Harris Mountain Heliski

New Zealand: Southern Alps

Harris Mountain Heliski will provide you with exclusive access to these otherwise inaccessible mountains around Queenstown, Wanaka and Mount Cook.

Operator 

Way back in the late seventies and early eighties, heli-skiing was developed in New Zealand.

From these early days evolved Harris Mountains Heli-ski, our locally owned and operated company operating in the Southern Alps, Harris Mountains and beyond.

Over 30 years in operation and being the largest heli-ski company in New Zealand has meant we have discovered the best heli-ski terrain available for heli-skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. We are a professional and dynamic Heli-Ski/Boarding operation and with years of experience, we are able to offer a highly sophisticated safety infrastructure. We provide outstanding daily, multi-day and private charters heli-ski/boarding on our exclusive and expansive variety of terrain.

Our team has decades of local and international experience between them – not just in Heli-Ski guiding but in all aspects of mountaineering – climbing Everest is an achievement some of them can claim. Our guides are trained through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association’s ski guide training programme. This programme takes 3-5 years to complete and combines a series of courses with work experience requirements and technical exams. The NZMGA is affiliated to the International Federation of Mountain Guides and certifies guides to work internationally. Several of our guides work the northern winter in the Northern Hemisphere countries of Italy, India, Nepal, Switzerland, Canada, Alaska and Siberia.

 


FAQ

How well do I have to ski to go Heli-skiing?

Ideally you are a strong intermediate skier/boarder or better, with a sense of adventure. Harris Mountains Heli-ski (HMH) has exclusive access to extensive terrain in Queenstown, Wanaka and Mount Cook. Easy rolling terrain for powder first timers, wide open bowls and challenging chutes with steep valleys for the more experienced. You’ll be part of a group of four led by a guide who is committed to your safety and enjoyment of this alpine environment.

How does the Heli-ski day work?

Heli-skiing works like this

  • Early in the morning we check the weather and then we contact you to confirm that heli-skiing is on.

  • We’ll then pick you up and drive you to the staging area where you’re introduced to your pilot, guide and fellow heli-skiers.

  • A safety briefing is given covering avalanche transceivers, helicopter and mountain safety, then you

    fly off to the first heli-ski run.

  • All groups meet for a alpine buffet lunch with time to relax.

  • The afternoon is back to the ultimate – more heli-ski runs

If weather conditions preclude flying you can reschedule to the next day. Reservations must be reconfirmed by 6.00pm the day prior to flying. It is wise to book well in advance especially during our peak season.

Do I need powder skis?

You don’t have to have powder skis but they will assist you to ski even better.

The new wide body powder skis or all mountain skis are great for all abilities. They allow you to ski a wide range of snow conditions, faster, easier and with more stability. Many of our guides use these and they’re wonderful for those wanting to go longer and harder in more advanced terrain. You don’t have to own your own powder skis, talk to us and we can recommend a variety of hire equipment retailers.

How long are the runs?

Run length varies depending on the terrain and snow conditions. Our exclusive terrain offers runs that vary between 2000 and 2500 vertical feet of treeless skiing in sheltered basins, bowls and wide rolling mountain flanks through to steep and gnarly chutes.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring your ski/board or hire equipment. You will need to have warm clothing – a windproof jacket and pants, warm gloves, sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen. The day is spectacular, bring a camera to capture your heli-ski day – the perfect escape from the everyday.

What about safety equipment?

Besides the equipment listed in What you need to bring, Harris Mountains Heli-ski will provide all guests with AV transceivers. Before you start your heli-ski adventure, a safety briefing is given covering avalanche transceivers, helicopter and mountain safety, then you fly off to the first heli-ski run.

What’s included in the Heli-ski Day?

Included in all Heli-day options:

  • Fully qualified Guide (guide to guest ratio 1:4/5 skiers/boarders)

  • All Guides UIAGM and NZMGA certified and/or mountain specialists

  • Alpine buffet lunch

  • Use of tranceivers

  • All transfers from accommodation to heli-staging areas and return

  • Pick up and drop off of your rental equipment

  • “Capture the Experience ” video service available on request

Is it possible to get a video of my heli-ski day?

‘Capture the Experience’ Video Service

Our professional video-guides are available on request and will ski with your group capturing the day’s adventure on broadcast quality 3 chip digital video cameras. The highlights of your day to remember are then edited into a 15-20 minute DVD available on a no-obligation basis that evening. Ask at our counter when booking or confirming your day’s heli-skiing.

Do you provide accommodation pick-ups?

Yes, Harris Mountains Heli-ski will provide transfers from your Wanaka or Queenstown accommodation to our airport helipad or staging area and return.

How does the weather affect heli-skiing?

Mountain weather can be harsh and unpredictable. Early in the morning, our Head Guide will evaluate the snow and weather information and decide if conditions are suitable for heli-skiing to operate. We will ring you at your accommodation to confirm if weather conditions allow us to operate.

 
 

What to bring

You will need to bring your ski/board or hire equipment. You will need to have warm clothing – a windproof jacket and pants, warm gloves, sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen. The day is spectacular, bring a camera to capture your heli-ski day – the perfect escape from the everyday.

 

 

Heli-ski / Heli-board Guides

Our guides are the best in the business. Over twenty-five years of operation has honed the skills of our professional and dedicated team. Our Guides are UIAGM / NZMGA certified and/or specialists in mountain safety. They are chosen for their ability to provide you with an exciting and memorable Heli-Ski experience. Every winter, all guides attend our pre-season intensive safety-training course. In addition to their technical qualifications, they have strong interpersonal and communication skills and a genuine love of the sport of skiing. Languages spoken by our guides include Japanese, French, Spanish and German.

 

 

Safety

The only consideration more important to us than Heli-skiing is your safety and well-being during your time with us. Our safety infrastructure provides you with an unsurpassed level of safety and service. Guides are well trained in avalanche hazard evaluation and control, route selection, weather analysis, emergency first aid, mountain survival, rescue and ski instruction techniques. Radio repeaters give us voice communication throughout the Heli-ski area. Snow pack and weather are analysed daily and forecasts made accordingly, with slope assessment conducted prior to skiing. Our crew are qualified to ensure your safety both in the air and on the ground during heli-skiing. We are a QUALMARK rated heli-ski business in the Southern Lakes Region so you can be assured of a high level of quality and service with Harris Mountains Heli-ski.

 

 

Pilots

Our professionally trained helicopter pilots have specific experience flying in New Zealand’s alpine environments, and all of our crew are qualified to ensure your safety both in the air and on the ground during heli-skiing. Our pilots are regularly subjected to stringent performance checks to meet New Zealand CAA requirements. We are a QUALMARK rated heli-ski business in the Southern Lakes Region so you can be assured of a high level of quality and service with Harris Mountains Heli-ski.

 

 

Helicopters

Harris Mountains Heli-ski use only high performance helicopters. Our fleet consists predominantly of European AS355 twin engine Squirrels and AS 350 Squirrels. They have the highest level of Civil Aviation Authority certification for heli-ski helicopter operations. This involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of our operation. Our helicopters and pilots are QUALMARK rated so you can be assured of a high level of quality and service.

 

 

Equipment

Alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards are all welcome. Slide on whatever you are most comfortable with.
The new wide body powder skis are great for all abilities. They allow you to ski a wide range of snow conditions, faster, easier and with more stability. Many of our guides use these and they’re wonderful for those wanting to go longer and harder in more advanced terrain. You don’t have to own your own powder skis, talk to us and we can recommend a variety of hire equipment retailers.

Heli boarding is growing every season – Snowboards have a wide base and this allows you to perform well in off piste and deep powder snow. Many of our guides use snowboards. You don’t have to own your own snowboard, talk to us and we can recommend a variety of hire equipment retailers.

 

 

PP/Night from US$ 594