Heli skiing

Nervous, excited, scared, happy, eager, surprised, thrilled, exhausted. So many emotions rolled into one day.

We had the once in a lifetime experience of going heli skiing two days ago. We left from Verbier, which is part of the 4 Valleys in Switzerland.

During our wait for the helicopter we got to watch someone flying around the valley in a small plane, landing on the piste just below us.

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The Swiss Alps are unbelievably beautiful. Seeing them from a helicopter was spectacular.

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My heart rate increased each and every second we moved closer to the peak where we were going to land. I was nervous about whether the snow conditions would live up to the expectations of a heli ski adventure. Nervous for Ryan, as this was something that has always been on his bucket list. Nervous for me because I was unsure of my ability to ski deep fresh powder.

Despite all the things running through my head, I was just wow’d by the view. It was a glorious day.

During our quick drop off, the co-pilot of the helicopter even got out to take photos. That made me realise that it was a particularly special day, and we had scored the jackpot with the weather.

As soon as the helicopter left I had the phone out taking photos from what felt like the top of the world.

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It was windy and it was cold but I was running around full of excitement until I realised that our guide probably wanted to get going.

For some reason, Ryan was not taking in the view as much as I was. It soon became apparent that he had something in his hand. He told me I should keep my glove off, despite it being freezing cold. The realisation hit pretty quickly. He got down on one knee. My head was spinning. This was the most romantic thing that could ever happen. All that was going through my head was “oh my god.”

I was feeling so euphoric that I don’t actually remember the words Ryan used, but I remember saying “OF COURSE” and wanting to tackle him to the ground. I ended up with a ring on my finger, so I’m guessing he did use the words “marry me?” at some point.

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Wow! Ok, now to the real adventure.. As if that wasn’t enough.

Our guide, Gilbert, had given us two options. The first was to be dropped off somewhere where we could do a straight downhill decent and finish by midday. The second was to have a small traverse and walking with skis on our back for about 45 minutes. The second option really made the most of the mountains, so we picked that.

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We did a small downhill run first. The snow was a bit deeper than expected. Ryan managed to have a huge stack. As I giggled past him, both of my skis dug in and I went flying over the top, face planting into the snow. Well that was fresh!

Poor Gilbert must have been worried that he brought a couple of amateurs along with him.

He also underestimated the amount of snow there was up there. Our 45 minute “walk” ended up being a trek through waist deep snow. Not only that, but climbing up a steep glacier to get up to the peak before being able to ski down the other side.

This was the right time for Ryan to learn some French swear words. There was no other way out, so Gilbert pushed on creating a path for us, mumbling about how unbelievable it was. He told us that this was the hardest he had ever seen the track.

Lucky for me, after he made it to the top he came back down and took my pack for me. He also snuck me a bite of energy bar.

After two hours we all made it to the top and had a bit of a rest. The peak is called Petit Combin.

Every part of me was aching. I wasn’t sure my legs would hold up skiing down 2000 metres of decent down the Glacier de Boveire.

Off we went. Both Ryan and Gilbert erupted in squeals of joy as they shredded down the mountain. Gilbert took a bit of a stack, which made me feel much better about my numerous falls. The snow conditions were magical.

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By the time we reached the bottom we were completely exhausted, but exhilarated.

The experience would not have been the same without our amazing guide. He was just full of enthusiasm about everything.

You can check out the google map of our ski run by clicking here.

The company that ran our tour is Adrenaline, bureau des guide. I highly recommend this company for anyone looking to take ski lessons, off-pistes skiing, or go heli skiing from Verbier. Their information can be found at www.guide-verbier.com

Hot tip: do some serious ski fitness training before heli skiing. My body was pushed to the limits. That did not take away any of the enjoyment. Every single part of that day was wonderful!

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10 responses to “Heli skiing

  1. Ryan & Audrey
    Congratulations to both of you. Ken and I are delighted withe the news of your egagement and we are so glad that the proposal was so ‘romantic’. Much love from us both. Merryl & Ken

  2. Pingback: Ski Switzerland | Our journey to the sea·

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