Gearing up for your first time heliskiing? Looking to refine your heliski kit? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time enthusiast, having the right equipment can make all the difference between an dialed experience and a challenging one.
From staying warm and comfortable in changing weather conditions to ensuring your safety in the backcountry, here’s a breakdown of the must-have gear for your next heliskiing excursion.
Let’s get into it.
The key to staying comfortable in the unpredictable mountain weather is a reliable layering system.
Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin. Next, add an insulating mid-layer (both on your torso and legs) to trap heat, and top it off with a waterproof and breathable outerwear layer to protect against wind and snow.
This versatile system allows you to adjust your clothing as temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, ensuring maximum comfort in the mountains.
Layers we use every trip:
- The North Face Base Layer Top and Bottom
- Norrona Falketind Thermo40 Shorts
- Norrona Falketind Power Grid Hood
- Silverton Mountain Team Issue: The North Face Summit Series Casaval Hoodie
- Silverton Mountain Team Issue: The North Face Men’s Summit Series Futurelight Jacket & Pants
Ski Boots & Ski Socks
Ski boots are arguably the most critical piece of gear for skiing. Whether skiing out of the heli, touring in the backcountry, or even at the resort, boots are the foundation to ski to the best of your ability and can make or break your day, depending on how your feet fit within the boot.
We rock custom liners from Surefoot and highly recommend you do, too. Custom liners are tailored to your foot to add support and release pressure in all the right places.
Along with the Surefoot custom liner, we utilize the boot heater. Sure, you may feel macho by not having them, but when it’s -20 Fahrenheit, and you’re going heliskiing, you’ll wish you had them. It’s a no-brainer because all Surefoot custom liners now come with an integrated heating system.
Pro tip: If you’re ever traveling to ski, make sure to carry your boots in your carry-on and not in your checked luggage. If you reach your final destination without your checked luggage, you’ll likely be able to piece together a full kit whereever you are, especially at any heliski lodge, but the boots are the crux.
Ski boots & socks we use every trip:
- Lange Shadow 120 Flex with Surefoot Custom Liners
- Aspen Heliskiing Team Issue Socks
Glove Liners & Leather Mittens
Your hands are a valuable asset on the mountain, so it’s essential to keep them warm and functional. A combination of glove liners and leather mittens provides the perfect balance of dexterity and warmth. The liners offer added insulation and moisture-wicking properties, while the durable leather mittens provide protection against the elements. Together, they keep your hands comfortable and agile, allowing you to handle your gear with ease.
If you’re like us, you’ll likely be pressing buttons on camera, GoPro, or helping your group get their gear in order. Make sure you have a strap on your mittens so you can take them off and let them hang while you are using your fingers.
Mittens and liners we use every time we ski:
- Oyuki Sencho GORE-TEX Mitts
- Smartwool Merino Liner
Snow Safety Kit
Safety should always be your top priority when venturing into the backcountry. A snow safety kit is a non-negotiable bundle of equipment for heliskiing adventures. Available for rent at any heliskiing operation, this kit includes a backpack (with or without an airbag), shovel, probe, and beacon. These items are crucial for avalanche rescue and ensuring the safety of yourself and your fellow skiers or snowboarders.
Our daily snow safety kit includes:
- Mammut Barryvox Beacon
- Black Diamond Probe
- Black Diamond Shovel
- Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15L Pack
- Rope with weight bearing locking carabiner
Action Cam Setup
Capture all the best moments of your heliskiing experience with an action cam setup that’s designed for adventure. We swear by the GoPro Max with the helmet strap for its simplicity and functionality. With just one button recording, 360-degree video capabilities, and easy mounting and dismounting from your helmet, it’s the perfect companion for documenting all your favorite ski lines and breathtaking views.
Double Pro Tip: Utilizing the helmet strap means you don’t have to ride around with a funky clip mounted to your helmet when you aren’t using the GoPro. We like to keep the helmet clean. Additionally, make sure you keep your extra batteries in a pocket under your layers and in a bag with some hand-warmers, this will ensure the cold doesn’t drain the battery.
Skis & Bindings
When it comes to ski quiver, there are a thousand different options for any conditions and riding style.
Since we mainly ski pow and natural snow conditions, we go wide. Our daily driver is the Armada JJ 116. It slays the fresh snow, variable snow, and crud. Not to mention, the top sheet is super fresh. We pair the Armada JJ (and all our skis) with the Look Pivot binding. Pivot’s most certainly have the best retention and are the top alpine binding.
Now let’s say we have a big storm and plenty of pow, then we’re rocking the Armada Magic J. This bad boy is 126cm underfoot and a full tip-to-tail rocker. Floating through 12″ of deep snow in the high alpine? Magic J’s got it. Bouncing through pillows in BC? Magic J’s got it. Need a super wide charcuterie board for all the snacks? Magic J’s got it.
Ready to book your first heliski trip? Hit up our team, and we’ll breakdown all the best single-day packages for you.