The helicopter is the ultimate mode of transport to ride to the top of the mountain if you have the desire to ski or board all the way back to the bottom. Its like hiring a flying limo to take you and your best friends out into the mountains for the ultimate adrenaline activity. Riding in a helicopter, landing on top of an untracked mountain and leaving fresh tracks in powder snow is the dream of many. Are you ready to create a memory to last a lifetime?
Valdez has four different operators to choose from - Alaska Rendezvous Guides (ARG), Alaska Snowboard Guides (ASG), Black Ops Valdez (BOV) and Valdez Heli Ski Guides (VHSG). Only the best guides are chosen to work at these operations and if you’re lucky you might just get one of the veteran guides who have been leading people down these mountains for over 20+ years.
Safety always comes first and you will be given a briefing about the helicopter and what to do in an emergency on the mountain. Avalanche backpacks with Beacon, shovel and probe are always supplied, though if you have your own it's best to use equipment you're familiar with as long as it's reliable. Bringing a helmet and a spare puffy just in case are also recommend.
Valdez is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains which covers over 250 miles and according to the Weather Channel and NOAA, Valdez is the snowiest city in the United States, with an average of almost 300 inches per year.
Valdez Alaska has been on the top of most skiers list for nearly three decades since we saw the likes of Doug Coombs and Dean Cummings making numerous first descents. Watching the sports superstars competing in the Extreme skiing championships which were held in Valdez during the 90’s was definitely an eye opener. Movie after movie came out with incredible footage filmed from the helicopter, of athletes both skiing and snowboarding, in the spectacular steep and deep mountains surrounding Valdez. Perfect powder on steep runs next to glacier blue ice became the dream of every skier. The 90’s was a unique era of big mountain skiing discovery and Valdez was at the heart of the excitement. The Chugach Mountains were claimed to have more skiable terrain than all the ski areas in North America combined. Powder lovers started to make an annual pilgrimage to the most extreme heli-ski destination in the world.
Contrary to popular belief heli-skiing in Alaska is not only for the top athletes who like to ski 60 degree slopes with mandatory cliff drops. The helicopter can take you to any mountain out there. Even the easy one that you want to ride with your kids.
When choosing where to go, Valdez has been known as the land of blue holes and tends to get more blue sky days than other areas due to the topography of mountains that tend to break up the clouds as the storm passes. In late February the storms are slowing and the blue sky daylight hours start to extend by over 5 minutes per day. March and April are the most popular months for Heli-skiing to ensure the best chance for powder snow and blue skies. Book a day or stay for a week or two at one of the luxury mountain lodges. Package deals including lodging and other activities are available.
Whether your dream is to drop a line on the biggest mountain, spend the day giggling after every face shot with your girl friends or taking the kids for the ultimate family adventure. Riding in a helicopter should be at the top of the list. If you’re ready to create the memory to last a lifetime then book some heli-ski/boarding to make your ultimate dream come true when you visit Valdez.