Overall Rating

Himalayan Heli Adventures - Odyssey

Himalayan Heli Adventures - Odyssey4/52
Himalayan Heli Adventures - Odyssey4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    50%
  • Would Revisit
    50%

Himalayan Heli Adventures - Odyssey - Reviews

Himalayan Heli Adventures - Odyssey - Reviews

Average to poor

Philippe Fatzer08/07/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    51-65
  • Rider Ability
    Expert
  • Country
    Switzerland
  • Month:
    March

Average to poor

Philippe Fatzer08/07/2019
I will not return to Manali, nor recommend it, for some of the following reasons :
Lack of availability of relevant equipment
No group order rotation
Preferential group treatment
Very lengthy rotation
No corrective actions implemented despite regular feedback
Restricted skiing terrain
Guiding style

Iconic Heli Skiing

Andrew Henderson20/11/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    51-65

Iconic Heli Skiing

Andrew Henderson20/11/2016
Very dry snow, plenty of it, and unlimited vertical. An amazing place to ski.

There is sublime tree skiing and, of course, more true alpine than you can shake a stick at. The high altitudes assure dry, good quality, never ending snow. We didn’t see very deep powder during the time we were there, but knee deep is standard and the mid weight snow is perfect. The pitch and terrain is as steep and varied as any skier could want and the setting is mind blowing. The irregular pointed peaks surrounding you could only be the Himalayas. You have no doubt you are skiing somewhere very special.
The conditions vary from crystal clear, warm days, where you can see forever, to overcast conditions, with visibility too poor to fly. I got the impression that the latter are not uncommon. There were 4 consecutive no fly days during the time I was there. The days we did ski however had conditions that were as good as you could ever dream of.
The vertical is more limited by the clients than the hours in the day. Heliskiing is a lot of work. Make sure you are fit enough to make the most of it. Even if you are fit, expect the altitude to make the first day or two tough. The weeks are organised to try to acclimatise guests as much as possible. The first one or two days might be spent in the trees before going higher into the alpine, so that you can enjoy the skiing more. The first run from over 5000m will have you gasping for air, but reeling with pleasure.
Manali is only a quick flight from New Delhi, but the airport is often affected by cloud and there are limited flights. The Manali Heliski team meet you in New Delhi and manage your time there, including transfers to the airport and any changes to the itinerary that need to be made. Usually they manage to get people to the other end on the day intended, but it is not always possible. If the flights are cancelled you may have to fly to Chandigarh instead, not far as the crow flies, but a long way from Manali on a bumpy road. Staying another night in New Delhi may be a better option.

The guides are international, a mix of local, European, Australians and New Zealanders. All very experienced and great people to ski with. The head guide is Roger Kingston, who works for Harris Mountains in NZ in the southern winter and is a top bloke. The helicopter pilots are from Zermatt and amongst the most experienced and skilled mountain pilots in the world. They are occasionally called on to perform rescues while they are in Manali and while we were there, they rescued some very, very lucky hikers lost in the high country.

The package includes accommodation at a quite luxurious Manali hotel. The helicopter pad is within the hotel grounds. Literally a 50m walk from your bedroom door. The skiers’ meals are also provided and there is a large dining room and bar where you can eat and socialise with the other skiers, guides and staff. It is the off season for Manali, so you more or less have this enormous hotel to yourself. The hotel design is pleasingly mad and the staff are very nice people.

The skiing in the 2016 season was affected by the weather. Even in the Himalayas the snow can be off in a bad year. The advantage in this part of the world is that you can go higher or search further to find perfect conditions. We did end up with a little less skiing than we were hoping for. That was no one’s fault, the weather just did not cooperate. The skiing we did get will be remembered for a lifetime. Be aware though that the guaranteed vertical is 20,000m (or was in 2015) and you can chalk that up in two days. If you don’t get that vertical in your week you get a discount on the following season, but no refund. They try hard to make sure everyone gets a fair deal. Certainly there are a lot of repeat customers, but read the small print.

This is one of the iconic heliski destinations of the world. The only commercial skiing above 5000m. Top guides and pilots.