Heli skiing may not be something you’re familiar with, but Pure Powder is here to change that. The stereotypical image that comes to mind when thinking of a ski trip, is usually one of a picturesque ski resort nestled away in the mountainside, with crowds of people and a festive atmosphere. This may sound great, after all, the buzz and vibrant atmosphere at the resort are part of the attraction, but who wants to spend half their day waiting in lift lines to get to the top of crowded slopes?
This is where helicopter skiing, also known as heli skiing, has the edge on resort skiing. Helicopter skiing is the ultimate skiing experience where helicopters are used to escape the crowded lift lines, giving you access to an incredible wilderness steeped in deep powder and complete freedom. If this thrilling kind of adventure is up your alley, keep reading to learn more!
Is Heli Skiing Extreme?
One of the most common questions that we are asked at Pure Powder is: “Is heli skiing extreme?” – The simple answer is no, not really.
Many people believe that heli skiing is an extreme sport that involves highly experienced adrenaline junkies jumping out of helicopters and carving lines down near vertical slopes, much like you would see in an action movie. Most trips organised by Pure Powder, however, are very different to that imagined scene. The experience is closer to regular gradient skiing, similar to what you would find on a typical red run at a resort – the main difference being that you will be avoiding the lift lines and crowded slopes and enjoying run after run of fresh powder snow.
Along with the belief that heli skiing is an extreme sport, it is also commonly thought that it is only accessible to expert skiers. You’ll be happy to know, however, that our trips are suitable for powder skiing novices and strong piste skiers too. The beauty of working with Pure Powder is that we’ll be able to match you up with the perfect heli ski tri according to your ski level. You can expect full support from our team during this process and we even have some training recommendations if you want to brush up on your skiing expertise.
Competent powder skiers who are looking at going on their first heli skiing adventure would be well suited to one of our trips. We also offer specialty coaching programs that would be a suitable entry point into the world of helicopter skiing for any strong piste skier who is looking to experience the adventure of powder skiing. Our specialty coaching programs, run at a relaxed pace, are the perfect way to kick-off your journey. We provide 2 guides per group to provide hands-on coaching and even video analysis to assist you in building the confidence and skills to master powder skiing.
Where Is The Best Heli Skiing In The World?
This depends entirely on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you ask different people, you will likely get several different answers. For some, an impressively luxurious lodge that is only a short distance away from the UK is the perfect destination. For others, it is the allure of miles of untouched skiing terrain with steep slopes and breath-taking views.
If British Columbia piques your interest, we work with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – who are widely considered to be one of the best ski operators in the world. CMH has lodges scattered across the vast expanses of British Columbia, allowing them to cater to both experienced skiers and novices alike. British Columbia is known to receive huge amounts of snowfall each year, with perfect conditions for skiing and very few down days. This is an adventure that one needs to experience to understand why it is rated so highly.
And the fun doesn’t stop there, we offer a variety of destinations all around the world that will cater to your needs. We have developed our excursions over many years in the industry, which allows us full confidence that whichever one of our adventures you choose, you will not be disappointed. The trip finder available to you on our website will assist you in finding your dream adventure and our friendly and knowledgeable team will also assist you in selecting the right adventure.
Embark On A Safe Backcountry Adventure
The main attraction of heli skiing is being dropped directly into areas of untouched wilderness by helicopter. As with any wilderness adventure, this comes with a degree of inherent risk. That said, don’t let the risk deter you. Our latest research indicates that the risk of this sort of skiing in Canada is approximately equal to driving a car for a year in North America – in short, not too worrisome in our opinion.
Moreover, Pure Powder has been in the business since 1978, giving us over 45 years of experience and we organise more heli skiing trips than everybody else in the UK put together. We leverage this expertise to ensure that your experience is as safe as it is exciting.
All of our adventures are created by skiers for skiers, which is evident in all aspects of the skiing adventure, where you will be treated with concierge-style support and guided through the entire journey. We gauge the skill level of each individual skier when booking their trip to ensure that the experience provided aligns with their skill level. This ensures that each guest has both a safe and enjoyable adventure.
The inherent risk associated with this type of skiing is also mitigated by adhering to proper safety measures. Our guides are all highly experienced powder skiers who undergo regular training to ensure that they are equipped with the latest skills required to provide you with a safe adventure. With Pure Powder, you can rest assured knowing that you are receiving the best of the best with regards to safety.
Witness Unparalleled Winter Scenery
Heli skiing is not just about the thrill of descending untouched powdered slopes, it’s also about immersing yourself in the beauty of the natural wilderness. Helicopters are favoured over fixed-wing aircraft for scenic flights because they are able to fly lower and slower.
Whilst the primary objective of your flight will be getting you to the top of untouched slopes, you will get the added benefits of being able to immerse yourself in panoramic views of the wilderness and mountain tops that are only visible from the air. The flight up is an experience all on its own and will give you breathtaking views of the terrain that you are about to descend.
A Diverse Range Of Adventures
We take pride in the diverse range of trips that we offer, from powder introduction trips, family skiing experiences, steep shots and pillow drops, to heli-assisted ski touring. Our family trips cater for families with children over 12 and will typically give you the chance to ski between 8 and 12 runs per day in groups of 10 guests. These trips offer a reduced rate to children between the ages of 12 and 18.
The steep shots and pillow drop trips cater to those looking for a more challenging experience. We will look for the best lines to give you the opportunity to develop your steep skiing skills under the guidance of our expert coaches.
For those who are looking to experience wilderness skiing for the first time without committing to a full trip, or would like to upgrade their resort skiing experience, we also offer single day trips at a number of Canadian resorts. These trips are also perfect for those who would like to add additional days of helicopter skiing before or after their CMH skiing trip at other lodges.
Private heli skiing is the holy grail of skiing experiences. Best suited for groups of 4, although smaller or larger groups can be accommodated, you will have a helicopter dedicated to your group. A dedicated helicopter at your beck and call means that you can enjoy fast and flexible ski runs.
Preparing For Your Adventure
While you don’t have to be an elite athlete to go on a heli ski adventure, it is recommended to have at least a base level of ski fitness prior to your trip. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy your trip. Increased fitness levels will also reduce your risk of injury.
We have a ski fitness program that is available to assist you as well as some useful training recommendations. And, at the end of the day, there is no better way to get ski fit than to get out there and go skiing. Practising before your helicopter skiing adventure is also a great way to acclimatise to the environment and find your skiing legs.
Travel insurance is another very important part of the preparation for your adventure. This will ensure that you are covered in the event of a medical emergency abroad which can be costly if you do not have travel insurance. You also have the option of taking out cancellation cover that will reimburse losses incurred due to cancellation of the trip due to unforeseen circumstances that are covered by the policy.
Tick It Off The Bucket List
Heli skiing is a bucket list adventure for just about anyone to enjoy. Above and beyond the thrilling descents and breathtaking natural surroundings, heli skiing offers an unparalleled sense of freedom that makes this sport such a memorable experience. If you are interested in planning, preparing and setting off on a heli ski adventure of your own, don’t hesitate to get in contact today and let the team at Pure Powder work their magic.