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Valdez Heli-Ski Guides

Do whatever it takes: refinance your home, sell your kidney, get a telemarketing job. But at some point in your life, you need to go heli-skiing in Alaska. Here are photos from a day with Valdez Heli-Ski Guides—to show you why it's worth saving for.

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When Doug Coombs opened Valdez Heli Ski Guides in 1993, it was the first heli-ski outfitter in Alaska. Now owned and operated by Scott Raynor, VHSG…

When Doug Coombs opened Valdez Heli Ski Guides in 1993, it was the first heli-ski outfitter in Alaska. Now owned and operated by Scott Raynor, VHSG has access to over 2,500 square miles of glaciated terrain, with one run as long as 6,200 vertical feet (it’s called the Diamond, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to ski off the top). You can book single-day packages starting at $925 (for six runs) or all-inclusive weeklong packages from $7,640. Find out more or book a trip at Valdezheliskiguides.com.

The helicopter waits for guide Dylan Freed to load up.

The helicopter waits for guide Dylan Freed to load up.

Dylan Freed, a guide at Valdez Heli Ski Guides, gives the safety talk before flying.

Dylan Freed, a guide at Valdez Heli Ski Guides, gives the safety talk before flying.

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Kirsten Kremer has been working at Valdez Heli Ski Guides since 1996—and she hasn't missed a season since. Among other accomplishments, she has flown…

Kirsten Kremer has been working at Valdez Heli Ski Guides since 1996—and she hasn’t missed a season since. Among other accomplishments, she has flown a paraglider off the North Face of the Augille de Midi in Chamonix; climbed first ascents in Yosemite Valley; skied first descents on Denali; and won the World Extreme Freeskiing Championships. She lives in a bus in the parking lot at Valdez Heli Ski Guides.

Watch out for your sluff—fast-moving snow that gets triggered on steep slopes. The guides at Valdez Heli Ski Guides will give you pointers on how to…

Watch out for your sluff—fast-moving snow that gets triggered on steep slopes. The guides at Valdez Heli Ski Guides will give you pointers on how to manage your sluff and stay as safe as possible.

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Before the heli-skiing, there's always going to be some waiting around. In this photo, Paul Kimbrough kills time outside the Valdez Heli-Ski Guides…

Before the heli-skiing, there’s always going to be some waiting around. In this photo, Paul Kimbrough kills time outside the Valdez Heli-Ski Guides tent waiting for his turn to load the chopper. Due to weather, wind, avalanche conditions, and a number of other variables, there are a lot of down days in Valdez. You’ll spend them playing cards in your hotel room or watching ski movies on the TV up at Valdez Heli Ski Guides. Plan for it and bring a good book.

Another day at the office: Guide Dylan Freed leaves the staff building at Valdez Heli Ski Guides.

Another day at the office: Guide Dylan Freed leaves the staff building at Valdez Heli Ski Guides.

Don't bother paying airline baggage fees to carry your skis all the way to Alaska. They're probably not wide enough for the Chugach powder anyway.…

Don’t bother paying airline baggage fees to carry your skis all the way to Alaska. They’re probably not wide enough for the Chugach powder anyway. Instead, rent a pair of rockered K2 Darksides in Valdez Heli Ski Guides’ fleet of K2 powder-ski rentals. One pair of skis for the week will cost you $200.