27.06
2011 Mountain activities

Of all mountain activities, heliskiing is without a doubt one of the most prestigious.  Trade in the  chairlift for a helicopter; and the groomed pistes for a blanket of pristine white snow stretching into the wilderness as far the eye can see.  The experience of a lifetime.

Of all mountain activities, heliskiing is without a doubt one of the most prestigious.  Trade in the  chairlift for a helicopter; and the groomed pistes for a blanket of pristine white snow stretching into the wilderness as far the eye can see.  The experience of a lifetime.

Of all the possibilities the mountains offer to skiers and snowboarders, heliskiing is among the most enthralling.  As the rotor circles and the helicopter takes off, helmeted skiers inside the machine already begin to experience the excitement.  Very soon, a spectacular open landscape reveals itself, the chairlifts and groomed trails are quickly forgotten.

Flying over untouched summits is in itself an incredible sensation.  The virgin terrain appears infinite.  And the best is yet to come : the thrill of landing on wild  terrain where your skis will be the first to leave a trace.  In small groups, the descent is a shared experience charged with adrenaline, at once athletic and convivial.  The long descents are generally modulated by breaks to admire the panorama or to enjoy a picnic; all the same, a sufficient skill level is required.

The activity is very well organised, but nonetheless extreme.  Far from the marked trails, heliskiers must be accompanied by a trained mountain guide who is familiar with the terrain from the drop off to the arrival points.  One must be an advanced level skier and carry the necessary safety equipment, including an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and lead line or eventually avalanche airbag, normally provided by the guide. 

Although the practice is not permitted in France, it is possible to depart from points on the French border such as Sainte Foy, La Rosière/la Thuile, Val d'Isère, and Chamonix, in order to practice the sport in Switzerland or Italy.  Finally, like all prestigious activities, heliskiing comes at a price.  A day of heliskiing costs  approximately 300 euros – but rest assured, it is a small price to pay for such an exceptional experience.

 

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