4November 2019

Q&A: What decides what kind of terrain we’ll ski?

Every day in the backcountry is different. Our commitment is to find you the best possible backcountry skiing and riding given what Mother Nature serves up.

Wondering what factors affect terrain choice on a given day?



If we can’t see it, we can’t get to it.

Good visibility is crucial for the pilot of course, but also for the riders on the ground. No visual reference means uncomfortably wading through nauseating white space, where you can’t tell how the terrain is changing in front of you, or under your feet, for that matter.

(Different from the white room, where you’re getting hit with waves of pow, which is rad.) 

That’s why we have runs and landings that don’t just rely on perfect blue-sky days, and why subalpine and glade skiing can be a better choice on very grey and low ceiling days.

Visibility can change minute to minute, so if we see a good opening, we grab it!


Avalanche stability

The guiding team is constantly checking, tracking, observing and discussing all the variables that are affecting how stable the snowpack is, and what kind of terrain, slope or aspect we should currently avoid.

Wind, new snow, temperatures and sun are all factors, and thus change as the weather does, day to day.

Depending on the current stability, some terrain might be off-limits to keep the group in safe terrain where we can enjoy ourselves to the max.


Snow quality

That’s why we’re all out there, right? It’s definitely why we are.

If wind or temps have affected some areas recently and compromised snow quality, we’re gonna hunt down the softest, best quality turns.


Where we at?

Otherwise known as ‘the human factors’.

Is it the first run of the day, where your guide is still getting to know how you ski as a group, or is it later in the day, where everyone’s totally in sync and trust has been built?

It is day one, or day three together?

Are folks loving the trees or more interested in variety?

In combination with the non-negotiables above, more complicated terrain is built into over time, once your guides see what you can handle, how well you respect boundaries and cooperate as a team.

That’s why multi-day packages can get you the most advanced terrain.

Our job is to deliver an exhilarating time in the mountains, with safety guiding every step.


Ready to see for yourself? Let’s see if we can find you a team to fly with.





FREE stuff that’ll make you smarter, happier and better-looking (well, the last one might be a stretch).

Click on the image below to grab it.

Link to 5 Things To Know Before Booking Your Heli-Ski Trip