Mt Cook Heliski delivers New Zealand’s most spectacular ski and snowboard experience, amid the highest peaks in the country. This is huge high alpine terrain to rival anywhere! No wonder people come from all over to ride it.
Aoraki /Mt Cook is the ever present pinnacle, at 3724m, but there are nearly 19 summits over 3,000m in the National Park, every one in New Zealand in fact except for Mt Aspiring further south.
It’s also home to lots of glaciers, with the famous Tasman the longest glacier in New Zealand.
Mt Cook Heliski terrain
Offering the single largest block of heliski terrain in New Zealand, Mt Cook Heliski have the advantage of their true high alpine surroundings. Their options roam across 6 Mountain Ranges – from exclusive Aoraki Mount Cook National Park terrain to the Ben Ohau Range above azure-blue Lake Pukaki.
Long descents, from steep as you want to cruisy powder topped glaciers, are a feature. Vertical drops up to 1300m and 4km long runs are possible here. The average run is 800m vertical.
The incredible views over the peaks, glacial valleys and lakes are unsurpassed.
After the drop off it’s just you, your small group, and the guide in the middle of it all.
Mt Cook Heliski packages
The classic Mount Cook Heliski ‘Wilderness’ day comes with 5 epics runs. If you can’t get enough extra runs are always available.
They specialise in quality personalised service, away from the crowded Queenstown scene.
They operate from 01 July to 30 September subject of course to prevailing weather and mountain conditions.
2019 season cost NZ$1,190 per person, extra runs NZ$110 each.
The extra run rate is the best way to maximise vertical for your dollar, and can be arranged on the mountain. Talk to your guide on the day, or let Mt Cook Heliski know when booking.
If you can stay a few days the following discounted prices apply:
Heli-ski 2 days consecutively – day 2 price = $1,100; Heli-ski 3 days consecutively – day 3 price = $1025
Bookings must be made directly with Mt Cook Heliski, and days must be heli-skied consecutively.
If you are in Queenstown or Wanaka and time is short day packages including return scenic flights are NZ $1,690 per person for a minimum of 4 people – singles are welcome to book to make up numbers.
What ability level do you need for Mt Cook Heliski
Here are their 4 categories:
WE WORK ON 4 BROAD ‘ABILITY’ LEVELS. WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?
Any reasonably fit and confident skier or snowboarder can experience the thrill of skiing and riding in the big mountains.
A good level of fitness, confidence, and a “go for it” attitude are all important. We will ask for your Ability Level when booking.
Confidently ride/ski Blue runs at a ski area
May have no heliskiing experience
May have no powder snow experience
Confidently ride/ski Black runs at a ski area
May have no powder snow experience
May have some heliski experience in intermediate terrain
May not have heli-skied, but can ride/ski Double Black runs at a ski area in powder snow
Or experienced heli-skier – will ride/ski 5 to 10 (800 metre) runs per day
Can ride/ski any terrain
Very experienced heli-skier – ski/snowboard 10 or more (1,000 metre) runs per day
What about gear and rentals at Mt Cook Heliski?
All-mountain or wider skis are preferred – they recommend skis 90mm or wider underfoot for better floatation in powder, and better control over a range of conditions (less face-plants too).
For boarders it’s recommended to have your bindings mounted so the stance is as far back as possible
Alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards are all welcome. Ride on whatever you are comfortable with, just make sure the gear is well waxed.
You can hire powder (aka ‘fat’) skis, boots and poles from Mt Cook Heliski. They have a good range of skis, but a limited range of boots. Sorry – no snowboarding gear for hire.
Skis: NZ$50/day or Skis, boots, and poles: NZ$75/day
Getting to Mt Cook Heliski
Driving there is easy, turn off the main highway 8 south onto state highway 80 for the 42km run past Lake Pukaki to the helibase at Glentanner Park at the head of the lake.
Mt Cook Heliski is 55 minutes 63km from Ohau (handy therefore as a base since if it’s a no fly day you can ski Ohau instead); 60 minutes – 83km from Tekapo (with no fly day skiing available at nearby Roundhill); 2.2 hours – 185km north of Wanaka; 3.2 hours 240km north of Queenstown; or 4 hours 310km south of Christchurch.
Where to stay for Mt Cook Heliski
Mt Cook Village and the wider Mackenzie area offers every level of accommodation – froom the deluxe Pukaki Lodge to hotels and MT Cook YHA, all within an easy drive of the helipad. As mentioned in getting there, staying at Lake Ohau or Tekapo with nearby Roundhill give you alternative ski options on no fly days. Mt Cook Village just 23km away is closer, and Glentanner Park is right next to the Mt Cook Heliski base with motel units and a campa park to plug your Jucy van in.
Check the link here for a full list of options.
For all Mt Cook Heliski bookings check the link here.