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 in February until we button up the helicopter at the end of the season in May.
The Chugach Mountains are adjacent to the ocean, and snowfall totals increase dramatically with elevation gain. Yearly snowfall totals are typically in excess of 500 inches (1270 cm) above 3000 feet (915 meters). It snows a lot, and a lack of 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 imagine (average daylight; 11 hours for February and 16 hours for April). 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). Of course, as winter transitions into spring, temperatures are generally on the warmer side of that range. You can also expect temperatures to vary day to day based on influences of weather, elevation, and whether we are in the sun or shade. If we are skiing on glaciers, expect slightly cooler temperatures.
What If The Weather Is Bad?
This is Alaska, and it does snow here. A lot. Our location is slightly inland of other operators and at a higher elevation, and we generally enjoy more flyable days than any other Alaskan operation. However, there are occasional days when we cannot fly. These are often called “down days” in the heli ski world. They are inconvenient but necessary for spectacular powder skiing. If the weather prevents us from flying we have a snowcat as our skiing Plan B. Additional activities to entertain you may include ice climbing, cross country skiing, wildlife viewing, or glacier tours. You can also relax and enjoy the scenery and serenity of our lodge. Maybe you can sneak in a massage or a yoga session.
Terrain and Snowpack
Our deep snowpack offers amazing turns for everyone from first time powder skiers to those who are looking for jaw dropping steeps. Alaska is known for having consistent, high-quality snow. Though our terrain is relatively close to the ocean, our snow is light and dry. You can expect to get the same mind-blowing powder from your first turn at the top of your run to your last turn at the bottom!