People come from all over the world to experience the beauty that is Alaska. Skiers come to Alaska for the amazing mountains and huge snowfalls that blanket them.
When storms come rolling in off the Pacific Ocean one of the first things they run into are the Chugach Mountains, this is one of the reasons the mountains receive so much snow. The consistent snowfall allows for great skiing all winter and spring long. The best time to come heli skiing is the time that fits your schedule. You will find great conditions from our opening day till we button up the helicopter at the end of the season. Kenai Heli Ski offers trips February, March, April, and even into May.
There is nothing average about Alaska, so coming up with snowfall averages can be tricky. The mountains rise right up from the ocean, so snowfall totals increase dramatically with elevation gain. It is common for yearly snowfall totals well in excess of 600 inches (1524 cm) or more above 3000 feet (915 meters) in the Chugach Mountains. Let’s put it this way, it snows a lot here. At Kenai Heli Ski the elevation band we spend most of our time skiing in is typically between 2500 feet (762 meters) and 8500 feet (2590 meters). Lack of snow or powder skiing is rarely on our minds.
Expect all kinds of weather while skiing with us. We would love to say that every day is thigh deep, blower powder without a cloud in the sky. We have plenty of days that fit this description, but we want you to be dressed accordingly and prepared for what mother nature throws our way.
Alaska is not a cold, dark place like many people may think or have been told. We are located near the coast, and the ocean does an amazing job of providing us with moisture for large, and consistent snowfalls, as well as moderating our winter temperatures. During your stay you can generally expect temperatures during the day of 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to 0 degrees Celsius). This will change a bit as winter transitions into spring, the influence of weather, elevation, if we are on a glacier, and whether we are in the sun or shade.
Daylight hours average; 11 hours for the month of February and 16 hours for April.
The better the weather (clear, calm to light wind, cold/cool) the better it is for flying and skiing. Helicopters and pilots are not keen on flying when they can’t see where they are going, this holds true for your guide as well. Helicopters need to see where they are flying-if the cloud ceiling is low, the light is very flat, or the visibility is poor you cannot fly a helicopter for safety reasons. Strong and gusty winds can also prohibit helicopters from flying. When you live in a place where it snows a lot you will get days when you cannot fly. These are often called “down days” in the heli ski world. And yes, there is a fair chance that a snowstorm or unsettled weather will prevent you from flying at some point during your trip. That is how we get powder skiing-from snowstorms. Do not fret too much, we typically have plenty of daylight hours, as well as one of the best credit and refund policies in the industry to help with this process.
Helicopters are safe, fast, nimble, and reliable machines. We will always do our best to find the highest quality skiing we can. We can fly from the coast to deep into the heart of the mountains working with, and around the weather.
The snow quality in Alaska is truly amazing. The large amount of snowfall allows a deep snowpack that encompasses terrain for first time powder skiers to those who are looking for jaw dropping steeps. Though our terrain is relatively close to the ocean our snow is light and dry. Alaska is known for having the same quality of snow from your first turn at the top of the mountain to the same mind blowing powder at the bottom where the helicopter is waiting for you to take you on your next run.