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Heli Skiing Group Dynamics - Order

Poll Results: How do you think the order should work out?

  • 25% (1)
    Alpha: Faster Skiers out front.
  • 75% (3)
    Equality: Share the snow with everyone.
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

When heli skiing/ cat skiing, the lead guide turns to the group and says, "OK. Stay with your partner. LET'S GO!" then heads straight for the fall line. The entire group of 10-12 takes off, leaving a few turns between each other. 


The faster skiers end up in front, the slower skiers in the back. It's science.


The problem is:


The best position is in front. The lead guide will stay on the line the best, and you don't have any traffic to deal with. It seem fair for there to be a rotation within the group so all guests can have an equal share of the best quality skiing.


Leave you comments below:

post #2 of 6
Heli skiing in Alaska at least, most of the time it's one skier at a time.
I don't know where you skied that allows 12 skiers at once.
post #3 of 6

Depends on the group.  Sharing the heli with a group of friends?  Definitely time to share.  When we're out cat skiing we always make sure that everyone gets a "turn" at the front.  No need to worry about faster vs. slower skiers.  On most occasions you usually beat the cat down and are standing around waiting anyway.


Now, having said all that, I don't think that you have to go first to get the best turns.  I'm always chatting with the tail guide about possible alternative routes and whether we can ski "that line just over there".  Finally, one of the best lead guides I every had said, "You only need to move 12" over from the first guys line to fresh tracks".





post #4 of 6

Cat skiing,  I usually volunteer to go last. Besides the guide, I'm usually the best tail gunner.

I figure the guides will call me up front,  if we get into anything spicy.


Heli skiing technical terrain,  I let the guides decide.  I do carry a radio and I like them to tell me the best line

post #5 of 6

Flawed poll. There's plenty of fresh for everyone. I've been on low angle/safe aspects where the guide has let everyone go at once. I've had several guides tell me that once the group has earned their trust by obeying directions, they'll loosen the reins on the group. In my opinion, the stronger skier partner should spend more time at the back to be able to help the fallen weaker skier, but they should trade off for variety. The last thing you want is for a weaker skier to hold up the whole group even when you are in hurry up and wait mode.

post #6 of 6

In a group of diverse ability skiers there should be at least one good skier behind every not so good skier.  I usually send my kid down and watch them get at least half way to the horizon or line of sight before taking off behind them and catching up.  If you want pure, untouched totally virgin lines you might just have to hike for them (with a partner) or pay more to ski in a smaller group rather than bickering and belly aching over a couple of tracks here and there from the slower skiers that need to go ahead of the better ones..

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