THE PERFECT HELI-SKIING JACKET
The only time you should be hot and sweaty on a holiday is when you have a cold cocktail and a pool beside you. There is neither in our heli-skiing mountains. Your primary piece of armour from the elements is your heli-skiing jacket (and pants). Note Heli-Skiing jacket is different than resort skiing jacket. There are three critical factors in choosing what to pack for your heli ski trip in order to maximize your enjoyment. 1. Remote 2. Warmer 3. Deep Snow.
REMOTE: What makes heli-skiing Great in Canada is that we have lots of land (10,000,000 km², 2nd Largest Country) and not many people (35 Million). Great Canadian Heli-Skiing’s Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges are perfect examples of this, they are vast powder full bowls, glades and glaciers. Once the helicopter lifts of for the day you want to be prepared for the weather, and the changes that can occur throughout the day. You want a tough jacket that will act as armour from the snow, wind and trees. Make sure that your clothes can outlast your legs, to avoid a shortening of an epic day.
WARMER: You will not find the tropics up here, but you will find a warm helicopter waiting for you at the end of each run, ready to lift you to another. This is a factor that many don’t consider when dressing for helicopter skiing. Many people wear insulated jackets which mean the personal thermostat is going to be stuck on Warm all day long. With no adjust you are going to sweat, fog up your goggles, cramp up your dehydrated legs, and impact your day. This is why you will hear seasoned heli skiing guests and guides repeat the “Layering” mantra over and over. Elevations, Temperatures, Wind, and Exertion can cause dramatic changes in body temperature. Having a Jacket, that is not insulated, only a shell combined with layers underneath, allows for daily adjustments. Best advice, walk out the door with a shell jacket and some mid-layers (never cotton), you should feel slightly cool walking to the helicopter. Pack a packable vest for lunch, and you are ready for a comfortable day in the mountains.
DEEP SNOW: Heli-Skiing snow is different than resort snow, its deeper. Your day of heli-skiing is spent immersing yourself into the snow either by glorious submarine turns, or head first torpedo burns. Over and over again Gore Tex shells have proven to be the best defense to powder snows insistent attack. In addition, Powder Cuffs, and tall Collars add to your ability to convert yourself into a water tight submersible object.
A perfect example of a perfect heli-skiing jacket is the Arcteryx Vertic Jacket. Great Canadian Heli-Skiing was the first heli skiing company to outfit all their guides in Arcteryx, for a good reason they make tough high quality products perfect for our environment. See the details below, or if you want more information on suiting up for heli-skiing, check out a video from guide Terry Makos.
ARCTERY VERTIC JACKET – Here’s the lowdown on a no-down heli-skiing approved jacket:
Waterproof, breathable and durable jacket designed for big mountain and on/off piste skiing and riding. Patterned for easy layering and designed with ample pocket storage.
FULL FEATURE LIST
- GORE-TEX® three-layer construction
- Tiny GORE® seam tape (13 mm)
- One-hand adjustable drawcords
- Articulated elbows
- No-lift gusseted underarms
- Stealth hood adjusters
- Helmet compatible Stow Hood
- Laminated chin guard with brushed microsuede facing for added comfort
Zippers & Fly Configuration
- Pit zippers for easy venting
- WaterTight™ Vislon front zip
- Webbing zipper pulls
- Zipper garages to protect zipper closure from snow and rain
- Cuff & Sleeves Configuration
- Laminated die-cut Velcro® cuff adjusters reduce bulk, and won’t catch or tear off
- Hem Configuration
- Drop back hem
- Adjustable hem drawcord
- Pocket Configuration
- Internal chest pocket with laminated zip
- Internal mesh pocket
- Two high-volume chest pockets with hidden zippers
- Two hand pockets with WaterTight™ zippers
- Note: Our WaterTight™ zippers are highly water resistant, but not waterproof. We do not recommend keeping items in your pockets that may be damaged by moisture
- Powder skirt with gripper elastic and snap closure
- Hidden Recco® reflector
- N40p-X GORE-TEX® Pro 3L
- N150p GORE-TEX® Pro 3L
Great fitting product, very sturdy
“…With a base and mid layer close to the body, this jacket seems to hover. It might have something to do with the extra stiff n150p gore-tex – which is noticeably stiffer than other gore materials. I’ve got a TNF enzo (n40d) – which is super pliable, a Theta AR (mix of different denier’s) – which has panels which are somewhat stiff, and this jacket – which is stiffer throughout than the stiffest panel on the other jackets.
The newest N80p-x material used in some of the other jackets is indeed softer to the touch, and about half the stiffness of this jacket. The theta SV bibs use both of these materials – and the 150p material is used in the high wear areas of those pants. This jacket uses 150p all over – so if you want the toughest and the stiffest – this is the jacket. I kind of like the stiffer jackets – it holds away from the body a bit better than more pliable materials – and in my books – that makes it feel warmer.
As far as the finish is concerned – typical Arc’teryx. Nothing but great lines, and cleverly thought out features. The powder skirt is super lightweight, and there it sits at exactly the right height. It is not too tight or too loose – and will lock in to compatible pants with slide-locks. I’m not concerned about the longevity or wear, as the old gore-tex I’ve had has lasted over 10 years. Also – the lifetime warranty is among the best in the business.
If I can save you some time – just try this one on on see what I mean. The closest fit is the patagonia super-alpine – but even that one has extra material that bulks.” Wavesport, Vancouver.
Great ski shell!
“Finally an Arc’teryx shell with a hood that stows! Been waiting on a Arc’teryx jacket without a full-time hood. The Vertical hood rolls and stows in the zippered collar. I am 5’8″ 160 lbs and a small fits perfectly. Has a snow skirt that works, pockets in all the right places and adjustable cuffs with die cut tabs to reduce bulk. Handy zippered pass pocket for electronic readers. When the weather gets rough, the collar zips nice and high while staying out of your way. I wear a base layer, my favorite zip tee topped off with a down sweater. The Gore-Tex Pro material make this thing bomb proof. Just returned from Alta, Utah where they had a major dump closing the canyon roads and the jacket performed great. I was warm and dry under all conditions.
If you are a serious skier, I don’t care where you are on the mountain, this jacket will not let you down. Looks great too! Received many good looks and comments as well. Sorry, made in China.” Bergyvegas, Phoenix AZ
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