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Have a Go at Heli-skiing! A Novice’s Guide

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If you’re an adrenaline junkie and skiing pro looking for a new, invigorating energy boost, then you need to get yourself booked onto a heli-skiing break. Being dropped by helicopter to tackle untouched powder runs offers an unadulterated and unforgettable thrill, and a totally immersive experience that will have you hooked! Skip the chairlifts and crowded pistes, and enjoy a vertical drop like never before.

What to Expect From Heli-Skiing

You might think heli-skiing is only for top athletes, but this is not so – as long as you’re willing to save up a bit of cash and have several seasons experience of skiing behind you, then you’re ready to go. Nonetheless, it does pay to do some fitness preparation beforehand, and that does involve working up some long runs down at a resort. Set yourself a tough 6-8 week plan to get yourself in the best shape possible – when heli-skiing you’re carving your own path, so getting yourself comfortable covering over 12,000 vertical feet in a day will serve you well. In particular, work on your muscle development and cardio exercise before you go – you’ll thank yourself for it when the fresh powder fights back at the end of a long day!

Another good way to prepare is to choose wisely when to go: January has great powder skiing, as the colder weather preserves the snow, but you may prefer the spring season when the lighter days allows for more time to explore. The going may also depend on where you choose to get dropped off – the grand national parks of Alaska and Canada are particular favourites among aficionados for the higher vertical drops.

Wherever and whenever you go, pack light, layer up and make sure you’re well fuelled before the trip – get in a lot of carbs at breakfast and fully hydrate yourself, as you will have a long and rewarding day ahead of you!

Precautions and Safety Tips

Make sure to check your provider closely before booking a trip. Instructors are often among the very best, but it’s always good to make sure they have proper qualifications and certification from official organisations before embarking on a trip. In particular, it pays dividends to go with an instructor who can advise you of terrain, and who can properly prepare you with avalanche safety information and how to use it. Having more than one guide in a group is also a good idea, so that one of them can act as a tail guide in case you need to slow down.

It’s worth noting that when you get dropped off by helicopter, you’re not actually jumping out, stuntman-style – you’ll dock first before you get out. Nevertheless, that’s not to say the ride itself won’t be the most intense part; many heli-skiers find it calmer when they’re out on the snow!

Of course, one of the best precautions you can take is get yourself decked out with some foolproof skiing travel insurance. Part of the thrill of heli-skiing is in the challenge, but there’s no point in facing new challenges if you don’t allow yourself to get picked back up when you don’t quite make it the first time, particularly when you’re a rookie. With comprehensive skiing travel insurance cover, you can give yourself that extra peace of mind to keep you covered for any eventuality. For the best heli-skiing travel insurance you can find, our guys at InsureMore will have the answer.
About author: Desiree Michels

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, annual, family and skiing travel insurance. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays. 

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