Your safety is our first priority
The safety of customers, guides, and pilots is the main concern of Summit Heliskiing. We strive towards providing you with concise and comprehensive information about conditions in the mountains and to increase your understanding of the importance of respecting the harsh environment we play in, by behaving safely and cooperating within the team. All guests are required to participate in a safety briefing before the tours, in which your guide provides information about the organisation of the tour, the itinerary, expectations, and answers all questions that you might have.
All Summit Heliskiing clients are equipped with safety equipment provided by the company. These include an avalanche backpack, a shovel, pole and avalanche beacon. Your guide will be skiing with extra safety and rescue equipment.
You will be trained in the use of the beacon and other equipment before the tour starts. Your guide will review the rules of conduct for skiing in the prevailing conditions, the main environmental conditions and the ethical considerations for group touring you must follow.
Summit Heliskiing guides are trained in assessing and managing snow conditions. They evaluate snowpack stability and monitor all available information about the conditions on our daily routes. We require our guides and pilots to be highly trained in their specialized field. Guides, pilots and home base staff maintain constant radio contact during our trips, for the safety and security of our customers.
Code of conduct for heliskiiers
- Always obey your guides instructions. Ask questions if anything is unclear.
- We are travelling in a remote mountainous region – we take care of each other and work as a team.
- We choose our own ski line, but take care to add our own tracks on either side of the guides. We are always aware of where we are with respect to our guide.
- We always give our guide and co-skiers at least a 10 turn head start. We always ski above the guide.
- We do not fasten our ski poles with wrist straps. The ski poles can get stuck in some natural hindrance or act as an anchor if we get caught in an avalanche.
- If you get separated from the team, stop and wait for the guide to find you. You might exacerbate the situation if you continue skiing.
- Do not play music – this can hinder communications between the guide and the team members.
- Put your cell phone on airplane mode. Active cell phones can interfere with avalanche beacon.
- Do not use alcohol or other drugs while skiing – this is strictly enforced. Also be moderate in consumption the evening before a ski day.
Civil etiquette in the mountains
- We ski calmly and mindfully into the group when gathering.
- We take turns in positioning ourselves in the group (right behind the guide, in the middle or in the back).
- We keep a safe distance between ourselves and other team members while skiing.
- We always remain in control of our speed and skiing. Most accidents happen because of collisions with other skiers or with natural hazards.
- We assist our fellow team members if they lose a ski or other equipment.
- If snowboarders lose speed while crossing level ground, skiers can assist by lending them a ski pole or giving them a push. Boarders are encouraged to travel with a ski pole for this circumstance.
- On level ground, boarders are best situated in the back so they can make use of the tracks made by skiers.
- Do not leave any equipment in the helicopter, apart from possible extra clothes for the ride home. Apart from that, you ski with what you bring with you.
- Please return all borrowed equipment to Summit Heliskiing staff at the end of the day.
Please be aware that Summit Heliskiing guides may remove participants from the group if these rules are not complied with.
Use of electronic equipment
Electronic gadgets, metal items and wifi signals can interfere with signals to and from avalanche beacons.
The following are restricted in Summit Heliskiing tours:
- Equipment for listening to music, earphones or helmets with built-in speakers.
- Equipment that sends wifi signals, e.g. GoPro Hero3+ or Smith IO Recon ski goggles. Please note that these items are permitted as long as remote controls or wifi are not used.
- Devices that monitor heart rate.
- Watches equipped with GPS and/or Bluetooth.
- Chest-mounted devices such as GoPro cameras.
- Drones and other airborne devices
- Clothing with large magnetic buttons and/or large metal buckles and decorations near the chest or waist
- Electronically heated mittens
- Any electronically heated clothing
The following items may be brought on tours, given that they are always stored at last 20 cm from the avalanche beacon.
- Cellphones (with the restrictions discussed below)
- Radios (i.e. used by Summit Heliskiing)
- Aluminium wrapping
*Restrictions for cellphone use
We will often be skiing outside of cell phone reception. The cellphone may be used as a camera with the following restrictions:
- The phone must always be on airplane mode and turned off, except when taking photos.
- The phone must always be stored at least 20 cm from the avalanche beacon.
In the case of an avalanche incident or search for a lost skier, the following rules must be adhered to by those participating in searches:
- All electronic devices must be turned off, including phones and cameras.
- Ensure that all electronic devices and metal objects are at least 50 cm away from beacons being used in the search.