Mount Cook Heliski Tour
5 Days I 2 Days Heliski
August 12, 2018 to August 16, 2018
$3150 PER PERSON
Join us in Mount Cook for our fly in, fly out heli-ski tour, where you’ll get to ride New Zealand’s best heli-ski terrain. We spend 2 days heli-skiing in the Mount Cook region and you have the opportunity to explore the local ski areas – Round Hill, Ohau and Mt Dobson, if there are any down days.
Mount Cook is unique as it has more advanced-level terrain than any other heli-ski operator in New Zealand. The big mountains of the Mount Cook region are a serious place with rapidly changing weather and snow conditions, and more glaciated runs than anywhere in NZ. The terrain demands the best and most experienced heli-ski guides in the business. We will fly with small groups where the focus is on safety, and great Kiwi service.
While Mount Cook Heliski has terrain to get your heart racing, there is also terrain to suit strong intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders. From cruisy powder bowls and open faces to steep chutes and technical lines. This is a wilderness area of ancient glaciers, and endless runs, across 6 mountain ranges – from exclusive terrain in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, to the shores of Lake Pukaki and the Ben Ohau Range.
Throughout the tour you will have professional guides on-hand, on and off the snow. Throughout the tour you will stay in modern, twin share accommodation. All transportation is included, including airport pick up and drop off, and you’ll travel in comfortable 4WD vehicles. Come and experience the South Island with us and find out why heli-skiing in Mount Cook has earned it’s famous reputation in the snowboard world.
We have limited availability on this tour.
For full itinerary and enquires contact us:
Call 1300 205 609
Email [email protected]
Your tour includes
2 days heli-skiing in Mount Cook region
- 5 incredible runs per day (2 days)
- Professional guide services (maximum 5 guests per guide)
- A generous picnic lunch on the snow
- Safety equipment, including avalanche transceivers
- Pickup and return transportation from accommodation to heli-staging area
- For an additional cost, video service available upon request.
- 5 days of professional guiding
- Resort and/or backcountry guiding for any resort/club field visits.
- 4 nights of twin share accommodation in Mt Cook Village. All rooms are equipped with 2 beds, ensuite bathroom, heating and fridge. The accommodation is equipped with bar and restaurant which serves dinner.
Private 4WD transportation
- Daily private transfers to and from the resort / heli-staging area in comfortable 4WD vehicles
- Arrival day pick-up from Queenstown Airport
- Departure day drop-off to Christchurch Airport.
Below is a sample itinerary for the tour. We may need to revise along the way if weather is unsuitable. Your guides will keep you updated throughout the tour. We have 4 possible fly days throughout the tour. If we are unable to fly due to weather, we will provide you with a refund for the heli-ski.
August 12 – Arrival Day
Welcome to New Zealand! Your tour guides will meet you at Queenstown Airport or downtown Queenstown at 10am. We’ll load up our 4WD transport and then make the 4.5 hour drive to Mt Cook Village. We will stop on the way at a supermarket for any last minute supplies. Once you arrive, we’ll check you in to the hotel and make sure you are settled in and ready for the week ahead. We will then head to the heli office for a briefing with our heli guides. Then it’s back to the lodge and time to relax. If the sun is still shining, join your guides for a welcome drink on the deck. In the evening we’ll meet for Welcome Session and group dinner. Your guides will explain what’s in store for the week ahead. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any questions and to get to know the group and guides.
August 13 & 14 – Heli-ski Days
For the next 2 days you will be heli-skiing in Mount Cook. Each day will follow a similar format. Your guide will meet the group early and brief you for the day ahead. We’ll load our equipment into the van and then make the drive to our heli staging area. Sit back and enjoy the amazing scenery. Once we arrive, you can grab breakfast and fuel up for the day ahead. Your guides will then conduct a safety briefing which includes rescue training and how to use your avalanche safety equipment. They will also brief you on helicopter safety. Your heli-ski guides are trained in avalanche rescue and are always happy to share their knowledge with you. For our first session, we will typically do 3 – 4 runs before breaking for lunch on mountain. We will have a picnic style lunch in the mountains with sandwiches, snacks and plenty of hot soup, tea and water. In the afternoon we’ll complete our remaining runs, and if there is the opportunity to do more runs, your guides will advise the group. After we have finished riding we will return back to the heli staging area. We’ll then load the vans and head back to our lodge where we’ll enjoy a group dinner.
August 15 – Optional Heliski Day / Resort Day
We leave one day free in the itinerary as a weather contingency day. If you’ve already completed your 2 heli-ski days and you’re still ready for more, you can add another day heli-skiing. If you’d like a change of pace and are keen to explore of this region, join your guide for a day trip to one of the local resorts. You will get the opportunity to spend the day riding at either Ohau, Round Hill or Mt Dobson. Lift ticket not included. Or you can opt to spend the day at Mount Cook Village. There are many adventure operators in the area who offer 4WD Tours and walks into the National Park.
August 16 – Departure Day
Today we depart Mt Cook Village and make the 4.5 hour drive back to Christchurch Airport, where the tour concludes. For anyone wanting to clock up some more heli time and vertical, join us the following day for the start of our Methven Heli Tour.
Your guides work hard to deliver a sensational day in the mountains. Snow stability, snow quality, weather and your ability will affect the day that your guides can deliver – but safety is always the number one priority.
Regardless of experience, all guests will receive a safety briefing from their guide, including how to use an avalanche transceiver, before boarding the first chopper ride. Heliskiing is not without risks, and you will be required to sign a waiver each day when participating.
- All guests and guides wear an avalanche transceiver
- Guides carry a radio and a rescue pack
Some experienced guests may be asked to carry additional gear to assist guides
- Extra safety equipment (including a defibrillator) is carried in the helicopters in case of emergency.
The big mountains of the Mount Cook region are a serious place with rapidly changing weather and snow conditions, and more glaciated runs than anywhere in NZ. The terrain demands the best and most experienced heliski guides in the business. They represent decades of experience, in New Zealand and worldwide. Mt Cook Heliski guides are professionals, who are trained and certified to international standards.
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 will be grouped according to your ability and your guide will select terrain best suited to your group on the day. See Ability Level guide below.
There is terrain to suit all levels; from cruisy powder bowls and open faces to steep gnarly chutes. The Mt Cook region is unique as it has more advanced-level terrain, and glaciated runs than the Queenstown or Wanaka region.
What is the snowpack like?
The Southern Alps has a maritime snowpack. Expect variation in snow conditions and cover throughout the season. Powder is common up until late August.
Do I need a powder board or special equipment?
Alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards are all welcome. Ride on whatever you are comfortable with, just make sure the gear is well waxed.
Powder boards and all-mountain or wider skis are preferred, giving better floatation in powder, and better control over a range of conditions (less face-plants too).
- Snowboarders: have your bindings mounted so the stance is as far back as possible
- Skiers: We recommend skis 90mm or wider under foot
Is there rental equipment available?
You can hire powder (aka ‘fat’) skis, boots and poles. Snowboarders should bring their own equipment.
- Skis: NZ $50/day
- Skis, boots, and poles: NZ $75/day
What to bring?
Dress for a cold day at a ski area. GORE-TEX jacket and pants offer the best protection against the elements. A lightweight down layer, merino base layers, good quality goggles with low and high light lenses, polarized sunglasses, GORE-TEX gloves with liners, and plenty of sunscreen
How long are the runs?
Every season will vary, but the average is around 800 vertical metres. The extensive terrain has a number of runs in excess of 1,000 vertical metre drops – up to 1,300 metres.
What about the weather?
New Zealand has a temperate maritime climate, and very changeable weather patterns. There is no tree skiing. We will fly only with fine weather (good visibility, moderate wind). On average there are 4 or 5 operational days per week.
For this tour, we have 4 possible fly days (12 – 16 AUG) which provides us with the best chance of flying.
Our lead guide makes the weather operating decision early each morning (often before sunrise).
However, as we are staying at Mt Cook we can take advantage of late weather clearances and can call on the day, greatly increasing your chances to get out.
If weather prevents flying a refund for the heliski day will be given.
Our base for the tour is Mt Cook Lodge. A comfortable lodge located in Mount Cook Village. Throughout the tour you will be staying in twin share ensuite rooms. However if you’d prefer your own space, single share rooms can be arranged. All rooms are equipped with ensuite bathrooms, quality linen, refrigerator and a patio or balcony so you can soak up the stunning mountain views. After a long day heli-skiing, chill out in the Chamois Bar & Grill, a favourite of travellers and locals alike. Enjoy pub style meals at great prices then party till late, play pool or watch the game on the sports screen.
Mint Tours Guides
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available.
Small Group Numbers
Our guests to guide ratio is 4 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us.
Any reasonably fit and confident skier or snowboarder can experience the thrill of skiing and riding in the big mountains. A good level of fitness, confidence, and a “go for it” attitude are all important. We will ask for your Ability Level when booking.
- Confidently ride/ski Blue runs at a ski area
- May have no heliskiing experience
- May have no powder snow experience
- Confidently ride/ski Black runs at a ski area
- May have no powder snow experience
- May have some heliski experience in intermediate terrain
- May not have heli-skied, but can ride/ski Double Black runs at a ski area in powder snow
- Or experienced heli-skier – will ride/ski 5 to 10 (800 metre) runs per day
- Can ride/ski any terrain
- Very experienced heli-skier – ski/snowboard 10 or more (1,000 metre) runs per day