Heli-skiing or Helicopter skiing is a type of backcountry skiing and riding that uses a helicopter to transport you and your friends to backcountry terrain and give you access to endless lines.
simply, the best way to access pristine skiing
People are often unsure if helicopter skiing is for them due to what is portrayed in the ski films and the misconception that you have to jump out of the helicopter into steep terrain with cliffs and trees. The truth is, heli-skiing is simply the most effective way to access a variety of terrain and untouched fresh lines suitable for many skier abilities. If you enjoy fresh snow, crowd-less slopes, and awe-inspiring arial views, then heli-skiing should be on your list bucket list.
If you can comfortably ski most blues and blacks in any resort, you are typically good enough to enjoy heli-skiing. The truth is helicopter skiing can accommodate a mix of many skier abilities. Many skiers/snowboarders will tell you powder skiing is easier and more effortless than skiing the variable hardpack conditions commonly found in-bounds of ski resorts. The advantage of helicopter skiing is using the helicopter to access large amounts of mixed terrain. In many places like Utah, Canada, and Alaska, the slopes that are accessed will resemble the black, blue, and even green slopes of a ski resort. Helicopter skiing in the backcountry requires a higher level of awareness due to natural objects and obstacles not being removed or marked as they are at a ski resort.
Equipment to pack for heli-skiing includes:
- Powder-skis or snowboard
- Normal downhill skiing outerwear,
- Ski goggles or sunglasses
- A ski helmet or hat for safety and warmth
- Backcountry safety equipment which is often supplied by the heli-ski operator.
If you don't have your own powder-skis or snowboard, you can use demo ski gear that is supplied by the heli-ski company or a local ski shop.
Helicopter skiing is offered worldwide, and each geographic location and heli-ski operator provides unique advantages.
However, we believe Utah is the best place for heli-skiing in the world. We're biased, but the proof is here. Alta and the surrounding Wasatch mountains receive over 500+ inches of powder snow each winter. Large snowstorms delivering 12+ inches of snow paired with numerous sunny bluebird days provide optimal ski conditions and fly ability. The Wasatch mountains of Utah include a wide-variety of heli-ski terrain that can accommodate skiers of many different levels. Salt Lake City International Airport is the best-served ski destination airport globally and allows access to both of our locations within a 40-minute drive. Additionally, Park City, Snowbird & Salt Lake City offer robust options for lodging, dining, nightlife, other ski and mountain activities, ski-lifestyle amenities such as spas, shopping, and events.
Protocols and safety measures are put in place to manage and mitigate the risks of heli-skiing in the backcountry. Still, like any outdoor activity, the risk cannot be completely eliminated, and participants can cause harm to themselves while skiing or riding in the mountains. Avalanches can occur in the backcountry, and backcountry safety equipment such as a beacon and airbag backpack is proven to keep heli-skiers safe. Additionally, safety experts say that helicopter transportation has a good safety record, better than small private planes.
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