Why Small Group Heliskiing is Best

May 06, 2015 D'Arcy McLeish
Small groups skiing untracked snow in the middle of nowhere. What heliskiing was meant to be.  Photo - Caton Garvie
Small groups skiing untracked snow in the middle of nowhere. What heliskiing was meant to be.
Photo – Caton Garvie

Heliskiing has always been the holy grail of skiing. It’s the dream trip skiers and riders imagine every time it snows. What would it be like to have a helicopter at your beck and call with just a few friends and nothing but untracked snow as far as the eye can see? If you are going to spend the time and money to go heliskiing, it has to be epic.  Good food? Absolutely. Plush accommodations in a remote, rustic lodge on the edge of civilization? For sure. Remote mountains in a rugged, untamed wilderness? Definitely. Massive snowfalls? Yep. But more than that, I see heliskiing as something intimate. Something to be experienced in a small group of adventurers all seeking the same thing: deep, untracked snow in every direction.

Our small, AS350 Helicopters were bred for this type of flying.  Photo - Reuben Krabbe
Our small, AS350 Helicopters were bred for this type of flying.
Photo – Reuben Krabbe

At Last Frontier Heliskiing, we believe small groups are the way to go. Groups of five, per guide, are our bread and butter. We use small, nimble machines that were made for skirting people around the mountains. So imagine going to a remote lodge and skiing waist deep turns with just a few people, all day, every day, for as long as you like. Small group heliskiing offers huge advantages over the old school norm of eleven-guest groups employed by so many other operators. First off, a group of five skiers and one guide presents an easier and more manageable number for the guide. Managing 11 skiers is difficult and we see that with a small group, there’s simply more flexibility in your ski day. The guide is more hands on with everyone. Scoping terrain, looking at what you are going to ski, understanding safety; are all more efficient and effective with a small, intimate group. Not only that, but with a smaller machines, we can land in niftier places. Some of our LZs are breathtaking.

Less people equals less tracks. So there's always enough to go around.   Photo - D'Arcy McLeish
Less people equals less tracks. So there’s always enough to go around.
Photo – D’Arcy McLeish
But the greatest advantage to small group heliskiing is the skiing itself. Less people equals less tracks and more pow for everyone. Smaller crowds on a given slope, and a stronger connection to the experience of skiing in a remote place, comprise the greatest advantages of being in a small group. Heliskiing is about exploration and adventure; seeking out new lines and spending your days hunting for waist deep turns are what a heliskiing adventure should be.
Like I said, some of our Landing Zones are breathtaking.  Photo - Dave Silver
Like I said, some of our Landing Zones are breathtaking.
Photo – Dave Silver

Small group heliskiing is what Last Frontier Heliskiing is all about. Believe me. After spending a week shredding fresh pow under bluebird skies, I can attest to the fact that skiing in small groups was fantastic. Everything in a small group is just a little more efficient. Lap times are quicker, it’s easier to group people in similar ability levels and with those quicker turn arounds, taking photos is never rushed. Shredding pow with other searchers, each of them looking for that same connection to the mountains around them, is what heliskiing is meant to be.

Be safe, ski hard.