H2O Heliski Guides - Valdez
Heliskiing with H2O allows for a skiing experience like nowhere else. The unique consistency of the snowpack makes it possible to ski the steepest slopes in powdery snow. The challenges are there, so is the experience of the guiding team. With high emphasis on safety and qualitative unique adventures the H2O team assists to expierence so far unaccessible terrain. Experience matters! The fantastic possibilities help demanding heliskier’s/snowboarder’s dreams come true.
Less known but worthwhile mentioning: Around Valdez and within the H2O skiing territory there are also less difficult and mellow runs to be enjoyed within an impressive mountain and glacier scenery. A program of medium difficulty levels, therfore, is absolutely possible. Extralight poweder skiing as in Canada, however, is due to the steep mountainsides rarely possible. There is no tree skiing, however, a great variety of down day programs exists.
Accomodation is included. Respective counseling is recommended.
With H2O Heliski Guides, you have access to all the terrain that Valdez and the surrounding mountains have to offer. No other operator can say this. H2O’s permits through the BLM and the US Forest Service provide you with a gateway to over 2.6 million acres, more than any other operator in the world. With nine unique staging locations we access good snow when other operators cannot. H2O Heliski Guides earned these permits through a competitive process because of their experience, safety record and respect for the environment.
See Counseling and contact us for more information!
Heli & safety
Dean Cummings played a critical role pioneering helicopter skiing in Alaska and has been guiding in the Chugach Range since 1990. With ski mountaineering experience on all seven continents and in every major mountain range on the planet, the guides bring diverse backgrounds and talents to the H2O team. Fully certified professionals in the field, everyone at H2O is committed to providing a safe, fun, and educational experience.
H2O Guides have the best safety record in the industry hands down. The H2O guides maintain this high level of safety with recurrent guide training and strict adherence to the operating protocols. H2O Heliski Guides policies allow them to be conservative with weather and their snow safety program is cutting edge with full time avalanche forecasters on staff.
H2O operates in the Chugach Range surrounding Valdez in South Central Alaska
Getting there is easier and more affordable than you might think. Major airlines connect to Anchorage daily. Try to arrive before 4 pm on a Saturday. This way you can catch the last commuter flight to Valdez on either Grant Aviation or ERA Aviation. This 40-minute commuter flight is a great opportunity to view peaks as far as the eye can see. Be sure to get a window seat on the left side and have your camera ready.
Confirm airline reservations in advanced to secure the best rates. The major airline carriers include Delta, American, Alaska, United, Northwest and Continental.
Motorhomes work great for a Valdez base camp. Excellent mobility and comfort are some of the benefits, and waking up at the foot of the Range is truly spectacular. You and your group are welcome to park your RV in H2O's large parking lot at the Mountain Sky. Talk with the friendly staff at ABC Motorhomes and let them know you'll be flying with H2O!
Be prepared to be blown away by the mountains that surround you.
- Upon your arrival, H2O Guides will greet you at the Valdez airport, assisting with baggage
- It's a 5 minute drive from the airport to the hotel, where guides will have the opportunity to point out nearby mountain names and places to eat, as you soak in the charm of the city of Valdez.
- At the hotel, guides will assist with your luggage while you check into your rooms and catch a quick bite to eat from the snack bar.
7:00pm - 9:00pm
- Everyone meets in the conference room at the hotel. Guides and staff are introduced, while necessary paperwork is handed out and filled in.
- The director of operation discusses the daily schedule and answers any logistical questions about day to day activities.
- Once the paperwork is out of the way, a lead guide begins to discuss the Mountain Safety Briefing, where you are taught how to use the equipment required to access remote glaciated terrain. This includes:
- Introduction to Mountain Terms
- H2O Backcountry Travel Protocols
- Beacon Rescue Orientation
- Hands-on Beacon Search (Outdoors)
- Once you find the hidden beacon and all questions are answered, its time to hit the sack and get plenty of rest for the following days activities.
- One other step before you can fly is to make sure everyone gets a helicopter briefing. This covers how to get in and out of the helicopter, which red buttons not to push, and what to do in case of an emergency.
- This is either done on the night of arrival after your pick up at the airport, or the next morning before you fly.
Packages & prices
- 6 days skiing (plus extra day for weather)/ 7 nights lodging
Longer Packages Available on Request.
- Unlimited runs and verticals a day, an average of 20,000 vertical feet, on over 1,000,000 (one million) acres of permitted terrain
- A personal greeting at the Valdez Airport by H2O's friendly staff
- Ground transportation in Valdez, AK
- The best big mountain equipment available: H2O Outdoor Gear Skis, SCOTT poles, Black Diamond harness, Ortovox 3+ digital transceiver and Ortovox probes, shovels, and heli day packs.
- H2O's shared knowledge of the latest advancements in backcountry techniques and etiquette.
- Lodging at the Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn located in the heart of Valdez (depending on package)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinners (depending on package)
- Partial Travel Insurance
- Tips for pilots and guides
- Accommodation and meals, depending on package
- Flights and other travel cost
- Additional travel and other insurance