2017 Heliski Season Has Started With A Bang!

July 18, 2017

Recent snow falling on our luxury  Minaret Station Alpine Lodge  near Wanaka.

Recent snow falling on our luxury Minaret Station Alpine Lodge near Wanaka.

Snow conditions have been continuously improving in our heliski terrain with two substantial storms hitting the Southern Lakes region. This has strengthened our snow base and delivered excellent heli-skiing conditions over the past two weeks.

Heliskiing in New Zealand over the past few years has consistently started in July. Although we may get colder temperatures and snow in June it is rarely enough to make heli-skiing viable. The good thing is it all provides a building block for when the bigger storms come through early July, and when they do they deliver.

Southern Lakes Heliski  clients enjoying fresh powder and bluebird days in our extensive terrain.

Southern Lakes Heliski clients enjoying fresh powder and bluebird days in our extensive terrain.

Our first snow storm dropped up to 40-50cm which made for excellent skiing and boarding. Our daily heliskiers and private multi-day charter clients have got to explore a number of different terrain areas and have found excellent snow in Loch Linnie, Branches, Towers and Minarets.

The temperatures have been consistently cold, which has preserved our maritime snow keeping it light and dry. Customers are enjoying at least boot deep powder, and crystal clear sunny days.

Heliboarder Will Jackways enjoys the recent snow fall

Heliboarder Will Jackways enjoys the recent snow fall

The second storm that came through on the July 10th was headed the “snowstorm of the year” It came through from the South blanketing most of New Zealand in snow. Most of it fell in the Canterbury region but Queenstown and Wanaka didn’t miss out. With up to 50cm falling on our Northern and Westerly terrain it provided us with the perfect powder days. One place we haven’t yet visited is the Clarke Glacier which sits right in the firing line to get all the good snow. If you haven’t heliskied here, the views are stunning and the terrain perfect for anyone from intermediate and up.

Heliskiers enjoy light dry powder in the mountains above Queenstown.

Heliskiers enjoy light dry powder in the mountains above Queenstown.

In between storms we have completed all the finer details of getting prepared for a busy season. Our guides went through their annual guides training so we can all follow the same systems. Here they focus on practical scenarios out in the field, first aid, and customer service. It’s also a great way to reacquaint after a Summer of being apart.

The Southern Lakes Heliski Guides after our annual successful guides training.

The Southern Lakes Heliski Guides after our annual successful guides training.

Our sales staff in Queenstown and Wanaka also run an annual “Welcome to Winter Party” where we invite all our local agents and friends to celebrate the arrival of the snow and another fantastic heliski season. Traditionally it’s always a good night and this year proved to be just the same.

So summary, we are enjoying fantastic heli-ski conditions in New Zealand and it’s looking like we can see another substantial storm on the horizon which will add a nice little powder top up to already awesome heliski conditions.