Safety

    Briefing

    Your day starts with an information session on heliskiing and its essential safety rules.

    Staff

    Guides

    You will be accompanied by experienced UIAGM guides

    Pilots & helicopters

    We use Ecureuil B3 helicopters owned by the Spanish company TAF Helicopters. They are high-performance machines in the mountains and can carry 5 passengers (4 riders + 1 guide).
    The pilots are based in Vielha and fly in the mountains all year round.

    Snow pack analysis (study of snow)

    George ROBBI is our avalanche specialist.
    George is responsible for studying the snow and providing data on the stability of the snow pack.
    He is passionate about the mountains and skiing and has worked 35 years around the world managing the avalanche risk.
    He also works on the daily avalanche warnings for the valley and his collaboration with the team means we have all the latest info on changes in the conditions.

    Evacuation procedure

    We have a direct link with the Vielha mountain rescue services in the case of accident, and depending on the seriousness of the injuries, which allows for the rapid intervention of specialist medical emergency services using our helicopter.
    A range of evacuation procedures can be put in place depending on the seriousness of the incident.
    Hence, patients can be evacuated from the helipad to the Vielha hospital by ambulance (5 minutes) or by helicopter to Toulouse airport (30 minutes flying time).

Equipment

Safety is important to us. We offer you

* Ski
* Ski poles
* Hiking Skis with sealskin
* ABS Airbag Bag with shovel, probe and Memo Security
* Avalanche transceiver (aka. ARVA or PIEPS)

Safety Equipment

Riders
  • 1 ABS Avalanche Airbag System backpack with shovel and probe
  • 1 avalanche transceiver (aka. ARVA or PIEPS)
Guides
  • 1 ABS Avalanche Airbag System backpack with shovel and probe
  • 1 avalanche transceiver (aka. ARVA or PIEPS)
  • First aid kit with surgical collar and kit for immobilising injured limbs
  • Radio and sat phone for communicating with other guides, pilots and the heliski base
Helicopters
  • Medical pack with comprehensive emergency medication, first aid with equipment for immobilising
A the base
  • Evacuation equipment with evacuation seat, long spine board plus winch kit - vacuum mattress, rescue sledge, kit for immobilising injured patients, heated blankets, etc
  • Avalanche equipment including shovels and probes
  • Medication designed for treating anything from minor problems to injuries caused by serious accidents. A range of medication for all kinds of medical problems
  • Direct radio contact with the Vielha mountain rescue services for optimal efficiency

Your personal equipment

Clothing
  • Your normal ski clothes are fine for heliskiing
  • You will get cold less quickly than in a resort, as it is warmer in the helicopter and the climbs up are shorter than in a chairlift
Boots
  • Don't forget to bring your ski or snowboard boots.
Accessories
  • 2 pairs of gloves. Your gloves will get wet very quickly as you put on and take off your skis for each descent, so bring one or two spare pairs.
  • Sun protection: sun cream and sunglasses. As everywhere in the mountains, the sun's glare here is extremely intense. Make sure you bring sunglasses offering a minimum of category 3 protection.
  • Ski goggles. If there is deep powder, even in fine weather your sunglasses will quickly fill with powder as it flies up over your head!
  • We recommend you bring a helmet.
Ski and snowboard
  • We recommend you use equipment designed for deep snow (fat skis or long snowboard).
  • You can bring this kind of skiing/boarding gear with you or use the equipment especially provided at our bases : 158cm to 193cm 'Pure' or 'Mission' fat skis by SCOTT