Kazakhstan

 

Using old soviet military helicopters which will seat up to 20 people, Kazakhstan is another adventurous place to heliboard. The choice of terrain is endless and being the only helicopters with the ability to land (and more importantly take off again!) at altitudes of nearly 6000 meters you really can just choose any hill you want.

The main draw back other than cost, is the cold with temperatures of -10 a winter norm in Alam-Ata, the capital, and the high peaks can easily drop below -30. Having said that, with hundreds of peaks higher than Mont Blanc, you can forget about boarding in January and go in the summer. The cheapest and easiest way is to stay at Karkara base camp (you will need a Kyrgyzstan visa) and take a short 20min flight into the mountains.

If you don’t fancy camping or being stuck in only the base camp bar listening to stories of the days riding then you could stay in Alma-Ata. However, it’s an hour flight and at around £1000/hr to keep the helicopter in the air, the cash could be better spent flying in the mountains than back to the city. A flight to Inylchek Glacier to see Khan-Tengri and peak Pobedy is a must. You can sleep at the climber’s base camp but take a good sleeping bag. Check out www.khantengri.kz.