Jumping 20ft from a helicopter, straight into neck-deep powder then navigating your way down almost vertical slopes until you end up exhausted at the bottom of the mountain.
Sounds like a bit too much?
Yeah, we thought so too.
That’s why we put together this “Beginner’s Guide To Heliskiing”, to introduce you to this amazing sport and dispel any ludicrous claims that seem to surround it. Thanks to James Bond films, the Extreme Sports TV channel and some wonderful imaginations we’ve heard all kinds of rumours that are completely untrue.
Think you’re not good enough? Think you’ll hold up the group? Think you may not be able to hack the off-piste? Read on and I’ll tell you why you’d be just fine.
HELI SKIING MYTHS.
Many people consider heliskiing to be reserved for professionals or the very rich. That’s not the case. Admittedly, it is not cheap at €399. However it’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Being in untouched snow, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and without a lift queue in sight… That’s priceless!
Now here’s what it doesn’t involve:
Having to tackle extreme, steep slopes. – Our guides tailor the routes/speed to suit you, so you’ll never be out of your comfort zone – unless you want to push yourself!
Racing your group to the bottom. – Again, our guides are on hand to tailor the day to YOUR preferences.
Using poor quality hire equipment. – Forget using ancient equipment from local ski hire shops, we offer the most sophisticated safety equipment, training on how to use them and the option of using current equipment from our ski test centre.
Jumping out of a helicopter. – Calm down Mr Bond, there’ll be no jumping out of helicopters here. Instead We’ll set you down on a flat area, where you simply step out of the helicopter.
If you want any more information of what heliskiing includes, have a look at our page http://valheliski.com/why-heliski/
DAY IN THE LIFE
Here’s a typical day-in-the-life of a Val Heliski customer. (Times/activities vary slightly depending on package).
7:30AM: Check into the Val Heliski desk in your resort. (Little earlier if you’re renting equipment).
8.30AM: Val Heliski VW Caravelle minibus will take you to the relevant heli port or La Rosière ski resort where you will meet your heli guide (depending on your package choice).
You’ll then get kitted out with a backpack and necessary klonopin backcountry snow equipment, and you’ll have a heli ski introduction talk with your guide, which includes transceiver training and a safety brief.
There’ll be an assessment of your group’s ability on and off the piste, and if needed – or asked for – some instruction on your technique.
Then you’ll fly out to your designated drop zone, you’ll step out of the heli after which it will take off and your group will suddenly find itself at the top of a stunning, remote mountain!
The only thing left to do is to ski or snowboard down it, following your guide as they show you the best lines and untracked snow. Each run takes between an hour and a half and two hours and there’s plenty of opportunity to
AFTERNOON: Depending on your route (which you’ll discuss with your guide), you’ll either ski or snowboard to a pick up point, where the helicopter will pick you up and then it’ll bring you back to France to either our Yurt – where you can enjoy a selection of locally-produced dishes – or our private helipad or your resort heliport. Alternatively, for some routes it’s possible for your guide to get you back to France on skis or a snowboard, and they’ll radio ahead so we can come and collect you from a designated pick up area. This often works well in deepest winter when the snow allows us to ski and snowboard way down to the valley floor.
At this point you’ll have the option of having a late lunch at one of Val Heliski’s recommended restaurants, or at our Wilderness Yurt.
There’s also the option of freeskiing at La Rosiere resort if your guide’s chosen route ends up there, and if you have any time left in the day (the lifts close at 4pm December and January, 4:30pm February, and 5pm March and April).
4.30PM – 6PM: Après ski party – The Val HeliSki VW Caravelle minibus will take you back to our favourite après ski bar to watch video footage of your day on the big screen. It’s the perfect chance to invite friends and family!
6PM – LATE: RELAX! Find your own way to put an end to one of the best days of your life!