Alaska's weather conditions can be quite finicky so be prepared to wait for a clear day to ski or ride. Overall the experience was great, Kevin was an excellent guide and the helicopters/pilots they contracted from Temsco are professionals. The price was right for the small group of only 4-5 ppl at $150 per run. However, I am used to other heli operations where they cater a bit more to the customer, like having free water/non-alcoholic drinks in between runs and providing lunch on the mountain. I don't mind packing my own food and water for the day, but it's just those little perks that would have made this a 5 star experience. I would have also enjoyed a little more challenging terrain, but the conditions didn't allow for us to get to those spots, so I assume there is much more to be had on a clearer day. Highly recommended Heli outfit and a must-do while in Jueau.
Whether you have Heli-skied all over the world, or its your first time-you need to go to Juneau and fly with these guys. I took my first Heli-ski trip with APD, and I have been back many times since. I have also brought friends and family to Heli-ski with APD. The guides are highly skilled, and experienced, and also personable. Its a tricky balance to make make a Heli-ski trip both safe and fun, and these guys nail it, and they do it professionally. The terrain and the snow are incredible, and the views are like no other place on earth. There is also other cool stuff to see and do in Juneau, and these guys (and gals) can point you in the right direction for an over-top total Alaska winter experience. There is also a great local ski area if you need to get your legs under you before you jump in the Heli. I put a lot of trust in this company-get to Juneau and go Heli ski with APD...before you kick the bucket.
My first trip to Alaska Powder Descents and Juneau was amazing. This was more than just a "ski trip." We certainly ski'd on some of the most breathtaking terrain, but also enjoyed staying at a breathtaking location with great staff. The facilities and guides also contributed to our remarkable experience. We'd never been able to do it without them. They really handled every detail with care. If you're a true skier(or boarder), then this is the place for you. Also, if you're a sea kayaking whale watcher who enjoys the occasional bald eagle against a background of Chilkat Mountain range, then this is the place for you also. Book now....will change your life. :)
I have heli-skied all over Alaska, and Backcountry skied all over the world. The terrain is world class and the guides are awesome. Chris was the consumate professional and definitely got us the goods.It doesn't matter what company you go with there is always time spent waiting for weather in AK. After many days of sitting around in the Chugach and Chillkats waiting for weather, having access to Eaglecrest Ski Area as well as all the Juneau infrastructure is a godsend and makes even the inevitable down time fun.For the value for money, things to do, and incredible skiing I will definitely be back. The Alaska Powder return policy means you never lose money with them, and when they can take the heli anywhere in a million acres with no other operator around you can't ask for more.
Very knowledgeable guides and skilled pilots are what define a good heli-ski company. Our guide, Chris, was fantastic and was spot on with detecting spots for potential avalanche danger and at the same time easily led us to the freshest powder. The territory that we explored on the two days out was just unspeakably amazing and Chris and our pilot knew it so well that we were spotting our next run as we were skiing the first.Highly recommend this company!
Thanks Owen, we're glad you enjoyed your time with us! Hope to see you again soon!
Ellen, thanks so much for your review! It's great to have you back this year!
What a phenomenal experience it was heli skiing with APD! I am a seasoned resort and backountry skier but this was my first time heli skiing and it went above and beyond all expectations. The Juneau area has a large range of terrain for the guides to choose from. My Guide was Chris Ekel and I could not begin to expression how wonderful he was. He's very focused on safety and having a good time. I always felt well informed of the situation which made the skiing more fun. He points out options for different ski levels which made for a great powder runs throughout the group. On top of all he is the greatest powder hound! He finds the pow pow!! The helicoptor pilot from temsco was very profession and could navigate that bird that it was his own hand! Top notch flighing!Overall I would highly recommend this to anyone who has the slightly inkling for wanting to have some great views and skiing fun!
I love to ski and I will say unequivocally that my trip to ski with APD was the crowning moment, the zenith...the pinnacle of my time spent skiing on this earth thus far. In fact, I would count the first 30 minutes- from walking out to the heli, taking off, flying over the peaks and ice fields, landing and then setting off on the first run- among the top 5 experiences of my entire life, and I have had some good ones. I did a considerable amount of research on the different companies that offer this in AK and found that APD seemed to be the best value from both an initial pricing standpoint as well as the fact they do not charge you for unused heli time. For people not familiar with heli skiing in AK this is critical as you are constantly gambling with the weather and whether or not you will even be able to fly. Example: I went for a 7 day trip and we were weathered out until the last two days before I had to leave. Incidentally, on those last two days it was as if the Almighty himself had banished every trace of clouds from the sky, added some deep blue to it, and silenced the wind as if to showcase what must be his greatest playground for skiers. Yes, be jealous, I had two solid blue bird days of Alaskan heli skiing after 4-5 days of snow. In just those two days we were able to pack in plenty of runs (you will not understand how taxing this type of skiing is on your legs until you do it) and make the trip more than worth the money. Also, on days you can't fly, you can ski Eaglecrest which I consider to be one, if not, THE coolest little ski areas I have ever been to, especially in that you can hike out to some terrain very similar to what you can access with a heli. So, you really do get a great bang for your buck but, to be fair, if you are looking to be served a luxurious hot meal on some mountain top with a bear skin rug and rabbit slippers this may not be the outfit for you. APD is really about maximizing your ski time and keeping you safe.Alright, so admittedly I am sure the any of the heli ski operations up there can get you to similar caliber skiing weather permitting, so let’s talk about the people. I spent the majority of my time with co-owner/guide Kevin Krein, guide Chris Ekel and Operations Manager Sammy Becker . Not only were these three just extremely cool people to hang out with both on and off the slopes, they were consummate professionals in the way of keeping you posted of weather conditions throughout your stay (you tend to get very anxious when you have been there 3-4 days and have not seen the inside of a heli), offering to educate you on any aspect of the industry and sport you cared to ask about and making sure you knew all of the different things you could do around and outside of town if you weren’t skiing. Any day we did not fly or ski Eaglecrest one of them would be there to take us around to different attractions around Juneau worth visiting. I considered them all friends by the end of the trip and that is hugely important to me. They offered more personal attention than one could ever need. They are not the type of operation that tries to squeeze in as many groups as possible and feed them through the system on a conveyor belt.In conclusion, I would highly recommend APD to anyone looking to get themselves a piece of Alaskan heli-skiing. I consider my experience with them the best money I have ever spent.-Scott Hays
Greg, we're so glad you were able to share your experience with your dad. We loved the video you posted of giving the gift of heli-skiing for the holidays. Hope to see you back again soon!