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Steep Heli Skiing: Exploring Alaska


If real thrills are what you’re searching for, heli skiing with Pure Powder is the way to go. We organise heli skiing trips all over the globe, tailoring each experience to your level of expertise. For the experienced skiers looking for an adrenaline rush, Alaska is the holy grail of pure skiing freedom.


Boasting 1, 500 square miles of pure untouched and ungroomed terrain, it goes without saying that heli skiing in Alaska is the adventure of a lifetime. Keep reading for a brief introduction to Alaska heli skiing as well as some frequently-asked questions answered by the Pure Powder team.


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Heli Skiing In Alaska: At A Glance


If remote wilderness skiing and small, speedy groups are up your alley, then heli skiing in Alaska may just be the ideal option for you. Needless to say, as the ultimate steep heli skiing destination, Alaska is not for the faint-hearted.


Due to the incredibly stable maritime snowpack, Alaska hosts some of the best steep heli skiing around. Accompanied by a trained mountain guide, you will be able to explore countless couloirs or ‘spines’ of fresh, deep, ungroomed powder.


If steep runs down the couloirs aren’t enough, there are also a number of locations available for prime big mountain skiing, perfect for carving long turns down the slopes.


Heli Skiing In Alaska: What To Expect


The wild slopes of Alaska are abundant with every possible ski line from wide open bowls to perfect those wide sweeping turns or more exhilarating steep slope skiing. This heli skiing destination will prompt you to push yourself, tackling steeper declines as you hone your skills on the majestic powder-laden slopes.


The untouched environment means deep, fresh powder that is suitable for even strong intermediate piste skiers. Piste skiing refers to skiing on groomed surfaces such as those at a resort – as opposed to off-piste skiing which refers to skiing on ungroomed terrain, fresh powder and the endless possibilities therein.


At Pure Powder, we offer a training programme to ensure that the introduction to heli skiing is a smooth, successful ride – preparing you for the ungroomed off-piste skiing that Alaska has to offer, which is some of the best in the world in our opinion.


Contrary to popular belief, heli skiing doesn’t always mean being dropped on sheer slopes for extreme runs into some seriously dangerous lines; it’s the pinnacle of enjoying Mother Nature in all her splendour – whether that be a fast steep line down the mountain or finding your own route through the powder at a pace you’re comfortable with. In this case, it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in the picturesque beauty that is the Alaskan landscape.


The sheer freedom provided by being dropped off in some of the most otherwise inaccessible parts of Alaska leaves a lasting impression. The endless possibilities are almost overwhelming. The deep, moist maritime snowpack provides the best stability for exploring these lines and if you so choose, pick an even steeper one. There is no shortage of it either with up to 600 inches of light snowfall every season in the Tordrillo Mountain Range specifically.


Moreover, you can expect the best possible service from us. With over 40 years of experience and an uninhibited passion for what we do, Pure Powder is here to offer continuous support before, during, and after your heli skiing adventure. Every trip is meticulously planned, and guests are briefed and coached in both the fitness and skill aspects of the trip before heading out on the expedition of a lifetime.




We operate all over the world, sourcing the best heli skiing experiences, meaning there are a number of options available to you and each trip is tailored to your needs and budget. We also make sure that you are in peak physical condition with our heli skiing training plan. This ensures that the chances of getting injured during the trip are significantly reduced and you are able to enjoy run after run without experiencing fatigue.


Once the trip is underway, depending on the location and package, your group will be taken to the most breathtaking parts of the Chugach and Tordrillo mountain ranges and dropped off to pioneer a path down the slopes.


When the day has come to an end you will be able to head to an intimate mountain lodge or town-based accommodation to rest and recuperate – the perfect opportunity to recharge mind and body (and camera batteries), bask in the afterglow of the day’s events, exchange stories, and share a meal in preparation for the day ahead.


When you book your heli skiing trip through Pure Powder, you can expect one of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime, filled with overcoming challenges, adrenaline rushes, and incomparable freedom.


Heli Skiing: Alaska Locations


The Tordrillo Range offers aggressive freshly packed couloirs or large open glacier terrain to suit the taste of experienced skiers. Small groups of skiers will be able to recline in the intimate Mountain Lodge which boasts a great list of amenities including a wood-fired hot tub to relax and unwind after a breathtakingly beautiful day of skiing.


The Tordrillo Range offers an unbelievably massive 1.2 million acres of terrain so you’ll never have to ski the same line twice. Skiers can also expect dry weather, clear skies and stable snow. What more could anyone ask for? Well, if that is not enough, there are runs in the range of up to 4,000 vertical feet, which will ensure you are anything but disappointed.


If town-based accommodation and the option of resort skiing as a backup for bad weather are more up your alley, the Chugach Mountain Range is accessible from the town of Girdwood. The Chugach Mountain Range offers a variety of possibilities when it comes to skiing, with over 700,000 acres of fresh powder waiting for you.


When your day of heli skiing has come to an end, you can return to the stunning Alyeska Hotel which provides the full Alaskan experience with a highly commended restaurant, before communing around a cosy fireplace to compare the day’s runs. We offer a number of options when it comes to heli skiing packages including the option of both a Resort and Heli Combo, in case you need a day on the groomed resort slopes or if the weather forces your hand.


These magnificent mountain ranges regenerate and follow their natural changes through the seasons with small numbers of skiers leaving a very small impact on the slopes. Heli skiing allows these slopes to remain in pristine condition, with a few lines in the powder from the day’s fun – as opposed to the crowded and groomed slopes of piste skiing where sheer volume and mechanical intervention leave a lasting impression on the environment.




Heli Skiing: A Brief Q&A


When Is The Best Time To Go Heli Skiing In Alaska?


This is a fairly common question and it’s vital to remember that any ski trip is highly weather dependent. That being said, the most common times for people to book trips in Alaska are generally from February when the snow can be a little more predictable.


March is the busiest time in Alaska with the weather generally holding stable into April. The days are the longest in April and can be a good time to get decent long runs in due to the fact that helicopters are able to fly until much later in the day.


It’s not unusual for the sun to set around 9 pm during this time frame. This does however only serve as a guide, it is not uncommon for the weather to change on a dime and make the conditions unsuitable.


What Ski Level Do I Need?


You don’t need to be an avid, extreme skier to partake in a heli skiing trip. We recommend that clients are, at the very least, strong intermediate piste skiers.


As a strong intermediate piste skier, you understand and have a firm grasp of the basics of skiing and it is merely a case of getting used to skiing on fresh powder – which can be challenging, but is also one of the most rewarding experiences once you’ve gotten the hang of it.


There will be a number of other skills which you would need to learn and our team are happy to coach you through the process. We believe in ensuring that everyone is far enough out of their comfort zone to have fun while remaining close enough to it to remain safe. When heli skiing in Alaska, it’s best to be prepared beforehand, as this location is slightly less forgiving than its counterparts.


What Should I Bring?


We advise that you pack as you would for any other ski trip, with a few extra layers and options for layering. It’s important to remember that you will be on the untouched slopes of Alaska and skiing through deep fluffy powder most of the time, which is why layering is important for staying warm on the mountains.


It goes without saying that a decent camera or GoPro is an absolute must as this is going to be an experience you’ll want to immortalise digitally. Besides, how else will you make sure your friends and followers believe the outrageous stories?


Do I Need Insurance?


The short answer is yes. As with anything in life, accidents happen and when they do, being insured will help you make the most of the situation. Our team endeavours to ensure the safest experience possible in every way possible, including providing the right training so that you are ‘ski fit’ for the adventure ahead. However, accidents still happen, so it’s best to secure insurance before heading out on your trip.


There are a number of insurance providers available, some of which you will be able to find on our website – just be sure to check that their policies cover everything you need.


About Pure Powder


Here, at Pure Power, we all share a burning passion for heli skiing and we aim to ignite that same passion in our clients.


Established in 1978, we have over 40 years of experience under our belts and strive to provide the best possible heli skiing experiences tailored to your needs and budget – with a focus on great service. As the largest heli ski specialist in the UK, you can rest assured that we are the right choice when booking your next big trip.


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