5 Extreme Skiing Adventures
A blog from Conor...
Heli Skiing – Panorama, Canada
The ultimate in skiing adventure, heliskiing combines spectacular backcountry powder skiing with the thrill of riding through the mountains in a helicopter. During my time in Banff I had the pleasure of going on a heliskiing trip with R.K. Heliski based in Panorama, they have access to a huge area of terrain and will take you up with a guide to ski the best powder they can find.
After completing the basic safety training, you take your seat in the helicopter and prepare to take off. As the propellers begin spinning you see the ground fall away beneath you as you speed through the mountains taking in the stunning views before landing at the top of the mountain and huddling together while the helicopter takes off in a roaring blast of snow.
Once the helicopter leaves, the mountain is yours. The guides at R.K. Heliski are fantastic and will take you into areas that you enjoy skiing most, whether that be through tree runs or steep powder fields. Each run is about 800 vertical metres long and with 5 runs+ in a day that’s over 4000 vertical metres of powder skiing! A picnic lunch on top of the mountain is also provided. This is an absolute must for any keen powder skier.
Ski Bungee Jump – Tignes, France
The Bun J Ride in Tignes is truly a unique experience that combines ski jumping, bungee jumping and zip wiring. You speed down a 30m long run way that ends in ski ramp hurling you 40m above the ground. You feel weightless flying through the air until the system lock is place and you are safely brought back to the earth by zip wire.
Being attached at the hips by two elastic bungees lets you fly like superman over the snow or throw a huge backflip if you’re brave enough. Each jump will cost you €75 so make them count! An experience not to be missed for true adrenaline junkies.
Cat Skiing – Whistler, Canada
Cat skiing involves modified snowcats, also known as trail groomers or piste bashers, that have larger cabins to accommodate groups of up to 12 people. These huge all-terrain machines drive up the mountain into areas inaccessible by traditional ski lifts giving you access to the best untouched powder the mountains have to offer.
A sometimes-bumpy ride on the way up is not as noisy as riding in a helicopter and allows you to get to know the group you are riding with and talk about how awesome that last run was! Although you still ski with a guide, there is a little more freedom in how far you can ski from your guides tracks letting you explore and enjoy the waist deep powder.
With a cost at almost half that of heliskiing but with an equal amount skiing you really do get you’re the most untracked snow for your money. A powder hounds dream, Cat skiing in Whistler is one to add to the list!
Ski Touring – Chamonix, France
Ski touring (ski de randonée en francais) combines aspects of mountaineering with downhill skiing, using specialist powder skis, touring bindings and skins, you can hike uphill in your skis and access untouched areas of snow outside of the resort boundaries.
The pinnacle of ski touring in the European Alps is an accent and summit of Mt Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps at 4810m. Guided tours start at £1500 lasting a week long, they will spend the start of the week covering the skills required to climb Mont Blanc, glacier travel, crampon use, ice axe use, and ski touring. After the mountain and avalanche safety, you will begin the 2-day touring trip, climbing all the way up the mountain, sleeping in hits along the way before skiing back down.
With early alpine starts (1am), physically demanding activities, and the inherent danger of being in the mountains, this is not a trip for the typical skier but a once in a lifetime experience for those who crave adventure.
Speed Riding – Arcalis, Andorra
An extreme mountain sport, speed riding combining skiing and paragliding for spectacular views and a thrilling ride over the mountains. It differs to paragliding in that the parachutes are much smaller allowing for quicker descents reaching speed of 70km/h.
A clear sky and limited wind is crucial for this activity and if you want to have a go, you must first take part in a tandem ride with a certified instructor. Based on your skiing ability, you will ski different off-piste areas, as the kites are not allowed on the slope, overcoming three difficulty levels before being allowed to control the kite by yourself.
This is a remarkable experience and not for those who are afraid of heights, available in Arcalis, Andorra, ranging from €105 for a one-day course to €450 for a full 6 days it’s a great experience and worth the money!
For more information..
To speak to a ski specialist call us on 02921 880022 to find out more about skiing activities or for help booking your dream ski holiday. You can enquire online too just click here.
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