All of Alaska is filled with great terrain, but anyone who has heli skied Alaska knows that the abundance of snow means many no fly days. The Silverton Mountain Guides Northern Chugach zone near the Knik River is located a little further from the ocean and provides stellar terrain combined with clearing trends and plenty of sunshine due to the geographic location. However when it clears at the coast, we are in an ideal position to line up the coastal spines. The zone contains an incredible amount of ski terrain with multiple weather microclimates within the “Banana Belt” of Alaska.
The Northern Chugach Mountains have more favorable weather than Alaska’s coast where most Alaska heli skiing is based. Mid March through April can have better weather than many other times of year in Alaska and some of the all-time best skiing. This zone gets deep snow and the clearing trends can be more reliable than near Valdez, Cordova, or Haines providing better odds for more skiing and less time dealing with the inclement weather that Alaska is famous for.
Your location makes a difference when it comes to the weather. The further you are from the ocean, the more sunshine you will typically find. This normally allows opportunities to get into the air and be heli skiing / heli snowboarding while someone located elsewhere may be grounded with weather. The coast provides some unique terrain features however, and we are fully able to access the coastal terrain from our locations.
Our Petersburg Alaska zone location is one of the wettest places on the planet. If you thought the Chugach gets lots of snow, oh boy! A place that snows that much requires great tree skiing, and Petersburg has it. Old growth forests, combined with areas that have been clear cut for logging provide great tree skiing options when the alpine is on lockdown.
Petersburg has huge runs, massive glaciers, and runs over 9,000′ high. This is substantially higher than most Alaska heli skiing which allows for light snow and long runs.