Heliskiing FAQ - Mount Cook Heliski
We fly every fine weather day from 1 July to 30 September.
How hard is heliskiing - do I have to be an expert?
No. You don't need to be a pro. And you don't jump out of a helicopter!
Heliskiing is for strong-intermediate (and better) skiers and snowboarders who are keen for some adventure. You can check your ability here. You will be grouped according to your ability and your guide will select terrain best suited to your group on the day.
We have terrain to suit all levels of heli-boarders and heli-skiers; from cruisy powder bowls and open faces to steep gnarly chutes. We also boast more advanced-level terrain, and glaciated runs than the Queenstown or Wanaka region.
The Southern Alps has a maritime snowpack. Expect variation in snow conditions and cover throughout the season. Powder is more common earlier in the season, with spring snow from late August.
Do I need powder skis or special equipment?
All-mountain or wider skis are preferred - giving better floatation in powder, and better control over a range of conditions (less face-plants too).
- Skiers: We recommend skis 90mm or wider under foot
- Snowboarders: have your bindings mounted so the stance is as far back as possible
Alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards are all welcome. Ride on whatever you are comfortable with, just make sure the gear is well waxed.
Rental Gear at Mt Cook?
You can hire powder (aka 'fat') skis , boots and poles from us. We have a good range of skis, but a limited range of boots. Sorry - no snowboarding gear for hire.
- Skis: NZ$50/day
- Skis, boots, and poles: NZ$75/day
What to bring
Dress for a cold day at a ski area. Bring goggles or quality sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen A small backpack between 2 people (about 30 litres) is useful for water, a spare pair of gloves, or a warm beanie.
How long are the runs?
Every season will vary, but the average is around 800 vertical metres. Our extensive terrain has a number of runs in excess of 1,000 vertical metre drops - up to 1,300 metres. Check out the Terrain here.
What about the weather?
New Zealand has a temperate maritime climate, and very changeable weather patterns. There is no tree skiing. We fly only with fine weather (good visibility, moderate wind). On average we operate 4 or 5 days per week.
Our lead guide makes the weather operating decision early each morning (often before sunrise).
However, for guests staying at Mt Cook or the Mackenzie area we will take advantage of late weather clearances and can call on the day, greatly increasing your chances to get out.
We encourage flexibility in your plans. If we have space we will roll your booking over to the next available day.
- If weather prevents flying a full refund will be given
- We guarantee a refund if your cancellation is received with by 5pm the day before skiing/boarding
- No-shows or failure to cancel before 5pm the day prior may result in full payment
- Special conditions apply for Private Charter Heliski bookings