It’s that time of the year again. Fresh snow is covering our summits and, even if you have fun riding them, you also secretly wish you would be shredding the mountains of Alaska, as teased in the Instagram stories of your favorite freeriders. We were lucky to experience a hint of this feeling as we went heli-skiing in the Pyrenees during a trip to northern Spain.
Heli-skiing in the Pyrenees – Fun comes first!
You are flying over breathtaking snowy mountains. You stop on an untouched white summit. You throw your gear down and crouch while the chopper covers dives down and lets you covered with a thin layer of snow. There you are: on top of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere. Only your heart beating breaks a complete and almost surreal silence.
This feeling alone is enough to turn your day into an unforgettable moment. You would almost forget that the fun part is still to come.
Once you are done admiring the surroundings, it’s time to arm the handle of your avalanche bag, put on your skis and enjoy a wonderful ride.
Do you know what is the best out of this? You are standing on top of a mountain which is exclusively accessible to the heli-skiing groups. You will be one of the only lucky people to make your trace there!
Your guides will make sure to pick the right face to provide you with most fun while keeping your as safe as possible.
Depending on your package, the chopper will take you up approximately five times per day. This might not sound like a lot at first but believe us, skiing a whole mountain down takes a bit more time than you are used to in ski resorts.
You can, of course, book an extra flight if your urge to ski is not yet satisfied. If, on the contrary, you did not complete one of your planned flight, it will obviously be deducted from your invoice.
Val D’aran – An immense heliski playground in the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees might not be the first destination you would think about when thinking about heli-skiing. Obviously, you won’t experience the rough Alaskan terrain that makes all of us dream of in every ski movies.
However, the Val D’aran has the great advantage to provide a playground of 400 km², usually heavily covered by snow and strictly reserved for Pyrenees Heliski. Heliski in Europe is not very common but has nothing to envy to most common destination.
All of this at a very competitive price and with a unique Spanish charm. Moreover, if you are living in Europe, the domain is very easily accessible by the road, or by plane via Tarbes or Toulouse (F).
A chopper can fit a group of 4 people, your guide, and the pilot. Usually, it is used by 4 groups at the same time that will be riding on the same mountain. You also have the possibility to book a private package, for which you will have a chopper dedicated to your group (of either 3, 8 or 12 people).
This plan will let your guide free to take your group anywhere within the allowed area and will ensure that your chopper will always be waiting for you downhill.
A private tour will also allow your guide to take some freedom and bring you to north faces kept untouched for special occasions or to wonderful remote restaurants, usually only accessible after a long hike.
Heli Skiing in Spain – Believe us or not, it’s not only about the ski
One of the great advantages of Heli-Skiing in Val D’aran is that you won’t be lost hundreds of kilometers from any other human being. This Catalonian valley counts more than 30 villages and is the home of Baqueira Beret, the biggest ski resort in Spain.
The region provides countless activities and accommodation to ensure a lot of fun once back at the base station. From typical Spanish tapas bars and fine dining restaurants to shopping streets and nightclubs, Val D’Aran has something to offer to anyone.
Chill-out and enjoy your evenings, you are in Spain after all!
For more information about a Heli-skiing trip in the Pyrenees, check-out the following links:
And here are a few more picture of our amazing trip with Pyrenees Heliski: