We all had a first day heli-skiing. If your upcoming adventure is going to be your first, you’re going to love it. Trust us

Are you ready?

How To Tell

A lot of first-time heli-skiers wonder—or even worry—about whether they’re strong enough skiers to take on the backcountry. To get the most out of your experience, we recommend that you be at least a strong intermediate resort skier before booking a heli-skiing adventure. Have you skied regularly in recent years? Can you confidently navigate a black diamond run at your favourite ski resort? Then you should be good up here. The other thing to keep in mind is fitness, which can be even more important than ability. One of the major benefits of small-group heli-skiing (more on that below) is that you’ll be waiting less and skiing more—so you can expect to do more runs than your average resort day.

We recommend doing some extra dryland conditioning to ensure your body is ready to maximize your mountain time. This video – This link opens in a new browser tab by our former guide (who also happens to be a physiotherapist) has some great exercises to do in the weeks leading up to your trip. We also suggest doing as much skiing or boarding as you can in advance of your adventure. If time allows, plan to arrive a couple days early and visit the incredible resorts near us. Whatever you do, make sure you warm up those powder legs! Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.

A few pieces of advice for first-time heli-skiiers:

  • Dress in layers! If you think about it, the coldest part of a resort ski day is your time on the chairlift. Up here, that’s not a thing! Your lifts are heated—one of the many things to love about heli-skiing. As a result, you shouldn’t dress like you would for a day at Sunshine or Heavenly. We recommend a Gore-Tex non-insulated shell plus several synthetic layers of varying thickness. This strategy will allow you to add or remove layers as required. You’ll find a sample packing list here.
  • Take your time. Ask questions if you’re not sure. Stop and catch your breath when needed. If you fall (we all fall!), don’t get discouraged. Take a minute, clean the snow from your goggles, enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery around you, and ski on.
  • Perfect form doesn’t always count. When you’re skiing in wilderness, there will be some sections of wind-pressed snow, tight trees, or traverses where the best—or the only—technique will be to side slip, or snowplough. This will conserve your energy for powder skiing.
  • Always listen to your guide!
  • If you’re having trouble getting speed, start off in someone else’s track, then veer off when you get going.
  • Enjoy it! Hopefully this will be the first of many heli-skiing adventures for you, but your first time is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A #BestDayEver, even.

Final advice? Enjoy yourself! Hopefully this will be the first of many heli-skiing adventures for you, but it’s still a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A #BestDayEver, even.

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