How well do I have to ski to go Heli-skiing?
Ideally you are a strong intermediate skier/boarder or better, with a sense of adventure. Harris Mountains Heli-ski (HMH) has exclusive access to extensive terrain in Queenstown, Wanaka and Mount Cook. Easy rolling terrain for powder first timers, wide open bowls and challenging chutes with steep valleys for the more experienced. You’ll be part of a group of four led by a guide who is committed to your safety and enjoyment of this alpine environment. Complete our Ability Questionnaire at our office or on our website www.heliski.co.nz to help establish your ability and the best group for you.
How does the Heli-ski day work?
Heli-skiing works like this
- Early in the morning we check the weather and then we contact you to confirm that heli-skiing is on.
- We’ll then pick you up and drive you to the staging area where you’re introduced to your pilot, guide and fellow heli-skiers.
- A safety briefing is given covering avalanche transceivers, helicopter and mountain safety, then you
fly off to the first heli-ski run.
- All groups meet for a alpine buffet lunch with time to relax.
- The afternoon is back to the ultimate – more heli-ski runs
If weather conditions preclude flying you can reschedule to the next day. Reservations must be reconfirmed by 6.00pm the day prior to flying. It is wise to book well in advance especially during our peak season.
Do I need powder skis?
You don’t have to have powder skis but they will assist you to ski even better.
The new wide body powder skis or all mountain skis are great for all abilities. They allow you to ski a wide range of snow conditions, faster, easier and with more stability. Many of our guides use these and they’re wonderful for those wanting to go longer and harder in more advanced terrain. You don’t have to own your own powder skis, talk to us and we can recommend a variety of hire equipment retailers.
How long are the runs?
Run length varies depending on the terrain and snow conditions. Our exclusive terrain offers runs that vary between 2000 and 2500 vertical feet of treeless skiing in sheltered basins, bowls and wide rolling mountain flanks through to steep and gnarly chutes.
What do I need to bring?
You will need to bring your ski/board or hire equipment. You will need to have warm clothing – a windproof jacket and pants, warm gloves, sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen. The day is spectacular, bring a camera to capture your heli-ski day – the perfect escape from the everyday.
What about safety equipment?
Besides the equipment listed in What you need to bring, Harris Mountains Heli-ski will provide all guests with AV transceivers. Before you start your heli-ski adventure, a safety briefing is given covering avalanche transceivers, helicopter and mountain safety, then you fly off to the first heli-ski run.
What’s included in the Heli-ski Day?
Included in all Heli-day options:
- Fully qualified Guide (guide to guest ratio 1:4/5 skiers/boarders)
- All Guides UIAGM and NZMGA certified and/or mountain specialists
- Alpine buffet lunch
- Use of tranceivers
- All transfers from accommodation to heli-staging areas and return
- Pick up and drop off of your rental equipment
- “Capture the Experience ” video service available on request
Is it possible to get a video of my heli-ski day?
‘Capture the Experience’ Video Service
Our professional video-guides are available on request and will ski with your group capturing the day’s adventure on broadcast quality 3 chip digital video cameras. The highlights of your day to remember are then edited into a 15-20 minute DVD available on a no-obligation basis that evening. Ask at our counter when booking or confirming your day’s heli-skiing.
Do you provide accommodation pick-ups?
Yes, Harris Mountains Heli-ski will provide transfers from your Wanaka or Queenstown accommodation to our airport helipad or staging area and return.
How does the weather affect heli-skiing?
Mountain weather can be harsh and unpredictable. Early in the morning, our Head Guide will evaluate the snow and weather information and decide if conditions are suitable for heli-skiing to operate. We will ring you at your accommodation to confirm if weather conditions allow us to operate.