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Off Piste skiing with Pure Powder in Klosters

Skiing in one of the finest resorts in Switzerland may conjure up grand ideas of royalty and fur headwear but I was pleasantly surprised when I visited Klosters last weekend for a Pure Powder Off Piste trip. The snow had an unbelievable base 3 metres deep so I was pretty excited to be out skiing but our first day on piste was met with teeth shattering temperatures of -22. My advice to anyone skiing in this weather is never to remove any item of clothing: if there is a good photo to be taken and that glove needs to come off don’t do it. It’s not worth it (hence the lack of photos of our piste days).Klosters

I was staying at the stunning Hotel Walserhof – a Relais and Chateaux hotel that has been known to house rather eligible royal guests in its time.  Situated 5 minutes walk from the centre, it has great access to the shops and slopes. The rooms are great and nicer than many of the other hotel rooms I saw. Remember this is an award-winning restaurant so portions are dainty and that second helping of muesli comes in handy with a tough day on the slopes ahead.

The trusty skills of the Gotschna Sport staff kitted me out with fabulous K2 skis that gave me a great mixture of on and off piste terrain. The shop is only 2 minutes walk from the main Gotschna lift ideal for those, like me, who don’t relish a long walk carrying skis. You can also leave your skis and boots here overnight meaning the days of walking back to your hotel in ski boots is long gone. What bliss!


Klosters offers some wonderful piste action. The Gotschna lift provides access to the Parsenn/Gotschna ski area with famous runs such as the Weissfluhgipfel; one of the longest runs in Europe spanning 12km down to Kublis. The Parsenn bubble also has some fun runs to it and I was surprised by how wide (and empty: blame the temperature!) the runs were here. Add to that some of the finest mountain restaurants offering treats such as their infamous Rösti (a fried potato dish with cheese and bacon) that will weigh you down the mountain after lunch.  Family-friendly skiing can also be found on the Madrisa side of the mountain suiting for those looking for a gentler ride.

Endless off piste

When it comes to off piste delights, Klosters has it is in spades. With dozens of snow-covered meadows to choose from, the right conditions mean endless possibilities off the beaten track. Meeting our Pure Powder guide, Markus, at Gotschna Sport early gave us plenty of time to get our skis set up with touring bindings, skins and ABS packs. Kitted out, we made our way up the Gotschna bubble and were soon made to take our skis off and start walking up a cliff. Being met by local mountain goats with rather large horns (called Steinbock apparently but at this point I wasn’t that keen to study them up close) we then skied the gmeindböden down. This is a rather steep run to start off with (and a little crusty on the day) but finished off with superb tree skiing down to Parsenhutte.

Ski touring

We then scaled the Weissfluhgipfel starting with a superb black run but we veered off course at the top to ski the steep diretissima. This is when you’re faced with the endless expanse of off piste terrain on offer as the diretissima overlooks the back of the mountain and you can see Arosa in the distance. At the bottom is a ghost village of old ski lifts that look like it’s been stuck in time. Putting our skins on, we then started climbing up to drimachenspitz (about 1 ½ hours of walking) which wasn’t too steep until the last stretch.  Markus, our guide, cleverly provided a chocolate bar about an hour into the journey providing ample sustenance to keep us going! The skiing down from here was magical. Large meadows are the norm in Klosters and these make for a real treat. Skiing down to Kublis we were just in time for a train back to Klosters Platz (the ski guides know all the train timings and travel is free compliments of your ski pass). Lunch was a quick bite to eat back at the famed Chesa Grischuna before jumping on my train back to Zurich. I wouldn’t recommend turning up at Heathrow still with your ski gear on – it makes for some funny looks.

Ski touring

So Klosters has become one of my new favourite European destinations as although it’s expensive it’s more than worth it. Apres ski here is pretty good (pop into any of the traditional Schwendi bars on the ski home as the hot chocolates have alcoholic additions), nightlife is scarce but fun can certainly be had at Casa Antica, but my main pull back to Klosters would definitely be the skiing. Easily accessible from London with a simple train journey from Zurich, this is the off piste destination of choice!

Want to test the Klosters powder for yourself? Pure Powder still have off piste trips running to Klosters in the 2012 Season. Please contact us for more details on planning your perfect off piste trip

Posted by: Suzy Small

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm. Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
to the drop zone, the deep, dry snow you get to ride… all of […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank