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Uller Pyrenees Heliski Máscaras de esquí



One of the things that inspires us the most at Uller to continue doing what we do and to bet on the mountain sports industry, is collaborating with other passionate companies in the sector.We recently collaborated with Javi Barro for an article in which invites us to spend a day heliboarding. Its relationship with Pyrenees Heliski, the company that we are going to present to you today, is very close; Javi is one of his ambassadors inside and outside the valley, and without a doubt his article transported us to incredible landscapes and an unforgettable experience.

In today's article we have been fortunate to have our collaborators from Pyrenees Heliski, a company based in our beloved Valle de Arán that offers a wide variety of programs for practicing heliskiing.We have interviewed his team, who have opened the season using Uller's masks, and they have told us everything we wanted to know about a company like his.

ULLER: Hey guys! How are you? It's great to have you for this interview. Shall we start?

PYRENEES: Sure, delighted! Shoot!

ULLER: Knowing the beginnings drives us crazy, even more so if we know how rewarding the journey has been. How and when did Pyrenees Heliski start?

PYRENEES: Pyrenees Heliski started in 2008, it was a bit… a bit daring! We managed to contact some Swiss to try to establish quality standards, as there could be in other international heliski bases at that time, and we made them come mainly because they had a lot of experience. When they arrived and saw the possibilities of the land, they wanted to enter the society that we were forming. They understood that it was a site with a lot of potential and that they too could send their clients. And it started like this! We can say that they became majority partners of the company and became Heliski Pro, and later a French guide and Aran Heliski joined Perynees Heliski as such. And it is that previously, in the year 2005, Arán Heliski began as a tiny project, a project in which we were starting engines very slowly with the heliski in very favorable situations and on well-known terrain. Hence, we took the step in 2008 with this union with the Swiss.

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ULLER: Great! Thus, in general terms, what services do you offer and which of all of them is the one that most clients request?

PYRENEES: Well, at Pyrenees Heliski we offer all the heli-transported services, that is, from a helicopter transfer, the heliski itself, heli-rando... And then all the mountain activities that our guides can carry out, whether be it freeride in the resort, randoné, snowshoes... as well as panoramic flights in the valley. Now, which of them are the ones that most clients request? Well, it depends, because we have national clients who request the half-day program or the full-day program more, since these are activities that are easy for them to do because they come to the station a lot; and then we have multi-day packages, which are more requested by international clients. They are packages that can include from the transfer, the hotel, concierge service, helicopter transfer, private plane rental service, and of course what is the heliski activity, which can be made up of heliski, heli-rando, freeride … And it is that we have already established packages that can be seen on our website, but that can be modified on demand by the client to better fit what they are looking for from this experience with us.

ULLER: The most important thing in a company are the people who make it up. In yours, who makes up the Pyrenees team and what unites you as a group? What makes you different from the rest?

PYRENEES: As we told you at the beginning of the interview, Pyrenees Heliski is part of the international Heliski Pro label, which belongs to a Swiss group. Sergi Gasa is the majority partner here at Pyrenees Heliski as CEO of the company, and Fabiana is in charge of all the administrative and customer relationship matters. The rest of the team is made up, of course, the guides: lead guides or high mountain guides specialized in heliskiing, and medium and high mountain guides. All of us are united by the values ​​of the company: professionalism, exclusivity and coexistence. All the pieces make up a super essential gear for the whole machine to work... and with that mentality we work as a team! Each one of us makes the product what it is in the end, that we give the best customer service and that year after year these customers come back.

Uller Pyrenees Heliski Máscaras de esquí

ULLER: We are lucky to know your professionalism up close when it comes to working and we can see that it is something for which each one of the team members feels a true passion. That is why we would love to show our readers what it is like to spend a day Heliskiing with you. Can you tell us?

PYRENEES: Actually, the day of heliskiing does not begin with the arrival of the day in which the client hires our services, but requires a preparation that we do from year to year. What does this mean? That from the day the season ends we do a briefing on how it has gone: things that can be improved, things that can be established new, the heliski base, the infrastructure, security, the equipment, the guides, the training, everything the technological part and a long etcetera. That's where it all starts! In such a way that when the client arrives, they can be guaranteed to find the best service.

The day prior to the arrival of these clients, the guides meet with the company's meteorologist to make a more secure reading of the snow conditions and general weather conditions. Thanks to this, we determine the area where you are going to fly according to the program contracted by the client, the descents that could be made and the departure time. This time is important because it will depend on the conditions, in such a way that you leave at the best time to meet the optimal conditions. The good thing is that, with the helicopter, we have 400 square km of skiable area from which to choose the best areas for the specific day!

On the day of the activity, all clients are scheduled to take one hour to arrive at the heliport. There we receive them with a light breakfast and proceed to check and regulate that they have all the material. Regarding the safety material, we take care of providing them with the ABS backpack, transceiver, arva, shovel, probe... Next, they are given a safety briefing, as well as an avalanche victim practice and a helicopter briefing to know how to climb , go down, know the safe areas... and that's where the activity begins! The entire team will get on the helicopter, they will make their first ascent to a point, to later descend on skis, and so on until all the contracted descents are made. If the requested program is full day, there will be a short stop in the mountain where a varied picnic is offered to clients, which can be standard or specific with what they have selected "à la carte" ”.

At the end of the day, when they return to the base, they are received with a coffee or soft drink and they return home. A most complete day!

Uller Pyrenees Heliski Máscaras de esquí

ULLER: Hey, and what is it like to enjoy views of the Aran Valley like the ones you have every day from the helicopter? Have you ever imagined that this would be your job?

PYRENEES: As we told you in previous questions, we have a ski area of ​​400 square kilometers... that's fifteen times the area of ​​Baqueira! It's huge! We have spectacular views, and for that very reason we feel deeply grateful to be able to enjoy the wonder of the mountains, to admire their majesty, for being our playground or “playground”, at the same time as our work area. Being able to share it and make customers happy is wonderful and, although there is always the “risk” component inherent to the mountain, we have a whole team of professionals that help minimize and regulate that risk.

ULLER: And speaking of risks, Heliskiing is not something for people who are getting on skis for the first time. But how does a person know if they are ready for it?

PYRENEES: Heliskiing is not a risky activity, but completely controlled and enjoyable. Obviously you have to have a level: a client, who has already done off-piste, would be perfectly ready for this modality, as well as a skier who slides down black-red slopes. In addition, at Pyrenees Heliski we have a whole range of skis made exclusively for freeride with the latest technology on the market, since we renew it annually, which makes the activity much easier for the skier. This, together with a good physical condition, accompanies that it is relatively easy and that heliskiing can be enjoyed to the fullest.

The best thing is that we have half day programs in case you are looking for an initiation, and of course private programs in which our guides will adapt to the preferences of the group to choose more or less complicated descents . The ideal, of course, is to do heliskiing in groups in which people have a similar level to each other.

Uller Pyrenees Heliski Máscaras de esquí

ULLER: We have seen that you have a very good protocol for action in the event of accidents. Have you ever had a serious scare where you had to activate it?

PYRENEES: The truth is that we have never had a serious scare, but we are fully prepared in case it happens at some point. Every year we refresh our knowledge of the protocol for action in the event of an accident, and we are sure that we have the entire body of pompiers (firefighters) from the Aran Valley to offer us support in the event that we need it.

Uller Pyrenees Heliski Máscaras de esquí

ULLER: There is no doubt that yours is a job in which you really have a good time. Do you have any funny or curious anecdote that happened to you during a day of Heliskiing?

PYRENEES: Oh yeah! Look, there was once a group in which there was a girl who, on one of the descents, among so many sensations, the snow, the adrenaline, the views... she began to cry with emotion! And the poor thing couldn't stop doing it. It was for this reason that, just as we name the more than 200 descents that we have cataloged in the 400 square kilometers of skiable terrain in the valley, we baptized this one specifically as "La llorona" in honor of this girl who was so moved. doing the activity.

ULLER: For things like that we do what we do. What would life be without emotions!

PYRENEES: Without a doubt. The mountain is what it has…

Pyrenees Heliski Uller Máscaras de esquí