Helicopter Skiing

Helicopter Skiing

Helitrax, based out of Telluride, prides itself in being Colorado’s most experienced helicopter skiing and snowboarding operation. Started in 1982, Helitrax has since been working in the highest elevations in the United States. If you’re not familiar with Helitrax, what you don’t know might surprise you.

Helitrax offers 6 guided runs in a day, which is about 10,000 to 14,000 feet of vertical skiing at an average elevation of 10,000 to 13,500 feet. Almost all of the terrain is above the tree line and considered by many to be some of the best in the world. With 16 seats on board a Bell 407, it’s the luxury aircraft used by private tours in larger operations. Most things are done in Telluride with style.

On a Helitrax trip, groups of four are organized with one guide per group. Groups who book together will ski together. Otherwise, groups are formed on ability, and group load weight is also assessed. This is done by reservations in advance.

Helitrax is not for beginner skiers, but it’s also not limited to only expert skiers. Helitrax requires skiers and snowboarders to be advanced intermediate at least in their ability. Those on board must be comfortable skiing double blue runs and single black diamond runs on the Telluride Ski Resort, and with a few inches of powder on top of them. Having the skills to ski ungroomed runs is also required. And fitness is a key factor, according to Helitrax. They claim that fitness can be more important than ability in some cases. At some of the highest elevations in North America, cardiovascular fitness is necessary. There are no age limits, though children under the age of 16 are required to have an adult with them.

Snowboarders are asked to bring their biggest boards and have the ability to generate enough speed to make the flat crossings. They should also be able to ride in powder. Helitrax works to create an experience for people, including snacks, lunch, beverages, apres, an avalanche beacon, safety equipment, and even the use of powder skis in their package. (Snowboards are not provided through Helitrax, like the powder skis are.) And, they don’t rush their guests. They feel that taking in the scenery and enjoying the sights are part of the overall trip.

Don’t worry. You never have to jump from the helicopter in a heli-skiing experience. Based out of the Peaks Hotel in the Mountain Village, the helicopter will safely land so that you can disembark with your group before the adventure begins. The Peaks Hotel does offer packages in conjunction with heli-skiing. Staying for five or seven nights at the Peaks with the Helitrax special means that breakfast is included along with two days of heli-skiing and lift tickets to the Telluride Ski Resort. Prices start at about $3,000 for double occupancy. This is quite a deal considering the single day trip is priced at around $1,000.

You can relax because you’ll be in good hands. The guides are all very experienced with resumes that back them up. You can read the biographies online and also search the many trip options that Helitrax offers at helitrax.com.