We integrate practical backcountry protocols with remote guided mechanized operations and the latest equipment, technologies, and techniques to provide you with a safer, higher level Alaska heliskiing adventure. You will receive comprehensive helicopter, avalanche transceiver, terrain, and operations briefings upon your arrival in Valdez as well as on-the-go instruction during daily heli-skiing operations. Our focus is on teamwork. We believe that continual communication with each other and choosing routes that give us the ability to stay visual and verbal with the whole group is essential.  

Our international team of guides receive rigorous training in remote guided mechanized operations, glacier travel, and high angle/crevasse rescue. All guides hold at minimum a Level 2 Avalanche card, and all are trained in medical care with EMT certification, Outdoor Emergency Care certification and/or Wilderness First Responder training. 

H2O Guides monitors weather, glaciers, and snow pack year round. We are the only operator that lives full time in Valdez. During our season we collect daily snow pit data and share observations on snow conditions with each other continuously. Our daily morning guide meetings and evening debriefings include discussions on weather, snow pack, and a variety of other topics that help us determine the regions to access where we will find the best weather and snow. 

H2O Guides accesses more regions and runs than any other operator. This gives us more flexibility to find better snow and weather conditions every day. We can fly minutes from Valdez or go deep into the Chugach Mountains in regions of the Chugach National Forest where no other operator is permitted for heli-skiing, offering you a safer, higher-level Alaska heliskiing experience. 

H2O Guides' Safety Record & Achievements:

  • Dean Cummings' award-winning Steep Life Protocols
  • Dean was voted avalanche educator of the year in 2012 and 2013 by his industry peers
  • First to launch avalanche avoidance education in the state of Alaska
  • Co-founded the North America Outdoor Institute
  • Works with and trains the National Ski Patrol on top-down route selection
  • Trained parajumpers in mountain travel and avalanche mitigation/rescue
  • Founded Be Snow Smart, a winter skills program for kids
  • Member of the SnowSports Industries America Backcountry Taskforce
  • Founded North America Mechanized Ski Guide Training in 2004 - the first specialized training of its kind