We encounter highly variable weather conditions while heli-skiing in the North Cascades. The goal is to stay warm and dry, block wind, and prevent excessive sweating and overheating. Layering is key so that you may add/remove layers since conditions can change rapidly in the mountains (no cotton).
Key layers include:
- Waterproof/windproof/breathable hard-shell jacket and pants
- Warm synthetic mid-layer under jacket
- Synthetic base layers
- Ski/snowboard socks
Additional items to bring include:
- Reusable 1 liter water bottle (avoid plastic bottles) with a secure lid
- Compressible puffy jacket/vest
- Warm ski hat/beanie
- Waterproof gloves (Our guides use the Hestra Army Leather Patrol glove)
- Goggles (photochromic or interchangeable lenses for variable lighting conditions)
- Lip balm
- Balaclava/neck gaiter (thin)
- Helmet (optional)
Avoid packing extra items to minimize weight and space. Please remember to bring your own reusable water bottle that you may fill up here at the Heli Barn (we have delicious clean water here in the Methow Valley!) since we're no longer providing plastic water bottles and striving to reduce waste.
Avalanche Safety Gear
Avalanche safety gear is mandatory for all of our heli-skiing programs. We require you to use our BCA transceivers, shovels, and probes, as well as BCA Float 22 Avalanche Airbags, all of which are provided at no extra cost. All of our guests will be instructed on the proper use of avalanche airbags before flying. The BCA Float 22 Avalanche Airbag is medium-size yet has enough room to pack your extra clothing, food, and a reusable water bottle that you bring.