Heli Skiing Ability


Heli Skiing Ability

SEABA Heliski Weeks, Haines Alaska

What Skiing / Snowboarding Ability is Required to Heli Ski?

You don’t have to be a pro to go heli skiing. It’s not like the movies where dudes jump out of the chopper and then huck off cliffs, but the answer to this question may depend on the particular heliski operation.

Some outfits only cater to experts or advanced riders considering the tightness of the trees or the steep terrain, although super steeps are not as common as you’d expect considering the associated avalanche risk. Experts looking to ride really steep gnarly terrain may have more luck with heli ski destinations that have a maritime snowpack, rather than places like Colorado where the snowpack can be fickle.

Other heli skiing companies can also provide trips for strong intermediates. This is particularly well done in New Zealand where introductory packages are offered for heliski virgins or intermediates with none or limited powder skiing experience.

Snow conditions with heli skiing can vary remarkably from mashed potatoes to neck deep powder, and thanks to long snowboards and fat powder skis, most intermediates can now tackle heli skiing with minimal face plants.

A good level of fitness is probably just as important as ability, although once again, powder skis and powder boards have revolutionised riding in the backcountry.