August 25, 2008…Silverton Mountain will be offering heli drops into spectacular ski terrain for the 2008-09 ski season. The heli drops are purchased in single run increments for only $150 per run bringing the possibility of heli skiing to those with big skis but a small bank roll.
Silverton Mountain has been using a small helicopter to conduct avalanche control for several years at the ski area and uses heli drops to help offset the costs. In past years the helicopter was not available very often, but for 2008-09 Silverton Mountain will have access to an Astar B3 a couple of days each week all season long.
Rising energy costs have made avalauncher explosive rounds extremely expensive. With the higher costs of explosives, and the poor accuracy and low payload of the avalauncher rounds, a helicopter is now the best tool for conducting avalanche control at Silverton Mountain and especially on the distant and most amazing ski terrain. The ski patrol also loves the heli avalanche control program as it has brought a new level of safety to many avalanche control routes that were previously done with hand charges (requiring a heavy amount of exposure to the ski patrollers).
This is also great news for unguided skiers as the helicopter avalanche control program helps get additional unguided ski terrain open much faster. The guided heli drops are a great way to sample the distant lines that take 2-3 hours of hiking to access.
The heli drops are available starting Dec 6th which is usually a great time to ride with light powder on all aspects and good snow stability. This makes Silverton Mountain the only place to be for early season drops.
You will be able to book heli drops in advance on the SilvertonMountain.com website or at the Ski Area on days that it's available. Spaces are limited.
Heli Drop Stats:
Peak elevation – 13,487'
Max Vertical Drop – 3,100'
Terrain – Several thousand acres with combinations of nasty chutes and open bowls to choose from.
Price – $150 per drop
Group Size – 8 or less (heli holds 4 skiers)
Season Dec 6th-April 19. Actual dates to be determined each week.
For info and reservations visit: silvertonmountain.com