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The primary safety concern of heliskiing operators is the danger of avalanches. Heli-skiing operations employ guides and pilots who are trained and experienced in evaluating snow conditions, snow stability, and risk management

They may even conduct occasional explosive avalanche control in association with the land management agency. When weather is inclement for flying or avalanche conditions are elevated, select heli ski operators are equipped for alternate means of access by snowcat. With such operators one may still have an opportunity to ski safer, gentler or heavily treed slopes, with the use of a snowcat rather than the helicopter.

Most tours will include in the price the use of avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes and will provide training on the use of them and other avalanche rescue equipment. Guides, and increasingly guests, carry radios to communicate withing the group, between groups, with the helicopter and the lodge.

Some operators are beginning to offer additional avalanche protection that reduces avalanche burial potential or increases burial survival time, i.e. avalanche air-bags[7] or Avalungs[8]

Other hazards of heliskiing include falling into very deep tree wells, "snow mushrooms" dropping from trees, suffocation after falls in very deep powder (rare), crevasses on glaciers, common mountain terrain features such as cliffs and creek beds, and – obviously – typical ski-related injuries. Helicopter crashes are also far from unheard of.

Financial hazards include pre-paid ski days lost to un-flyable weather. However, this may be mitigated through the use of snowcat back-up thus guaranteeing skiing everyday. Heliskiing agents qualify and book tours based on client requirements.


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