Today’s reader question:
I really want to go heli-skiing, but I’m worried that I’m not good enough and won’t be able to enjoy it. How good do I need to be before I go heli-skiing?
Actually, you don’t have to be that skilled or that experienced to enjoy heli-skiing. You certainly don’t have to be like these guys:
The video above is high level heli-skiing, 99% of people won’t be doing anything near this.
Instead you’ll get nice mellow green and blue runs filled with untracked powder. No cliff drops and no crazy steep chutes (unless you want them).
What’s the minimum level you need to go heli-skiing?
I’d say you should have these 2 things down before think about going heli-skiing/boarding:
- Be competent on blue level ski runs
- Ride powder at 2-3 times so you at least know how to keep your snowboard’s nose up in powder
You get to pick your level when you book your heli-skiing trip, so you can always book the easiest level and the trip operator will only take you to mellow green and blue runs.
The reality is that fresh, untracked powder on mellow green or blue level runs are actually insane easy to ride. You don’t have nasty bumps and there’s no other tracks in the snow that throw you off. All you have to do is be able to make turns and keep your nose up.
Steep black level powder runs are a little trickier, but like I said, you don’t have to take a heli to a black powder run unless you ask for the higher difficulty runs. I’ve had housemates who were only low level intermediates go heli-skiing and have the time of their life.
Hope that answers your question.