As exciting as a heli skiing trip surely is, it is always best to go prepared. In this quick read, we will walk you through a few different aspects of our heli skiing adventures, arming you with everything you need to know about heli skiing before you embark on your trip.
When you book your trip through Pure Powder, you will be paired with experienced guides who will cover everything you need to know before you head out onto the slopes, but it can never hurt to be prepared with the knowledge beforehand.
We will cover some important safety advice, backcountry skiing tips, and necessary equipment; our aim is to help you make the most of the experience. It may feel like there are lots of things to think about, but we are here with you every step of the way.
Some Helpful Tips For Your First Heli Skiing Adventure
Setting off on your first Pure Powder heli skiing trip is a thrilling experience, and there are a few key pieces of advice that will help you make the most of the incredible opportunity ahead of you. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your first helicopter skiing adventure.
To start with, it is critical to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the unique challenges that come with backcountry skiing. Helicopter skiing will take you to untouched, untamed terrain, and this incredible experience can certainly be physically demanding. Ensure that you are ready to embrace the excitement and physical exertion that is part and parcel of navigating through the deep powder, changeable snow conditions, and steep slopes. Always maintain a positive outlook and be open to learning and adapting your ski techniques to backcountry settings. To help you get ready for your heli skiing trip, do check out our heli ski fitness tips and videos.
When helicopter skiing in the wilderness, it is essential to be constantly aware of your surroundings and remain connected with your group. Make sure to pay attention to the instructions of your experienced guides, as they have extensive knowledge of the terrain and will provide valuable insights on route selection and heli skiing techniques. It should not be understated how crucial communication is!
We also like to remind our customers to pace themselves while out on the slopes. Helicopter skiing provides an abundance of thrills and excitement, but it is important to listen to what your body is telling you and avoid overexertion. Ensure that you keep yourself properly hydrated and fuelled throughout the day and take breaks as needed. Keep in mind that high altitude can affect your performance and make things seem more tiring than you may have initially expected.
It is very easy to get caught up in the adrenaline-filled experience that is helicopter skiing, but it is also worthwhile to take the time to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you. With Pure Powder’s exceptional screening process, all the ski destinations we frequent boast awe-inspiring landscapes, and it truly is worth your while to pause and soak in the scenery. If you want to make the experience as memorable as possible, it definitely helps to immerse yourself and savour every moment!
Finally, try to look at your first heli skiing excursion as the beginning of an ongoing learning journey. Welcome the opportunity to develop your skiing ability and deepen your understanding of the backcountry environment. Seek constant feedback from your guides, absorb their tips and advice, and strive to improve your technique with each descent on the slopes.
By ensuring that you keep these tips in mind, you will be more than ready to embark on your first helicopter skiing journey. Face the challenges head-on, respect the terrain, and create some unforgettable memories as you carve your own path through untouched powder.
Tips And Tricks Around Heli Skiing Safety
Each unique location will have different safety protocols and its own systems around ensuring the well-being of guests, but here are a few general rules to stick to when heli skiing.
Avalanche Safety Awareness – Try to familiarise yourself with avalanche safety before heading out on your first heli skiing trip. Your guides will not take you to spots that are avalanche-prone, but it is always smart to be well-prepared. Additionally, ensure that you know how to use the probes, transceivers, and shovels, before heading out onto the slopes.
Follow the Instruction of your Guide – Your helicopter skiing guide will be your most useful source of information and expertise. Make sure to listen attentively to the advice they offer about route selection, ski technique, and group dynamics and organisation. Trust their judgment when it comes to terrain choices and follow their lead during descents. They are there to ensure your safety and provide the best possible experience for you.
Stay Within the Designated Area – Even though the areas you will be skiing are off the beaten path, it is still crucial to respect the boundaries put in place by your guides. Venturing too far away from the group without proper knowledge of the terrain can lead to potentially dangerous situations. Try to stick to the agreed-upon ski area and communicate any questions or issues you might have with your experienced guide.
Ski in a Group or with a ‘buddy’ – Skiing in a small group or with a buddy is much safer than skiing alone. Try to maintain a constant line of sight and keep visual contact with one another. By doing this, you are effectively looking out for each other and are far more able to communicate things like changes in direction, rest stops, or potential hazards. Group communication is crucial for maintaining awareness and ensuring everyone’s well-being. Skiing with a ‘buddy’ is mandatory when heli skiing in the trees.
Be Mindful of Conditions on the Mountain – Of course, your guides will keep you posted about this sort of information. With that being said, try to be aware of changing conditions throughout the day and how they could affect the skiing experience. Discuss any concerns or observations with your guides and be prepared to change plans or routes accordingly to prioritise safety.
Understand your Limitations – For your own safety, it is essential that you are realistic with yourself about your skiing level. Always communicate if you are beginning to feel out of your depth – your guides will then be able to work around this and plan accordingly. Avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits or taking unnecessary risks on the slopes. Heli skiing will undoubtedly provide you with many thrilling opportunities, but it is critical that you prioritise safety and make responsible choices. There will always be chances to head home before the end of the day and sometimes it is better to save your ski legs for the next day!
Heli Skiing Equipment And Effective Use
Ensuring that you are well-equipped with the appropriate gear is incredibly important in order to make sure that the helicopter skiing adventure is safe and enjoyable. Take our word for it, there is nothing worse than having ill-fitting clothing or equipment that you don’t feel comfortable with. Here are some key tips to ensure you have the right equipment and are aware of how to use it effectively.
To start with, every heli skier will need their own skis boots for all of our trips. We recommend standard downhill boots and ideally ones that you have used before which are comfortable and won’t cause issues. In some of our remote heli ski locations, we don’t have the ability to fix boot issues.
It is also essential that you have skis specifically designed for skiing in the backcountry. Wider skis that have good floatation in deep powder snow are the way to go – however, on most of our trips, you will be provided with powder skis as standard.
These poles make a huge difference to your balance and propulsion abilities while backcountry heli skiing. Your guide will provide you with the necessary equipment to take on the backcountry, better preparing you for the experience of a lifetime.
This one is essential – layer your clothing properly so that you remain comfortable throughout the day. This layering allows you to add or remove layers to regulate your temperature as you see fit. It really takes away from the enjoyment if you find that you are constantly overheating or are too cold – there is always a happy medium.
Don’t forget to include essential accessories such as gloves, a helmet for head safety, goggles or sunglasses for eye protection, and a face mask or buff to shield against wind and icy-cold temperatures.
If you want to get the most out of your equipment, evolve your ski technique to fit with the wider backcountry-style skis. Try to stay centred and balanced, and make intentional, controlled turns to manage your direction and speed in the powdery snow. As we mentioned earlier, always listen attentively to your guide’s advice when it comes to route choice and skiing techniques.
They will know the terrain like the back of their hand and will be more than capable of providing important insights to assist you in navigating snow conditions. Trust their expertise and be open to learning and improving your skills throughout the ski journey.
Make Sure You Are Ski Fit For Your Heli Skiing Trip
You don’t need to be a skiing expert to take on natural terrain. Any intermediate skier will be able to manage a heli skiing adventure.
However, it is a good idea to ensure that you are ski fit before taking part in a heli ski trip. Here are a few helpful pieces of advice that should help you take control of the slopes and make the most of your experience. For more information on becoming ski fit, head over to our website for the full breakdown.
It is a good idea to immerse yourself in activities that strengthen your heart function, like cycling, running, swimming, or utilising an elliptical machine. Try to aim for around 30 minutes of medium- to high-intensity aerobic training a few times a week – this will build your stamina and make sure that you are ready to take on the skiing challenges ahead of you.
Leg Strength and Stability
Strengthen your leg muscles to handle the challenges of skiing by incorporating exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups, and calf raises into your fitness routine. Aim to bring in exercises that work on balance and stability, like single-leg squats or implement an exercise ball into your routine to improve your control on uneven ski terrain.
Core Stability and Strength
Focus on developing strong core muscles to improve control and balance while on the slopes. Bring exercises like planks, Russian twists, and mountain climbers into your workout routine. A stable and strong core will help you maintain proper form while skiing and greatly reduces the risk of injury.
Range of Motion and Flexibility
Enhancing your general flexibility can do a lot for your skiing performance and ability. It also reduces the risk of muscle strains and injury. Utilise stretching routines and try to focus on areas like your hamstrings, hips, quads, and calves as these are muscle groups that are most frequently strained when skiing. Warming up is essential if you want to avoid unnecessary injury and discomfort.
Include plyometric exercises and agility drills into your routine to boost your reflexes and explosive power when backcountry skiing. Exercises like box jumps, lateral jumps, agility ladder drills, and cone drills will certainly improve your ability to easily navigate difficult terrain and react quickly to changeable conditions.
Pure Powder Heli Skiing
With all of this information in mind, you should be just about ready to kickstart your heli skiing adventure. Get in contact with our passionate team over at Pure Powder and book your very first heli skiing adventure today!