Heli-Skiing In the Albanian Alps

Advanced
7 days
All ages
1–4 people
Overview

For those of you who are looking for something a little less traditional and a little more exciting than the usual winter ski destinations, we recommend a heli-ski tour in the Albanian Alps!


Due to the Alps’ proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the ski conditions and snowpack is similar to what you’d find in Alaska and British Columbia.

There’s over 1500 square kilometers and nine different ski zones to explore. That’s more routes and untracked powder than you’ll know what to do with.

What you get when you book
  • 7 nights of full board accommodation
  • 4 hours of flying time
  • 6 days of skiing
What to expect on your first day

On the night you arrive AND the following morning, we provide each guest detailed instructions regarding:

  • An avalanche safety course
  • Guiding protocols
  • The particulars of the helicopter and flying

Your guides will equip each group with 2 VHF radios.

We plan for you to have the perfect (and safest) time skiing

All staff conducts two daily meetings both morning and evening to discuss snow an weather conditions. From these meetings, your guides are able to plan the best route for the day.

Guides log all snow observations and keep track of snowpack throughout the season. All runs are also logged with the dispatcher to keep track of each group in the snow.

If necessary, hospital care is within a 6 minute flight from touring sites.

Your helicopter and pilot

The B2 helicopter is the industry standard for heli-skiing, the B2. Guides and pilots operate under strict European aviation standards for maintenance and inspections. The pilot for the journey is the only pilot with experience in the Albanian Alps. Both guides and pilot work diligently together to ensure a solid and established safety network between guides, dispatchers and clients. Each year the pilot attends a preseason training program to re-familiarise himself with all details of the operation, fine tune rescue procedures and keep up with best practices in the field. This is a small operation running under strict protocols and the highest safety standards.

We know that any activity in the mountains involves risk. Because of this, we prioritise safety.

 

Where we are
Class Location
Albanian Alps
Meeting Location
Valbonë
What's included
  • We equip each client with state of the art safety gear, made available from Pieps.
  • Each participant will have a beacon, shovel, probe and safety airbag
  • We'll be in contact with other equipment list needs
  • All IFMGA guiding fees

Not included in the price:

  • Airfare to and from Albania
  • Transfers from your landing destination to Valbona
Getting to Albania

The three best options for air travel are:

  • Pristina, Kosovo is 180km, about a 3 hour drive from the airport to the Valbona Valley. You'll cross borders between Kosovo and Albania
  • Skopje, Macedonia is 225 km, about a 4 hour drive from the airport to the Valbona Valley. You'll cross borders between Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania
  • Tirana, Albania is 300km, about a 4.5 hour drive from the airport to the Valbona Valley. You'll cross borders between Albania and Kosovo.
Why book through 57hours?

We’re an adventure loving, rock climbing, tech company that loves all things outdoors-y. Why spend days looking for the right guide and adrenaline rush, when we can (and already did) do it for you? Want a serious guide for a challenging backcountry tour? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to ski and won’t stop going on about it until you book them a trip. Yes, we know guides who are great for beginners, too. Oh, yeah, every guide we know prioritizes SAFETY and FUN. Book with 57hours, we’ve done your work for you. You’re welcome.

Guides running this program

Rok Zalokar

Rok is an IMFGA mountain guide, instructor for future guides and a member of the technical community with the Mountain Guiding Association in Slovenia. He is a well respected heliski guide with years of experience working in Europe and Alaska, both guiding and educating.

Rok is a member of Pieps pro team, a part of the job that gives him inside knowledge in avalanche education and getting in touch with latest state of the art safety equipment. He has been educating individuals and professionals such as mountain rescue teams and the military about avalanche safety and rescue procedures for the past 5 years.

He grew up in Slovenia with the magnificent Julian Alps as his backyard. At age 13 he was climbing big walls. He was skiing steeps at 15. And at 17, he started expeditions to the Himalayas.

Rok put up a new route on an unclimbed 7070m high Janak mountain in the Himalayas and he has completed several climbing expeditions in Peru, Kyrgyzstan, Patagonia Tibet, Nepal, and India.

He has been guiding in the Alps, Scandinavia, Asia and Alaska, but in the past few years he found his passion in taking his guests to the less explored beautiful mountains of Balkan region and his home, the Julian Alps

Petra Brajnik

Petra was born in the heart of the Julian Alps. She grew up with a love for the mountains and nature. She has skied, snowboarded, climbed and BASE jumped in Slovenian mountains and in hidden jewels all over the world. Being fortunate enough to see different countries and the conditions in which people live has made her more responsible in her own surroundings. Petra's worked with several NGOs on different projects. She's also organized cultural, art and sport events locally, in her community, and around the world.

Petra will handle the logistics of your trip and give you invaluable insight and tips to make your time in the Albanian Alps unforgettable.

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