Heliskiing is not allowed in France. However, mountains rising from the Chamonix Valley have borders with Italy and Switzerland, where heli-skiing is perfectly legal.
It is not legal to take a heli-ski flight originating in the Chamonix Valley. So, most of the Heli-ski providers pick up their passengers just over the border with Switzerland at the fork in the road to Finhaut.
Many guides bureaux and private companies offer this exceptional skiing experience. Here is a list of heli-skiing providers in Chamonix.
For a true wilderness and unforgettable experience, heliskiing can take you to remote areas of the Mont Blanc massif, where the backdrop of stunning scenery is enhanced by the true feeling of being far away from it all. Add in the thrill of the helicopter ride itself, and you have an experience not to be missed and never forgotten.
Why is there no Heli-Skiing in France?
The French prefer to protect their natural heritage and are concerned that excessive use of helicopters to remote high alpine regions will exacerbate man's encroachment on this wilderness.
In 1980, the incumbent French President, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was on vacation in Chamonix. He took a helicopter to the summit of Mont-Blanc and skied the vertical 3800 m back to Chamonix, where he was met by a vocal demonstration demanding a ban on all helicopter flights in the Massif for leisure purposes.
D'Estaing obliged and the next President of France, Francois Mitterand went further still, with banning all heli-skiing in France with Article 76 of Law n°85 of the 9th January 1985.