Heli Skiing In India: What It Is, Places To Do And More
Suppose you have already tried out skiing on the magnificent slopes of Manali and Gulmarg and are trying to find something a bit more adventurous than your regular skiing. In that case, heli-skiing is just a suitable activity to get your heart beating! Imagine yourself flying towards a beautiful Himalayan slope with the help of a Helicopter, and then you gather in all the beauty while you slide down the slopes of fresh white snow. Well, now, isn't it something that adds to the thrills? Heli Skiing is one such sport where you get to savour the beauty while also getting your thrills out! So here’s all about what heli skiing is, Heli skiing costs, and some of the safety tips you need to follow.
What Is Heli Skiing?
If you are also among those who have wondered what Heli skiing is, then here it is. Heli Skiing or Helicopter skiing is one of the off-trail sports where you go downhill skiing, which can be accessed with the help of a Helicopter. This type of sport is all about skiing in natural environments without having to hike to the top. Most of the skiers tend to look out for powder snow, long descents, old-growth tree glades, natural terrain features, steep lines, and smooth corn snow.
The heli-ski guide provides the skiers with an opportunity to ski with minimal risk, along with some valuable tips for heli-skiing. You do not need to be an extreme mountaineer to get yourself on the top of a massive mountain in the wilderness. Unlike the myth where you think that Heli skiing means jumping out of a Helicopter, it is quite the opposite. The Helicopter only acts as your lift to the top of the mountain. From here, the Helicopter lands, and skiers exit after putting on their gear for Heli skiing; they descend the powdery mountain.
Safety Tips For Heli Skiing
Since Heli skiing is a thrilling sport, it is also accompanied by some rules and safety regulations that need to be consistently followed. Here are some of the safety tips for Heli skiing that are essential when going for Heli skiing.
You need to listen to and always follow your guide’s instructions.
Make sure you do not go ahead of your guide’s path.
Ski and ride close to other trails that have already been set. Do stay within them, and follow the safety tips mentioned.
Always keep spacing between each skier and rider as your instructor has instructed it.
While doing tree runs, always make sure to ski with a partner, remove the pole straps, and be aware of tree hazards.
Always ski and snowboard in control and be aware of mountain hazards, which are mentioned in the safety tips that could occur.
Approach and join a waiting/stopped group cautiously and slowly
You need to turn off your mobile phone reception and do not impair hearing with music devices.
Never ski or ride up to a Helicopter; always approach it on foot while staying behind your guide.
Never walk towards the rear of the Helicopter, and always ensure you and your Heli skiing equipment are kept at a low altitude at all times.
Maintain the designated position as the Helicopter arrives and departs.
Make sure you know everything about avalanche rescue gear, such as radio, probe, shovel, and transceiver.
Essential Gears For Heli Skiing
There are certain essential Heli skiing equipment that must be carried for a smooth Heli skiing experience and these gears for Heli skiing along with some tips for Heli skiing can be provided as follows:
1. Waterproof Outerwear
Waterproof clothes should be the focus when you choose your gear for Heli skiing. Breathability can be excellent when Heli skiing; however, while travelling downhill, there are chances of snow entering your clothes. It is, hence, essential to choose outerwear such as jackets and pants that are completely waterproof. Look for 20k waterproof ratings, as they provide the best moisture-proof clothing.
2. The right amount of layers
Layers need to be added as the weather is cold, and a single layer might make you sick. You should stick to the rule of three while layering. One would be your insulating layer, and then there would be a waterproof outer layer, and in between these two, you can add in a single base layer. If you go overboard with the layering, you might be overheating and may feel uncomfortable. Also, never wear cotton when wearing a base layer; either go for synthetic or wool. Cotton might hold your sweat, which might be the wrong way to ruin your health.
3. Face protection
When you go out for Heli skiing, you must protect your face. You might also want some suitable clothing as part of Heli skiing equipment that can keep your neck warm. While a high neck can work for a neck, you might still want an excellent woolen wrap around your neck. Buff headwear is also a great option for those who want to beat the sun's rays and avoid sunburn. It can also protect your face from cold winds chapping your skin.
4. Goggles, gloves, and Helmet
Skiing goggles are an excellent idea for Heli skiing equipment, especially if you want to fight the snow ahead and watch where you are going. Since harsh wind conditions can cause your vision to be blurred, it is better to always carry goggles for a safer side. A good helmet also has a lot of perks, such as keeping your head warm and providing protection against any crashes that may occur. You should also carry a good pair of gloves to protect yourself from winter and freezing hands.
5. Comfortable boots
Comfortable boots can either make or break your entire trip. It is, hence, essential that you find a good pair of boots that will not just be comfortable but also keep you warm throughout your Heli skiing activity.
Best Time For Heli Skiing
The Himalayas tend to receive a lot of snowfall, especially during the winter months – December and January. These winter months, between December and January, are one of the best times for skiing and Heli-skiing in India. February and March are also suitable for these sports as the land will be filled with corn snow, which is better suited for Heli skiing. The days are much longer and much warmer during March.
Myths About Heli Skiing
There is a lot of information about Heli skiing that goes around which also leads to a lot of myths coming up. If you are also one among those people who have heard certain myths then are some of the myths and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: You Have to Jump Out of Helicopters to heli-ski
One of the biggest myths that surrounds Heli skiing is regarding the jump you need to go through when you get out of the Helicopter. However, contrary to this belief, it is seen that you get out of the Helicopter calmly and will be using a landing zone from where you will then come down the slope. There is no jumping out of the Helicopter as compared to the ones shown in the action films.
Myth #2: Heli Skiing is Only for Experienced Skiers
Heli skiing is something other than something that is only for experienced skiers, which means that almost anyone at any level can attempt this sport. If you are an intermediate skier, then consider taking yourself to the next level. Heli skiing costs might be a bit high, but it is definitely worth it.
Myth #3: Heli Skiing is for Thrill-Seekers
Though it does give you the thrills needed for a fun sport, it also does have multiple terrains that are suited for various levels. So, based on your level, you can either go for a simple slide down the slope or a terrain specifically built for masters. Also, with the guide team right beside you, you need not worry about tripping and falling.
Myth #4: Wild Animals Will Chase You Down the Mountain
While you are very likely to see some wild animals within the hills, it is hardly seen that they attack any of the humans out here. Guides usually keep an eye out for wild animals and let you know as you go past them. They are mostly found near lower elevations, and hence, they are only visible when you go past them through a Helicopter.
Best Places For Heli Skiing In India
While Canada is known to be one of the best places in the world to go for heli-skiing, certain places in India are also reasonably known for their Heli-skiing locations. There are also parts of Northern India that provide excellent opportunities for skiing. The helicopter going past the lofty peaks is a magnificent view, and the thrill of going down the slope is one of the best feelings you will ever find. Here are some of the best-suited areas for Heli skiing in India.
Auli is a wonderful place for Heli skiing in India with virgin locales and breathtaking views that are now also getting highly noticed as a skiing destination. You will also find yourself flying up to 3000 m above land and then skiing down the pleasant slopes of Auli.
Gulmarg is one of the most popular spots for winter sports in India and is no doubt one of the prime centres for Heli skiing. Mount Apharwat is one of the best places where skiers love to go for Heli skiing due to its slope and snow. Apart from this, the marvellous beauty of Gulmarg, with its silvery peak and a line of pine and fir trees, make it one of the most famous destinations for Heli skiing in India.
Manali is another one of the ultimate destinations for adventure lovers. This place has magnificent snow peaks, and pine-fringed trails that leave tourists and adventure seekers mesmerized. The terrains of Deo Tibba, Hanuman Tibba, Chanderkhani Pass, and Rohtang Pass are some of the best places for Heli skiing in Manali. With slopes as high as 6000 m, you will find yourself having the most fun time of your life. You can also find some affordable heli-skiing packages that will give you a good experience.
So now that you know what Heli skiing is, it does sound cool. So why not gather your stuff and go out this winter season to one of these famous destinations and live out your life to the fullest? Also, with Heli skiing emerging as one of the most adventurous sports in India, it is supposed to be on your wishlist.
1. Is Heli Skiing Only For Experienced Skiers?
No Heli skiing is an activity that is not just limited to experienced skiers but also for others who are just starting out. So, people at any level can be a part of Heli skiing.
2. How do you prepare for Heli-skiing?
You need to begin at least 12 weeks prior to your trip and you need to work out at least 3 times per week to get yourself pumping up and active. These will ensure that you have a certain fitness range in action which makes skiing much easier.
3. How do you play Heli-skiing?
You can take part in Heli skiing by flying to one of the mountain peaks in a Helicopter and then skiing down the snowy slope.
4. How should I dress for Heli-skiing?
You need to ensure you wear the following items of clothing when you go Heli skiing: