ADVENTURE TIME: HOW I CONQUERED HELI SKIING IN NEW ZEALAND
Queenstown has some of the best ski slopes in the world – Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak and Cardrona to name just a few. However if these perfectly manicured slopes aren’t enough to keep you entertained or challenged, I highly recommended heli skiing. Before I continue, I do want to break down one major myth about heli skiing – no, you do not jump out of the helicopter. The helicopter very carefully and safely (not to mention precariously) parks on top of the mountain ridge, your instructor unpacks the gear and you step out whilst avoiding the helicopter blades, of course. Obviously it would be totally cool to jump however…
Now where was I?
Heli skiing is the ultimate activity in Queenstown. What could be better than untouched, crowd free slopes and fresh powder at your fingertips? Not much! So when I was recently in Queenstown, I decided to go heli skiing with Heli Tours. After a morning of skiing at Cardrona, my friend Dom and I were met by our pilot, photographer and instructor at the base of the mountain for a quick avalanche and safety briefing before securing our avalanche detectors and stepping into the helicopter.
After 20 or so minutes of flying around, chatting to each other through the headsets and choosing the right mountain for an afternoon of untouched alpine terrain skiing, before I knew it I found myself stepping out of the helicopter, clicking my boots into my skis and adventuring down one of the most fun (and scary) runs of my life.
I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous. The fear of not knowing what was ahead really gripped me. But it was a perfect bluebird day and once the helicopter dropped us off and flew down to meet us at the bottom, I’ve never experienced anything so pristine and wonderful!
Our instructor took us on multiple runs on multiple mountains but I chose not to tempt fate after my first run and enjoyed the view for the rest of the afternoon up the front of the helicopter with the pilot. We had a lot of fun flying over Queenstown’s surrounding snow capped mountains and stopping to watch the other guys from various vantage points on the mountain. Make sure you check out this video Dom made of the experience (and mind my relieved/scared/excited/who knows face when I am back in the helicopter - many LOLs).
If someone told me last year I would be heli skiing and sky diving in Queenstown this year, I would have looked at them bizarrely and said ‘as if!’ So it’s exciting to see how much adventuring I’ve been able to do this year. I can only imagine what I’ll get up to next year, exciting stuff! But I will say this, no bungee jumping – definitely not.