Best Heli Skiing Europe

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Heliski Europe (Pure Heliski Val di Susa & Sestriere)
Heliski Europe (Pure Heliski Val di Susa & Sestriere)
Heliski Europe. La Thuile, Italy, (photo - Heliski La Thuile)
Heliski Europe. La Thuile, Italy, (photo - Heliski La Thuile)
Helski Europe. Kamchatka Russia. (photo - 9Vallees)
Helski Europe. Kamchatka Russia. (photo - 9Vallees)
Monterosa heliskiing powder (GMH Heli - Gressoney)
Monterosa heliskiing powder (GMH Heli - Gressoney)
Europe heliskiing. Kamchatka, Russia. (photo - Snow Valley)
Europe heliskiing. Kamchatka, Russia. (photo - Snow Valley)
Heliskiing Europe in Sweden at Riksgransen. (photo - Andreas Bengtsson)
Heliskiing Europe in Sweden at Riksgransen. (photo - Andreas Bengtsson)
Heliski Europe
Heliski Europe
Heliski Europe. La Thuile, Italy. (Photo - Heliski La Thuile)
Heliski Europe. La Thuile, Italy. (Photo - Heliski La Thuile)
Europe heliskiing mostly operates out of Italy.
Europe heliskiing mostly operates out of Italy.
Europe heli skiing in Russia at Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Europe heli skiing in Russia at Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Heliski Europe. Arolla-Verbier, Switzerland. (photo - Adrenaline Heliski)
Heliski Europe. Arolla-Verbier, Switzerland. (photo - Adrenaline Heliski)
Europe heliskiing accesses terrain over 4000m elevation.
Europe heliskiing accesses terrain over 4000m elevation.
Europe heli skiing. Arolla Verbier, Switzerland (photo - Adrenaline Heliski)
Europe heli skiing. Arolla Verbier, Switzerland (photo - Adrenaline Heliski)
Heliskiing is convenient in the Val di Susa near Turin Italy.
Heliskiing is convenient in the Val di Susa near Turin Italy.
A-star helicopters are typically used for heli skiing in Europe.(Pure Heliski)
A-star helicopters are typically used for heli skiing in Europe.(Pure Heliski)
Heliski Europe. Kamchatka, Russia. (photo - 9 Vallees)
Heliski Europe. Kamchatka, Russia. (photo - 9 Vallees)
Heliskiing Europe (Pure Heliski - Val di Susa Italy)
Heliskiing Europe (Pure Heliski - Val di Susa Italy)
Helicopter skiing at Monterosa with GMH Heli from Gressoney Italy.
Helicopter skiing at Monterosa with GMH Heli from Gressoney Italy.
Europe heliskiing. Kamchatka, Russia (photo - Snow Valley)
Europe heliskiing. Kamchatka, Russia (photo - Snow Valley)
Ski powder in Spain with Pyrenees Heliski in Catalonia.
Ski powder in Spain with Pyrenees Heliski in Catalonia.

Heli Skiing Europe

Heli Skiing Europe

Heli skiing is definitely nirvana for skiers and snowboarders. Become intoxicated by the spectacular vistas as you ride up in the helicopter, and then revel in the complete euphoria of riding down the virgin powder. Heli skiing is absolutely the best high a powder hound can experience!

Heli skiing costs significantly more than a lift ticket at one of the European ski resorts, but forget about saving for your retirement. Live now. With heli skiing you get so much more pow for your pound or euro or ruble or kroner or dollar!

Considering the massive profile of skiing in Europe there are surprisingly few European heliski operators. Europe has a high population density and associated with that is a highly regulated industry. Heli skiing is effectively banned in France and Germany due to environmental concerns and countries like Switzerland could well follow suit. In many European countries the high degree of regulation includes the designation of specific helicopter landing sites(LZs). The limited number of these LZs contributes to the exclusivity of heli skiing in Europe.

Characteristics of Europe Heli Skiing

Heli skiing in Europe, particularly in the Alps, can differ somewhat from the traditional convention of heli skiing in Canada. Rather than being destination heli skiing with a week long trip where you stay in a remote backcountry lodge, most western Europe heliskiing is based at a ski resort or local village. This provides the huge advantage of being able to combine heli skiing with resort skiing. You can stay with your family or friends and also enjoy the famous European après ski, nightlife and excitement of an alpine village.

The traditional European style heli skiing consists of just a single heli drop or perhaps two to three heli drops in one day. Multi-day heli trips are available in Europe, but they are not the norm. The accommodation is mostly in hotels, but some utilise mountain lodges in the more remote parts of Europe. Some provide heli safaris where you stay in a different hotel each night and your luggage is transported via road. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and one can do anything for the right price!.

Unlike heli skiing in other parts of the world, the western Europe heli skiing operators cannot just land anywhere within their tenure( there are exceptions!!). Heavy regulation has led to designated landing sites which provide a finite number of lines, effectively limiting the amount of freshies one can get. The further one travels east (out of the Alps) and north to the Arctic Circle, the wider the terrain and lesser the imitations. The pinnacles of Europe heliskiing are in Sweden and Kamchatka. Helisking in Spain is thought to be most similar to the freedom one might find in Canada, so is possibly a 'go to' location.

The Europe heliski terrain is largely up in the treeless alpine zone, often utilising glaciers. Several operators do include tree skiing opportunities as well.

The heliski runs in Europe are generally longer than heli skiing elsewhere, but the downside of this is that the snow conditions can vary significantly along the vertical of the run. Skiable vertical of over 2000m is possible. The snow quality is generally not as good as what you may find with North American heli skiing and the volumes of snowfall are generally less, so unfortunately the chances of riding nipple deep powder are pretty slim in Europe.

Italy Heliskiing

Italy has Europe's best variety & highest number of heliski operators & locations. Heli skiing operators work out of ski resorts and more remote valleys all the way from Sestriere in the Val de Susa (part of the ViaLattea) east to the Dolomites.

At Sestriere the helicopter picks you up right in the middle of the resort and whisks one away from the great unwashed in the resort.

Further north, the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) has the greatest concentration of heliski operators in Europe. Heliskiing is possible from La Thuile, Valgrisenche, Courmayeur, Cervinia and Monterosa.

Elsewhere to the east, the remote valley of Formazza has serious backcountry heli skiing for the adventurous.

Further afield, heliskiing out of remote Livigno is very popular.

Heliski Switzerland

The fun police haven’t prohibited heli skiing in Switzerland (yet) and this country has the second most helicopter skiing opportunities in Europe.

One Switzerland heli skiing company operates out of Zermatt, whilst Adrenaline Heli Skiing operates out of Verbier. They offer the “traditional Europe-style heli skiing” with single drops. You have to get a taxi back to the heli pad if you want to do multiple runs. They also provide multi-day heliski safaris where you ski to different villages and your luggage is transported each day to the hotel you’re staying in.

The largest heli skiing operator in Switzerland is SwissSKIsafari based in the Valais region. They offer a range of superb multi-day heli skiing trips as well as customized heli skiing packages. Due to the proximity to Italy and France, some of the itineraries travel across the three countries, whilst others focus on just Italy or France. Some trips combine heli skiing with lift accessed backcountry riding, staying in different hotels and backcountry mountain huts.

Heli skiing is not permitted in the Engadin region, although one exception is a curious form of heli skiing where you fly to the top of the St Moritz ski resort, only to ski down the piste. Huh??!

Heliskiing Russia

Russia heliskiing is rightly rather popular, particularly at Kamchatka in the far east and on Elbrus in the Caucasus. These offer a culturally unique experience in stunning landscapes, whilst also providing the delights of heli skiing. The helski experience amongst the smoking volcanos and steaming vents of Kamchatka is one of the best in the world.

A heli ski operation has recently restarted out of Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi in the Caucasus. With three of Russia’s premier ski resorts nearby, including Rosa Khutor, there are no down days here!. A vast area of terrain is utilised including near the remote mountains near the Arkhyz ski resort.

Spain Helskiing

In the Spanish Pyrenees, one heliski outfit operates out of Vielha near the large ski resort of Baqueira Beret. Called Pyrenees Heliskiing, it utilises terrain up to 300m elevation for a skiable vertical of up to 1500m. As far as we can tell it is the only heli-ski operation in Spain.

Sweden Heli Skiing

The Swedes have heliskiing down to a fine art. Way up north past the Arctic Circle, amongst the highest peaks in Sweden, heliski operation is totally unfettered. Based out of the legendary ski resort of Riksgransen, heli skiing in Sweden is some of the best value in Europe. Due to its extreme northerly location, heliskiing out of Riksgransen is from March to late May.

Heli Skiing France

Heli skiing in France is banned but a few loop holes exist, so you can still enjoy the joys of heli skiing when staying at French ski resorts such as Tignes, Val d'Isère & Courchevel. It is legal to use helicopter lifts out of France and to heliski down French peaks and glaciers as long as they don’t land the helicopter in the French mountains. For example, heli skiing is available out of Chamonix with heli drops over the border in Italy & Switzerland.

Austria Heliskiing

Heli skiing in Austria is limited to only a couple of landing sites. Heli skiing is available in the Arlberg region (near Zurs and Lech) where single heli rides (with a guide) can be purchased, but it is probably better skinning up somewhere else to find your own private powder stash!

Other Europe Heliskiing

There are also at least a couple of heliski operations in Georgia, Turkey and Romania, to name a few. We will report on all of them in due course.

More Reasons to Go Heli Skiing in Europe

Europe provides diverse &magical cultural experiences. Combine this with the age old tradition and majesty of skiing in the Alps, and the festivity of many of the European alpine towns and villages. Far away from the chopped up runs at the Europe ski resorts and the elbowing that occurs in the lift lines, heli skiing provides the MOST amazing skiing or snowboarding experience. You don’t have to pant for your powder, the views are stupendous and heli skiing provides line after line of pristine virgin snow…………. most of the time!.

Heliskiing Tours in Europe

Heliski Kamchatka Volcanos Russia DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE HELISKI ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
From price based 12 people in a group.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 6,272
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Helski on volcanos in one the most stunningly beautiful places in the world. Enjoy 6-8000m vertical a day with single descents of up to 1600m. Stay in wonderful accommodation with its own hot springs. Join the "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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Heliski Val De Susa DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE HELISKIING
2- 6 Days | 2 - 6 Nights | 5,000m vertical/day
From price based on 2 nights twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,797
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Heliski the powder laden Susa valley in Piedmont, Italy. Enjoy 4-5000m vertical a day with single descents of up to 1600m. Stay in beautiful accommodation at Sestriere ski resort. Get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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See all Europe Heli Skiing Tours Here