Ride some of the best ungroomed skiing and snowboarding areas of the Southern Alps of New Zealand!
The free ride format allows you to choose how fast, how many and which lines you take. The expert team will look after your overall safety for the day however, you are free to plan your own day within the free ride location.
Ideal for photo/film shoots for skiers and snowboarders wanting max heli runs or for those just wanting a few runs and lunch in the mountains.
Free ride is suitable for all ability levels, as you control the pace and number of runs. Alpine Heliski will choose the best operating day. Heli Pass is NZD 425, this includes return flights into free ride location, your first run and mountain lunch, additional runs are NZD 85 each.
Best time to go
The heli-ski season starts 1st July and continues until the 30th September. July and August are the coldest months providing excellent powder conditions and clear weather. August to early September is often the best time with deep snow bases and regular snow falls. During late September expect spring like snow conditions.
- Friendly, experienced, professional guides
- Full safety briefing given before departure
- Safety equipment
- Delicious gourmet lunch
- Pick-up and return of rental skis/boards
- Transfers from Queenstown accommodation to heli pads and return. (Regular & Charter only)
Alpine conditions can change rapidly, so it is important to be prepared. This means dressing as you would for a cold day at the resort. You should use layers to enable you to have the right clothing
combination for any conditions. Ensure that you have a wind/ waterproof outer layer for both your pants and jacket.
Speciality powder skis and boards aren't specifically designed to optimise performance in heli-ski snow conditions. While not essential, they will make your heli-day that much more enjoyable. If you don’t have your own equipment – hiring is a popular option and easily coordinated. The staff can recommend a variety of rental outlets that carry powder equipment and can arrange for the pick-up and drop-off of any gear that you hire.
7.45 to 8.15am
You will be contacted at your accommodation at which time your guide will confirm if he is able to operate with the days forecasted weather and operational conditions.
8.30 to 9am: Pickups
If you are hiring gear, then let your guide know the day before which store you have hired from, and he will arrange to pick it up before he collects you.
Transport to staging destination
This will vary each day depending on where the best skiing/boarding conditions that are ideal for the day's operation.
Once at the staging area you will receive comprehensive briefing, which includes information on helicopter safety as well as potential back-country terrain hazards. You will be given an avalanche transceiver and instruction on its use. Then its time to carve your signature down a few mountains! Upon booking your guide will have asked about your current ability level as well
as any terrain preferences. With this in mind he will select the ideal terrain for your heli-skiing/snowboarding pleasure.
After a couple of runs, you'll stop for a gourmet mountain top lunch (included with all packages).
After lunch you will continue with the balance of your runs before returning to the staging.Special terms
Safety around helicopters
Your guide will co-ordinate the loading and unloading of the helicopter on each flight. It is critical that you pay close attention to the directions being given. Never approach or disembark a helicopter without direction from your guide. Your guide will manage all of your equipment in and around the helicopter – do not interfere with any equipment during this process.
Safety in the backcountry
Managing risk is a big part of your guide’s role. He will constantly be monitoring back country risks such as crevasses avalanches and other obstacles. Ensure that you are always in control when heli-skiing/snowboarding as you may need to stop quickly to avoid such hazards. Never ski outside of the areas defined by your guide, and never ski ahead of your guide unless he advises you to do so. In the unlikely event that you find yourself in trouble – remember to stay calm, your guide
will not be far away and is fully trained in rescue and first aid techniques. If you find yourself in an avalanche there are a few simple things you can do to assist yourself: Firstly, try to ski to the outer edge of the avalanche, if this is not possible then kick off your skis and let go of your poles. Try to get to the side of the avalanche by using a swimming and rolling motion try to stay on top of the moving snow. When the snow is coming to a stop, place one hand in front of your face to
create an air-pocket and raise a hand to signal your location. Remain calm and await help.