or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First heli trip

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Alrighty! First time posting here, I've lurked for a while reading a few topics and posts but it's time to jump in. Here's a little history first

Life was a junior eastern racer, done the PSIA full cert or level 111, certified level2 USA coach, blah,blah, etc,etc and now just your everyday skier getting out as often as possible - not often enough 40 to 50 a year. Up till last year the only skis we ( the wife and I ) rode were WC slaloms. In fact our quiver were all different versions of the same hard core race boards. We have done Austria, Whistler and some out west. Last year after getting an invite to Big sky we picked up bonifieds for me and sambas for her? LOVE THEM. Skied everything there was there except the couloire -didn't know you needed to bring avalanche gear ! Sure on eastern bullet proof we will pull the SL's back out but the switch has been made.

Here's the question
Just got off the phone from booking a day of heli skiing with powder birds and they are suggesting using their 120 under foot salomon 2s. Anyone here at EPIC using a similar 98 - 100 underfoot / mid fat outback in untracked Utah?
Some of my reading uncovered CMH going back to mid fats for " people who's technique is 20 to 30 years old" . I'm pretty sure they were heli skiing even before mid fats- yes? Not wanting to drop out the door of the heli on the day of a lifetime on skis I've never turned before.

Thoughts and comments appreciated

Old fart Carver
post #2 of 17
The trend is to go wider but you don't have to. A few years ago 100 underfoot was a powder board. You'll likely be skiing moderate to mild terrain with unpacked powder. The flotation from the wider skis is nice but ski what you feel comfortable with.
post #3 of 17

Well, you could use "skinnier" skis on the "day of a lifetime" and end up being slow, getting exhausted (maybe need to be taken in early)  and generally making your group want to kill you... ;) Your narrower skis are designed for conditions other than that "day of a lifetime". 

 

In reality, who knows what you will get snow-wise. And maybe you and your spouse are uber-skiers on your existing skis. But the notion of paying for heli time on a powder day and being on anything skinnier than 115 or 120 (my strong preference out of my skis would be 128-138) would make me very sad. 

 

YMMV. Though it is worth noting that the heli folks probably have a decent idea of what works for their clients in their terrain.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments

Hj - I certainly hope at the price of the day that we aren't on mild or moderate terrain - that would suck!

Spindrift - no idea what a uber - skier is. The itinerary is 6 to 7 runs of 2k of vert and back by lunch - hard to imagine going in early with that - even harder to stomach the cost per run but it's the wife's dream for her 50th! Point well taken that they probably know their terrain and clientele but difficult at this end from a 20 year old dude fielding the call -his suggestion was to not bring our boards at all ? Is there any outback terrain at snowbird worthy of a comparison? big sky offered up two plus feet of fresh powder that made me think the bones were worthy of schlepping them west for this trip as well! I'm a old fart carver not old dead guy.
post #5 of 17

Take if  from someone who has done several heli-ski trips, and also the guy starting on skinnier skis than everyone else one time, go with what the heli company recommends.  Skinnier skis are more work, and you do not want to be the slowest common denominator for the group.  When the old guys start lagging behind CMH puts them on fatter skis so they can keep up.  The more vertical you ski the more money they make, so they want you to ski as much as possible and consequently their advice has both your best interests at heart.

 

As my buddy who has spent his life heli-skiing loves to say, after you reach your guaranteed vertical  the per foot cost of the extra vertical is the cheapest heli-skiing you'll ever get.

post #6 of 17

Believe them.  Many heli operations have skis for you to use, take them up on it if they do.  You adapted to the Bones you will adapt to a wider ski too.  You will love the Bones at at Big Sky and they will wonderfully at resorts in Utah.  Heli skiing is different go fat, you'll be glad you did.  

 

Where are you going?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Loved the bones at big sky - in fact loved everything about the resort. At present I'm doing some research on the Salomon Rocker2 which is the ski used by the operation - powderbird at the Canyons. The ski is also one of powdermags top pics as well.This whole thing came about because we are going to a conference at the canyons - P Birds operation is out of the same lodge we are staying at.

 

So next question is picking up some rocker 2s possibly to own. That leaves me wondering how much use they would get after this? Italian Dolomite's in the spring - perhaps the bones and rockers and ditch the SLs once and for all?  

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
 

Believe them.  Many heli operations have skis for you to use, take them up on it if they do.  You adapted to the Bones you will adapt to a wider ski too.  You will love the Bones at at Big Sky and they will wonderfully at resorts in Utah.  Heli skiing is different go fat, you'll be glad you did.  

 

Where are you going?

^^^^ This. 

I have a friend who is a co-owner of a hell operation.  She said they don't like to see anyone on anything under 110 under foot.  Her words - The occasional light weight skier on something 100-105 is the exception. 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

^^^^ This. 
I have a friend who is a co-owner of a hell operation.  She said they don't like to see anyone on anything under 110 under foot.  Her words - The occasional light weight skier on something 100-105 is the exception. 

Interesting - what's the definition of light weight skiers, like 150 or like 125? 94 is the widest I have, and I had a sneaking suspicion that I might wanna go wider for a deep powder day.
post #10 of 17

I'm fairly light weight, as in 135 lbs.  

I'd ski on something 105-110 isn under foot in those circumstances. 

Probably my primary ski in that situation would be the Blizzard Dakota(108) or Nordica Wildfire (107). 

 

If I were a heavier and more powerful skier I may go bigger. 

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old fart carver View Post


So next question is picking up some rocker 2s possibly to own. That leaves me wondering how much use they would get after this? Italian Dolomite's in the spring - perhaps the bones and rockers and ditch the SLs once and for all?  


 



It depends on what you plan on doing in Italy. As far as I know, the Dolomites don't get frequent storms. So if you're going to be skiing off piste, then the Bonafides should be your main tool. If you're not going to be off piste, then the SL skis would be best. The Rockers would only come into play if you get a fresh dump.
post #12 of 17
Going Heli skiing on anything under 110 will be criminal these days. It's not that you can't do it, it's that you will be missing half the fun.
post #13 of 17

Anytime anyone offers me good, practial gear to borrow for me or my kids I chalk that up to a WOOT WOOT I don't have to lug around as much gear for this trip!:yahoo:

post #14 of 17
Another reason to use the heli company's gear is if you loose a ski they often have a replacement for you. I wouldn't want my fun curtailed because I couldn't retrieve a ski!

Mike
post #15 of 17

I have 25 heli days and 65 cat days and also advise to go with the company's ski.  That said, I strongly suspect that with the OP's background and ability he would rip it up on the Bonafides.  For that same reason I believe it's completely unnecessary for him to consider buying a wider ski unless he's planning to live permanently near LCC, the Powder Highway in BC, etc.  The Bonafides (my daily driver also) will handle 90+% of the resort powder days he will encounter.  I bought them last season because I was going to the Alps and needed as much versatility out of a single pair of skis as possible.

 

There are a few situations where even at the OP's ability he'll be glad to have the extra width and extreme rocker of a dedicated powder ski.

1)  Heliskiing requires a flat open area to pick up skiers at the bottom. Sometimes the last 500 vertical of snow to get to that landing can be pretty ugly. The extra width and the tip rocker will prevent hooking into the crud and will make those runouts much less strenuous.

2) Tail rocker on powder skis helps you turn on a dime in the trees and smear turns to control speed.

3) One the deepest days (especially if there's an upside-down snowpack) you can submarine and get stuck on any pitch that's not steep.  The extra surface area of the powder ski will keep you floating in those situations.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Update - scored some new rocker2 122s with 115 underfoot for the wifey and myself. Both mounted with marker griffins and delivered at 1k. wouldn't be the first to get sight w/ o demo and eather love or hate so we will see. The bags will be full heading west and will have the best of both worlds covered. I went 180 and her 170 after recommendations from first Salomon, second the heli group and third a fellow old fart whom I respect. Yeah I read they ski short but had to go with 3 of 3 recommendations!
Next is to find some discount tickets between SLC and canyons / Snowbird for the off days - any suggestions on those?
post #17 of 17
It depends on how many days if its about a week maybe the ski salt lake super pass. Myself i'm doing single day tickets with liftopia website, but you have to buy at least two days before sometimes more
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion