Dean is featured in an 18-page spread in The Ski Journal. Read The Dean Cummings Protocol.


Dean Cummings' H2O Guides and Zeal Optics forge partnership kicking it off with #AccessTheGoods Heli-Ski Giveaway Contest.

Read the press release


Dean Cummings' Steep Life Protocols Tour events announced: Click on links below for details.

Dean Photo by Josh Cooley-057.jpg


Dean Cummings' H2O Guides is a pioneer of Alaska Helicopter Skiing. Company Founder and World Extreme Skiing Champion Dean Cummings started research and development of remote guided helicopter operations in the Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez in 1991. Dean was instrumental in establishing top-down terrain management protocol for heli-skiing steep, massively glaciated terrain that demands a higher level of protocol and technique. He officially launched H2O Guides in 1995.  

Today the H2O Guides Team of Alaska accesses 4,000 square miles of terrain including Chugach National Forest, BLM, and State lands, with more terrain and runs than any other operator in Alaska. We are the only operator with a special use permit to heli-ski in the Chugach National Forest between Valdez and Cordova.

We make history every season in Valdez by pioneering new regions and first descents with our guests. The Chugach Range surrounding Valdez is so remote and rugged that 98 percent of its topography is not named on USGS maps. H2O Guides is at the forefront of pushing ever deeper to ski and ride peaks and glaciers that have never been touched.



h2o facts

  • H2O's 24th-consecutive season launches Feb. 24, 2018.
  • We operate Eurocopter Astar B2 and B3 helicopters—the Ferrari of helicopters, ideal for remote guided aircraft operations in rugged mountainous terrain.
  • Heli-ski terrain that we access from Valdez and our multiple staging areas spans from the Shoup Glacier in the west to the Copper River in the east to Prince William Sound in the south to interior northern sections of the Chugach.
  • We are able to access more terrain than any other operator because we operate on the Chugach National Forest, BLM, and State lands.
  • H2O has logged thousands of Landing Zones and heli-ski runs in Alaska's Chugach.
  • The North America Mechanized Ski Guide Course held annually in Valdez was founded in 2004 by H2O Guides.


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