We hold all of our staff to high levels of safety protocols and training. Our guides have a minimum Professional Avalanche training at Level 3, and Wilderness First Responder certification or better. Many of our staff are certified ski instructors and members of the National Ski Patrol.
We are passionate about not only safety, but educating our guests in Alaska, and everyone who spends time in snow-covered mountains around the world. With leadership comes responsibility.
No other heli-ski operation in Alaska is as devoted to the study of snow science and avalanches as Alaska Rendezvous. Each year, we host several of the foremost experts in the field in order to improve safety in heli ski operations. Results from that research are presented at renowned industry conferences, such as the International Snow Science Workshop. (See sidebar for video of the 2008 presentation.)
My opinion concerning avalanche mitigation has been based on real-world scenarios and has rarely followed popular convention. In my own field study of avalanches, I have observed patterns that represent possibilities for escape. By sharing these observations with others, we all can learn ways to avoid the full ride through the turbulence and destructive forces at the head of the slide.
At Alaska Rendezvous, our credo is: “We are all students of our environment, and we will never stop learning and never stop training.”
We are proud to work with Coastal Helicopters, an Alaskan Aviation company. Alaskan Aviators are diligent in their maintenance and operations of their aircraft. Their commitment to preventive maintenance and highly-qualified pilots make their ships our number one choice for flying in Alaska’s mountain environment. All helicopters are equipped with modified snow-landing gear, ski baskets, GPS, Emergency Locator Device, back-up VHF radio and emergency overnight cache.
Rendezvous, along with Coastal Helicopters, have a meticulous flight protocol, strictly followed by operations base, guides and pilots. Our communications use a high-powered 60-watt base radio and satellite phone as back up. All A-stars are capable of carrying four passengers, one guide, and the pilot, making your heli-ski mountaineering experience more intimate with a four guests to one guide ratio.
Avalanche Survival Strategies
Theo Meiners delivering his presentation at ISSW 2008 in Whistler. Be sure to view part 2 after watching part 1.
Controlled Cornice Break
View an actual cornice break in the Jackson Hole backcountry, triggered in a controlled environment by Theo Meiners.