Harris Mountains Heliski

Overall Rating

Harris Mountains Heliski

Harris Mountains Heliski4.5/510
Harris Mountains Heliski4.5 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
Cheap Car Hire
Harris Mountains Heliski; get ready for the best day of your life!
Experience some of the sweetest line in New Zealand
The exhilaration of the heli landing and taking off right over the top of you
You can't help but shout for joy on a day with Harris Mountains Heliski
The terrain is so huge there is no need to ski on other people's tracks
Riding in the heli is one of the most exciting parts of a heli day
Harris Mountains Heliski has terrain for every ability; including super steep
The powder at Harris Mountains Heliski varies from ankle to knee deep
Did I mention that the terrain is awe inspiring
There are plenty of things to huck off if that is your desire
Roger Kingston loves his job and one of the many brilliant guides at HMH
Harris Mountains Heliski use small helicopters with groups of 4 to 5 guests per load
Lunch on the mountain is always a highlight of a day heli skiing
The feeling of skiing untracked powder is like floating on air
There is no shortage of variety and quantity of terrain with HMH
It's always nice to look back up and check out your lines
The scenery in the Harris Mountains is spectacular
Steep and deep with Harris Mountains Heliski
The excitement of the heli buzzing overhead
Don't put it off any longer; book a day of heli with Harris Mountains Heliski today

Harris Mountains Heliski

Overall Rating

Harris Mountains Heliski4.5/510
Harris Mountains Heliski4.5 out of 5 based on 10 reviews

Harris Mountains Heliski New Zealand

Harris Mountains Heliski provides superb heli skiing Wanaka and Queenstown packages for intermediates up to experts, along with Mt Cook heli skiing.

Avid powder hounds might get a little frustrated with the conditions at the New Zealand ski resorts. Ice, slush, moguls, tracked out runs, lift queues, long hikes and muddy carparks – sounds ugly doesn’t it? The perfect solution for a powder hound who is itching for fresh powder is a good scratch from Harris Mountains HeliSki in New Zealand.

Harris Mountains heli skiing is a phenomenal experience. The rides in the helicopter are amazing in themselves. Way up high in the NZ mountains the alpine vistas are absolutely spectacular, but the trip down is even more stunning because there are fresh tracks on offer. This is the ultimate skiing or boarding experience!

Harris Mountains Heliski is a very experienced operator, you can be assured of a high level of quality and service, and HMH have a great reputation amongst experienced heli-skiers. Harris Mountains Heliski pioneered heli skiing in New Zealand which has resulted in securing the best terrain which links up nicely, and offers the highest available runs to provide reliable snow conditions. HMH is also the largest New Zealand heli ski operator, which enhances your likelihood of being grouped more precisely by ability level (which is particularly important if you’re upper advanced to expert), and lessens any risk of a day being cancelled due to minimum numbers not being met.

The Powderhounds love Harris Mountains Heli Ski and we’ve awarded HMH as the best heli skiing New Zealand overall. See our Harris Mountains Heliski review for more information.

When Does Harris Mountains Heliski Operate?

The NZ heli ski season goes from the start of July through to the end of September. New Zealand heli skiing occurs above the timberline so it’s very weather dependent. Inclement weather conditions normally ground the heli skiing Queenstown and Wanaka operations about two days a week, and if it’s a particularly stormy season, they may only fly about half the time. Obviously you’ll need to be flexible with your itinerary so that if weather conditions preclude flying you can reschedule for a subsequent day. Thankfully there are a plethora of Queenstown activities on offer for down days. The weather in the Mt Cook region can be somewhat fickle so the frequency of no-fly days is a little higher in that zone of the Harris Mountains Heliski terrain.

Heli Skiing Wanaka

Harris Mountains Heliski has a base in the town of Wanaka. See the Wanaka travel page for information on the location of Wanaka, how to get there, and nearby ski resorts. The Wanaka Heli Skiing is potentially mainstay of Harris Mountains Heliski and is rather popular. There are multiple Wanaka heli skiing helicopter staging areas, some along the road out past Treble Cone. You can get an accommodation pick-up to take you to the office and then onto the staging area, or you can drive your own car there.

Whilst the Queenstown and Wanaka heli skiing zones link up, some of the zones visited from Wanaka include the North Harris Mountains, North Buchanans, and the South Buchanans.

Heli Skiing Queenstown

Harris Mountains Heliski Queenstown is very popular, in part due to the nature of Queenstown and its many other attractions. See the Queenstown travel page for information on its location, how to get there, and nearby ski resorts.

There are various Queenstown heli skiing staging areas, including the Glenorchy airfield. HMH provide accommodation pickups or you can drive to the helicopter pad yourself if you wish.

Mt Cook Heli Skiing

Harris Mountains Heliski run heli skiing trips in the Mt Cook area in these mountains: Ben Ohaus; Neumann; Gammak; Leibig; and Malteburn Range.

You can either base yourself in Mt Cook Village or Tekapo and wait for a weather window, or stay in Queenstown or Wanaka with the option to fly to Mt Cook via a fixed wing aircraft.


View Larger Map


Harris Mountains Heli Ski Terrain

The impressive Harris Mountains heli skiing terrain is close to the towns of Queenstown and Wanaka, and the Mt Cook National Park region in New Zealand’s stunning Southern Alps. The extensive terrain covers 3000 square kilometres (50 times the size of all the New Zealand ski resorts put together), 11 mountain ranges with over 200 peaks that offer up plenty of variety. And with all that space available and 400-plus runs to choose from, HMH are able to find plenty of untracked slopes that have the best snow possible. Most of the heli skiing terrain is exclusive to Harris Mountains, whilst small parts of it are shared with other heli ski outfits.

HMH can also find suitable terrain to tailor the experience depending upon ability. The registration process includes an ability-rating questionnaire that allocates skiers and boarders into one of four ability types.

Strong intermediates or those without much powder experience will be taken on gentle slopes, whilst the more experienced powder hound can go on challenging adventures in wide bowls, chutes and steep valleys.

The alpine runs vary from about 500 to 1,050 metres of vertical drop in the Queenstown/ Wanaka heli skiing region, with an average of about 600m. The Mt Cook terrain is at higher elevations, so the runs are generally a little longer.




Powderhounds Review of Harris Mountains Heli-Ski

The Harris Mountains HeliSki terrain is a dreamy place where there are rooster tails flying and powder hound tails wagging! We’ve been out with Harris Mountains Heliski several times, including some max vertical days and back in 2008 when I was a heli skiing virgin. Harris Mountains has a lot to answer for, because since my heli skiing cherry was popped, I’ve been fuelling my heli addiction in New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and USA and it’s made skiing at ski resorts and ski touring just that bit harder.

We’ve mostly heli skied out of Wanaka and more recently out of Glenorchy near Queenstown, where the snow was rather tasty (see video). We’ve met lots of regular HMH customers including a couple of fellas who’ve earned their 2 million vertical feet jackets. Blimey! That sort of record for repeat clientele business speaks volumes about the quality of HMH’s operation.

Of course even though Harris Mountains Heliski is a very reputable company, no heli skiing company is perfect for everyone. Our review covers different aspects of their operation so that you can determine if HMH is likely to match up with your priorities. It is worthwhile noting that many of the New Zealand heli skiing operations are very similar, especially the Queenstown and Wanaka heli skiing operators which have some shared pros and cons. Nevertheless HMH comes up trumps and we’ve rated Harris Mountains Heliski as the overall best heli skiing New Zealand operation. As a guide to the ratings, a 5/5 equates to absolutely phenomenal, 4/5 is excellent, whilst 3/5 is still a very good score.

Pros:

  • Harris Mountains HeliSki is a very experienced operator and you can be assured of a high level of quality and service. HMH has a great reputation.
  • HMH is the biggest NZ heli ski operation and have the capacity to take out lots of guests each day. The advantage this provides is that they can really cater for different ability levels and group guests accordingly. The chances are much less of being stuck with people that are way above or below your ability level or desire for speed. The size of the outfit also lessens any risk of a day being cancelled due to minimum numbers not being met.
  • HMH is a great all-rounder when it comes to the terrain. HMH rates highly for the intermediate, advanced and expert terrain.
  • Harris Mountains Heliski has the best terrain of the Queenstown/Wanaka operators and it links up nicely so that they can easily transition from one zone to another. The terrain is very sizeable so the guides have a good chance of finding reasonable (or even fantastic) snow conditions. If they have to go further into the backcountry to find the good snow, they won’t be stingy on heli flying time.
  • The guides are great and have plenty of charisma to make the day even more fun. Of course they’re professional and incredibly experienced too!
  • The staff in the Wanaka and Queenstown offices will not provide exaggerated reports of the likely snow conditions. Instead they will provide frank information so you can choose whether you want to go or not.
  • As with all NZ heli skiing, the rates are a fraction of what you’d pay in other countries.

Cons:

  • Like any heli ski operation, there is no guarantee of knee deep powder. However compared to the reasonably reliable snowfall in places such as Canada and Utah, the snow conditions with all the NZ heli operations are very variable. On the plus side as outlined above, the HMH staff won’t pretend there is thigh deep powder when there isn’t.
  • As with all Queenstown / Wanaka heli skiing operators, the ski vertical is generally somewhat limited (approximately 600m to 760m on average).


Powder Snow
The snow conditions within the NZ mountain ranges can vary significantly from beautiful knee deep powder, to crud or spring corn. It’s all part of the magical mystery tour of New Zealand heli skiing!

On all but one occasion (where there was a fair bit of crust), we’ve been suitably impressed with the snow conditions considering that the snow at the nearby ski resorts was often dreadful. We’ve even scored one amazing powder day where the temps were cold and we wondered whether we were possibly in Japan?! Mostly the snow has been good shin-deep powder or delightfully creamy snow, thanks to cooler temps at high elevation.
Overall Terrain
Harris Mountains Heli Ski has some impressive terrain within their vast tenure. HMH were the first heli ski company in the Queenstown/Wanaka area and staked their claim on the best terrain.

We’ve done some superb heli-skiing out of Wanaka in the Buchanan Ranges, but it pales into insignificance in comparison to some of the terrain near Mt Amsted, the Headlong Glacier and Tyndall Glacier. The HMH website states that “several of our best skiing /riding locations are deep in the backcountry; we make the extra effort to get you to the best and deepest snow” and this is absolutely the truth!

Their terrain elevations are higher than that of Southern Lakes and Alpine Heliski, and as such their average run lengths are a little longer. On one day we did a few runs of about 3,000 vertical feet and did one that continued for 4,000 feet, although this isn’t typical.

Many of the runs provide fall line skiing and boarding that is to-die-for. The terrain also has interesting lips and huckable rocks as well as some spectacular glacial features such as ceracs and crevasses.
Alpine Terrain
All the Harris Mountains Heliski terrain is in the alpine. Other NZ heli skiing operators tend to cater very well to strong intermediates or experienced backcountry riders, but HMH is a great all-rounder.

Tree Skiing
zero
This isn’t Canada or the lower 48 of the USA.
Strong Intermediate Terrain

Harris Mountains Heli-Ski caters really well to intermediate riders, even if they’re not strong intermediates. There are 3 and 4 run packages that are pretty much dedicated to intermediates, and because of large guest numbers, there’s a high likelihood of like-abilities being grouped together. There is plenty of appropriate intermediate terrain, and the guides are extremely patient and encouraging.
Advanced Terrain
The terrain is perfect for advanced skiers and boarders (except that there’s only alpine terrain and no trees).
Expert & Extreme Terrain
Like any New Zealand heli skiing, when the avalanche risk is considerable to high, there are no steep trees where you can retreat for relative safely, so there could be plenty of days where you’ll just have to enjoy yourself on advanced type terrain. If experts can wait until the avalanche risk is low then there is an abundance of steep pitches to tackle. There are also plenty of lips and rocks to huck, and the guides are only too happy to point these out.

One of our favourite days was with Whitney, where he put us on steeps right from the first run where the helicopter teetered on a razor edge ridge and we dropped into our warm-up run on a fantastically steep slope.

Once again, a plus for HMH is the size of the operation which enhances the likelihood of being grouped with other experts, and the 10 run package is designed for experts only. Of course, like any heli skiing, the best way for experts to ensure they’ll have the ultimate day and flexibility to get to the best terrain for the conditions, is with a private charter.
Guiding
Many of the HMH guides have been in the business for 20 to 30 plus years and it shows (not because of their crinkly eyes but because their experience is obvious). They also have plenty of personality!

They have lots of dedicated and highly experienced guides but also have on-call guides for busy days. The latter may not necessarily know the terrain as well as the old-hands but they’re not lead guiding so it’s not so crucial. The guide to guest ratio is usually 1:4 (or 1:5 with skinnies in the chopper) so the service is very attentive.

We’ve had two trips with the legendary Whitney, a veteran of backcountry guiding. He did a great job of modifying his guiding depending on the situation. There was minimal or no re-grouping on mellow runs yet his guiding became very specific around hazards such as crevasses and cliffs, and his ability to pick the supremo snow was superb.

We’ve also been out with Roger and Deano whose expertise and skills were equally impressive, and it was easy to feel very comfortable that they had the safety aspects well covered.
Heli
HMH use the same helicopters as their competitors, which are incredibly well suited to heli skiing and landing on narrow ridges.
Avalanche Mitigation Strategies
HMH monitors weather conditions and uses information sharing mechanisms to analyse snowpack stability. On a couple of days the avalanche risk was low so understandably the implementation of risk minimisation strategies was not really apparent, whilst on other days the guides dug pits. Only some guides discuss snowpack load minimisation and slope selection.

Like their NZ counterparts, their website and safety briefings don’t demonstrate a really strong emphasis on avalanche safety. Only one guest pack with shovel and probe is provided per group (we take our own). Compare this to many Canadian heli skiing outfits where provision of an airbag with shovel and probe to all guests is the norm.
Safety Briefing
As is very typical with New Zealand heli skiing, the safety briefings regarding avalanche beacons and helicopters were very cursory. The briefings haven’t included what to do in an avalanche (other than use a beacon) and generally don’t cover shovel and probe use.
Frills
The frills are very similar across the Queenstown and Wanaka heli skiing operators. Harris Mountains Heliski provide accommodation pick-ups and drop-offs, rental equipment pick-ups and drop-offs, as well as a nice backcountry lunch with awesome vistas. Lunch included soup and cold items such as mini tarts and sandwiches. Hot and cold beverages were provided at lunch time, but you’ll need to BYO water if you think you’ll need hydration during other parts of the day.

Powder skis can be rented at Racers Edge in Wanaka (next door to their office) or at Outdoor Sports in Queenstown.

As is standard with most NZ heli operators, there’s no après session or finale for high-fiving but undoubtedly you’ll be able to do your own après-ski, especially if you’re in Queenstown!

On request, Harris Mountains HeliSki can provide a video service whereby one of the guides will ski with the group and capture some of your rooster tails and face plants! A copy of the video can be purchased on a no-obligation basis.
Value for Money
As with most NZ heli skiing the rates are an absolute baaa…..gain especially when the New Zealand currency is that of a peso. The rates across the operators are very similar (see our NZ heli ski comparison for more information) so there’s not much point shopping around if price is your main concern.

Notes Regarding Review

The review is largely based on our experiences, but also on discussions with staff, former guests, and information available on their website. Our review has some limitations as it’s not possible to ski all the terrain and in all possible snow and weather conditions. Every guide is somewhat different and we acknowledge that everyone’s experience will be slightly different. The ratings are from our perspective only and we encourage you to contribute to the overall review of the operation by adding a review.

Check out our heli ski ratings to see how Harris Mountains Heliski fares against other heli skiing operations around the world.

The photos and video are not captured using professional riders. They aim to show an example of a “standard” experience.

More Information

If you would like to enquire about a date or you would like to get more information directly from Harris Mountains Heliski click here.


Superb

POWDERHOUNDS.COM06/09/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    5

Superb

POWDERHOUNDS.COM06/09/2019
Stunning weather out of Wanaka
The flights are incredibly picturesque
Heli skiing out of Glenorchy
Burly terrain
Lovely powder!
A couple of weeks have passed and I still haven’t come down from the high of our 2 days out with Harris Mountains HeliSki. I’ve been laughing at myself trying to keep the powder dreams alive by watching videos we made to relive the 2 amazing days. Finding the enthusiasm to go resort skiing has been difficult and concentrating on writing about anything else but heli skiing has been troublesome too!

The first day was out of Wanaka and the weather was absolutely sublime with perfect blue skies and not a breath of wind, so it was no great surprise that it was a record breaking day for the number of heli skiers out. The avalanche risk was considerable so we couldn’t tackle some of the really tasty looking lines, but the slopes were a nice pitch and just perfect for advanced riders. There were occasional patches of wind crust, but the snow was mostly lovely shallow powder and on a couple of runs it was like a magic carpet! My favourite run was The Fridge, which as the name would suggest, had amazing snow. We had a lead guide who was an old hand and adept at keeping discerning heli skiers very happy, and the ability match of the group was ideal.

The second day was from Queenstown out past Glenorchy from the Invincibles Snowfields heli pad, off Centaur Peaks zone (terrain shared with Alpine Heliski). The terrain there was striking with its rocky escarpments and it was burly, although once again the avi risk was considerable so we couldn’t ski anything too steep or crazy. The snow was pristine on a couple or runs albeit a little thin in places, and really good on other runs. One minor limitation was that we only skied a couple of zones so we repeated runs and at times our guide led us down choke points that had already been skied and we couldn’t spread out to get fully fresh tracks, but then I’m just a complete fuss pot and it’s my job to critique things to the nth degree! My overall impression of the day was that it was phenomenal and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

See our Harris Mountains Heliski review for our thoughts on the pros and cons and also see our heli ski ratings to see how we rate HMH versus the other NZ heli ski outfits. Harris Mountains Heliski is still rated by us as the best overall New Zealand heli skiing operator.

Harris Mountain heli

Dave26/10/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Rider Country
    aus
  • Month Visited:
    September

Harris Mountain heli

Dave26/10/2018
Fantastic, must do.

Legendary Day

POWDERHOUNDS.COM15/11/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    5

Legendary Day

POWDERHOUNDS.COM15/11/2015
Legendary day!
Roger leaving some trenches
Lovely powder
Top Dog leaving a little cold smoke behind
With New Zealand skiing you generally don’t have super high expectations for the snow quality as it can be very hit and miss. As has been the case with all our HMH experiences, before we went out the staff understated the likely snow quality we’d experience. So it came as an amazing surprise when we first clicked into our skis. Thanks to some low temps and a dump just over 24 hours prior, the snow quality was phenomenal. It wasn’t particularly deep but enough to leave nice trenches, and if it had been deeper, we might have thought we were in Hokkaido Japan considering how fluffy the snow was!

Some of the heli landings were at 2,150 metres and we didn’t do particularly long runs, so the good elevation also contributed to the snow quality. We weren’t able to do any steep runs due to avalanche risk, but the slopes were a nice pitch and just perfect for advanced riders….. glorious actually!
We were guided by Roger who is a veteran of the heli skiing industry (and seems to be the ski model for HMH!), and it was great to be out with someone with such a wealth of experience.

HMH what a legendary day!

See our Harris Mountains Heliski review for our thoughts on the pros and cons and also see our heli ski ratings to see how we rate HMH versus the other NZ heli ski outfits.

An Excellent Heli Operation

Andrew Henderson30/04/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

An Excellent Heli Operation

Andrew Henderson30/04/2013
HMH is a great company, run by friendly staff and well established. I have been lucky enough to ski with them a few times over the years, mostly during occasional "discount days." After a ski with them a few years ago, which was the day after a week of almost daily snow, I went out and bought my first pair of powder skis. They issue a sort of ski report each day, like the commercial fields in the area and the day I skied was the usual sheet with "EPIC" written accross it in big letters.

Epic snow is not guaranteed in NZ, but you do know that when you heliski you will be in the best possible snow conditions for that day. If there is a perfect day with fresh snow you can bet that the HMH office will be full of skiers looking to get a place. Go and sign up with them early and don't miss out.

This is another example of how well NZ does heliski. Excellent guides, top ranked pilots and good ground staff. The lunch is pretty good too! If you have never been heliskiing, this is a good place to start.

HMH Go the Extra Mile

POWDERHOUNDS.COM07/10/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

HMH Go the Extra Mile

POWDERHOUNDS.COM07/10/2012
Once again the snow quality at the ski resorts had been dreadful and we weren’t sure if it was worth going heli skiing. It definitely was and HMH came up trumps - we were impressed with the quality of snow they sourced. Sure it wasn’t fluffy deep powder, but rather nice nonetheless.

Extensive terrain is really important when the snow is marginal and HMH have plenty to choose from. They flew us into the depths of their terrain and they weren’t misers when it came to helicopter flying time.

We rode lots of interesting advanced terrain features with little gullies and half pipes.

Harris Mountains Heliski is a terrific all-rounder heli ski operation.

Really Good Heli Operator

Method14/11/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Really Good Heli Operator

Method14/11/2011
I reckon it's pretty hard to rate heli-skiing, particularly if it's your first time. It's probably one of the most exciting things you'll do. Add together the excitement of untracked snow, hopefully powder, and getting chauffered around in a helicopter and it's all pretty cool. Harris Mountains is the 3rd operator I've done heli with. Generally, there's not much to separate the operators. They all have their own terrain, but luckily there is plenty of awesome terrain to be shared around between the operators in the Wanaka/Queenstown/ Mt Cook area. Their main area of operations is the Harris Mountains (oddly enough!) to the west of treble cone. They also operate in the Ben Ohau range which is closer to Mt Cook.

The 2 main factors that will determine how good your experience is, are the conditions and the guide(s). I was lucky that I went in mid August '11 on the 1st flying day after the big 50 year storm that made Queenstown resemble Niseko in mid January, so we had absolutely champagne bottomless powder, the best I have had in NZ.

We were also lucky that we had one of the more experienced guides, Roger, as our guide. I believe he has been guiding since skis were first invented, so he knew the terrain like the back of his hand. He was really good and I could tell he was working pretty hard with the pilot to find the best conditions and dropoff points to make our experience as enjoyable as possible. Normally they're quite happy to film and take photos for you, but on this particular day, given the amount of snowfall, Roger had his work cut out finding safe routes down and avoiding avalanche areas. The storm that had come through had quite a bit of wind associated with it, so not all the terrain was offering deep powder and was quite wind blasted in places, but Roger did a great job finding the best snow and there was only a couple of times at the bottom of the runs that I felt my board cut through all that beautiful fluffy snow to the hard ice below. The pace was really good too, I hate stuffing around, I just want to put the hammer down! There's plenty of awesome terrain in this area of NZ, so convince them you can handle it and if the avalanche conditions are safe there is truly some Alaskan stuff out there.

Safety wise, they are pretty good, with a fairly solid beacon briefing. I have always found it funny that heli ski operators make you wear a beacon, but don't insist on the probe and shovel part, particularly if there is only one guide, because since they are out front, if there is an avalanche they would probably be the ones to set it off and get buried! Our group of 3 all had the gear so I felt safe.

I'd happily go back (and I will). They are a pretty good operator, but there's probably not a lot between the major players.

3 August 2011 Heliski

Mark Trim09/08/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    4

3 August 2011 Heliski

Mark Trim09/08/2011
I did the Classic 4 run day and signed up for Heli2 level. I was the only Heli2 in the group, the others I went with [5+guide] had all signed up as Heli3, although I only found that out after quizzing them a bit more. As we had a very stable snowpack we were taken to steeper than usual terrain to get to the powder in the shady spots - we ventured to the Nth Harris Mtns. We got some great powder, a heavier type as it had a bit of a crust but quite deep and 'buttery'. Considering it hadn't snowed for 6 days this was surprising and they knew how to find the good stuff.

Guides were great people and we had a fantastic heli pilot. My only issues are that they kind of push you to do more runs [I was asked about 10 times to do a 5th run and had to put my foot down] and that I feel they went a bit past the strong intermediate level that I signed up for. I'd recommend a high level of fitness and lots of previous powder experience to get the most out of it. I certainly wouldn't rush into it unless you can ski a lot of blacks in powder.

Amazing First Heli Experience

Dougal29/09/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Amazing First Heli Experience

Dougal29/09/2010
We had to wait a few cancelled days before we got to fly, but when we did it was amazing. The conditions on the day were great - clear blue skies and not the strong winds they were expecting. We were relatively inexperienced on powder so the amount that there was suited us fine, although it wasn't exactly knee deep (but they were always very honest about the conditions). The only slight limitation was that they had several groups all skiing one section of mountain as conditions elsewhere in their terrain weren't great, and this did mean some bits became a bit tracked, but really, this is picking at minor points as we still had plenty of freshies.

Of course, heli-skiing is never cheap, but we thought it was really good value that we got from HMH. And on a good day I think everyone on the 4 run package will upgrade to the 7 - it is a bit of a no brainer given how little extra it is (and even if you originally only book for 4 runs and then upgrade they still only charge the package price for 7, not the charge for 3 individual extra runs).

The safety was first class. Our guide had more than 30 years experience of heli guiding and mountain safety. He has also volunteered for mountain rescue for 30 years and had been rewarded with the QSM for his efforts. What he didn't know about mountain safety probably wasn't worth knowing. He took us through everything well, showed us how to use the transceivers and the probes and we felt very safe in his company.

We don't have any other experience of heli skiing to serve as a comparison but suffice to say we will almost certainly be finding the funds to do it again one day after the experience we had. Overall we would thoroughly recommend HMH.

Harris Mountain heli skiing

Ross Wearn28/08/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70

Harris Mountain heli skiing

Ross Wearn28/08/2010
Mother nature put on great day and so did Harris Mountain heli skiing. I'm coming back next year, thanks guys.

HMH is Choice eh?!

POWDERHOUNDS.COM15/07/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

HMH is Choice eh?!

POWDERHOUNDS.COM15/07/2010
HMH absolutely impressed the socks off me (even if they were a little sweaty!).

Harris Mountains Heli-ski is incredibly experienced and is probably the biggest NZ heli skiing operator. As Harris Mountains Heli Skiing have the capacity to take out loads of guests each day, it gives them the flexibly to really cater for different ability levels. The chances are slim of being stuck with people that are way above or below your ability level or desire for speed.

Other pros: huge terrain to choose from so they have a higher chance of finding optimal snow conditions; impressive terrain; and fun yet professional guides. And of course the vistas are absolutely spectacular.

As with other New Zealand heli skiing, cons include: no tree skiing; more down days compared with heli skiing Canada due to inability to ski and fly in protected areas; and that thigh deep powder snow is far from guaranteed. However the staff will be very honest about the snow conditions.

The vertical is also somewhat limited to about 600-700 metres per run (but it’s generally longer than nearby competitors). However at 7 runs for NZ$995 it works out at about US$706 (as at July 2010) for 4,550 metres of vertical. With continental USA heliski operations you’d pay about US$1,000-$1,350 for the same vertical or less. So Harris Mountains is an absolute baaaaa….gain. Choice eh?!

For a more detailed review see our Harris Mountains Heli Ski review.
Harris Mountain Heliski Packages
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Harris Mountains Heliski Queenstown Wanaka DETAILS
Price p/p From price based on Intro 3-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 637

DAY HELISKIING QUEENSTOWN & WANAKA
Packages from 4 to 10 runs

Book before Dec 31st
Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on Intro 3-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 637
Don't miss the opportunity to experience New Zealand's best heli skiing with Harris Mountains Heliski. Heli ski Queenstown and Wanaka heli ski packages are either 3, 4, 7 or 10 runs with the option to purchase additional runs on the day. Includes Queenstown or Wanaka accommodation pick-up/drop-off. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
DETAILS
Harris Mountains Mt Cook DETAILS
Price p/p From price based on Mt Cook Classic 5-run package not inc flight from Queenstown or Wanaka (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 765

DAY HELISKIING MT COOK
Packages include 5 runs & option of flights from QT or Wanaka

Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on Mt Cook Classic 5-run package not inc flight from Queenstown or Wanaka (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 765
The highly renowned Mt Cook heli skiing with option of breathtaking scenic flights from Queenstown or Wanaka to get to Mt Cook and back. Heli Ski Mt Cook packages include 5 runs with the option to purchase more runs on the day. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
DETAILS
Harris Mountains Heliski Private Charters DETAILS
Price p/p Per person price based on a group of 8 with 2 hours of helicopter flight time.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 861

PRIVATE CHARTER HELI SKIING QUEENSTOWN, WANAKA, MT COOK
Fully customisable

Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p Per person price based on a group of 8 with 2 hours of helicopter flight time.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 861
Private heli skiing charters offer the ultimate in flexibility and freedom to explore the vast heli skiing terrain, set your own pace, and ski or snowboard as much as you want, and wherever conditions permit. Get together your own group of up to 4 (single load) or 5-10 (double load). More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
DETAILS
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