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F.A.Q. frequently asked questions

How long are the heli-ski runs and how long do they take?

The average run is roughly 2000 vertical meters (6000 feet), but they vary from 1600 to 2400 vertical meters (4500m to 7200 feet). The time it takes to complete each run depends on each individual's ability and itinerary, with the average being around 90 to 180 minutes. A group of expert skiers will move at a faster pace than a group of intermediate skiers.

How "good" do I have to be to go heli-skiing?

For private daily heli-ski we recommend that you be of intermediate or better ability on red and black runs that you know, although basic off-piste experience is recommended. We can accommodate all levels of skiers from intermediate to expert.

For group heli-skiing the minimum required ski level is advanced.   Ability guide

How does a typical Group Heli-ski day run ?

The day before your trip we will contact you with the time of departure and the meeting point. The meeting point is usually at the heliport of Le Chable or from the bottom of the Savoleyres cable car. If you are staying in Verbier and have no means of transport, Adrenaline can collect you from your chalet or hotel.

On arrival your guide will brief you on how the day will run and give you a description of the chosen route. He will tell you about the current conditions in the mountains and safety and rescue procedures. He will also distribute the safety equipment to those who have reserved it.

Generally the route chosen by the guide will not require walking, however if the whole group wish it and are equipped with skins and touring bindings, the guide can add a hike into the day.

The descent should last about 150 minutes and we should return to the heliport at about 2pm.

If the participants wish to undertake a second heliski the same day it is possible. The supplément is CHF 300 per person.

We recommend that you take warm clothes as well as a drink and a small picnic

 

How many people does a guide manage?

A guide supervises up to 7 persons maximum. We can in exceptional circumstances have 8 people in a group if all skiers are of the same ability and fitness and if all clients wish this. More than 8 people and a second guide is needed.

If you wish some flexibility and comfort 4 persons per guide is ideal.

How many heliski runs can we do in one day?

With a private group we do usually one or two runs (6000 to 12000 feet descent). It is not rare, when the snow conditions are perfect, that we can make 4 to 6 runs on the same day. If you are interested in doing several extra runs, please mention this when you make your reservation.

If you join a group heliski on Wednesday or Saturday one run of 6000 feet is included in the price. However, if the participants wish to undertake a second one it is possible. The supplément is then CHF 300 per person.

Do we have to stay in Verbier for heli-skiing?

Verbier is one of the best place for heli-skiing in the Alps. It can happen, that the snow conditions are better somewhere else as for example in Zermatt-Cervinia, Arolla or in the Bernese Alps. In that case it is possible to reserve the helicopter for the entire day from Verbier or Sion to travel there. The other option is to travel by car. Do not hesitate to ask us for a price!

What is the snow like?

Snow conditions on the mountains vary considerably over the course of the winter as the snow is subjected to sun, wind, temperature variation, and new snowfalls. Snow conditions change almost every day. Altitude will also affect the snow.

We are fortunate to be in an area where generally there are frequent snowfalls that usually produce good powder snow conditions.

What about avalanche danger?

There is always some level of avalanche danger in the mountains in winter. This danger level changes constantly with changing snow and weather conditions. The current risk of avalanche is always considered by the guides when choosing the runs to ski. In the case of very bad conditions for heliski your guide will recommend off-piste skiing instead, if this isnt' possible your heliski will be postponed.

Can we combine heli-skiing with ski touring?

Yes, it is possible to combine a day of heli-skiing with ski touring. Heli-skiing is regulated in Switzerland with regulated specific landing places. Ski touring becomes a good option to reach some nice and untracked runs. Walking time is roughly between 20 and 90 minutes.

Ski or snowbaord touring, is ideal for those who want to do only one heli-ski drop and want to enjoy as much time as possible high in the mountains.

Detailed itineraries on our website...

What kind skis, clothes and equipment do I need to take?

We recommend you have freeride skis. Slalom skis and piste skis are not as good for off piste and heli-skiing.

For those wishing to walk in the mountains to find more remote routes, touring skis and bindings (Diamir) with skins are required. Snowboarders must have snowshoes.

You must have standard avalanche safety equipment - transceiver, shovel, probe, ABS airbag and harness. If you don’t own these, they can be rented and reserved with the Adrenaline office when you book and will be given to you by your guide at the safety briefing in the morning.

The temperature and conditions in the high mountains can be very harsh in the winter. This is why we recommend that you be well prepared. Warm and waterproof clothes are a necessity. For the upper part of the body have one or two base layers, an insulted jacket and a waterproof, breathable shell, (Gore-tex). Gloves and a hat are also essential.

Don’t forget your sunglasses or face mask, suncream, a drink, a snack and a camera to capture those amazing moments!

25% discount is offered on the rental from our partner Hardcore Shop in Verbier www.hardcore-verbier.ch


Do I need an airbag ABS system?

There is always a risk in the mountains,  however it is possible to reduce this risk by taking precautions and having good safety equipment.  The ABS airbag system is an excellent way of reducing this risk. The basic equipment – transceiver, shovel & probe is mandatory, the ABS is optional, but is highly recommended especially when the avalanche risk is moderate to high.

Basic safety equipment – Backpack, transceiver, shovel, probe & harness

Complete safety equipment – ABS Airbag backpack, transceiver, shovel, probe and harness

Adrenaline can provide all this equipment if you do not process it.

Are the guides experienced?

Our guides are all IFMGA and/or ASGM certified. Most have worked with Adrenaline since its creation in 2004. The mountains and glaciers from Chamonix to Zermatt  hold no secrets for them. To consistently remain at the top of their game, they regularly complete in-service training courses based on the latest safety standards.

What kind of helicopter do we use?

We use only Eurocopter AS 350 B3. This helicopter is powerful and responsive and is ideal  for heli-skiing. Most of the operations around the globe have chosen this helicopter. The AS 350 B3 can take 4 clients, 1 guide and 1 pilot. A group of 4 people is ideal.

How is heli-skiing permitted in Switzerland

Most European countries have strictly limited the practice of heliskiing. Switzerland has come up with an innovative Swiss compromise that limits the landing to some restricted areas. 
Verbier is located in a central location for heli-skiing and up to 4 different landing places can be reached by a 15 min flight. These four landing places means lots of different runs, chosen by your guide for the best skiing. Detailed itineraries on our website...