• Overall Rating
Mount Cook Heliski4.3 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
 
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Heliski

Mt Cook Heliski New Zealand

Mt Cook Heliski (formerly Wilderness Heliski) operates in the wild and majestic Mount Cook heli skiing region, and is operated by the highly respected Alpine Guides. It’s definitely worth experiencing the Mt Cook heli ski difference!

The ultimate “slack-country” skiing experience is to go with Mt Cook Heliski (aka Wilderness Heliski). It’s completely slack in that the only rise of your heart rate will be from the adrenaline and excitement of being up in a helicopter in the spectacular Mount Cook area of the Southern Alps. The actual heli skiing and snowboarding is also guaranteed to get the pulse racing. Of course rather than being in the slack-country (as it’s traditionally defined!), heli skiing with Mt Cook Heliski is actually out in the vast backcountry, far away from any ski resorts or crowds. And with a playground of over 1,500 square kilometres, Mount Cook Heliski has plenty of runs that are completely untracked. Sounds choice eh?

When Does Mount Cook Heli Ski Operate?
Mt Cook Heli Ski operates every fine day from July 1st to September 30th. Powder is more common earlier in the season.

Heli skiing is very dependent on the weather, and wind or low visibility can result in no-fly days. The weather at Mt Cook can be particularly fickle considering its position close to the west coast with frequent clouds and storms rolling in. They operate about 4.5 days per week on average, but keep a flexible itinerary as sometimes there will be a stretch of days when they don’t fly. On down days you could go for a tramp around the Mt Cook region or go skiing at Roundhill or Ohau.

More Reasons to Heli Ski with Mt Cook Heliski NZ Mt Cook Heliski is guided by the highly experienced Alpine Guides who have been in operation since 1966. They know the Mt Cook region like the back of their hand and can take you on a safe and thoroughly enjoyable heli skiing odyssey.

Aoraki means “cloud piercer” in the Maori language, and thanks to the fabulous heights of Mt Cook, the quality and quantity of the heli skiing is superior to that in other parts of NZ. For more information see our Mt Cook Heli Skiing review.

So powder hounds stop drooling and get out heli skiing to sniff all that delightful powder!

A Few More Details Individuals are welcome to book, although a minimum of 3 total bookings are required to operate. Queenstown flight packages require a minimum of 4 bookings to operate. Because heliskiing is a weather dependent activity, pre-payment is not required. Mt Cook Heliski reserves the right to cancel heliskiing due to bad weather. This decision is usually made at 7am each day. In this case a refund of 100% is paid to any pre-paid clients, who are unable to re-book for a later date.

Mt Cook Heliski Packages
Wilderness Heliskiing Day DETAILS
MT COOK WILDERNESS HELI DAY
5 Epic Runs among New Zealand's highest peaks
From price based on 5-run day (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 5-run day (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 731
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Explore the natural wonders of the Mt Cook region whilst carving some turns in pristine powder. This package includes 5 runs (option to purchase more on the day) plus lunch, avalanche safety gear & guiding. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 5 incredible heli ski runs
  • Professional guide services (maximum 5 guests per guide)
  • A generous picnic lunch on the snow
  • Safety equipment, including avalanche transceivers
  • Pick-ups from Mt Cook Village to the helipad (if required)
Add-ons
  • Extra runs (NZD$110 / run)
Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Where is Mt Cook Heliski NZ Located?

Aoraki / Mount Cook is the "Big Bertha" mountain of New Zealand at an elevation of 3,754 metres (12,316 ft) above sea level. Mount Cook is approximately 3 hours drive north of Queenstown (or a 40 minute flight) and 3.5 hours south of Christchurch. Mt Cook Heliski operates in the Mount Cook region, but not actually on Aoraki as this mountain can only be skied by super humans!

Mt Cook Heliski uses helipads at the Mount Cook airport and Glentanner Airfield, which are 5km and 20km respectively from the Mount Cook village. Complimentary transfers between the village and heli pad can be provided.

Heli Ski Terrain

Mt Cook Heli Ski has 1,500 square kilometres (150,000 hectares) of terrain from the Mt Cook National Park to Lake Pukaki. The terrain is across five mountain ranges: Liebig, Malte Brun, Ben Ohau, Gammack and Burnett Ranges, which are just east and parallel to Mt Cook and Mount Tasman of the Main Divide. This is the largest single heliski zone of the New Zealand heli skiing operators.

The region is dominated by glaciated peaks, many of which are higher than 3,000 metres, and some of the helicopter landings are as high as 2,800 metres. The high elevation combined with lots of snowfall results in higher snow quality compared with Queenstown heli skiing operations further south. The higher elevation also allows for runs that are generally longer than down south. The average vertical per run is 800 metres, and the “Whip of Love” run drops an amazing 1,300 metres.

Like other heli skiing New Zealand, the big mountain terrain is way above the timberline, but some variety is ensured thanks to the heavily glaciated terrain. Mt Cook Heliski can cater to strong intermediate riders and up.

Reviews

Beautiful Lake Views

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
13/11/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    August
Lake views
Any day out heli skiing is amazing, although my 2nd experience with Wilderness Heliski (now Mt Cook Heliski) wasn’t quite as good as the first. I was put in a group with some lovely intermediate skiers (one of which was having a hard time on the crust), so we could only tackle low angle terrain in the Ben Ohaus (where the views were magnificent). The potential for mismatched groups is one disadvantage of this boutique operation, and we haven’t seen this to the same degree with the big NZ heli operators (it’s happened with another small operator though). Our first experience also had skiers of differing abilities, although conversely an intermediate skier had to battle along on steeper slopes.

The snow quality wasn’t as good as the lovely fluffy powder we had on our first trip, but this is New Zealand after all, so you have to take the awesome with the just good.

Overall, Mt Cook Heliski has some advantages over the Queenstown and Wanaka heli ski operators, largely due to the high elevation. See our Mt Cook Heliski review for our thoughts on the pros and cons and also see our heli ski ratings to see how we rate Mt Cook Heliski versus the other NZ heli ski outfits.

Ultimate adventure

Alex Reid
07/01/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
This is skiing amongst New Zealand's best scenery. This is a true wilderness experience not to be missed

Alpine Guides - Wilderness Heli

Terry Bradley
19/08/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
I have been doing heli with Alpine Guides for about 8 years now and cannot say enough about them. Friendly, entertaining and very knowledgeable guides that will do everything possible to find you good snow and the level of riding you are seeking. That said, it is not for beginners or those without powder experience. The terrain is all above treeline with spectacular peaks, couloirs, chutes, bowls and heaps of features. The snow can be a bit finicky depending on the wind, but overall is good quality powder. Have yet to have a bad trip with them and highly recommend them!

Wilderness Heli as an Alternative to Ski the Tasman

Krissie
10/09/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
These guys also run Ski the Tasman, which was the entire reason I trekked out to Mt. Cook on my trip to the South Island. I was disappointed to learn upon my arrival that they wouldn't run ski the Tasman without a minimum of 3 people, and I was the only one scheduled that day, so it was getting cancelled. They convinced me instead to go heliskiing.

I wasn't sure that I was a good enough skier to heli but they say if you're a solid blue skier, you can do it. So I did!

It was really an incredible experience. The scenery was beautiful, the snow was decent, and the runs were the perfect length for me. The guides and staff were extremely accommodating, they even made me a vegetarian lunch! I did spend the day skiing with people who were way better skiers and riders than I am, but it was nice to be challenged and it was great to meet the people from powderhounds.com!

A Wild Ride

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
28/08/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Wilderness Heli Skiing at Mt Cook is one of the best heli ski operations in New Zealand. Their awesome terrain is not far from Mt Cook itself. The terrain offers spectacular vistas, has lots of glaciations, and the steepness is very conducive for advanced skiers and boarders. The snow quality is generally better in the Mt Cook area relative to Queenstown and Wanaka due to higher snowfalls, cool temperatures and higher elevations. Consequently the run lengths also tend to be longer here. The quality of the guiding is excellent and the boutique nature of the operation is also a plus.

As is typical of New Zealand heli skiing, there is a high frequency of down days, partly because there is no tree skiing to afford the opportunity to fly and ski in protected areas. However at Mt Cook the weather is particularly fickle so there is the risk of a stretch of no-fly days, and unfortunately there isn’t an abundance of alternative Mt Cook activities available.

Another potential con could be the snow quality. Even though the snow quality is excellent by NZ standards, the snow conditions can still be variable.

An additional factor that is typical of New Zealand heli skiing is the value. You’ll definitely want to do additional runs considering that they are cheap as chups!

For a detailed review and ratings of this operation, see our Wilderness Heli Ski review.