Photo: Dan Milner

Valdez

Founded in the 90’s by Alaskan steep skiing pioneer Doug Combs this was one of the original Alaskan heli-ski operations.

We first walked through the door of the Tsaina Lodge in spring 1998 having just driven 3,500 km through British Columbia and the Yukon. Greeted by the buz of helicopters and the warm smiling faces of Doug and Emily Coombs there was no question we had stumbled on the right place.

Today the Tsaina Lodge has a benefitted from a major facelift. Helicopters are parked just metres from the boot room and it is one of only a few heli-ski operations in the world to benefit from awesome skiing right back to the front door.

With warm, moist air flowing off the Pacific and mixing with the cooler arctic air of the Alaskan interior the resulting snow conditions in the Chugach Mountains are nothing short of epic. Nearly sixteen metres (50 feet) fall here every winter forming a stable, maritime snowpack and allowing steeper lines to be skied which other heli-ski operations can only dream of.

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The Lowdown

Steep Skiing Mecca

With their unique snow conditions and topography the Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez are a steep powder skiing mecca. With huge dumps of maritime snow plastered onto steep imposing peaks there is nowhere quite like it. When the stars align...

Strategically Located Lodge

Located at the summit of the Thompson Pass Tsaina Lodge is the most strategically located heli-ski lodge in Valdez. Lower down the pass towards town valley cloud can keep others grounded but with runs a mere two minutes flight from the lodge and ending right back at it, here you are able to take advantage of even the briefest weather windows.

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