Heli skiing—the name alone sounds like an extreme sport in a far-flung place. Despite the visions it might conjure, heli skiing isn’t just for pro athletes and Olympians (although, at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, your guide might just be a gold medalist), and you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to do it. Anyone with a little experience on the slopes can safely enjoy heli skiing or boarding.
We’re debunking some of the top misconceptions we hear from guests below. So read on, and then round up your friends and family to plan a ski trip unlike any other.
1. I’m Not Experienced Enough to Heli Ski
Many people think backcountry experience or pro powder skills are prerequisites for heli skiing. While we wouldn’t recommend your very first ski lesson be on a heli skiing trip (save the pizza slice for an actual bunny hill), anyone with advanced-intermediate or above skiing or snowboarding experience can navigate the terrain in the Tordrillos. And because you’ll always be in a small group with a guide, the runs at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge are completely tailored to your experience and comfort level. Whether you’re a powder hound looking for colossal vertical feet or a casual skier looking for the scenic route, we’ll make sure you get the run that’s right for you.
2. I Don’t Have Heli Skiing Gear
You don’t need to bring any special gear for heli skiing— the lodge provides all avalanche safety equipment, airbag backpack and harness. Plus, at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, we provide powder skis and boards for you to demo, so that takes one thing off your list. (You are also welcome to bring your own skis/board, and you can even ship them to us in advance to avoid the hassle of flying with a bulky item.) Here’s everything we recommend you pack for a heli skiing trip.
3. It’s Too Dangerous
Each of our heli skiing guides has decades of experience with hundreds of Alaska heli skiing runs cataloged in the Tordrillo Mountains. They have a keen awareness of the constantly changing environment and how to mitigate potential hazards, as well as top-of-the-line avalanche rescue gear.
Plus, each day, our guides and pilots make field observations and review snow pit data and remote weather stations to choose the best—and safest—spots for the day’s activities. You can rest assured you’ll be in the care of some of the most accomplished, experienced, and safe mountain professionals in the world.
4. I don’t Want to Jump Out of a Helicopter
Neither do we! And fortunately, there’s no jumping involved in heli skiing. Your pilot will land the helicopter in a safe, flat spot where your crew can disembark. After finishing your run, the helicopter will return to take you to the next destination. Just think of it as a really cool and very private ski lift.
5. I’ll Have to Sacrifice the Comforts of My Favorite Ski Resorts
Heli skiing doesn’t mean you’re roughing it in the wilderness. At Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, après ski is just as important as anywhere else, and we’re proud to set the bar for luxury accommodations in the Alaskan backcountry. When you’re not carving your way down the Tordrillo Mountains, you can rest assured you’ll find all the amenities of your favorite resorts right here at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.
Have we convinced you that a heli skiing trip is just as safe and fun as visiting your favorite traditional ski resorts? We hope so! Check out our winter rates and dates if you’re ready to plan your next alpine adventure.