begin your three heli-drops, skiing / snowboarding up to 2500 vertical metres per descent. (Refer to “where we operate” map for details of possible descents.)

2:00 – 3:00 PM: You’ll finish your three descents around 2 – 3pm. At this point you can: (a) purchase more drops to extend your heliskiing day. (b) request to go for lunch or eat your Val Heliski packed lunch on the slopes. (c) enjoy an afternoon of off-piste with your mountain guide; if you are in a suitable location with access to ski-lifts. Some of our routes are so far into the backcountry we cannot access lifts – although if you request this option we can organise to get you to a suitable location. Some locations provide lift passes in the package price. Although if you require a lift pass for the afternoon of off-piste we can purchase one for you on your request.

4:00 PM: After your afternoons activity you will take the helicopter back to Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere from an Italian heliski base.



MEETING POINT:

This Heliskiing package begins from either Meribel altiport, Courchevel 1850 altiport, Tignes Val Claret altiport or La Daille altiport in Val d’Isere, where the helicopter will meet you.

Helicopter transfers to / from the above altiports to the Italian heliski base are included in this package.

COURSE INCLUDES:

What's Included:
Transceiver; shovel and probe
Transceiver training
Return helicopter transfers from from the aforementioned altiports to Italian heliski base
Three heli-drops
Full day off-piste with your UIAGM mountain guide
Use of Salomon/Liberty VHS powder skis
ABS pack
Edited GoPro footage of your day
Packed lunch

Not included: airport taxes, lift pass(es) including Carte Neige backcountry rescue to hospital (dependant on the area you’re in), adequate travel insurance

Optional Extras:

Extras Price
Heli out of remote location at end of day £82 (€99) pp
Additional drop £187.50 (€225) pp
60 minute warm-down sports massage £60 (€72)
VHS hoodie £65 (€75)
VHS Hagloffs fleece £90 (€105)
VHS Hagloffs couloir 3 Jacket £410 (€490)
adrenalin feulled high standard

POLICY:

– Payment is to be made in full to confirm the booking.

– We require you to leave all ski holiday days available to heli. We will contact you by SMS in resort to confirm your weather window.

– In accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and unless we have already provided the services we have contracted with you to provide or your booking is made in resort, you have the right to cancel your booking at any time up to the end of the 7th working day after the booking is accepted by us. You may do this by writing to us at the above address and you will receive a full refund of any monies paid. If you want to cancel your booking otherwise than as set out above please inform us as soon as possible. You will forfeit your deposit but please note that places on a trip can be transferred to someone else subject to any such replacement agreeing to these Conditions.

– In the event a guide directs the group to a route with better conditions (subject to availability), additional costs may be incurred depending on helicopter pick-up location.

– We reserve the right to exchange any of our products of a similar price or less in the event of adverse weather or snow conditions.

– If an alternative product, of a similar price or less, cannot be offered due to adverse weather or snow conditions, then a refund on the helicopter element(s) of the package missed will be given at the rate of £190 (€225) per drop missed.

– If a helicopter cannot fly due to adverse weather we reserve the right to use the guide/instructor for the time they have been booked.

– Adequate travel insurance is required for all VHS packages and is the responsibility of the participant to purchase and provide proof to a VHS staff member on the day of their activity. We recommend purchasing a Carte Neige for the full duration of your lift pass and can advise further, on request.

– Any incomplete groups either (1) pay for the empty seats (2) find a complete group before you arrive in resort (3) come to our drinks night in your local resort every Monday 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Got a Question?

Val Heli Ski Terms and Conditions

Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP, Partnership no’s OC358489 / OC358496
Val/Tignes Heli Ski LLP – numéro d’immatriculation: 801 050 659 R.C.S CHAMBERY / 800 898 074 R.C.S. CHAMBERY
Contact: +4401329339621, info@valheliski.com
Head office: Shirral House, Church Road, Shedfield, Hampshire, SO32 2HY, UK

Visa Credit and Debit payments supported by Worldpay    Visa Electron payments supported by Worldpay    Mastercard payments supported by Worldpay    Maestro payments supported by Worldpay JCB payments supported by Worldpay    Worldpay Payments Processing    Worldpay Payments Processing