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Backcountry Skiing Heli Camp

Helicopter into remote mountain terrain and ride mountains based from a light weight expedition style tent camp.

Ski and ride New Zealand’s best backcountry skiing terrain. We have the option of basing this epic tent based backcountry skiing trip from Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka, or the Mt Cook region. These areas have New Zealand’s best terrain and snow and are normally only accessed by skiing groups.

The 3 day Backcountry Skiing Heli Camps are based from light weight expedition style tent camps. This gives us the opportunity to set up camp where the snow and weather conditions are best for the duration of your trip.

The Backcountry Skiing Heli Camp is for adventurous skiers looking to learn winter camping and expedition camping skills. With the right equipment, knowledge snow camping is comfortable. On this trip you will learn how to set up a winter camp properly – these skills will include making a tent platform, building snow walls, and creating foot wells at the entrance of the tent. You will also learn tricks to stay warm and dry. These skills can be applied to longer tent based expeditions (imagine snow camping in the high Alaskan Mountains on a skiing or climbing expedition for 2 weeks)! We can provide you with a sleeping bag, foam roll, and light weight air mattress to make your camping experience warm and comfortable.

 

POSSIBLE BACKCOUNTRY SKIING HELI CAMP LOCATIONS

Our Backcountry Skiing Heli Camps are customised to your skill level and goals for the week. We also have the flexibility to choose the best mountain area for the weather forecast and conditions for the duration of the trip. See the below list of possible areas that we can ski in and contact us for recommendations based on your experience and goals.

  • Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown – Our closest mountain  area sometimes holds incredible powder snow. The Left Branch of the Doolans offers a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions from easy bowls to steep couloir skiing.
  • Humboldt Mountains, Glenorchy – Steep skiing and spectacular scenery looking over lake Wakatipu.
  • Rees Valley Glenorchy – Lots of great skiing options in the Richardson Mountains from cold powder to excellent spring corn skiing.
  • Buchanan Mountains, Wanaka – Known for consistently good snow conditions.
  • Ben Ohau Range, Mt Cook area – Mellow bowls to big steep ski descents, and its always great to ski in the Mt Cook area, home of New Zealand’s biggest mountains.

 

LOCATION

Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka, Mt Cook

MEETING POINT & TIME

Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accommodation.

TRIP DURATION

3 days

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.

Weather Contingency Day

A one day weather contingency is included in this trip at no extra cost. This means that if the weather forecast is looking unfavourable the guide can delay the start of the trip by 1 day to make the most of the 4 day period. If you would like to use this option please build some flexibility into your travel itinerary.

Day 1

On the first day of the trip we will meet at your accommodation at 8.30am. Before leaving Queenstown we will check your equipment to make sure that you have everything you need for the camp. After the gear check we will drive to the helicopter staging area in Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka, or Mt Cook. Once we arrive in the mountains we will set up camp and then do a avalanche safety briefing before going skiing.

Day 2

Full day in the mountains. Explore the area, we can ski runs close to the camp or choose a big day of skiing.

Day 3

Final day. Make the most of the day by skiing the first half of the day. After lunch we will ski back down to camp and call the helicopter in for a pickup. We would normally be back in Queenstown by 5.00pm.

BACKCOUNTRY SKIING HELI CAMP

1 to 4 people
3 days
From $1,500
July to October

BOOK A PRIVATE TRIP


INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Helicopter flights into & out of mountains
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Sleeping bag
  • Foam bedroll
  • Light weight air mattress
  • Tent accommodation
  • Group equipment
  • Ground transport
  • Meals and snacks

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire

TRIP NOTES

Experience required

The minimum requirement is that you are an intermediate skier that is confident skiing intermediate runs at your local ski field. There is a variety of terrain for intermediates through to stronger skiers looking for more adventurous skiing & we can customise this trip to suit your skiing ability

Clothing & equipment

Skiing & climbing in the New Zealand mountains requires that you have high quality equipment and clothing due to the extremes of weather we experience. Please ensure you look carefully at our equipment checklist. At the start of the trip your guide will go through your equipment and make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. Please organise to have your extra equipment stored at your accomodation for the duration of the trip.

It is important that you keep as close as possible to the equipment checklist. The focus is on ensuring that you have the equipment you need, but also on keeping your pack as light as possible. If your guide is meeting you at your accomodation for the start of the trip it would be helpful if you have all your equipment and clothing organised and laid out in a logical fashion so they can check that everyone has the right equipment and clothing for the trip.

Ski touring equipment and split boards can be hired from Small Planet Outdoors, 17 Shotover St, Queenstown. For snowboarders Queenstown Mountain Guides rents snow shoes for $25 per day that can be used as an alternative to a split board setup.

We highly reccomend ski touring or split boarding crampons for ski touring in New Zealand. These are especially useful if you are a split boarder.

Accommodation during the trip

The backcountry skiing camp is based from a light weight expedition style tent camp.

Accommodation in Queenstown before or after the trip is not included in trip costs.

To organise accommodation in Queenstown, we recommend www.booking.com. Here you will find a wide range of accommodation depending on your preferred style and budget. The cost of accommodation in Queenstown is not included in your trip costs.

Daily trip logistics
Every day in the mountains is different with changing weather, snowpack, and access conditions. When you book your trip with Queenstown Mountain Guides we will discuss your goals for the trip and the general plan. When you meet with your guide on the first morning of your trip your guide will discuss with you the weather forecast and current conditions and make a final plan for the trip. It is best to be flexible so we can ensure that you will make the most of your time with us.

On the final day of the trip we will aim to have you back in Queenstown by approximately 5.00pm.

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio on the Backcountry Skiing Camp is 1 guide to 4 participants. For trips with more than 4 participants we will need to use additional guides and make use of additional helicopter flights in and out.

Woman sitting in snow on 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip
3 people on skis on a 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip
3 Day Backcountry ski touring hut Queenstown
Man skiing downhill on a 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip