The Heli Hustle Is On!
June 4, 2019
June has arrived which only means one thing…we are weeks away from spinning blades! With freshly snowcapped peaks in sight…we at Southern Lakes Heliski are chomping at the bit. It’s time to officially hang up the wetsuit, trade the mountain biking helmet for the ski helmet, and wipe the dust from your snow riding rig. Winter is en route! But what do I need to do to prepare you ask? Worry not - we are here to help.
Tune Your Rig
A wise man once said “A person is only as good as their tools”. It’s important to ensure your gear is tuned accordingly to the conditions and climate you are skiing/snowboarding in. There are two types of wax you can use: temperature specific wax and non-temperature specific wax. For New Zealand a good utility wax rated between 0 degrees Celsius and minus-4 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit and 25 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal. Additionally having nicely sharpened edges is also a good idea for New Zealand conditions. If you don’t have your own tuning equipment there are plenty of shops within the Wanaka and Queenstown region to ensure your gear is taken care of properly.
Squat Your Heart Out
One of the most important parts of gearing up for ski season is getting those legs ready for the downhill joys. Strength and Cadiorvascular fitness can be a make or break on your ski trip, as well as your recovery for those multi-day heliski missions. Here is a simple routine to ensure your legs are screaming for more and you can get the most out of your heliski adventure.
1) Squats: 3-4 sets of 20 - Add weight if you’re not feeling the burn by the second set.
2) Lunges: 4 sets of 20
3) Squat Jump: 4 sets of 5
3) Wall Sits: 30 seconds - 4 reps
5) Plank: 60 seconds , Don’t forget the core!
Get Avy Savy
Hit the books. The beautiful thing about hiring professionals to guide you on your skiing adventures is you’re able to tap into a range of knowledge and experience you might not have. Our guides are either trained or certiﬁed to international standards through the NZMGA training program or meet the requirements of the NZ Heli Operators group. Our safety programme is overseen by IFMGA qualiﬁed guides with years of experience in the Southern Lakes Region and overseas. That being said, it’s always important to have a general basis of avalanche knowledge when stepping into the backcountry. There are many great resources available to better understand avalanche concepts…here are a few great books we recommend:
For people completely new to backcountry skiing: Allen & Mikes Avalanche Book
Specific to New Zealand terrain: Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry
Heli Essentials Checklist
Is your kit complete for a day in the mountains with Southern Lakes Heliski?
Jacket / Pants
Baselayers: wool is great for keeping you warm when wet and has antimicrobial properties.
Beanie (or tuques for you Canadians out there)
Skis & poles or snowboard
Boots. Make sure these are fitted properly or you wont be a happy camper
Goggles: It’s nice to have goggles with lenses you can swap out for low-light lenses.
Gloves (always good to have an extra pair)
Camera or GoPro - do it for the gram