Helicopters are without any doubt, the world's best chairlift, and using them is a highly intimate and personal experience that allows us to move with freedom to access and find the best possible snow conditions throughout your trip.
At Ruby we operate with a Eurocopter A-Star 350 B3, one of the best aircraft on the market for high altitude flying. Put simply, there is no other means of accessing expansive, extraordinary terrain with such mobility.
These aircraft are capable of providing up to five skiers with guided transportation into the remote terrain we access for backcountry skiing and riding. However, all guests should be aware that it may be necessary to split groups based on ability levels and weight factors.
Weight is an important factor while flying any aircraft at high elevations and we carefully review the weight of each skier to stay within the limits of each helicopter. As we consider safety first, our pilots and guides use their discretion, which may involve splitting a group. Remaining seats on the helicopter may be filled with people outside of your group. On the positive side, be prepared to get to know and enjoy some very interesting people who will share the thrill of backcountry skiing with you and your friends.
Helicopter skiing is expensive due to the cost of the helicopters, their maintenance, the skill and experience of pilots, the guides, and the expanse of terrain that we cover. The helicopters that fly us into the Ruby Mountains are leased from the most experienced companies throughout the west. That said, the opportunity of skiing the Ruby Mountains and enjoying this backcountry experience simply would not be possible without the aircraft.
It should be noted that there are times when the helicopter cannot fly due to storms, high winds and other weather conditions beyond our control. In such conditions we usually can access our snowcat terrain, which is done via helicopters to the snowcat base area at a 7,500 foot elevation.