The Whitelines Guide to Heli-Boarding in Europe

Mike Basich re-entering the atmosphere

The Swiss have a fairly relaxed attitude towards flying helicopters around the mountains and there’s a few companies floating about that will provide you with the opportunity to ride some untouched powder.

The main drawback about Switzerland, however, is the limit on drop off locations. Helicopters are restricted to 32 distinct landing platforms and these aren’t always at the most ideal spot. You need to be prepared to hike a bit to find the steep stuff. As a result, the destination is largely dictated by where you’re allowed to land as opposed to where the best snow is.

 You need to be prepared to hike a bit to find the steep stuff.

That said, with long runs averaging close to 2000m in vertical and the greatest array of opportunities to heli-board, Switzerland is one of the better choices if you’re sticking around Europe.

Where to Heli-Board:

SwissKIsafari¬†are probably the biggest heli-board company around and they’re based in the Valais region. They offer a fantastic variety of packages and you can even customise your own trip. What’s more, considering the proximity to Italy, they regularly take you across the border to sample the delights of the Italian scenery. If you really want to push the boat out, they’ll arrange backcountry glamping (glamorous camping for you not in the know) so you have exclusive access to fresh tracks.

Snowmotions provide single and multi-day trips ranging from a half-day, single drop off tour to a full two day/three night package including half board at a three star hotel and a full day heli-boarding around the Flims/Laax area with two descents.


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