The Chugach mountains surrounding Valdez, Alaska possess the largest vertical relief for helicopter based skiing, and incredible snowfall amounts. This mountain range is approximately 250 miles long and 60 miles wide. While many of the mountains in the Chugach are not especially high, their position along the Gulf of Alaska contributes to some of the highest snowfall amounts in the world. Since the first descents were pioneered in the early 1990’s, Valdez continues to lead as the premiere heli skiing experience in Alaska.
Our location to the north of Thompson Pass, and 45 miles north of Valdez, gives us access to three different areas of mountains, covering more than 3,500 square miles. The weather at our location can be significantly different than other operators closer to Valdez. The traditional storm pattern clears from the north and allows us to fly while other Valdez heli ski operators are waiting for the weather to clear. Historically, we average 85% flyable days, significantly more than other locations within Alaska.
Thompson Pass, at 2,805 feet, is the snowiest recorded location in Alaska, with an average snowfall of 551.5 inches (1,401 cm) per year. It also holds the record for the most measured snowfall in a single day: 62 inches (160 cm) on Dec. 29, 1955.