a mission driven organization

We will be the first to recognize that helicopter skiing has a direct impact on the state of our environment. Given the importance of our natural environment, let's chat candidly about the environmental impact of heli-skiing and how Powderbird can positively impact the environment for future generations.

powderbird's commitment to sustainability

We love the mountains and want to do everything we can to ensure that experiences like ours are available to future generations. We also know many of our clients are as concerned as we are about climate change and want to do something to help find ways to help address the problem. That’s why Powderbird is proud to announce the formation of the Powderbird Play ForeverFund, our mechanism for direct action around climate change and community support.

For some context, suggested donations are tied to the voluntary carbon market. However, we will NOT be purchasing carbon offsets. Instead, we commit to direct action by supporting non-profit organizations working on ways to solve the issues confronting us around climate change.

All donations are tax-deductible.

make a donation to sustainable heli-skiing

The Powderbird Play Forever Fund was established to provide funding for so that the areas we play in can maintain healthy ecosystems for generations to come. The Fund serves mountain communities near where we work and play.  Donations are directed to local non-profit organizations that are finding innovative and scalable ways to combat climate change or those providing direct community assistance.

Every donation counts and your generous gift will contribute to building a healthy and vibrant local community.

request a donation to play forever

As part of our Play Forever commitment, we are proud to provide in-kind and financial support to the communities where we work and play. We focus our charitable giving on three primary causes—local relief, climate change, and the environment in general—in Summit and surrounding mountain communities, in Greenland, or anywhere else we operate or can find relevant opportunities. Requesting organizations must be classified as 501(c)(3)non-profits (or local equivalents) and not be affiliated with a religious or political cause.

Due to the large volume of donation and grant requests submitted, all requests must be made online. Please submit your request with at least 60 days lead time. 

If you have a suggestion on a nonprofit or community organization that we should consider, please let us know.  We are happy to consider any organization with nonprofit status and objectives aligned with our goals.

common heli-skiing questions

Heli-skiing cost

how good do you have to be to heli-ski?

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.

What equipment should you pack heli-skiing?

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.

Where is the best heli-skiing in the world?

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.

Is Heli-skiing safe?

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.

Utah's best helicopter skiing

Founded in 1973 as one of the world’s first helicopter ski operators, Powderbird has grown into a premier, year-round, international guide service.

Today our professional guide team is dedicated to providing our clients with the pinnacle experiences in guided helicopter skiing and mountain adventures.

receive more info from our team

Simply fill out the form below, and our sales concierge team will be in touch shortly to discuss available dates and provide pricing dependent on your request.