Telluride Helitrax Heli Skiing Colorado
Helitrax Heli-Skiing provides the perfect opportunity to ski or board exquisite powder. Take a helicopter, the ultimate chair lift, to a playground where face shots can become a reality, not just a dream.
The Colorado ski resorts
are amongst some of the most popular in the world. The main appeal is the quality of the snow and the world class facilities. However popularity is sometimes associated with crowds, which can be frustrating for powder hounds. Moguls, chowder, lift queues, and long hikes are not for me. The perfect solution for the powder hound who needs fresh powder – heli skiing
The only problem is that heli-skiing opportunities in continental USA (the lower 48 states) are limited. In Colorado there are only two heli-ski operators of which Helitrax is definitely the superior operation. So if you’re in Telluride
(or Aspen or Vail
) it seems criminal not to take up this unique opportunity to go heli skiing with Helitrax.
With Helitrax you can stay at the Telluride lodging
of your choice. There are mid-range up to opulent accommodations in the Mountain Village or in the town of Telluride.
Alternatively Helitrax offer multi-day packages that incorporate lodging at the Peaks Resort.
More Reasons to Heli Ski with Helitrax
Get high with Helitrax! At 13,000 plus feet there might be a little less oxygen, but being way up high in the San Juans is more than just breathtaking. The views are absolutely stupendous. Of course the skiing is also fabulous, and instead of skiing bumps at the resort you can save the cartilage in your knees for floating over light dry powder.
There are other good reasons to choose Helitrax. It is a very polished operation with professional service, highly experienced guides, a major emphasis on safety, and lots of trimmings included in the packages. Let Helitrax spoil you!
See our review of Telluride Helitrax for more information.
Heli-Ski and Heli Board Packages
Telli-Heli (as I like to call it!) offers single day helicopter skiing packages, offering one of the best days of your life! If one day isn't enough, there are significant discounts for multiple days of heli-skiing. The package includes 6 guided runs, lunch, snacks, use of an avalanche beacon and powder skis (or powder snowboard). If you’ve got any spring left in your thighs, you can do extra runs.
Helitrax can also organise packages that incorporate lodging. Make an inquiry for more information.
And if you’re skiing at Vail
or Aspen, Helitrax can organise a same-day charter flight (fixed wing aircraft) to get you to Telluride. Have an awesome day heli-skiing and be home in time for dinner with the family! Telluride Helitrax also runs customised private charters.
TELLURIDE DAY HELISKIING TOUR
6 Runs of Powder Heaven!
From price based on single day of heliskiing (6 runs) per person.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Solo skiers/boarders, small groups & larger groups can enjoy an epic day of heliskiing at Telluride Helitrax. And if you’re skiing at Vail or Aspen, they can organise a same-day charter flight (fixed wing aircraft) to get you to Telluride. Have an awesome day heli-skiing & be home in time for dinner with the family! More
- Day of guided heliskiing (6 runs)
- Use of avalanche safety gear
- Use of powder skis or powder board
- Apres ski
Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Dec 21 - Apr 09, 2017
Where is Telluride Helitrax Located?
As the name suggests, Helitrax is located in Telluride
, with headquarters situated in the Mountain Village of Telluride. Telluride is located in a remote spot of the San Juan Mountains in the “powderhounds corner of Colorado”. Telluride is 363 miles (585km) southwest of Denver, about 6.5 to 7 hours away depending on road conditions and the presence of any characteristic traffic jams on the I70.
Considering that friends don’t let friends drive the I70, the other option to get there is to fly into nearby Telluride airport (6 miles away) or Montrose airport (65 miles away). From these regional airports there are various ground transportation options to get to Telluride, and once there you won’t need a car. See the how to get to Telluride
page for more information.
Being co-located with Telluride ski resort has great advantages for Helitrax. If inclement weather prevents heli-skiing, there’s the backup option of lift-accessed skiing, and Telluride has a range of activities that will appeal to all family members. This makes it much easier to get a leave pass!
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Telluride Helitrax Snow & Terrain
The ski area is predominantly wide open alpine terrain with awe-inspiring scenery. The terrain is well suited to adventurous intermediate and advanced riders, and powderhounds that appreciate dry Rockies powder.
Each run has a vertical drop of 1,000 to 2,500 feet (305 to 762 metres) and with over 250 square miles (65,000 hectares) of terrain there are plenty of runs to choose from. The guides will have no problems finding snow without any powderhound paw marks!
Helitrax Terms & Conditions
We at Telluride Helitrax pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and the Heliskiing experiences which we provide. In return we ask that our guests understand that we must make advanced financial and time commitments in order to provide these services. Helicopter skiing/riding is a shared risk experience. We put every effort into making sure all of the ingredients over which we have control of are in place to provide you with an exceptional ski experience. We ask that you understand that certain elements of the experience are beyond our control, including weather, snow conditions and skier ability levels on a particular trip.
Each day’s seat requires a 50% deposit at the time of booking and 7 days prior to your trip full payment is required. In the event inclement weather prevents Helitrax from flying on your preferred or available dates, this advanced deposit is completely refundable.
We fill up to sixteen seats daily. If conditions allow, we can increase the seating to twenty. These 4 additional seats can be booked but not guaranteed. Helitrax will do it’s best to accommodate you on your preferred ski date(s). You acceptance of the terms and conditions commits you to ski/ride on all of your additional available day(s) in lieu of your preferred ski dates.
As a reservation holder, you are required to remain available to heli-ski until noon on each of your available days. If your trip is canceled due to inclement weather, we will try to re-schedule your trip on a space available basis. Reservations are prioritized by sign-up date.
• No changes to your reservation can be made within 14 days of your reservation ski date(s) except at the discretion of Telluride Helitrax.
• Reservation dates can be changed at no charge up until 14 days prior to your reserved date.
• Reservations carried over to a the next ski season are charged a 10% administration fee.
• Cancellations more than 30 days prior to your reservation date will be refunded, minus a administrative fee of 20% of the trip cost.
• Less than 30 days your entire deposit of 50% in non-refundable.
• Less than 7 days prior to your trip, full payment including your deposit is non-refundable. This policy is in effect whether or not we are able to operate on your cancelled dates.
Guests absent, failing to complete a ski day or who leave the field early for any reason, will be charged in full. In addition, you may be charged for additional flight costs incurred to remove the guest from the field and/or for shuttle fees to return you to your accommodation. Excessively tardy guests cannot join the day and will be charged in full.
Due to the costly advanced commitments that Telluride Helitrax must make to provide our services we cannot provide any refunds even in cases of sudden illness, injury, canceled airline flights, family emergencies or any other disruptions to your schedule. To offset this risk we highly recommend obtaining Travel Guard or other brand of travel insurance.
TELLURIDE HELITRAX CANCELLATIONS
• If Telluride Helitrax cancels a ski trip before it begins you will be refunded your entire deposit. If a trip underway is interrupted, the following percentages of the trip cost will charged: 1 run: $250 | 2 runs: 40% | 3 runs: 60% | 4 runs: 70% | 5 runs: 90%.
• If you wish to roll over your reservation to a later date in the same season there is no charge.
• If you roll your reservation over to the next season, then you retain an equal dollar amount of credit towards a future reservation. Any rate difference between the initial reservation and the current rate on the date that the new reservation is made, will be charged.
• If an entire season passes and no reservation date is made against a deposit, then that deposit is forfeited to Telluride Helitrax.
• We reserve the right to cancel reservations for reasons including but not limited to: weather, backcountry snow conditions and number of participants. Reservations are prioritized by sign-up date.
Gift certificates are valid for one year from the date of purchase. The actual gift certificate document must be presented in order to qualify for a reservation. A gift certificate may be rolled over for one additional year if the holder has actively made a reservation date with Telluride Helitrax and the trip was then cancelled by Telluride Helitrax. There is no charge for this qualified, one time rollover to the following heli-ski season. If no reservation is made against a gift certificate for one year then the gift certificate is forfeited to Telluride Helitrax and becomes void.
All terms, conditions and prices are subject to change.
To make a Helitrax reservation is to approve and accept the above terms and conditions.
Powderhounds Review of Telluride Helitrax
Review of Telluride Helitrax Heli Skiing
It’s hard not to give Telluride Helitrax a glowing review. This is definitely not a to-hell-you-ride experience. Soaring atop the mountains taking in the majestic vistas, it’s difficult not to grin and that’s before the skiing even starts. When you combine the helicopter flights, the views and the skiing or boarding, the experience is not just unreal but completely surreal and dreamlike. We had a fabulous time!
That being said, no operation is absolutely perfect for everyone, so our review covers different aspects of their operation and you can determine if Helitrax is likely to align with your priorities.
- Helitrax is a polished operation that has been in business since 1982. A high level of professionalism and expertise is evident in everything they do, and the quality of the guiding is top notch.
- Being based at Telluride ski resort is a great advantage as it’s easy to mix and match heli skiing with resort skiing, and there are Telluride activities to entertain the whole family. It’s also very convenient because most guests can fly straight out from the Mountain Village heli pad.
- Helitrax provides lots of added extras including the use of powder skis (or snowboard).
- Telli-Heli puts safety up there as a top priority. Their commitment to minimising risk includes the blasting of some slopes, a strategy that is rare in the heliski industry.
- There is no tree skiing per se, which apart from not being able to dodge around trees means that the snow is not protected from the elements. Another implication is that there is nowhere to hide on inclement weather days, and on average one of three days are cancelled due to weather factors. This is somewhat common for heliski operators that have treeless terrain including New Zealand heli skiing and Chile heli skiing.
- The runs are generally not as long as many other USA heli ski operators, but nonetheless it’s likely you’ll finish the day feeling adequately satisfied.
See how the statistics for Helitrax compare to stats for other USA heli ski operators
. Also see how the ratings for Helitrax compare to other heli ski operations
in Colorado, Canada, and New Zealand.
Notes Regarding Review
|Helitrax don’t cite a statistic for their annual snowfall, which always makes one a little nervous that they’re not proud of it. Telluride ski resort receives 7.9 metres of snowfall per season on average, so the assumption could be made that the Helitrax snowfall is a little higher than this. This would put the volume of snowfall in the “very good” category, but the likelihood of needing a snorkel is not as high as in Utah or the British Columbia interior.
If it’s snowed recently the snow quality will be excellent with gorgeous light dry Colorado powder. The only limitation is that with predominantly alpine terrain, the snow is exposed to the elements. After a few days without fresh snow, there’s the potential for sun and wind affected crust. At least the heli drops are at high elevations of up to 4,115 metres (13,500 feet), the highest in North America, so there’s a low likelihood of skiing mashed potatoes.
|Helitrax has a never-ending choice of lines within the 250 square miles (64,750 hectares) of terrain. This area is ginormous in comparison to the tenure of any USA cat ski operation, and it’s significantly much bigger than Silverton Heli Skiing. It’s not as vast as other continental USA heli ski operators or Alaska heli skiing, but with only a small number of guests each day, you’ll always be able to ski untracked snow.
The Helitrax terrain is impressive. The only downsides would be that there’s not huge variety in the type of terrain, and because the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains is rather fickle, they are often limited to skiing low angle slopes.
|The majority of the Helitrax terrain is in the alpine and the views are absolutely spectacular. As above, the only drawback is that the snowpack may restrict the diversity of runs able to be skied.
|There is no real tree skiing. In the lower areas of the runs there are a few sporadic trees and Xmas trees, but there’s not enough vegetation to create interesting obstacles. It’s hard to discretely use the powder room, but more importantly there are no areas where the powder is protected from the wind and sun, and there is nowhere to ski in inclement weather.
|Strong Intermediate Terrain
|With lots of wide open low-angle slopes, Helitrax can cater very well to adventurous intermediates or powderhounds on their “L” plates. The small group size also makes it somewhat feasible to customise the experience.
|Advanced skiers and snowboarders will thoroughly enjoy a day out with Telli-heli. The ability to ski trees, interesting terrain features, and steeper slopes would score them more points.
Expert & Extreme Terrain
|The tenure has some chutes and steep runs that are technically challenging, but it’s rare that these can be skied due to avalanche risk.
|Helitrax have a small group of excellent guides that are incredibly professional. Some of the staff are highly qualified and have extensive experience in avalanche forecasting. Out in the field there is absolutely nothing laissez faire about the guiding, with strong leadership, clear instructions and appropriate re-grouping. It is easy to develop a high level of trust in the skills of the guides.
|Helitrax use a Bell 407 helicopter which is renowned for its performance at altitude and a comfortable ride. The cabin has 5 seats for guests to sit with adequate space, unlike some helis where you’re squashed in like a sardine. It’s not so good though if you’re trying to crack onto a cute girl.
|Avalanche Mitigation Strategies
|Their website clearly states their commitment to safety, and safety as a priority is very evident to all guests during the day. They have to be very cautious considering the snowpack is erratic and somewhat unpredictable. One risk minimisation strategy is the use of a comprehensive forecasting system, and a couple of the guides are absolute experts in this area. They undertake some control work including blasting which is somewhat rare in the heliski industry. A client pack with a shovel and probe (but no radio) is carried by one guest per group. Helitrax would get a 5 out of 5 rating were it not for the fickle snowpack that they have to deal with.
|The morning starts with a comprehensive safety briefing in the comfort of their office. It is conducted in a very professional manner and with the structured use of a powerpoint presentation. The outdoor practical components were a little swift and the use of the shovel and probe was not well covered, but otherwise the briefing was very good.
|Whilst no heli ski operation really wants to be called “frilly”, Helitrax fits the bill considering all the trimmings and added extras that are laid on. Morning proceedings are accompanied by gourmet muffins and coffee, and guests can grab bottled water and naughty chockies for the day. Lunch is relatively simple with rolls, chips and cookies, but who needs gastronomical treats considering the magnificent views?!
Guests can wear a headcam and watch the footage on a big screen during après ski. The screen can also be used for guests to share their photos of the day. You don’t get free steak knives with Helitrax, but there are many other trimmings such as the provision of high quality powder skis (or board), sunscreen, and a Helitrax cap and t-shirt to boot.
|Value for Money
|The costs are middle of the road for a continental USA heli skiing operator. The rates are similar to Silverton Heli Skiing, but Helitrax provides much better value considering that skis and other frills are included, and the experience is far superior. And impressively for 2010-11, Helitrax has reduced the standard package by $100 per day. BC Heli skiing day operators generally provide better value for money, but of course that’s partly dependent on the exchange rate.
The review is largely based on our experience, but also on discussions with staff, former guests, and information available on their website. Our review has some limitations as it’s not possible to ski every run and in all possible snow and weather conditions, and the terrain skied on a particular day is dependent on the ability of the group. Every guide is somewhat different and we acknowledge that everyone’s experience will be slightly different. The ratings are from our perspective only.
The video is not filmed using professional riders, but rather aims to show an example of a real experience.