You don’t have to go to a remote cabin where the only lift option is a helicopter. There are plenty of operations in Europe where you can just book in for a day. Italy. Switzerland and Austria all allow heli-skiing/boarding with one drop costing between €100-180. France banned heli-skiing in 1985 to protect the mountain environment, but there are a few loopholes – for instance UK company Val Heli will pick you up in Tignes or Val D’Isere and drop you over the border in Italy to ride. Legendary UK freerider James Stentiford is also offering a week-long camp that includes both a day with Val Heli and a night in a mountain refuge, accessed by splitboard – visit stentifordsnowboarding.co.uk
Chamonix is another good option, sitting right in the corner between Italy and Switzerland, so you can hang out and ride in the freeride mecca and see where the snow is best before booking a couple of heli days (Italy will be the option if the storms have been coming from the south west and Switzerland will be better after northerly storms). Check heliskicourmayeur.com
- Easy access and loads of accommodation options; it’s the Alps innit.
- Cheaper than going long haul
- Can get a taster during a regular shred holiday
- It’s not quite like the wilderness of Alaska and Canada – you’re never that far from the resort crowds or ski and splitboard tourers.
- Landing zones are restricted so you can’t always reach the best snow or terrain without a hike.