Esprit Heliski
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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the base located?
Our base is in Valgrisenche, a wild valley in the region of Aosta Valley in the north west of Italy. Our valley stretches for 28 km reaching as far as the Tarentaise on the French border.

How to reach Valgrisenche?
Valgrisenche is 2 and a half hour drive from Milan and Geneva airports.
Direction to follow:
- from Milan - take the highway direction Torino, afterwards follow for Aosta; highway exit in Aosta Ovest; follow directions for Courmayeur, after 10 km in Arvier take the second exit at the roundabout and keep going up the road until Valgrisenche.
- from Geneva - take the highway, direction France-Chamonix; then follow for Mont Blanc tunnel Aosta-Courmayeur; pass the Mont Blanc Tunnel; at the exit of Courmayeur follow signs to Aosta on the normal road for 15 km (do not take the motorway). Right after the third tunnel in Leverogne/Arvier turn right and take the road for Valgrisenche until you will reach the chosen hotel.

What is necessary to do to book?
To confirm your booking we ask you to fill in our booking form with the details of the group and to pay in advance, by wire transfer, the cost for the mountain guide.
We do not book the hotel, so you have to contact it directly.
At the end of your stay you will pay:
- the cost for the flights and the italian taxes on luxury flights, by credit card, to the helicompany;
- the cost for the accommodation to the hotel (you have to pay the lunch to your mountain guide).

How is the group organized?
The helicopter fits up to 4 people + the guide and the pilot.
Groups can be composed of max 4 pax, but the group can be also composed of less people.
The best way to enjoy you heliski holiday in Valgrisenche is to come in a group of friends (it is normally very difficult to organize groups with people who don’t know each other, are not of the same ski level and have different expectations etc.).

Do we organize private groups?
We are sorry, we do not organize groups for private heliskiing during the season 2019. 

What happens in bad weather?
In the case of bad weather our guides will suggest you an alternative activity: you can either decide to move, the group will ski with the mountain guide in one of the nearest ski resorts such as Courmayeur, Pila, La Thuile. If, however, you are looking for something else, there are lots of different walks around with cross country skis or snow shoes. If, on the other hand, if you are looking for some more ”lazy” time, you can either take the day to relax in the beautiful SPA in Pré-Saint-Didier or visit the historical city centre in Aosta and feast on a nice italian lunch in a restaurant on our recommendation!

Can I bring my own equipment?
Yes, you have to bring your own ski equipment with you; 
the mountain guide will give you the airbag backpack, the probe, the shovel and the ARTVA.
You can also bring your airbag backpack if you prefer, but the mountain guide is not responsible in case of malfunction.

Do you mix skiers with snowboarders?
Yes, we mix the two: if you are coming together in a group of friends, there should not be any problem. Of course, always baring safety, snow and weather conditions in mind, the guide will choose the itinerary that will suit both.

When are the best conditions to come?
When you are deciding on the right time of the season for your heliski holiday, try to think about the type of skiing you are looking for, whether you are looking for deep powder or light snow etc. The busiest time in the season is from mid February to mid March, mainly because this is the period for deep powder. Over the past 10 years, the most popular month to be in Valgrisenche is March: stability is always better than at the beginning of the winter and we can have some very good snowfalls with days of good weather after. On the other hand, April and May can offer very beautiful spring weather, you won’t find deep powder but nice and light snow, easy and soft to ski. In any case, since nature and the climate is unpredictable, like anywhere, snow conditions can never be guaranteed.

How good do I have to be?
To come heliskiing in Valgrisenche you do not need to be an advanced skier/rider. One of the advantages of Valgrisenche is that the terrain is suitable for any level.
If you have skied in fresh powder at least once and you consider yourself to be an intermediate skier, you are ready to come heliskiing with us!
With Espritheliski you can go at your own pace, you can do some gentle skiing whilst enjoy the landscape with your friends and get the most out of every turn you make, or if you prefer "full power” skiing our guide will happily take you on a unforgettable journey!

Do I need to ski all day?
No, you do not need to ski all day. The helicopter refuels two to three times per day. Your guide will gladly plan your flight back to the base if the pilot can coordinate your flight out with the fuel run. Please advise your guide in advance if you only plan to ski some of the day so that he can organize your flight back to the base at the end of the day.
Please note you will not be refunded if you do not make all the flights included in the package out of your own choice, while the rest of the group keeps skiing.
What is the vertical drop in Valgrisenche?
The vertical drop ranges from 1.000 to 2.100 meters for each descent, but actually in Valgrisenche, after years of experience, we have decided to make prices based on flights and not on the descent/vertical drop: here in the Alps it may be that the snow conditions are not perfect until the bottom of the mountain and therefore the pick up flight will be where the snow changes and the conditions are not suitable anymore. The vertical drop will vary for each descent depending on the snow conditions and this is why the Esprit Heliski philosophy is to enjoy your run, your ski and not stress and worry about vertical meters. Typically we ski/board between 4 to 12 runs each day, it depends on the group’s ski level and wishes. The length of the day, number of runs and terrain selected are determined by the snow conditions, weather, time of year, and the group's abilities. On days with excellent weather we make the most of excellent weather and we always try to ski more to maximize your enjoyment and skiing time.