What is Heli Skiing
All you need to know about Heli Skiing
What is Heli Skiing?
Heli skiing is off piste (or backcountry) skiing using helicopters to access incredible un-touched powder snow. Using helicopters rather than traditional ski lifts offers fantastic speed and flexibility and also enables you to ski and snowboard in far reaching areas, away from the crowded pistes!
Is Heli Skiing Extreme?
Contrary to many people’s perception, most heli skiing trips that we organise are not extreme skiing (or the stuff you see in the movies), but regular gradient skiing similar to what you would find on a red run in a resort. The difference being with heli skiing, you’ll be enjoying run after run of fresh powder snow with a helicopter to take you back up to the top of the ski slope…
How good do I have to be to Heli Ski?
Another misconception many people have is that you have to be an expert skier to enjoy heli skiing. Not true! If you are a strong piste skier and want to ski powder snow then you are ready for heli skiing. If it is your first time, then you may want to consider CMH’s Powder Introduction programme (detailed on the right) which is specifically designed for first-time heli skiers or powder skiers.
How Heli Skiing Works
For a larger version of this slide-show click through to Heli Skiing day-in-the-life slide show.
Banishing the Heli Skiing Myths
- You do not jump out of the helicopter! Despite the perception of many, the helicopter lands at a designated landing spot, everyone steps out and crouches down until the helicopter lifts off again. Your skis are carried in a side basket attached to the helicopter and loaded by your guide.
- It's not (necessarily) extreme. On the whole, you would be heli skiing on red run type gradients - although we do offer steeper more challenging options for those that want it.
- No cliff jumping. So lots of the heli ski movies (including some of ours) depict eveyone flying off cliffs the whole time - but on a regualr trip you won't need to take any air time (unless of course you really want to go looking for them!).
- Safety is the number one priority. Whilst there are inherent risks involved in wilderness skiing - huge amounts of time and energy are dedicated to keeping you safe and we only work with the most established heli ski operators in the world.
For more info read our full Banishing the Heli Skiing Myths Blog
Heli Skiing - A Guest Perspective
Here's a short video showcasing CMH Heli Skiing's Powder Introduction Programme which is perfect for guests who don't have much experience skiing in deep powder snow and who want to develop their powder skiing skills.
For more first hand guest accounts, have a look at our guest blog posts:-
Trips for Heli Skiing First Timers
CMH Heli Skiing in Canada offer unique heli skiing trips designed specifically for first time heli skiers or first time powder skiers - the Powder Introduction Programme ('Powder 101').
- A dedicated group of 10 guests with two mountain guides (one to lead and one to tail the group who are there to provide technical support)
- 4, 5 or 7 day trips and Female Only trips available
- Video tuition so you can work with the guides to assess your progress and learn quickly
- A focus on learning, having fun with no pressure to ski fast
- A DVD at the end of the week so you can re-live and share your incredible experiences!
Furthermore, you will be in safe hands; CMH are the original heli ski operator with over 45 years of experience and have the largest, most experienced guiding team in the industry. Contact us for more details or have a look at our CMH Heli Skiing page.