Skiers and snowboarders come to Alaska for the amazing mountains and huge snowfalls that blanket them. You will find great conditions from our opening day till we button up the helicopter at the end of the season. Majestic Heli Ski offers trips February, March, April, and even into May.
The Chugach Mountains are adjacent to the ocean and snowfall totals increase dramatically with elevation gain. It is common for yearly snowfall totals well in excess of 600 inches (1524 cm) above 3000 feet (915 meters). Let’s put it this way, it snows a lot here, and a lack powder skiing is rarely on our minds. The elevation band we spend most of our time skiing in is typically between 2500 feet (762 meters) and 8500 feet (2590 meters).
Alaska is not a cold, dark place like many people may think or have been told (average daylight; 11 hours for February and 16 hours for April). We are located near the coast, and the ocean does an amazing job of providing moisture for large, consistent snowfalls, as well as moderating winter temperatures. You can generally expect highs during the day of 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 to -1 degrees Celsius). This will change as winter transitions into spring, influences of weather, elevation, if we are on a glacier, and whether we are in the sun or shade.
Favorable weather (clear, calm/light wind, cold/cool) is optimum for flying and skiing. Pilots are not keen when they can’t see, this holds true for your guides as well. If the cloud ceiling is low, the light is flat, visibility is poor, winds are strong or gusty you cannot fly a helicopter for safety reasons. When you live in a place where it snows a lot you will get days when you cannot fly, these are often called “down days” in the heli ski world, this is how we get powder skiing; from snowstorms.
The snow quality in Alaska is amazing. The large amount of snowfall allows a deep snowpack that encompasses terrain for first time powder skiers to those who are looking for jaw dropping steeps. Though our terrain is relatively close to the ocean our snow is light and dry. Alaska is known for having the same quality of snow from your first turn at the top of the mountain to the same mind blowing powder at the bottom where the helicopter is waiting for you to take you on your next run.