Pure Powder's Ski Blog

Call +44 (0)20 7736 8191


Pure Powder’s 5 Top Tips for Heli Skiing First Timers

You’ve made the big commitment to seek out the best powder skiing of your life with a heli skiing trip, now all you need to do is to make sure you maximise your heli skiing experience so that it really is the ski trip of a lifetime.

Here are our 5 top heli skiing tips for first timers:

1)   Get Ski fit!

It’s a simple one, but in our experience the more fit you are the more you will enjoy your heli skiing trip (and we believe that goes for seasoned pro’s as well as heli ski first timers). The reality of heli skiing is that with a powerful and speedy helicopter whipping you up the mountain for every run you will ski significantly more than on your standard resort skiing or off piste ski holiday. Expect to heli ski 8 to 12 runs in a day and up to 50,000 vertical metres in a week! Check out our ski fitness page for top heli ski fitness tips.

2)   Warm up your powder skiing legs

As the boy scouts put it “by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”. We recommend making sure that when you step out of the helicopter at the top of your first heli skiing run it’s not the first skiing you’ve done all season! Hit the pistes in Europe before your trip to warm up your legs (nice short turns and moguls will get you in the right rhythm) or arrive at your heli ski destination a few days early and get-over the jet lag while finding your ski legs again.

3)   Have the right heli ski kit

Given that you are spending a significant amount of money and probably travelling a long way, don’t let the small things get in the way of an incredible heli skiing experience… In our experience there are 3 crucial things you need to get right. One, have a good layering system for your clothes so that you can add or subtract layers to suit the conditions. One of those small down jackets is a perfect friend to have stuffed into a back-pack ready to come out if it’s getting icy. Two, make sure you have good gloves (good = warm and waterproof) and ideally ones with a long sleeve to keep the powder out. It’s amazing how quickly the rest of the body feels the cold if your hands are cold. And three, invest in some great goggles that don’t fog-up! Normally that means goggles that have a decent amount of space between your face and the lens.

Our friends at Ellis Brigham can get you kitted up for heli skiing, or most of our operators have specialised kit you can buy at their lodges.

4)   Powder skis and short poles

Ski tech has come on so fast recently it’s hard to keep up… Reverse camber, rocker technology, sidecuts… it can get pretty confusing fast. Our suggestion would be to leave the ski selection to the professionals and take the advice of the ski tech at the heli ski operator who will set-you up with the best powder skis available. Tip number two – arguably the most important in the list – ensure your heli ski poles are 5cm shorter than those you usually ski with on the piste. This will make sure you are weighted forward and in the perfect ski position to attack the powder!

5)   Enjoy (and remember you can ski!)

It’s easy to forget when you’re crouching down in a huddle as a helicopter lifts off in a cloud of snow that whilst the mode of transport might be extreme, heli skiing is as extreme or as gentle as you want it to be. Despite perception to the contrary your usual heli skiing run will be a lovely gradient red run – just with no people and (hopefully) perfect powder!  Just remember that you can ski and don’t let the novelty of your helicopter/taxi knock you off your rhythm and most importantly have fun – its most probably going to be the best skiing of your life!

Simply can’t wait any longer? Have a look for the perfect skiing trip this Winter or contact us to discuss your heli skiing trip. If it’s still a faraway dream you can enter our competition in conjunction with Ellis Brigham, Arc’teryx and K2 skis for a chance to win a heli skiing trip

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

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

Pure Powder and Tatler Travel Guide 2015

Heli skiing in Canada with Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing was featured in Tatler Travel Guide 2015: “GOTHICS LODGE: Are you a hardcore ski junkie? Interested in nothing but the purest virgin snow (and the world’s best bragging rights)? We’ve found your holy grail. A short helicopter hop from Banff into the remote Canadian […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank