Steeped in tradition, Sun Valley Heli Ski pioneered American helicopter skiing, setting the standard for nearly five decades. A vast territory covering three mountain ranges provides unparalleled access to Idaho’s legendary powder and terrain for all abilities. Historically the destination of Hollywood insiders and European nobility, Sun Valley boasts a variety of exclusive lodging, dining and nightlife to complement our unique heli-ski experience. Daily air service from gateway cities makes Sun Valley remarkably easy to reach. With over 100 years combined experience amongst our guide crew, the lightest, deepest stashes are at your fingertips. Home-base to the legendary Sun Valley Resort, there is skiing and recreational opportunities for everyone and all abilities. It’s the perfect place for a family vacation. And for those flying in the heli, our world-class guides take you to some of the lightest and deepest powder in the lower 48. Our team works to keep you safe, while giving you days of skiing you’ll never forget. Retire at night in front of a fire and pamper yourself at one of the finest small hotels or lodges anywhere. Finish your day with friends or family at one of America’s premier luxury resorts featuring abundant choices of restaurants and taverns. If you are new to heli-skiing, this is the place to start.
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Sun Valley is located just outside of Ketchum, Idaho in the midst of the lovely Wood River Valley in the heart of the central Idaho Rockies. Direct flights on Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines (Delta) arrive in Sun Valley from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Salt Lake City. On arrival, a driver will be waiting to meet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation of choice.
For additional information and flight reservations, visit www.horizonair.com or call Horizon Air at 1-800-547-9308.
|Route - Winter 2010 - 2011|
|Seattle to Sun Valley||2345||9:15 am||11:55 am|
|Sun Valley to Seattle||2344||6:35 pm||7:34 pm|
|Los Angeles to Sun Valley||2342||2:35 pm||6:03 pm|
|Sun Valley to Los Angeles||2343||12:25 pm||1:58 pm|
* Check www.horizonair.com for Seattle's additional weekend schedule.
For additional information and flight reservations, visit www.delta.com or call 1-800-221-1212.
|Route||Flight||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|SLC --> SUN||7797||7:59 am||9:10 am|
|7794||4:55 pm||6:04 pm|
|7788||11:25 am||12:43 pm|
|7790||1:40 pm||2:51 pm|
|7808||3:15 pm||4:26 pm|
|7807||4:50 pm||5:59 pm|
|7796||9:45 pm||10:45 pm|
|SUN --> SLC||7780||6:50 am||7:54 am|
|7782||9:25 am||10:30 am|
|7795||6:19 pm||7:25 pm|
|7789||1:05 pm||2:12 pm|
|7791||3:06 pm||4:13 pm|
|7808||4:41 pm||5:48 pm|
|7807||6:14 pm||7:20 pm|
Drift through endless tree runs, or take in the grand vistas of our high alpine terrain as you cruise open bowls. This region is home to some of the most undiscovered back-country skiing in the lower 48 states. The Pioneer, Boulder, Smoky and Sawtooth Mountain ranges hide incredible couloirs, vast open bowls, and world-class tree skiing that appeal to nearly every skier. This is “small-group” skiing, giving us the ability to cater to each groups’ ability levels and desires. With some of the most expansive heli-skiing terrain in the US, Sun Valley Heli-skiing is a well-kept secret.
The average temperature in winter is a pleasant 23 degrees with over 200 inches of annual snowfall. There’s a reason it’s called Sun Valley. The region receives over 250 days of sunshine a year. Prepare for bluebird powder days.
Sun Valley Heli Ski FAQ’s
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The cost for a day is $1100 per person + Tax. Sun Valley Sun+ season pass holders receive a 10% discount.
Q: How many runs/vertical do I get in a day?
A: A guest typically skis six runs in a day. We guarantee six runs which equates to 10,000-15,000 vertical feet. 6 runs constitute a full day and is the basis for any refunds. If time permits and conditions warrant it, we provide a 7th run free of charge. Additional runs can be purchased for $95/run.
Q: What does the day look like in terms of timing?
A: We generally meet at the Sun Valley Inn at 7:30AM for breakfast and a safety briefing. We depart for the helicopter by 9am and are skiing until 3-5. We break mid-day for a slope side lunch. We end the day back at the Sun Valley Inn. We do ask guests to call a status line every morning so that we can communicate any changes to the standard schedule.
Q: How many people are in the helicopter?
A: We operate an A-Star helicopter which holds 4 guests + a guide and pilot. This is small group heli skiing. We can operate with up to 4 groups in a rotation on any given day.
Q: What happens if I don’t get 6 runs?
A: Guests are refunded $80 per run if they don’t achieve the minimum of 6.
Q: How much terrain do you have and where do you ski?
A: Sun Valley Heli Ski has 750,000 acres of terrain in its permit area. We ski in 3 main mountain ranges: Smoky’s, Boulders and Pioneers. We chose where we are going to ski on a given day by analyzing many different factors which include weather, snow conditions and group ability.
Q: Do I need to be an expert to heli ski?
A: In order to safely enjoy your heli experience, you should be at least an intermediate level skier/boarder. You should be capable of dealing with the challenges presented by deep snow, and varied snow conditions, such as heavy powder and breakable crusts . If you are comfortable on the intermediate and advanced runs on Sun Valley’s Baldy in varying conditions, then you likely possess the skills needed to heli ski. If you’ve never skied powder snow, you may have the skills to participate, but you should call us to discuss in greater detail.
Q: Do I need “Fat” skis?
A: Yes, we require guests to utilize skis that have a minimum width at the waist of 95mm. Wider skis make it easier to handle varied snow conditions, are more efficient for skiing deep powder, and are a lot of fun especially if you don’t have lots of experience skiing powder. If you don’t have skis of this dimension, we can assist you in locating demo skis from a local provider. We do not provide skis as part of the day.
Q: Do you take snowboarders?
A: Absolutely. Snowboarders make up a significant portion of our guests
Q: Do I have to worry about avalanches?
A: Like any backcountry activity, skiing off-piste in the mountains has inherent risk. Avalanches are just one hazard presented by skiing in the backcountry. Others include rocks, stumps, trees, and falling cornices. Even poor snow conditions can be hazardous. The primary responsible of the SVHS guide staff is to manage these hazards. This process begins with a comprehensive analysis of the snowpack stability and continues on slope with the selection of appropriate terrain and the application of guiding tactics and travel techniques. Perhaps the most important thing a guest can do to assist in managing risk is to listen to the guide staff. Guides will be providing a constant stream of information regarding hazards and conditions. If you’re not listening, you’re not getting that information. Safety is our highest priority and our guides are specially trained to help mitigate these risks while delivering the best possible skiing experience.
Q: What’s the weather like?
A: Sun Valley’s average temperature in winter is a pleasant 23 degrees with over 200 inches of annual snowfall. There’s a reason it’s called Sun Valley. The region receives over 250 days of sunshine a year. Prepare for bluebird powder days.
Q: What happens is we are canceled due to weather?
A: We are fortunate to have a world-class ski resort as our “weather backup”. If conditions do not allow us to fly, it generally means the resort skiing will be incredible. Your reservation will be rolled to the next available day. In many cases, we are able to get you out the day after the storm clears.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Layering is the most important aspect of being comfortable on your heli day. A good base layer, coupled with a mid and/or heavy weight layer followed by a waterproof/breathable outer layer is ideal. Layering gives you options to layer up or down depending on conditions. We strongly encourage the use of helmets, but it is not required. Good goggles and warm gloves/mittens are also a must.
Q: How do I get in and out of the helicopter?
A: At the end of a run, the guide directs guests to take off their skis/boards and place them in a designated area. The guide then directs the guests where to gather and take a knee. At that point, the helicopter is brought in and lands near the guests and equipment. Once the helicopter is settled, the guide will open up the passenger door and direct the guest to load into the helicopter and put on their seatbelts. The guide loads the equipment. Once everyone is in the helicopter and the equipment is loaded, the guide closes the passenger door and loads in the front seat of the helicopter. The helicopter takes off and proceeds to the top of the next run. The helicopter lands and settles on the top. Once the guide gives the ok, guests can remove their seat belts and exit the helicopter. Guests gather next to the helicopter while the guide unloads the equipment. Once the equipment is unloaded and all the doors have been closed, the guide will signal to the helicopter that it is clear to take off. Once the helicopter takes off and is clear of the area, guests can stand up and start to put on their gear for their next descent.