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Train to become a professional heli-ski or heli-board guide
New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps is the perfect training ground to become a heli-ski or heli-board guide. With deep powder bowls, steep chutes and endless peaks the New Zealand Alps have the terrain you need to become an experienced and knowledgeable heli-guide. Snow Trainers offers the Heli Ski Guide Course in Queenstown, NZ – the adventure capital of the world – so when you aren’t training you are sure to have an amazing time!
Learn from New Zealand’s best
This is a unique course that will give you a taste of back-country guiding or kick start your career in heli-ski operations, cat-ski operations, and ski or snowboard guiding. Your professional guides will teach you everything you need to know to lead groups safely from the helicopter, down some awesome powder runs, to the next loading zone to do it all again. Learn from New Zealand’s best and take the first step to becoming a professional heli-ski or heli-board guide in Queenstown, NZ today!
Helicopter Safety and Loading
This module covers all aspects of helicopter safety and heli-ski specific loading procedures.
Back-country Skiing / Riding & Mountain Skills
This part of the course is designed to teach participants a range of advanced back-country skills prior to their heli-ski training.
The topics include:
- Route Selection
- Mountain Travel and basic alpine climbing skills
- Snow Stability Evaluations and Slope Tests
- Technical Skiing/Riding skills
- Group Management
- Safety Briefings
- Office procedures and guides meetings.
Heli-ski / heli-board guiding, 5 days with weather cover days
This is the most exciting part of the course where trainees bring together all the skills learnt so far.
During each heli-ski day participants are shown how to:
- Load and unload heli-ski groups
- Make ongoing snow stability assessments
- Guide clients safely down selected runs
- Set a ski pace suitable to groups ability
- Select landing and pickup zones
- Use correct radio communications with guides and pilots
- Coordinate lunch locations and additional runs.
Participant evaluations and recommendations
A full evaluation is given individually to participants with recommendations and issuing of final certificates.
- Advanced-expert skiing or snowboarding skills, with confidence in the back-country
- Minimum of 18 years of age.
- Current 16 hour First Aid or above certificate.
- Avalanche Safety Management Stage 1 or overseas equivalent (Note: participants may complete our Heli-Guide Training Course without the Stage 1 certification, but will not be eligible to work as a guide until Stage 1 is completed). Click here for all the details.
Ski / Snowboard Equipment Required:
Students must be prepared for full day back-country field excursions, which involve traveling uphill and downhill in variable conditions, so you will therefore need ski / snowboard equipment appropriate for ski-touring activities. This includes skins for skis or snowshoes for boarders, and you must BE FAMILIAR with their use. In addition to this you will need:
- Avalanche transceiver (457kHz)
- Snow shovel
- Spare warm clothing
- Weather-proof outer garments for protection from wind, rain and snow
- Protective eye wear
- Spare hats and gloves
- Warm footwear
- Day pack