or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:


post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I've been getting my weekly dose of stoke from a bunch of ski flicks I bought on half.com, and aside from the huge air these kids are getting in the superparks, the most impressive thing to me is the sick places and powder you can get to via the steel bird.

When I first started skiing, I'll be quite honest and say that it seemed moronic to me. I just didn't understand the draw. But now that I've begun to explore the mysteries of the deep, I am tantalized by the prospect of 20k+ vertical in untracked and knee deep.

So here are a few questions to find out where y'all stand.
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oops, there should be an N/A option on Q's 2 and 3, can't change it now so just answer based on what you would most likely say if it applied to you.

Sorry, it's getting late!
post #3 of 15
A friend of mine was doing backcountry skiing in New Zealand and he chosed to climb by himself. His whole experience was spoiled by the non stop noise of the helicopter that were bringing adventure tourists up the mountain. If your goal is to be outdoor in tranquility, those helico can really ruin it.
post #4 of 15
You won't know how cool it is until you try it: 85% who book Canadian Mountain Holidays are returning guests.
post #5 of 15
X Dog:
The easier we make something,
The more we devalue it.

I know that many people see snowsport as just the endorphin rush in the ride from top to bottom; and I/we will never persuade them otherwise.
That they’re unwilling to expend the time, effort or preparation to reach, by their own efforts, the extremes of the ski experience is simply a measure of their commitment to the sport. It defines them. That’s not a denigration of their skills, but I do maintain that their experience is diminished and will ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and the craving for ‘ever more extreme’ events.

One last observation:
Heliskiing is promoted as being (and these are from ad material) -
“The last personal challenge”
“A zen experience”
“The ultimate rush”
“The easy ride to ecstasy”
Every Heliski company I know, offers a film/video service for its clients . . .
and we roll right back to ego masturbation!
Two months ago I was subjected to the “******** family, Winter experience DVD” 30 minutes of barely controlled, stop/start steeps in BC. Great photography, superb production, . . .
Crap skiing!
But what do I know?

Just that snow can be great fun or great pain, and some people are a waste of good snow.
post #6 of 15
I have spoken to a few skiers that were fortunate enough to Heli-ski and one such person had done it like 30 times,he said most of the ppl that were heli-skiing were not very good skiers. Just had alot of $$. The prices of heli-skiing were out of the average skiers budget. However,TGR is giving away a heli-trip at their website. Good Luck WTFH,now wouldn't that be special.
post #7 of 15
If it's the same deal they ran last year, it's only open to those from the US.

post #8 of 15
You'll get plenty of air time if you go to Jackson this season. There were a few states not included in the contest also.
post #9 of 15
I've hesitated to comment on this topic, but I guess I'll go ahead now. There seems to be a lot of snobbery out there from those that have the time and the physical location ability to go out and earn their turns. I salute you guys and envy you.

That being said, the majority of us who used to be die-hard skiers (I used to ski the backside of Mt Mansfield and have been to many of the secret stashes under the chin - I was a regular at Tuckerman's 78-83), have had to move on. It's a choice we made. My family comes first, but it doesn't diminish my love for being out there. I just can't devote the time to be in good enough shape to hike for my turns. Heli-skiing is my only chance to go out there and do the things I used to do. The fact that I live in an area that is basicaly at sea level doesn't help either.

I used to live in North Carolina...could only ski 1 week per year. It was killing me to hike the ridges at Copper to get some decent lines. I wish I could have made the trek to Tucker Mtn, but there was no way. Does that make me a loser? I don't think so. I saved my money all year just to get what I got. Now, I'm saving for 3 years to go heli-skiing. Does that make me the epitome of evil? If so, mea culpa, but it's the best I can hope for.

If what I'm going to do ruins your experience, I'm sorry, but that's not what I'll be thinking as I'm ripping 100K of powder vertical in a week.
post #10 of 15
Originally posted by Xdog:
Ok, so I've been getting my weekly dose of stoke from a bunch of ski flicks I bought on half.com, and aside from the huge air these kids are getting in the superparks, the most impressive thing to me is the sick places and powder you can get to via the steel bird.

So here are a few questions to find out where y'all stand.

I've done a little heli skiing and a lot of hiking for turns.

Just for the sake of the discussion, I'll leave out the philosophical issue of whether a given person likes the idea of helicopters in the mountains and give you my opinions of the *skiing* comparisons between the two modes of getting there.

Three of the four days I've heli-skied are in my top-ten ski days ever. Them's pretty good odds.

A good heli day is going to give you plus-or-minus 20,000 vertical feet of skiing. If that's all untracked and in good conditions, you can max out the fun meter unbelievably quickly. By comparison, although there are lots (and lots) of backcountry skiers who can hike way more than me, I've done a really big day if I do 6,000 vertical when hiking up. Just do the math and you get a lot more turns for your day.

When you ride that 'copter over a few thousand acres of untracked snow you feel like a kid in a candy store. You want to ski everything you can see. Also, the helicopter may (depends on the terrain and the snowpack) be able to drop you off in places that might be too dangerous to travel to safely on foot.

If your aim is to get access to incredible snow and terrain, make turns you'll remember forever, and the cost is manageable for you, by all means hop on a heli.

Having said that, here's my opinion are some of the drawbacks of heli skiing:

* Weather - if you've bought a week in the Monashees and the weather doesn't cooperate, you're screwed. If the ship can't fly, or the sun crusted the snow, or the avy danger is just too high, or it hasn't snowed since Christmas, or whatever, you're going to have to live with what you're dealt.

* Partner Groups - I don't think this one is as big a deal as it was before fat skis, but unless you take your own posse of compatible skiers, you're going to ski with whomever the operator groups you. This could mean a more laid-back group than you might prefer (or vice versa). This is a tough one to consider because the level of your group can affect the terrain your guides choose, how many vertical your peers can physically ski, etc. The solution, of course, is to build your own group.

* Cost - It is outlandishly expensive to go heli-skiing any more. That's my own definition, naturally. For many people, the cost of a week in the Bugaboos is barely worth batting an eye. Good for them. I wish I was one.

* Knowledge - When you heli ski, you're really not part of the decision-making process about snow safety. The guides and the operator primarily decide what to ski and when. You're not as involved in deciding the safest way to have the most fun possible. This is an intangible that (for many people, anyway) is a huge advantage of hiking for your turns. Nothing makes you more conscious of snow conditions and routes - and the consequences of a mistake - as being a few hours from *anywhere* and knowing that the decisions you make might kill your friends. It can be argued that those considerations heighten the experience of hiking for turns in comparison to riding a ship and following the guide(s).

I don't really buy the idea that by making the experience "easier", it is cheapened in some way. Certainly that might be true for a few people who can afford 20 weeks of heli-skiing a winter, but most of the people I know who go heli-skiing consider it something they have to save for, or set aside money that might have gone for other things. I think for the most part they *genuinely* understand how fortunate they've been to do something so special.

I do a great deal of hiking for turns and I love the places I can get to, the skiing that I find there, and the fun and education I've gained from doing it. Bottom line, however, is that I'd go heli-skiing in a heartbeat if someone else would pay for it.

post #11 of 15
I'd do it in a heartbeat if I could afford it. But I can't, so I don't.

The few times I looked into doing it the cost was around $250-$300 per person per day. I can ski almost all week with a lift ticket for that jing.

If I had an extra $600 to blow one day for my wife and I to do it...you bet.
post #12 of 15
Good luck finding a place where you can heli-ski (ride) for $300 a day....it's about $700 in Utah. The cheapest I've seen in in Whistler where it was about $424 US.

A weeklong heli trip with a top notch company is $5000+
post #13 of 15
I have two goals in life:
1) To be happy
2) To go heli-skiing.

I will achieve both and nothing will cheapen either. I don't earn a lot of money and will have to save for about 10 years to afford to do it properly. There's really not as much point doing it on this side of the pond so that's hiking the price to start with. (I'm doing it in style!!)
If you honestly think that anything is going to cheapen my experience you have got to be a fool! You could have a dozen people trying to kill me James Bond style and it still wouldn't cheapen the experience. I'm going to go and I'm going to enjoy it like nothing on earth. There isn't a thing on earth that could cheapen the experience.

If I lived in a resort and had the time (i.e. no added cost) then it might well cheapen the turns but I don't so it won't! And if it cheapens your turns cos you've hiked cos you live in a resort (or near one) then I'm sorry but I won't lose any sleep over it!

Diversity baby, it's all about diversity.

Oh and maybe
3) to have a quiver!!!
post #14 of 15
I did a heli trip a couple of years ago, after which I caught a plane in Castlegar to Vancouver and bused up to Whistler for a meeting. I didn't ski Whistler. I didn't care that I didn't ski Whistler. I'd just skied 145,000 vertical in five days on runs with 5,000 vertical feet of consistent pitch in snow that was nothing less than divine under a brilliant blue sky. I skied *Run of the Century* three times!!! Whistler base was socked-in, temps were near 50, and it was drizzling.

People thought I was insane not to have stayed on a few days to ski.

*Run of the Century is only skiable under ideal conditions. It's a steep consistent slope with no trees on it--for good reason. It is the run photographed on CMH's most popular poster.
post #15 of 15
Originally posted by K2rider:
Good luck finding a place where you can heli-ski (ride) for $300 a day....it's about $700 in Utah. The cheapest I've seen in in Whistler where it was about $424 US.

A weeklong heli trip with a top notch company is $5000+
This is the price that stuck in my head from my last trip in March...but now that I think about it, that was probably the Snow Cat rate, not the Heli rate.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion