MT COOK HELI CAMP
7 NIGHTS | 5 DAYS ON SNOW
September 15, 2017 to September 22, 2017
$3299 PER PERSON
This is our premium backcountry tour for the Southern Hemisphere season. We helicopter in and out from our base, set up a snow-camp and then spend our days touring and riding with our qualified backcountry guides. Whether you are new to split boarding & touring or a savvy veteran, your mind will be blown by the mountains and the snow quality.
There is a huge amount of terrain that we can access and our guides know how to find whatever it is that you are looking for, ensuring that every guest is smiling. We’ll be riding untamed big mountain terrain – usually only visited by heliskiers. The scale, vastness and beauty is awe-inspiring. Our goal is to find the best powder you have ever experienced. There are no groomed runs here, all of the riding is in the backcountry and provided by Mother Nature. We aim to ride untracked snow on every run.
Heli Camp is situated in the Liebig Range. There is no other tour that can come close to the experience of skiing or snowboarding in the Liebig Range. The Liebigs sit just east of Mount Cook and the Main Divide. They feature extensive valley systems, with mellow to steep runs across all aspects. They offer great options for touring in nearly all weather and snow conditions. We will have access to thousands of square miles of terrain. The terrain we ride will suit the ability level and pace of our group.
Below is our itinerary for the tour. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change if weather and conditions are unsuitable.
September 15, 2017 – Arrival Day
Welcome to Heli Camp. We will organise a transfer from Christchurch Airport to Mt Taylor Lodge in Methven. Relax and meet the crew in the laid back and scenic lodge before getting stuck into our first home cooked Kiwi dinner prepared by guru culinary lodge manager Nick.
September 16, 2017 – Mt Hutt
Breakfast at the lodge and then depart for Mt Hutt. Take the opportunity to warm up for Heli Camp, and to assess and test your equipment. We return in our private transport for dinner at the lodge.
September 17, 2017 – Round Hill Club Field / Transfer to Unwin Lodge
Early breakfast and check out of Mt Taylor Lodge. Today we drive to Unwin Lodge in Mt Cook Village. If we have time and the weather is suitable we will drive via Round Hill Club Field and spend some time riding at the ski area. After riding, we will stop at Lake Tekapo where you will have the opportunity to buy supplies for your stay at Unwin Lodge. In the evening you’ve got the option of cooking yourself dinner at the lodge, or you can join the group for dinner at a nearby hotel in Mt Cook Village.
September 18, 2017 – Heli Camp Arrival
Wake up and prepare your own breakfast at the lodge. We will check out of our accommodation and head to the heli office for a briefing and gear check with our guides. Once we are good to go we will head to the Heli staging area and fly out to our chosen site to set up camp. If weather and time permits we will utilise the helicopters for a quick bump to the ridge for a warm up run back to camp! Once down we will all help in designing and setting up camp, this is a great experience and a good opportunity to learn snow camping techniques from your experienced guides. Once set up we will assess the conditions and possibly get a short tour in before settling in for a hot meal and a well deserved sleep.
September 19 & 20, 2017 – Heli Camp
Each morning we will wake up for breakfast and a hot drink while our guides run us through the plan for the day. Every day will be different and unique and the decisions will be based on snow pack, weather, group dynamics and personal preference. There are opportunities for nice long mellow runs all the way to steep chutes into powder bowls. We will head out on short or extended tours around the area. Once back at the camp we’ll have dinner and turn in for an early night so we’re ready for the following day.
September 21, 2017 – Heli Camp Departure
Our final day on the camp we will again start the day and assess the conditions. If the conditions and our tired bodies allow we will head for one final tour in the range. Once an exit strategy with the helicopters has been arranged we will pack down the site and fly out back to Mt Cook village. Here we will debrief with the guides and say goodbye to the beautiful mountains surrounding us before heading back to Methven for a home cooked meal, cold beverage and a nice warm bed!
September 22, 2017 – Departure
After a well deserved sleep at Taylors Lodge we will sit down for our final breakfast with the crew. Here we can swap details, share photographs and reminisce on the amazing experience we have just been through. We will transfer you back to Christchurch for your return flight.
Upon arrival in Christchurch Airport we will transfer out to Mt Taylor lodge in Methven. Here we will spend a day checking gear, warming up our legs at Mt Hutt and relaxing in the great mellow Kiwi vibe so unique to Methven. Nick, our host at the lodge, is on hand for cooked breakfasts, great coffee and gourmet dinners to make us feel at home.
We then transfer down to Mt Cook village, spending the night at Unwin Lodge to prepare for the Helicamp. Your guides will run you through the conditions, safety instructions and will again check your gear to make sure we are well prepared. Once we are good to go we will load the helicopters and fly out to our campsite for the next 3 nights. Weather permitting the helicopter will give us a quick bump up to the top for a warm up Heliski run. Once we experience our first taste of the riding available its all hands on deck to set up camp. This is a great experience in itself in learning how to dig snow walls, build flat pads for tents and how best to arrange a snow camping site. Once set up we will assess the conditions and get out for our first short warm up tour.
Breakfast, lunch, hot dinners, drinks and snacks are prepared daily by your guides and there’s no rationing of food out here, you will be well fed! Each day will be unique and different ranging from short skins to near-by ridge lines and slopes to full day extended backcountry tours across multiple ridge lines, valleys and peaks. The altitude and multiple slope aspects ensures that snow out here is usually in great conditions, expect everything from light dry powder to beautiful untracked corn snow. The tour is run in spring as it gives us extended daylight hours and favourable touring weather. If weather is not favourable we have a couple days of weather contingency and also sheltered mountain huts available.
After our final day of touring we will pack down our camp and helicopter back to Mt Cook Village. From here we transfer back to Methven and spend our final night at Mt Taylor Lodge with a great farewell dinner. Following day we transfer back to Christchurch Airport.
+ 3 nights snow camping in Liebig Range for Heli Camp
+ 4 days of professional backcountry guiding for Heli Camp
+ All meals, snacks and water during Heli Camp
+ All transport to ski fields and Helicamp staging area
+ Private airport transfers
+ Helicopter flights in and out of the Liebig Range
+ Free use of a range of technical backcountry camping equipment for Heli Camp
+ 1 day lift ticket, Mt Hutt
+ 3 nights twin share accommodation Mt Taylor Lodge, Methven
+ 1 night twin share accommodation Unwin Lodge, Mt Cook.
+ Breakfasts and dinners at Mt Taylor Lodge
+ Access to waxing and tuning room at Mt Taylor Lodge
+ Hosting by Mint Tours
What is Helicamp
We helicopter in and out from our base, set up a snow-camp and then spend our days touring and riding with our qualified backcountry guides. We are able to maximise our touring time as we can tour with light weight packs.
Campsites are cozy expedition-style tent camps, backed up with snow caves (or a mountain hut). The campsite locations are stunning high-altitude ridge crests. Wake up to fiery sunrises, before skiing/riding untamed big mountain terrain – usually only visited by heliskiers.
The Liebig Range sits just east of Mount Cook and the Main Divide.The Liebigs feature extensive valley systems, with mellow to steep runs across all aspects. They offer great options for touring in nearly all weather and snow conditions.
Some backcountry skiing/riding experience is preferred, but not essential.
You must be:
+ Strong intermediate (or better) skier/snowboarder
+ Prepared to ski/ride in alpine terrain with a small backpack
+ A high level of aerobic fitness
Our low instructor/participant ratio allows us to accommodate a range of experience levels.
Free of charge:
+ Avalanche beacon
+ Shovel & probe
Available to rent:
+ Sleeping bag
+ Backpack 55L capacity
+ Waterproof shell rain jacket
+ Waterproof pants
+ Insulation jacket
+ Ski touring boots
+ Touring skis, skins & poles
+ Snowshoes & poles
A detailed personal equipment list will be provided to you.
$500 deposit required to secure booking with balance payable 30 days prior to departure. All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and are subject to availability at time of booking. Tour itinerary is subject to change.