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What do they mean by "expert only"? - Page 3

post #61 of 82

kings and corn baby!!!

 

Gotta' love the picture of the terrain for experts- Me? not so much yet....

 

 Alaska Mountain

post #62 of 82

Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

It is not unusual for skiers of a certain caliber to spend a considerable amount of time rounding up other skiers for a trip to ensure that they don't end up in a group of dentists on vacation skiing low angle farmed powder runs and waiting for the slow guy.

 

iWill: That's an awesome construct. 

post #63 of 82

I know lots of heli-guides and am friends with a heli-operator.  Most of the skiing that gets done with public groups is similar to the black diamond terrain at JH without the bumps.  It's not in the best interest of the operator to be breaking or killing their clients.  Talk with the operator and be honest with them.  It's been my experience in lessons that the women skiers do under estimate their abilities.  You might be fine, you might not be a good fit.  No one on this board knows that answer.  Also most of the operations provide about 20,000 vertical/day.  I ski that a lot of days before lunch.  I don't think that the endurance factor should be off the charts.  Most heli clients aren't elite skiers.  They are all reasonably wealthy and can afford the cost of admission.  If the heli-operators required every client to be truly gnarly and rad, they would all go out of business.  They also provide "cheater" skis to those who want or need them and all of the guides have a fair amount of experience dealing with fearful clients and have developed a pretty good feel for assessing their abilities and state of mind.  No guide and no instructor in their right mind wants to put a guest in over their head....  Because they become that guides problem.  Scared, angry, or injured guests don't tip very well.wink.gif

 

ASK THE OPERATOR & BE HONEST WITH THEM!

post #64 of 82
Thread Starter 

Well, I did contact the operator, and they said this particular vacation tends to vary in ability from year to year and this year it really isn't more than advanced intermediate.  Hopefully in a few years I'll have five grand to blow and the group will be equally appropriately leveled.

post #65 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by adkski View Post

Well, I did contact the operator, and they said this particular vacation tends to vary in ability from year to year and this year it really isn't more than advanced intermediate.  Hopefully in a few years I'll have five grand to blow and the group will be equally appropriately leveled.


Hey, adski.

 

Have you seen this report that I did a few years ago?

 

http://www.epicski.com/wiki/alaska-heli-skiing-trip-report

 

It might help with a few of your questions.

 

As someone who is relatively comfortable with skiing fairly big lines on fairly steep mountains in pretty much any kind of snow conditions, I'll tell you that I'd be a little nervous about signing up on a heli-trip that advertised for "experts only".  This may be completely unfair to the operator, but to me that smells like a situation where the operator has MOST of a ski week already signed up with good skiers and is looking for someone (anyone) to fill out the helicopter.

 

There is literally an unlimited amount of variety of terrain in Alaska.  It simply boggles the mind.  But the key point is that there's millions of vertical feet of skiing that is plenty realistic for a strong skier (even if they only get 7 days a year).  You simply have to let the operator know ahead of time and HONESTLY describe your skiing ability.  The ideal situation is one where you get a group of you own friends who are compatible and similar in abilities - then you can simply tell the operator and the guides the kind of terrain you want to ski.

 

Most importantly, don't give up the dream.  Heli-skiing in Alaska can be the closest thing to heaven a skier can ever experience.  Even if you're a self-described "expert" rather than a ski-porn rock star.

 

Good luck with it.

post #66 of 82

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill

 

For all or us, there's always another level above where we are.


God's honest truth, in skiing, and in all other manner of virtue. icon14.gif

post #67 of 82

"We're all the same distance from infinity."

post #68 of 82

That"s why we ski year after year.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill

 

For all or us, there's always another level above where we are.


God's honest truth, in skiing, and in all other manner of virtue. icon14.gif

post #69 of 82


You know what I am going to say about this?  rolleyes.gif

 

But yes....  and each of us have a different thought or perspective about that "distance" 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

"We're all the same distance from infinity."

post #70 of 82

lol OK what is it? We're all the same time from infinity.

post #71 of 82

My guess is when the company says "Experts Only" they mean expert heli-skiersonly  with experience with no fall areas, cliffs, avalache avoidance, weather exposure and other issues not normally found at a ski resort. I agree with VA, if you have to ask you're probably not and if you have never done it before I do not see how you could be expert at it. There's more to it than just skiing the double blacks.

post #72 of 82

I think we're all wasting our efforts advising her on this, as she can't even afford to to it.  I think the question was quite hypothetical.  Look at her other thread which is looking for the cheapest lodging to stay in Vermont for a starving student!

 

I make a good living and still can't even imagine spending the money on a heli-skiing trip - which is a life goal/dream of mine!

post #73 of 82

Is heli skiing loopy expensive?  Of course.  But, oh boy, is it ever worth it.  And you need to be comfortable on black runs, in shape and like powder - that is about it.

 

Best money I ever spent on a vacation.

post #74 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldguyskier View Post

Is heli skiing loopy expensive?  Of course.  But, oh boy, is it ever worth it.  And you need to be comfortable on black runs, in shape and like powder - that is about it.

 

Best money I ever spent on a vacation.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldguyskier
an expert skier is one who is recongnized by the others in his sub-discipline (GS racing, downhil racing, moguls, slope style, pipe) as being at the elite level.  That is my definition.  I have never met an expert, under that definition, who does not know a LOT about his or her craft.  Usually they love the physiology of their part of their sport, the training science, and without question the gear.  The 19 year old kid with Hellbents who can land switch coming off of 40 footers in fresh powder or the guy who is ripping up the national downhill circuit - doesn't matter.  They know all there is to know, or want to.

 

 

Well since it says "expert only" then you must be one.  And, if you skied with anybody else on that trip then you lied when you said you've never met an expert hahahaha

 

Welcome to EpicSki bu the waybeercheer.gif
 

post #75 of 82

I'd recommend looking into some of the BC operators for your first trip. Benefits:

 

1) Better weather and more flying days - biggest reason here. Unless you can afford to sit around for 2-3 weeks, what if you get skunked and only ski one day?

2) Easier to access

3) There is still big terrain if the conditions are right, with a good group and the right conditions you will push your limits.

4) Cheaper

5) Possible cat back-up (e.g. Mica Heli)

 

I'm a decent powder skier, and want to do an AK trip some day, but when I do it I will commit 2-3 weeks to ensure I get out a decent number of days. People I've talked to have been up there say it is like nothing else when you stand over your first blind roll, and I believe them. Over a couple weeks I would hope to work up to harder stuff with confidence.

post #76 of 82

Well one thing is for sure, it doesn't mean that you can ski all the double blacks at Windham...rolleyes.gif

post #77 of 82

Yeah I was thinking about taking a ski vacation and............skivac.jpg

post #78 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Yeah I was thinking about taking a ski vacation and............skivac.jpg



I'm so  confused.

post #79 of 82

This is a question that I is kind of of interest to me as well. Heliskiing in AK has been my dream for a loooong time. 

 

But first of all to answer your questions.

 

You are NOT an expert skier by AK heliskiing standards. A REAL expert is someone superfit and athletic who has no brains (ok that's a joke!), fear and skis 100+ days a year (mostly in the backcountry) for several consecutive seasons. These guys are very close to the FIS WORLD CUP skiers in their athleticism and technique and probably even crazier.

 

BUT on the other hand I can't get why most guys here keep saying that AK heliskiing is reserved for those EXPERTS  only? Here is a couple videos to think of:

 

Expert stuff (terrain and skiing) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVQ_8ZxOV6U  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30xYceO5QOs

 

WAY easier skiing - http://web.mac.com/oncloud9/iWeb/VT%20Ski/Movie.html ;  http://web.mac.com/oncloud9/iWeb/VT%20Ski/Photos%202.html ; http://web.mac.com/oncloud9/iWeb/VT%20Ski/Photos.html - you don't have to be an expert to ski this.

 

Thus - go to AK, no doubt! Just don't pretend you are an expert and ask the op to book you in an intermediate group!

 

PS: let us know how you liked it!

post #80 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I think we're all wasting our efforts advising her on this, as she can't even afford to to it.  I think the question was quite hypothetical.  Look at her other thread which is looking for the cheapest lodging to stay in Vermont for a starving student!

 

I make a good living and still can't even imagine spending the money on a heli-skiing trip - which is a life goal/dream of mine!


Bah we will pass the hat and get ya a ride!!
 

post #81 of 82

There are a number of different business models and a number of different ways and strategies as far as getting heli time.  While it's definitely not ever going to be an inexpesnive way to ski, it doesn't have to be super-pricey.  There are also lots of other, cheaper ways to access equivalent terrain, just like there are lots of ways to drink alcohol, some less expensive than others.

post #82 of 82

Ride peak 7601.   It can't be that hard.  I mean.... a snowboarder did it, right?

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