Helicopter skiers ride high without the hassle. They hop a chopper to the top of a mountain, then ski down the unmarked powder. No lift lines, no crowded slopes. But the lack of resort amenities—a nearby lodge and ski patrol-makes the right clothing essential. Skiwear must also be mountainwear: tough, lightweight and worn in layers for quick weather changes. And one needs lots of pockets for goggles, tools, even a Pieps, an electronic device for locating lost skiers. These chopper hoppers were photographed in the Sierra Nevadas at Toiyabe Heli-Ski, the first helicopter resort in the U.S.

Viki Fleckenstein wears a cotton shell over a down-filled suit ($750) for deep-freeze conditions; a zip-out down lining makes Paul Derflinger's parka ($320) a coat for most seasons. Both by Goldwin-America.

Toiyabe guide Kim Marx (left) checks the view from Crater Crest in a Gore-Tex suit from Marmot ($340). A Sport-Obermeyer parka ($90) with wind pants ($34) keeps the chill off Apollonia Van Ravenstein.

Drew Merklinghaus and Joe Flick (top, left) take a breather in Bodie, a ghost town near the Toiyabe resort. Drew's poplin vest and leather parka ($385) and Joe's leather jacket with zip-off sleeves ($275) are by Robert Comstock. A down parka ($310) from Head Sports Wear warms Nancy Thoreson for the 'copter ride up, but she sheds it to ski down in a suit ($210) with a pocket for a Pieps. Serac's reversible vest ($110) and wind pants ($62) keep Nancy's powder dry, while Apollonia stays warm in a mesh-lined Serac jumpsuit ($195). Her hat and fanny pack are from Panhandle Knits by Serac. Joe (far right) jumps for joy in a suit with five pockets ($225) by Head Sports Wear.

The snow won't bother Joe (above) in his Demetre pullover ($130), made of boiled wool to shed water, and stretch pants ($135) by Roffe. Erik Giese takes a gate in Roffe's flashy nylon pullover with stretch inserts ($120) and padded, wool-nylon pants ($180), while Paul gets set to schuss in his Sport-Obermeyer vest and wind shirt with insulated sleeves ($98).

Drew (above) does a backscratcher in an insulated pullover with stretch inserts ($110) and bib pants ($120) by Breezin' Performance. It's back-to-back powder suits from Roffe for Toiyabe Heli-Ski owner Jack Scantlin and Viki; his ($130), hers ($110). Apollonia's fitted parka ($50) by Monika Tilley for Levi Strauss has an elasticized waist to keep the powder out.

SIXTEEN PHOTOSMANNY MILLAN
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)