Powder heli skiing is backcountry skiing in powder snow from slopes or peaks that are approached or reached by a helicopter. This enjoyable activity can be very costly. Many powder heli skiing companies charge between $500.00 to $3000.00 for a single day of heli skiing.
The beauty of the heli skiing means that one can do heliskiing from high alpine glaciers onto the bottoms of snow valleys, thus descending from a helicopter sometimes even up to 3,000 vertical meters. In the recent past powder heli skiing has became an increasingly popular activity.
Wikipedia defines heli skiing as "Heliskiing is off-trail, downhill skiing that is reached by a helicopter, not a ski lift."
Powder heliskiing is now practiced around the worldwith operators established in Canada, USA, Alaska, Greenland, New Zealand, Himalayas, Russia, Turkey, Sweden, Finland, Argentina and Chile. Heliskiing is banned in France and is highly regulated in other European alpine countries.
Canada can be called the real home for true and pristine powder heli skiing. Canada's British Columbia's mountains are well-know to receive around 15 meters of snow on average, most of which comes down as powder. Purcell and Selkirk Mountains are the most favorable places for heliskiing in general because of the pure powder quality of snow.
Some of the leading companies in the helicopter skiing industry in Canada and in the world are Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, TLH Heliskiing, Mica Heli Guides, Purcell Helicopter Skiing, Selkirk Tangiers Helicopter Skiing and many more.
The next best location for really extreme heli skiing is Alaska - with Valdez and Cordova in the famous Alaska's Chugach Mountains being the most desirable locations for any heli skier. Some of the companies that operate up there are Valdez Heli-Camps, Canadian Mountain Holidays, Chugach Powder Guides, Valdez Heli Ski Guides, Alaska Backcountry Adventures and more.
"On most helicopter skiing tours, heli skiers are led by experienced guides who will lead a group of skiers. There vary from 4 to as many as 12 skiers. Most operations offer private heliskiing charters too," says Wikipedia.
Usually, the day consists of 5-12 runs or heli lifts. Heli ski guides constantly assess and search for the best (and the safest) powder snow. Most heli skiing operators offer daily, three, four and seven day packages.
Since the primary safety concern of heli-skiing operators is the danger of avalanches, when avalanche danger rating is high guests may end up skiing easier, more gentle and safer slopes.
All reputable heli-skiing operations employ highly trained ski mountain guides and pilots who are experienced in evaluating snow conditions, snow stability, and risk management. Most tours will include in the price the use of avalanche beacons or transceivers and other avalanche rescue equipment, and will provide training on the use of them.
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Jan 23, 2020 - 8:41pm UTC