FAQ

Answers to your questions

Why Choose Us

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In which mountain range is HELIKSIR operating?

Heliksir is operating in the Greater Caucasus, the major mountain range of the Caucasus Mountains. Our heli-ski area borders Mt Kazbegi and spreads over several sub-ranges, in Georgia. Our base is located in Gudauri, just a 2-hour drive from Tbilisi International Airport.

What kind of terrain do you ski? How steep is it?
We have access to some 2,000 square kilometers of amazing mountain landscape, with high towering peaks, vast alpine bowls and deep valleys. The area offers a great choice of terrain; we have a variety of runs and steepness to accommodate every level, from first time heli-skier to expert freerider.
What is the snow like? How much snow does the area receive during a season?
Our heli-ski area lies in the heart of the Great Caucasus Range which is known for its high amount of snowfall and where snow means powder! The area receives an average of 10 to 15 metres of cumulative snowfall per year.
What altitude do you ski at?

Many of our landings (top of the runs) are above 3,000 m and up to 4,200 m for the highest. When conditions in the high alpine are not suitable, we use areas of lower elevations which give us some excellent skiing / riding with runs ending as low as 1,200 m in the valley bottoms.

What kind of helicopters do you use? How experienced are the pilots?

We use Eurocopter A-Star B3 helicopters from Europe. The A-Star B3 is a light weight and powerful helicopter that excels at high altitude and is ideally suited for small-group heli-skiing, with a seating capacity of 5 passengers (four guests and one guide) plus the pilot.

The helicopters are inspected and serviced on a daily basis by licensed aircraft maintenance engineers. Pilots are highly qualified pilots from Europe, with extensive mountain flying experience.

What qualifications do your guides have?

Heliksir guides are chosen based on their professional qualifications and dedication to safety. They are internationally certified mountain guides; their formal training and extensive experience guarantee a high level of expertise in mountain guiding, backcountry skiing, avalanche forecasting and emergency response.

Members of our guiding team have accumulated years of experience working in different parts of the world. They are dedicated to providing you with a safe and unique powder adventure.

When do you have the best conditions for heli-skiing?

Weather and snow conditions are unpredictable from one year to the next. In the mountains, changes are expected on a daily basis, with snowfalls, wind, sunshine and temperatures continuously affecting the snow quality. However, from data collected over the past years in the area, our statistics show that skiing / boarding conditions are good to excellent 90 to 95% of the time. Due to colder temperatures, dreamlike powder is most likely to be found in January and February. On the other hand, later in the season, days are longer and the weather tends to be more stable, yet with snow storms passing through regularly. You can still enjoy great powder skiing / boarding in March.

What about avalanche safety?

Our professional mountain guides are trained to assess and manage avalanche risk. They monitor the avalanche conditions on a daily basis, gathering data through snowpack analysis and weather observation, in order to evaluate the snow stability and make guiding decisions accordingly. They make every effort to minimize the risks and keep you from exposure to potential hazards.

How good of a skier / boarder do I have to be?

Heli-skiing is not only for expert skier / snowboarder. However, in order to fully enjoy your heli-skiing /heli-boarding experience, you should make sure you meet the following minimum requirements for fitness and ability:

You should be in good physical shape. Powder skiing / riding can be physically more demanding than traditional skiing / riding on groomed slopes. Furthermore, heli-skiing involves landing at high altitudes; for people leaving near sea level or at low altitude, it is recommended to spend a few days acclimatizing at a mountain resort before going heli-skiing.

You don’t need to have off-piste experience; but on groomed slopes, in a ski resort, you should be comfortable skiing or riding most types of runs. For a skier, this means you are able to link parallel turns with ease on intermediate runs, and you can also ski in control when venturing into more challenging terrain; for a snowboarder, it means you are at ease making solid / consistent turns on intermediate runs, you are still confident when venturing into more challenging terrain and you can ride in control at higher speed.

If you have no experience in powder, but you meet the above requirements, you can have a great time in our “Powder Introduction” program; this is a single day program at a relaxed pace, with specific coaching for people who are skiing / riding powder for the first time.

How long are the runs? What's the average vertical we ski in a day?

Runs can vary significantly in length, depending on the area we ski, as well as the kind of weather and snow conditions we have. We do our best to find the optimal conditions for the package you choose. Our one-day package is based on runs – rather than on vertical metres – and your guide may readjust the number of runs included in the package if some runs are considered shorter than average.

The amount of vertical metres you ski or ride in a day is determined by several factors:

  • type of package you choose
  • group’s ability and desire to ski
  • weather and snow conditions
  • flying regulations (daylight and fuel remaining)

‘Runs average 800 vertical metres. On our multi-day programs, people ski/ride between 3,500 and 6,000 vertical metres a day.

I'm an expert free rider; will you take me to steep and challenging slopes?

We’ll do our best to ensure that you are placed in the most appropriate group and to provide you with the optimal experience for your ability. However, certain factors may affect the process, including the type of program you choose, the ability levels of other people in the group, as well as weather, snow and avalanche conditions of the day.

How are the groups put together? Do you mix skiers with snowboarders?

In our reservation procedure, we ask people to describe their ability level and previous off-piste experience. According to your stated ability and preference, we will try to put you in a group with similar skiing / riding requirements. Please, understand there could be some variability within a group as people judge their ability level differently; in the event there are problems with group chemistry, the guides will make the necessary changes whenever possible during the day.

We may have to mix skiers and snowboarders in a group; however, we are careful in the process of ‘mixing and matching’ and the guides will do their best to accommodate the needs of everyone in their group.

Which equipment do you provide?

Ski equipment:

We supply powder skis and poles. Our main fleet ski is the Dynastar Cham 107 which unique profile – a progressive tapering in the tip and tail with traditional camber underfoot – provides great maneuverability and floatation in powder. We do not supply ski boots; we strongly recommend that you bring your own and well-fitting ski boots, rather than trying to rent boots at the local ski shop.

Snowboard equipment:

Due the complexity of shapes, sizes and preferences, we do not carry any snowboard nor snowboard boots. If you are a snowboarder, we recommend that you bring your own equipment, as you might not find an appropriate selection of rentals at the local shop. Keep in mind that your snowboard should have adequate profile and dimensions to provide good flotation in deep snow.

Safety equipment:

We provide each guest with state-of-the-art safety equipment, including Barryvox Pulse avalanche transceiver, Mammut Rocker Protection Airbag 15L backpack, avalanche probe and shovel. Prior to heliski, all guests should attend safety briefing/safety talk and afterwards will be trained in the use of the safety equipment / avalanche transceiver practice session with the guides.

Can I use my own avalanche transceiver / airbag?

For uniformity, consistency as well as for liability reasons, we require that you use Heliksir’s avalanche transceivers.

You can use your own airbag, but we leave you the responsibility of ensuring it is in good working condition.

What's included in the package I chose?

Whether you choose a multi-day tour, you will be provided with the services of professionally trained and certified guides, as well as experienced helicopter pilots, complimentary powder skis and poles, avalanche safety equipment and training, mountain lunch on the slopes.

Your package will also include:

Multi-day classic package:

  • A set amount of guaranteed vertical metres based on length of package 
  • Hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy, with option to upgrade to single occupancy)
  • Meals*: full buffet breakfast at the hotel, plus mountain lunch on the slopes
  • Special Georgian dinner on the last day of Powder Classic 6-day program, where you’ll experience Georgia’s ancient traditions and famous hospitality
  • Transportation from Tbilisi International Airport to Gudauri & return

*Dinner not included

Private group / customized package:

  • Custom experience, UIAGM / IFMGA / IVBV mountain guides, experienced mountain-trained pilots and a tailored program to suit your group’s needs
  • Exclusive use of one A-Star B3 helicopter
  • Unlimited vertical, with a set amount of flying time based on length of package (plus option of buying extra flying time)
  • Hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy, with option to upgrade to single occupancy)
  • Meals: full buffet breakfast and dinner at hotel, plus mountain lunch on the slopes
  • Special Georgian dinner on the last day, where you’ll experience Georgia’s ancient traditions and famous hospitality
  • Transportation from Tbilisi International Airport to Gudauri & return
What happens when you are not able to fly?

If weather conditions do not allow safe flying and we have to cancel the day, the following apply:

Multi-day package: the guaranteed vertical metres you would have heli-skied that day will remain in your package; if you are unable to reach the guaranteed verticals by the end of your stay, you will then receive a refund for the unused metres (100 EUR per 1000 vertical metres unused).

Exclusive Heliski package: it is based on helicopter flight time instead of vertical metres skied. In case of any unforeseen reasons that prohibit safe flying and skiing, we will attempt to reschedule the missed day or if this is not possible, at the end of your tour, you will be refunded at a rate of 35 EUR for every unused minute.

When safe flying is not guaranteed due to unforeseen weather conditions, Gudauri Ski Resort welcomes you to enjoy fine piste skiing / snowboarding.

Got Questions?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!