Dean Cummings—world champion skier, legendary big mountain guide, Alaska heli-skiing pioneer, environmental advocate, and family man—has dedicated his life to exploring the outdoors, to guiding others in the mountains, and to teaching people how to stay safer and take their skills to a higher level in their outdoors endeavors - this is Dean Cummings' The Steep Life.

"The Steep Life is about the risks we take as humans who are committed to getting in touch with nature and ultimately the protocols that help keep us safer, allowing us that sweet privilege. It's the privilege of living in the moment, filling your lungs with fresh air, feeling your heart pounding, blowing your mind with visuals, hearing the sounds of nature, getting after it, benefitting from it, and recognizing that we need to give back to protect and respect nature, wildlife, and access to the wilderness areas we love."  - Dean Cummings

Dean Cummings' first descent of Mount Francis in Valdez, Alaska, from the summit proper - photo by Eric Layton

Dean gives back by presenting his award-winning Steep Life Protocols outdoor education program to the public. Every fall/winter Dean’s Steep Life Tour visits cities, towns, ski shops, and theaters in multiple U.S. states. Dean's presentation covers topics including avalanche avoidance, terrain management, route selection, mountain safety, risk management, team-group emphasis, practical backcountry travel, glacier travel, wildlife avoidance, and respecting the environment. Dean will present in your shop, theater, school, office, or other venue.

The Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez, Alaska are the proving grounds for big mountain skiing and the foundation of Dean Cummings' The Steep Life. Since 1991 Dean has been dedicated to exploring and guiding in the Chugach and developing the protocols needed to safely access this terrain.