5 DAY GUIDED TOUR
Get your powder fix with our New Zealand heli-ski adventure. From our base in Methven, we access New Zealand’s best heli-ski terrain. With our experienced guides, you’ll get to experience riding deep, un-tracked powder in The Arrowsmith, Ragged, or Palmer Ranges. These mountains catch snow from every winter storm to deliver NZ most consistent snow conditions. To get you prepared for your heli-ski days, we spend 2 days riding at Mt Hutt getting freeride specific tips along the way.
Our tour is based at our private lodge in Methven, just over an hours’ drive from Christchurch International Airport. This small country town is the perfect staging area for some of New Zealand’s best resort and backcountry riding. Home to the legendary heli-ski operation, Methven Heli, where you can spend up to 2 full days’ heli-skiing, accessing their huge tenure across 3 mountain ranges; The Arrowsmith, Ragged, and Palmer Ranges. These mountains catch snow from every winter storm to deliver New Zealand’s most consistent snow conditions and quality. Nowhere else in New Zealand (outside of the Mt Cook area) can you find the glaciated high-alpine terrain that Methven Heliski offers. We also spend a day riding at Mt Hutt where we can access incredible terrain right off the lifts or further afield if you’re ready to earn your turns.
AUGUST 1, 2019 – WELCOME TO METHVEN!
Your Mint Chicks guide will meet you at Christchurch Airport. From here we will travel by private 4WD vehicles to our lodge in Methven which will be our home-base for your heli-ski adventure. After checking in to your room, we encourage you to unpack, settle in and rest up for the adventure ahead. This evening your guides will run you through the plan for the tour, do a gear check and you’ll have time to set up your equipment. Our lodge has a wax/tune room where you can set up and store your equipment, and we’ll have helping hands on standby for anyone needing assistance. In the evening, we’ll head to the local pub for a group dinner.
AUGUST 2, 2019 – MT HUTT WARM-UP DAY
After a good nights’ rest, you’ll awaken to the smell of fresh brewed coffee, with views of Mt Hutt to accompany your hearty group breakfast at the lodge. We’ll depart for the mountain generally around 8:30am. Our first day on-snow is at Mt Hutt, which is a great warm up for the heli-ski days, and it’s also a good opportunity to test out your equipment before you head into the backcountry. We’ll run a morning coaching session and spend the morning working on your core riding skills and then break for lunch on mountain. This afternoon, if the conditions are right, there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the extensive off-piste areas. After a day riding at Mt Hutt, we will return to our lodge. Grab a drink and sit around the fire place to relax after your first day on-snow. In the evening, join your guides for dinner at one of the many local restaurants in Methven before heading back to the lodge for a good nights’ rest.
AUGUST 3, 2019 – METHVEN HELI DAY
We have an early start with a home cooked breakfast at the lodge. We’ll load our equipment into the van and then make the drive to Glenfalloch Station which is our heli staging area. We make our way up the Rakaia Gorge on unsealed roads until we reach the high-country sheep station which is at the foot of the Arrowsmith and Ragged Ranges. Once at the station your guides will conduct a safety briefing which includes rescue training and how to use your avalanche safety equipment. They will also brief you on Helicopter Safety. All the Methven Heliski guides are trained in avalanche rescue and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share with you. Questions are welcomed and encouraged. Methven Heli is unique in that it is the only operator in the area and they have the choice between the super long runs in the Arrowsmith Range or the steep and challenging runs in the Ragged Range. This decision on where we ride will be based on snow conditions and overall group ability levels. In the morning, we 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 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 Glenfalloch Station where you can have a few well-earned drinks. We’ll then load the vans and head back to our lodge. In the evening, join your guides for dinner.
AUGUST 4, 2019 – WEATHER DAY
Our ‘Weather Day’ gives us more flexibility and a longer weather window to score those perfect powder conditions for heli-skiing. If you’ve already completed your first heli-ski day, and conditions are good, you can opt to add an extra day of Heli-skiing. You may want to head back to Mt Hutt for another day of riding or just take it easy and relax around the lodge and check out Methven. Your guides are on hand to keep you updated with the weather situation throughout the tour. Most guests typically complete 2 full heli-ski days on this tour. It’s very rare that we get no fly days.
AUGUST 5, 2019 – DEPARTURE DAY
Enjoy your final breakfast together at the lodge. Final ‘high fives’ are handed out, then it’s time to pack up your gear. We’ll load up the shuttle and drive back to Christchurch Airport, the place where it all started. You’ll be left asking yourself, did that just happen? Is it really possible to have that much fun in just 5 days?
There’s only one way to find out…