Heliskiing in Courmayeur: for a True Off Piste Experience
If you want to try the adrenaline-pumping, off-piste activity of heliskiing, Courmayeur in Italy is the ultimate destination for beginners looking for a thrill.
If you dream of making tracks through virgin powder fields and previously unmarked mountainsides, then heliskiing is definitely something you should consider.
Imagine climbing on board a helicopter in the heart of your resort and being flown deep into the Alps, away from the lifts and other people, and then being dropped off on deserted peaks to make your way down. If this sounds like you, then you need to book a heliskiing excursion as part of your next winter sports holiday.
Unfortunately heliskiing is not available throughout much of the Alps: France and Germany have both banned the activity to reduce helicopter activity in the area. The good news is that in Italy there are no such restrictions. So if you dream of descending a blank canvas of snow down the south face of Mont Blanc, you can make that dream a reality from the picturesque Italian resort of Courmayeur.
Don’t be put off if this Mont Blanc adventure sounds a little too high octane for your first time heliskiing; Courmayeur also offers more gentle opportunities across a wide variety of non-glacial terrain, which greatly reduces any risks.
Many companies in the area offer everything from a full day (including two flights) to weekend or even week long adventure in heliskiing. Courmayeur is the perfect base for the sport as helicopters can land right in the centre of the piste area. That way, after your adrenaline-pumping experience, you can stop off for a hot wine at one of the resort’s beautiful mountainside restaurants before heading back to your accommodation.
What You’ll Need
Obviously to try this you’ll need a basic level of expertise. The ideal time for heliskiing is from January through to May, with the conditions in winter being tougher thanks to the larger volume of fresh powder. It is therefore advised that those taking part during the winter need experience of skiing in deep powder.
For those trying it in the spring snow, expertise in deep powder is not so important although, as with any skiing or snowboarding, you will still need a relatively good level of fitness.
Equipment you will need includes: wide skis, good bindings, skiwear suitable to the conditions (including special ski gloves), hat or helmet, goggles or sunglasses.
How to Get To There
If this has whet your appetite for heliskiing, Courmayeur couldn’t be easier to reach. There are regular flights from the UK to nearby Turin or Geneva airports with airlines including BA, Ryanair, easyJet and Swiss International.
Book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct and just an hour and a half after touching down you could be strapping on your skis in Courmayeur. Just let us know when you book online what ski equipment you will be carrying and we’ll transport it to the resort for you at no extra charge.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a holiday to try an exciting sport like heliskiing, Courmayeur is ideal. When you land at the airport, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the resort swiftly and safely.