Monthly Archives: August 2012

First-timer goes big with Methven Heliski!

There’s nothing quite like being whisked away by a helicopter and placed atop a massive snowy peak. I found this out Heliskiing for the very first time on Saturday.

I already knew Methven Heliski was a fabulous company by meeting the people who work here and getting to know how they operate through my work as the office assistant this season. But now I have a whole new perspective of the Heliski operation

I saw some of the best views of my life taking off in the helicopter and making my way into the vast mountain range. It’s hard to believe any one could find a space to land a helicopter on the elevated tips of the mountains, but my pilot Troy made it look easy. I slid out of the helicopter and hunkered down beside the gear and my fellow heliskiers. The chopper blades whirled, pushing wind against my body and sprinkling my cheeks with snowflakes as the helicopter zipped back into the sky. We stood on the ledge with our gear and nothing but sky and mountains for as far as the eye could see. Directly in front of me was a slope covered with thick white powder. After getting direction from my guide, I put on my board and started to carve the very first tracks of the day. The soft snow made turns seem more effortless, and the feeling of descending from mountains in such a pristine setting is unmatched by any experience I’ve ever had while boarding.

I started the day with our guide Al, a true professional with a class-act personality. My fellow Heliskiers were a couple from Austria who will celebrate their 50th Anniversary this year. They are both passionate about Heliskiing with us, and it was inspiring to see how they are still young at heart, skiing down the massive runs with skill.

After five fantastic runs with them, I jumped in with a group of boarders – adrenaline junkies from Aussie. Our guide Roy is a boarder too and is awesome to watch zip down the hill. He shoots down the mountain shredding over ridges, bombing through narrow chutes and flying off rocks. I certainly wasn’t as skilled as the boarders from Aussie, but managed to hold my own making my way down through the amazing terrain.

The whole operation was impressive, from the unique setting of the helipad at Glenfalloch Station, to the skill and efficiency of the pilots. The guides are extremely knowledgeable. They take safety seriously and still manage to have a great time with their guests. Coming back to the ranch at the end of the day, everyone had a big smile on their face. Days later, I’m still grinning as I get flashbacks gliding down the mountains of New Zealand. What a treat!

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South Ashburton

The South Ashburton holds some of our best terrain. Runs like Pito Peak offer over 100 meters of straight fall line skiing at a relatively steep angle and the entrance chutes offer lots of excitement. Our regular guest Alan Green ” Greeny” managed to score first tracks as the guide had to hang back for the picture!

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Palmer Range gets hit again!

Over the past few weeks we have seen an easterly system repeat itself giving us some difficult weather calls but also some very good snow conditions in the Palmer Range. While the Arrowsmith Range is famous for it’s long steep runs and glaciers the Palmers actually has some quite unique terrain as well. Being our most easterly terrain we can often have great powder snow conditions while the rest of the terrain can miss  out! Recently we have had great skiing and riding in the Palmers and with another 30 new today it looks like conditions should be great again once the weather clears!Image

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It’s August and it’s fully game on!

The weather in late July gave us some difficult operating conditions with warm temperatures and a lack of snow. August has arrived and with up to 1 meter of new snow recently conditions have changed. The recent storm produced very dense snow on the previous hard base and this has resulted in a stable snowpack with some nice light snow on top. We now have our second helicopter in place and have space still available for private charter and of course our regular day skiing. Another front will pass over the region this week with even more snow so August and September are looking very good for skiing and riding with Methven Heli!

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