alaska heli-skiing trip FAQs

Please contact us if you have any more questions or concerns.

Pulseline was founded by a group of veteran Alaska heli guides with decades of combined experience guiding in Alaska including the Chugach National Forest terrain, the Chilkat Range, the Tordrillo Mountains, and the western Chugach Mountains. We provide world-class heli-skiing and operate sustainably through partnerships with local communities and businesses, land-agency partners, and we acknowledge that the lands where we operate are the traditional regions of the Chugach People of Alaska. Pulseline offsets CO2 emissions for all motorized travel and offers living wages for guides and employees. Our vision is to enable the bold to seek adventure while knowing themselves more deeply as part of the natural places they play in.

We’ve selectively chosen an incredible group of experienced heli-guides. We’re safety focused and pride ourselves on providing incredible skiing experiences utilizing a vast amount of permitted terrain.

Pulseline was awarded the coveted Chugach National Forest Special Use Permit by the Cordova Ranger District in 2021. This permit gives us and only two other operators heli-skiing use of 800,000 acres of Forest Service terrain - or what we like to call The Holy Grail. These vast regions in the Forest Service often hold more snow, get less wind, and have absolutely beautiful ski terrain.

We’re also permitted by the State of Alaska DNR and the Bureau of Land Management (approximately 2,000,000 combined acres of terrain). Our bountiful permitted terrain gives Pulseline perhaps the largest heli-skiing tenure on the planet. This means you get more terrain options along with our experienced guides who work hard to find you the best possible snow and skiing options while prioritizing your safety.

All of our guides are trained in emergency care and most have current EMT certifications. Additionally, our Chief Guide is a licensed Physician’s Assistant.

We require that all of our guides have at least a professional level 2 avalanche certification. Many of our guides are avalanche course instructors and work as operational leads for avalanche forecasting operations, ski patrol, and other guide operations.

Pulseline is a professional avalanche forecasting operation. We observe and record weather and snowpack data in Alaska starting in the fall when the annual snowpack begins all the way through the conclusion of the season. During our daily morning guide meetings we have a comprehensive discussion on weather and snowpack to develop an avalanche forecast and strategic mindset for the day. Guides collect snowpit and weather data each day during heli-skiing operations to aid in developing our avalanche and snow safety forecasts.

Each guest completes our indoor safety briefing and outdoor avalanche safety briefing including demonstrations and hands-on practice using your avalanche transceiver to search for a buried transceiver, and proper probing and digging techniques to extract a buried transceiver.

Pulseline is ideally based in Valdez, Alaska - the core of the Chugach Mountains and the epicenter of the heli-skiing universe. Valdez is the launch pad to the snowiest, most glaciated mountains in Alaska with the world’s deepest annual snowpack and virtually unlimited skiing and snowboarding terrain.

The Chugach Range is 250 miles long and 60 miles wide, but the regions surrounding Valdez in the south-central portion of the range offer the best snow, greatest diversity of terrain, and ease of helicopter access. From Valdez we have ski terrain in every direction with dozens upon dozens of operational zones and an ocean of peaks to explore.

This vast section of the Chugach Range features a maritime snowpack that’s generally more stable than most other mountain ranges in Alaska and the Lower 48. This unique glacially-chilled powder paradise is more protected from rain and warm temperatures that often wreak havoc on snow in other maritime climates. Thousands of square miles of glaciers and cold microclimates contribute to immense snowfall and premium powder snow.

The Chugach receives stupendous amounts of snow that stacks up ultra deep making it possible to ski astonishing terrain. We access all of the iconic Alaska terrain that you’re seeking including big ramps, panels, couloirs, and spines, with aprons that taper down to gigantic glaciers where a helicopter waits to bump you up to a summit.

Plus there’s bountiful moderate terrain for intermediate to advanced skiers and riders - visualize skiing untracked powder for miles and miles down a glacial valley. It’s mind boggling.

Our helicopters combined with our knowledgeable, seasoned Alaska guide team deliver you to the goods. It’s our honor to guide you in the Chugach.

Snow is an inexhaustible resource in Valdez and the surrounding Chugach Mountains; this is the snowiest region in Alaska and perhaps the world thanks to its ideal geographic location, excessive maritime precipitation, mountainous topography that enhances orographic snowfall, extensive glacial-refrigeration effect, and other key factors. Storms in the northern Gulf of Alaska generate bountiful snowfall over the South Central Chugach Mountains all winter, and when the oceanic firehose aims at Valdez, we often measure storm snow accumulation in meters.

Valdez, at sea level, averages 327 inches of snowfall annually (twice as much as Haines) according to U.S. Climate Data. Glaciated alpine zones easily receive at least double or triple that amount - likely more during big snow seasons. Measuring the depth of the annual snowpack in remote regions of the Chugach is virtually impossible (it’s too deep!), thus it's unknown exactly how much snow accumulates seasonally in remote locales. However, thousands of square miles of extreme glaciation throughout our heli-skiing terrain demonstrates the magnitude of annual snowfall that extends back centuries and continues today. And based on our own observations over the past 15 years, we attest that this is indeed the deepest annual snowpack we’ve seen anywhere throughout our careers guiding in mountain ranges around the world.

Valdez is a small coastal community in South-Central Alaska on the northeast edge of Prince William Sound. The town is located at the head of a deep glacier-carved fjord that extends 11 miles from Prince William Sound literally into the Chugach Mountains. Towering mountains laden with snow and glaciers completely surround Valdez; peaks rise more than 5,000 vertical feet straight out of the ocean.

You’ll enjoy the variety of amenities available in Valdez during your heli-skiing trip. You can easily walk from the Totem Hotel to numerous amenities around town including restaurants, shops, Safeway (with a liquor store), Rogue's Garden (cafe and organic foods), Valdez Food Cache (groceries and beer), The Coffee Company, Growler Bay Brewing, Valdez Brewing, The Prospector (gear outfitter), Prince William Sound College Health & Fitness Center, the Post Office, Valdez Rock Wall Gym, museums, Valdez Small Boat Harbor, Port of Valdez Ferry Terminal, Duck Flats, and more. Valdez has a community-centric vibe, an easy going pace of life, and jaw-dropping scenery in every direction.

While Valdez offers delightful conveniences and provisions, a rich natural and cultural history, huge diversity of wildlife, and striking beauty, you're ultimately traveling here to go heli-skiing in the renowned Chugach Mountains. And we've got it dialed in with our huge amount of permitted terrain, handpicked guide team, and intimate knowledge of these mountains. Quite simply, nothing compares. We’re excited to share the profound and thrilling experience of heli-skiing in the Chugach with you!

Our Astar AS350 helicopters launch from Valdez Pioneer Field - a five-minute drive from town. Valdez is ideally located for our helicopters to access prime heli-ski terrain spread out across thousands of square miles. To access our outlying terrain, we have remote fueling areas that reduce flight times.

You don’t need to be an extreme or expert skier or snowboarder to have the trip of a lifetime with Pulseline in Alaska. Pulseline accesses terrain that ranges from super mellow cruisers to extreme. However, this isn’t a trip for beginners or lower-level intermediates. To fully enjoy this trip, your skiing or snowboarding ability should be at least advanced. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about ability.

Many large ski resorts have several thousand acres of terrain. We access millions of acres of terrain with no parking garages, no crowds, no lift lines, no moguls - just an ocean of snowy peaks and endless untracked powder slopes. Most of our terrain is so remote that helicopters provide the only practical access. That’s where Pulseline excels. We have the long-time experience, knowledge, and skills to guide you in the Chugach Mountains. Forget the hassles of the typical ski resort vacation and join Pulseline in Alaska for the unforgettable ski vacation that you’ve been dreaming about.

Click the link “Trip Options” at the bottom of the page. Fill out the form or call us.

  1. A deposit of at least 50% of the total trip cost is required to reserve your trip when reserving more than 60 days before the trip commencement.
  2. Full payment is required by Jan. 15, 2024. If full payment is not received by Jan. 15, 2024, Pulseline reserves the right to sell your seat(s) to another party (we'll contact you in advance to remind you that your full payment date is drawing near).
  3. If - for any reason - you cancel your trip, and we’re unable to sell your seats, or you’re unable to find a replacement, there’ll be no refunds or credits given – no exceptions.
  4. If booking a trip after Jan. 15, 2024, 100% of the trip cost is due to make the reservation and confirm your seat(s) on the helicopter and your hotel accommodations.
  5. If you book with fewer than 4 people, other guests may reserve any open seats (we cannot hold seats without a deposit).
  6. No guest may go heli-skiing if there is a balance due.
  7. All guests must sign our Assumption of Risk Agreement and Release of Liability form before they may fly.
  8. All guests must either purchase trip insurance or sign a form that signifies you understand our “no refunds/no credits for any reason” policy and opt out of trip insurance.
  9. All guests must sign our Overage Billing Authorization Form and provide their credit card information before heli-skiing (see below) - this will be done during orientation in Valdez, and Pulseline will destroy your credit card information following your departure.
  10. Due to the limited number of rooms available at the hotel, if booking single for a package that includes lodging, you must pay the single occupancy lodging upgrade for a single room; if you have an odd number of guests in your group, one person must upgrade to single occupancy lodging - or the cost of a single room must be split amongst everyone in the group.

Our Freeskier programs typically have three groups that share a helicopter. Our Private & Semi-Private programs have one and two groups respectively sharing the helicopter.

But there are other differences:

The goal of our Freeskier program is to ski excellent snow in a safe, enjoyable, and reasonably efficient manner for all 3 groups. This means that Freeskier groups usually ski terrain closer to the airport or one of our remote refueling areas, rather than our more remote zones. Additionally, Freeskier groups generally ski variations from several established Landing Zones in one region/operating zone (or valley) each day, and don't access new Landing Zones each run or switch regions over the course of a day (as is possible in our Private and Semi-Private programs).

Generally, Freeskier groups will ski untracked snow every run and won’t ski over other tracks, but there may be visible tracks on the mountain from other groups. In some cases you may need to ski over previous tracks directly off the Landing Zone before branching out to access untracked snow. Many of our Landing Zones have a variety of potential ski descents and routes off the summits - often catering to different abilities. A Landing Zone is similar to a chairlift at a ski area: from the top you can often access runs that are more difficult and others that are easier (and of course Alaska heli runs are generally much bigger and longer without the crowds). Even if you’re the fourth or tenth chair that day, there is often bountiful untracked snow for you to rip on each run.

Each day we choose the operating zone(s) based upon a variety of factors including snow quality, avalanche conditions, weather, individual abilities in all three groups, group weights, targeted efficiency, and other variables.

In the Freeskier groups, we’re happy to listen to your requests, however it’s not always possible to take every guest's specific requests into account each day, as our goal is to provide all 12 guests (often with differing goals or ability levels) who are sharing the helicopter with a safe and enjoyable day of skiing.

Some guests come to Valdez as single skiers and others with groups of 2-4, but ultimately everyone is sharing the same resource - the helicopter - and the guides do their best to get high quality and fun skiing for everyone while focusing on safety.

There may be opportunities in the Freeskier programs to ski steeper, more technical runs occasionally, but the primary focus is simply to have fun while staying safe, and not necessarily to ski the most difficult or challenging lines in the range. One thing is consistent amongst our guide team - we all love to ski and share the Chugach Mountains with you. If your focus is to have fun in remote uncrowded mountains skiing powder with friends and family, we’re confident that our Freeskier program will be a great match for you at our most economical cost.

Feel like stepping it up? Then our Private and Semi-Private heli-ski programs are designed to provide more flexibility and options that are not typically available with Freeskier groups. These packages both include 10.5 hours for the week split by the number of groups. With fewer groups utilizing a helicopter, there is much more flexibility each day like moving operating zones throughout the day, establishing more technical landings, and skiing steeper, more technical lines.


The Semi Private program has a maximum of 8 skiers in two groups (with 2 guides); the two groups come separately but share the helicopter. This provides more options, depending on each group’s objectives. We can operate more efficiently in our closer operating zones achieving greater run counts; we can traverse the range establishing new runs each time; or we may have more opportunities to ski steeper, more technical runs when conditions and abilities allow.

If you have a group of four and would prefer the Semi Private option, please contact us, as we’re often able to match two separate semi-private groups. Although we’ll do our best to match groups with similar skill levels and objectives in the Semi Private, we don’t guarantee that abilities and goals will perfectly align.

The best option remains getting 8 friends or family together that you know well and want to ski with and reserving a full Private. A full Private (8 skiers with 2 guides) gives you the ultimate in freedom and flexibility including fewer fuel runs needed so that you can potentially fly much further and explore more of the range. We can often fly to the limits of our operating zones and return without refueling.

Another great benefit of the full Private is that the pace is really up to you and the conditions since the helicopter waits at the bottom of each run for your exclusive groups. With two guides and just 8 guests sharing one exclusive helicopter, our steepest, most technical lines can become options when conditions and abilities allow.

A Private also offers a more relaxing experience, as your group is making all of the decisions. Feel like having a two-hour lunch on a glacier in the sun? Not a problem. Want to ski as many runs as your legs can handle? Absolutely. Feel like skiing peaks all the way to Cordova or Girdwood and back? Let’s go.

The best way to assure you’ll be in a group that matches your ability and objectives is to bring three friends or family members with you to Valdez, as we typically fly with four guests and a guide in each group. If you’re focused on skiing big, technical, steep lines (if conditions allow), you’ll need to book a Semi Private or Private.

All of our guests self-report their ability levels when booking with us, and we help combine groups as needed. We do our best to match like-minded and similarly skilled individuals based upon the self-reported information we receive, however, we can’t guarantee that this will always be possible or will occur. In certain cases, guests may overestimate their ability or fitness levels when they self report. Furthermore, any open seat in a Freeskier group may be booked by anyone who meets our minimum level of ski ability.

Due to potential safety concerns, your guide will choose terrain based upon the level of the lowest level skier in any group (including Private and Semi Private groups). Additionally, the skiing ability level of the other groups sharing the aircraft can limit the terrain choices available to the other groups in the aircraft.

Refund & Credit Policy

The refund and cancellation policy applies for all situations - no exceptions!

At Pulseline Alaska we pride ourselves on providing the highest-qualified guides and pilots, and ensuring that multiple A-Star helicopters are available during our heli-skiing season so that our guests have the opportunity to ski in the Chugach Mountains. We’re a small guide owned and operated company and commit to these expenses many months in advance of the season, based upon our reservations and deposits each year.

We work hard to have everything prepared when you arrive to deliver the best possible heli-skiing and backcountry skiing experience when it’s “go time.” The things we cannot control are weather and snow conditions. 

Due to the fact that we’ve already paid for most of the expenses in advance, there are no cash refunds for any reason.


Credit toward a future trip with Pulseline will be given for the full value of your deposit, if the cancellation is made (120) one hundred and twenty days or more before your scheduled arrival. 

50% of your deposit will be credited toward a future trip with Pulseline if the cancellation is made (90) ninety days or more before your scheduled arrival. 

No credit will be given for cancellations within 90 days of your scheduled arrival.

Pulseline may cancel, change, or re-schedule a trip without notice at any time, for any reason; your deposit may be credited for a future trip with Pulseline if this happens. 

Pulseline retains the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for reasons including but not limited to: being a danger to yourself or others; causing a disturbance; failure to follow guide directions or company policies; poor fitness; being under the influence of alcohol/drugs; signs or symptoms of illness; or inadequate skiing/snowboarding ability - with no credit or refund.

“No Fly Day” Credit

If there are “no fly days” due to weather, high avalanche conditions, mechanical issues, or other factors that prevent you from using all of your pre-purchased flight time (“Hobbs hours”) included in your package during your reserved dates, you have two options: 

  1. Use 100% of your unused flight time during the remainder of the current season (if there are available seats with a suitable group)  
  2. Receive a credit for 50% of your unused flight time (@ $1,500/hour) to be applied towards a future Pulseline Alaska heli-skiing trip within two years - to use your credit, you must purchase a trip which is offered in that heli-season 

There shall be no credit or refund for any lodging or food due to long-term commitments. We suggest that you purchase travel insurance soon after booking your trip (within 10 days after booking) to cover any unforeseen costs due to a trip cancellation.

Hobbs is the actual flight time that is tracked by the Hobbs meter onboard the helicopter. The meter begins tracking when the pilot raises the collective and begins to fly. This alters the pitch of the rotor blades simultaneously (collectively) and causes the helicopter to lift. The meter is running while the aircraft is flying.  The meter pauses when the helicopter is on a Landing Zone/Pickup Zone or during fueling when the collective is down. Even when the blades are spinning, if the collective is down, the Hobbs meter is paused.

All of our heli-ski packages include a set amount of pre-purchased Hobbs hours. For example, our 7-day Freeskier packages include 4.0 Hobbs hours. Each tenth of one hour equals six minutes of flight time. So, for example, 0.5 Hobbs hours equates to 30 flight minutes as shown on the Hobbs meter in the helicopter.

Groups sharing a helicopter in a Freeskier package split the Hobbs time each day, as reasonably determined by Pulseline. Generally this Hobbs time is shared pro rata based upon the number of runs each group gets that day as discussed in more detail below.

We record the Hobbs start time at the beginning of the day, and the end Hobbs time once the helicopter returns to base. As a result, the collective daily Hobbs time includes the helicopter ferry time to and from the field; ferry time for fuel runs; flying up to a Landing Zone and down to the Pickup Zone; plus all other additional flight time (e.g. circling a peak so that the pilot can determine the best and safest place to land, or holding power on technical landings).

When each group in the shared helicopter has the same number of runs at the end of the day, Hobbs time is typically divided equally among all guests.


When groups or individuals have a different amount of runs, then Pulseline calculates the Hobbs time used by each group and/or individual based on group/individual run counts. Occasionally, individuals will move to different groups during the day, and Hobbs time will be tracked accordingly.

Please note that it’s not always possible for all groups or individuals who are sharing a helicopter to get the same number of runs per day, due to a multitude of factors involved with helicopter flight operations in a dynamic mountain environment.

If you use all of your pre-bought Hobbs hours before your reserved days are finished, you have the option to buy extra Hobbs hours at the rate of $6,500 per hour (split by the number of guests in the group who are sharing the heli).

Anyone who leaves the field early for any reason is responsible for the Hobbs time used by the helicopter to remove them from the field and for the helicopter to return to the field, and for the shared Hobbs time used by that aircraft for the remainder of the day since you’ve reserved a seat on that aircraft and are responsible for it. Put another way, if you leave the field early for any reason, you forfeit all of the Hobbs time used for the rest of the day and will not be refunded or credited.

Additionally, if you’re injured during your trip, you will be responsible for the Hobbs time you would have flown in your group had you not gotten injured.

All of our heli-skiing & heli-assisted backcountry touring packages include a certain amount of included (i.e. pre-purchased) flight time (“Hobbs hours”). The Hobbs meter measures the actual flight time of the aircraft.

There is no guarantee on the number of runs or number of ski days for each hour of flight time

While we target 18 runs per 4 hours of flight time on our heli-skiing packages, and three heli-drops on our heli-assisted backcountry packages, this is not guaranteed.  

If you get less than this targeted number of runs or number of fly days, you will not get a credit or refund

Actual flight times can vary extensively depending on: where we’re operating in the Chugach Mountains, group weights, and other factors. For example, we may need to fly further from our base or remote fueling area(s) to find better snow or appropriate terrain given the conditions. Some days when we’re out heli-skiing, weather conditions can deteriorate, and we must exit the field early – other days we may be able to ski all day. In some situations, Lead Guides must spend more time searching for quality snow and appropriate terrain for everyone sharing the helicopter in our non-private “Freeskier” programs – these are just some examples of the dynamic conditions that we face any given day in Alaska that affect our daily number of runs.

Our guides are some of the best in the industry, and all of them love to ski and ride – so we’re all working towards the same goal – but the reality is that some days and weeks we get more runs than the target, and other weeks we get less – for reasons we can’t control. In helicopter skiing, the main costs are helicopter-related expenses – and our expenses are based upon our Hobbs hours – not the number of runs. As a result, this is the same way we charge clients. Therefore, there are absolutely no credits or refunds if you don’t ski the number of runs we try to target for your trip.  

As noted elsewhere, if you fly more than your pre-purchased flight time in your package, you’re responsible for paying all of your overage fees for such flights.

Additional Hobbs costs $6,000 per hour divided by the number of guests sharing the helicopter. So with 4 guests, each additional Hobbs hour is $1,500 per person. You’re only charged for the time flown and Hobbs hours are billed by the nearest tenth of an hour, so if you fly 0.1 extra Hobbs hours, with a group of 4, each guest will be charged $150. You’ll only be charged for the actual Hobbs hours flown. We’ll charge your credit card using the information you provided on our mandatory Hobbs Overage Billing Authorization form plus a 3.6% administrative fee.

Due to our fixed costs for aircrafts, lodging, food, payroll, staff housing, and numerous other expenses that we incur far in advance of your trip, we do not offer refunds or credits for any reason. Trip insurance may help protect your investment. If you end up with unused Hobbs hours, you can file a claim for the value of those unused hours. We will assist by providing documentation that validates inclement weather conditions or a helicopter mechanical that interrupted flight operations and prevented you from using all of the pre-bought Hobbs hours included in your original package.

Other costs included in your package, such as lodging and food, are not included in the claim, nor are extra Hobbs hours that you may purchase during your trip.

If you decide to opt out of buying trip insurance, we must have that in writing.

We do not recommend any particular insurance provider but can provide examples of companies that have covered heli-skiing trips. It’s up to you to research insurance providers and policies. Pulseline is not a licensed insurance agent and cannot answer questions about any proposed or existing insurance policy plans, coverages, benefits, exclusions, or conditions. We do not guarantee that the trip insurance you research and purchase will reimburse any of the costs associated with your heli-skiing trip (though as mentioned above we will assist with documentation as needed at your request), and Pulseline is not responsible for any denied claims for any reason whatsoever.

We don’t offer refunds or credits for ANY reason due to our fixed costs and the fact that we make large non-refundable financial commitments far in advance of your trip to secure the aircrafts, lodging, culinary services, staff, insurance, etc.

When booking a trip with Pulseline, you’ll be required to sign a form that states you understand and agree with our no refunds/no credits policy. A copy of this will be available in advance for your review. This is why trip insurance is needed to help protect your investment.

We don’t offer single day heli-skiing reservations in advance, since each day is already reserved by our full-week or 3 or 5-day package guests. Occasionally, we have a seat open and offer walk-on heli-skiing for $1,800 per person, per day (with a full group of 4 in the helicopter). Contact us to be added to our walk-on list.

Generally, we go heli-skiing between 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily if weather and snow conditions and other factors allow.

If you booked an All Inclusive package with lodging included, breakfast starts daily at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.

On the first ski day of your package, everyone meets inside the Valdez airport terminal at 8:00 a.m. to get weights for the flight manifest and complete the helicopter safety briefing on the tarmac and avalanche transceiver search practice nearby in the snow.

Note that we have a retail office at the Valdez airport for any needed items.

On every other day of your trip, your guide will contact you via WhatsApp or text message typically by 8:00 a.m. with the morning plan.

On a “normal” ski day, a Pulseline van picks you up at your hotel at 8:15 a.m. to be transported to the Valdez Airport or to a remote staging area to meet the helicopter and fly into the mountains (Pulseline ground shuttles are only included in our All Inclusive & Private programs; if you booked À la carte you’re on your own for ground transportation in Valdez and to staging areas).

While heli-skiing your guide chooses appropriate terrain for your group. We often start on simpler terrain and progress to more complex terrain (if possible and conditions allow) as the day proceeds and taper off towards the end of the day.

In Freeskier packages the lead guide often chooses one valley with many different run options and you’ll find untracked runs to ski in that valley for the day.

When done skiing for the day, a Pulseline van returns you to the hotel, and that evening’s dinner plans are communicated. We host a gourmet four-course dinner prepared by our local chef at Growler Bay Brewing Company on three nights during the week. Alcohol is excluded, but Growler Bay’s craft brews are available on tap for purchase, including Blade Time IPA, a delicious heli-skiing themed collaboration beer that we helped create!

The vast majority of our groups have four guests and one guide. Rarely, there may be five guests plus a guide if group weight allows. When there are less than four guests, Pulseline may fill the seat with a walk-on guest or a Tail Guide.

We strongly recommend that you come with a full group of four skiers/riders who have the same ability, objectives, and fitness. If you come with less than four, we combine groups, but we don’t guarantee that everyone will have the same ability, objectives, or fitness - this isn’t always possible for non-private groups that are sharing a helicopter.

Pulseline retains the right to move any individual in any package to another group and/or helicopter for any reason. Additionally, we may remove anyone from the field at our discretion if the guide feels you are putting yourself or others at risk, including if your fitness or riding ability is less than our minimum required levels.

No. You must be able to hear your guide’s instructions, be able to hear others in your group, and listen for natural mountain sounds that may indicate a safety concern. It’s essential that we maintain verbal communications in the mountains.

Those who don’t comply with this rule after being reminded by a guide may be removed from the field. No exceptions.

We limit our advance reservations to three groups per helicopter. In certain circumstances, we may increase this to 4 groups per helicopter to accommodate certain unforeseen circumstances (e.g. high group weights or to accommodate guests that arrived late due to circumstances beyond their control).

AS350 Astar B2 & B3 helicopters. They’re highly maneuverable, efficient, and agile helicopters that fly us to amazing Alaska terrain.

Avalanches are an inherent risk of heli-skiing in Alaska, and anyone who chooses to ski with Pulseline assumes that risk. Though avalanche risk can never be fully eliminated, we work hard to mitigate this risk, and we strive to avoid avalanches. We take this risk seriously. All of our guides have substantial avalanche education and years of experience guiding in avalanche terrain. Additionally, as a company we attempt to take a conservative approach in choosing terrain when avalanche hazard is elevated. Our primary goal each day is to bring everyone home safely. We have an excellent safety record with no significant avalanche incidents involving a guest or guide in our operating history.

On arrival day each guest will complete our orientation and safety briefing that includes but is not limited to avalanche burial search and rescue practice.

Gratuities are not included in the trip cost. Gratuities are customary in the heli ski industry and can be arranged at the conclusion of your trip in our office for guides, support staff, and pilots as you see fit. We accept cash, Venmo, and credit cards for gratuities. Gratuity is typically about 10% of your trip cost, but of course is up to you.

Yes! Whether they ski or not, families are welcome. Valdez is a quaint Alaskan harbor town with activities to entertain the whole family. We take minors heli skiing on a case by case basis. Please call us, and we will decide if it’s appropriate for your children under the age of 18 to join us.

“It depends,” is really the only answer. While Alaska features some of the steepest skiable terrain in the world, this terrain is not always safe to ski. Additionally, if you’re in the Freeskier program, you’ll be sharing the helicopter with other groups, and we have to keep the safety, skiing ability, and efficiency of all groups in mind when making terrain and run decisions. While there may be opportunities to ski steeper terrain in the Freeskier groups, this is not our typical goal.

Booking a private or semi private helicopter with a group of high-level riders gives you the best chance to ski steep lines (if conditions allow).

Alaska has vast and varied terrain with ample opportunities to ski runs that advanced-intermediate skiers and snowboarders will enjoy. There are also plenty of days during the season when snow and weather conditions and group abilities allow us to land and ski bigger, steeper slopes. However, we never know until we get out in the mountains to fully assess conditions plus group abilities and fitness levels.

Several airlines offer flights to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. From Anchorage, either drive or fly to Valdez.

Charter Flights to Valdez

Pulseline will arrange charter flights to and from Valdez for your group. We work with several Alaska operators to schedule flights that work best for your schedule and heli-skiing package dates. Availability is limited. Contact us for details and to reserve your charter flight.

Ravn Alaska Flight to Valdez

Ravn Alaska also offers flights to Valdez from Anchorage. Check flight availability and book at ravnalaska.com.

Ravn’s schedule may change and flights may be canceled with no notice. Additionally, Ravn’s return flight to Anchorage from Valdez on your Saturday departure day is currently scheduled for Noon. As Saturday is one of your reserved heli-skiing days, this may interrupt your final day of heli-skiing.

Charter Van to Valdez

Pulseline will arrange charter vans to and from Valdez for your group (based on availability). Reserve with us in advance.

Driving Yourself to Valdez

Driving to Valdez takes approximately 5-6 hours via Glenn Highway to Richardson Highway. The drive features beautiful scenery including massive mountain ranges, glaciers, and wildlife. Check weather and road conditions carefully as this can be a challenging winter drive, and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Our all-inclusive and private packages include double occupancy lodging at the Totem Hotel in Valdez, the newest, most modern hotel in town. The Totem Hotel features cordial staff, modern and eco-friendly guest rooms with luxury bedding, hot breakfast buffet, an indoor pool and exercise room, plus other comforts and conveniences to get you rested and rejuvenated after big days of heli-skiing in the Chugach Mountains.

Single occupancy lodging upgrade is $110 per night, per person. If your package does not include lodging, you must book your own accommodations either at a hotel or Airbnb, or lodging may be added to your package (based on availability).

If your group has an odd number of guests, then either someone must upgrade to single occupancy lodging, or the cost to upgrade will be split evenly by the group (due to the limited number of rooms at the hotel).

We will provide you with all of the required safety gear for heli-skiing with Pulseline: avalanche airbag backpack, transceiver, shovel, probe and harness. 

    1. Big Mountain Powder Skis: at least 105mm underfoot (we recommend 110mm or wider) with traditional side-cut/camber underfoot, and slight-to-moderate rocker at the tip and tail. Alpine bindings are preferred.  We have a limited availability of DPS Powder Demo skis available for use at no additional charge. However, we recommend also bringing your own skis in the event we do not have your preferred size and shape available. 
    2. Snowboard: sufficient rocker and appropriate size/width for your weight.
    3. Ski poles for Skiers – we prefer non-telescoping poles for heli-skiing.
    4. Alpine ski boots – for heli-skiing trips (Pulseline does not provide ski boots) - note: if using our demo skis and using AT boots of any type, please contact us to ensure that your boots are compatible with our bindings.
    5. Snowboard boots - for riders (Pulseline does not provide snowboard boots).
    6. Hardshell Jacket & Hardshell Pants – waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
    7. Eyewear – goggles (photochromic for changing light conditions, or interchangeable lenses); sunglasses
    8. Ski Helmet – optional but recommended
    9. Ski Gloves – two or three pairs (warm, waterproof); carry a backup pair in your pack.
    10. Thermal base layers (tops & bottoms) – heavy weight for cold days; light weight for warmer days; no cotton
    11. Mid layers – puffy jacket or similar mid layer; plus an extra compressible puffy jacket to store in your pack if you get cold on a glacier, or there is an emergency
    12. Ski socks – a few pairs; no cotton
  • Beanie(s)/ski hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter 
    1. Reusable water bottle – 1 Liter bottle to carry in your pack.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Snacks
  1. Key Après wear – waterproof boots for walking around Valdez (e.g. Sorels);
  2. Avalanche Safety Gear - Modern Digital Avalanche Beacon, Avalanche airbag, Metal Shovel, and Probe (we have this equipment available for no additional costs)

 AT Skis/Binding/Boots or Splitboard & Skins - this equipment is required for our touring camps, touring, or heli-assist touring programs. If you have booked a pure heli-skiing package, consider bringing touring equipment in case the helicopters can’t fly due to weather.

The bindings we use are the Tyrolia Attack 13 Demo Bindings.

Not all boots are compatible with all bindings, so you’ll need to check your boot sole for specific requirements, or contact us directly to ensure compatibility. Our bindings are MNC (multi norm compatible) which is the best binding to fit a wide range of ski boots.


MNC (Multi Norm Compatible) Boot Binding Compatibility
  • ISO 5355 - Alpine Din
  • ISO 9523 - Touring
  • ISO 23223 - GripWalk
  • Walk To Ride (WTR)

For guests who have booked an All Inclusive Freeskier or Private package, Pulseline will facilitate and/or recommend down-day activities. Valdez has many options for Alaska adventures and activities when we can’t fly the helicopters including backcountry touring (you must provide your own backcountry touring equipment), avalanche education, yoga and stretching, glacier exploration, ice climbing, sea kayaking, boat tours, indoor swimming pool, gym, and groomed cross-country skiing trails. Some of these activities have additional costs, and many are dependent on weather conditions and availability. Additionally, you may reserve massage therapy or acupuncture with our Wellness Director for $130/hour - contact us to reserve in advance.

We recommend that you reserve the dates that work best for your schedule, and keep the following in mind: earlier in the season (March) the sun angle is lower with less daylight, and it’s often colder - this often allows us to ski all aspects and elevations in the Chugach Mountains and opens up more terrain to ski. Later in the season, the sun angle increases with more daylight. This can affect sun-exposed slopes, but we get more flyable hours in the day to go heli skiing. Later in the season, the temperatures can be warmer and impact snow quality on some aspects and elevations, limiting terrain choices a bit. On the other hand, March has shorter days and tends to be more stormy than later in the season, often reducing the number of flyable days per week. So, it’s hard to say what is the best time other than what works best for your schedule.

Those who book our All Inclusive Freeskier or Private packages will have five dinners included during their week. This includes three gourmet four-course dinners prepared by the Pulseline chef and two dinners at local restaurants to enjoy local fare. Alcohol is excluded.

Dinner Schedule:

  • Saturday night: (arrival/orientation night): no dinner, but hors d’oeuvres are typically offered at orientation
  • Sunday night: dinner at Growler Bay Brewing with the Pulseline chef
  • Monday night: dinner at The Fat Mermaid
  • Tuesday night: dinner at Growler Bay Brewing with the Pulseline chef
  • Wednesday night: no Pulseline dinner
  • Thursday night: dinner at Growler Bay Brewing with the Pulseline chef
  • Friday night: dinner at Fu Kung Restaurant

Yes. Please let us know on your reservation form at the time of booking.

Pulseline offers specialized small-group adventures in stunning wild places around the globe to support authentic connections with the natural world, inspire sustainability, and protect access for current and future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Our programs include heli-skiing, wellness and yoga retreats, surf trips, mountaineering, backcountry tour camps, avalanche education, and much more. We enable the bold to seek outdoors endeavors while knowing themselves more deeply as part of the natural places they play in.

We do this by:

  • Offering fun and rewarding unique adventures by promoting client education, participation, environmental awareness and protection, and practical risk management
  • Inspiring our guests to achieve their greatest potentials
  • Operating sustainably through partnerships with local communities, land-use partners and indigenous peoples, and carbon-based offsets for all motorized travel
  • Providing living wages for guides and staff
  • Operating professionally and ethically in all aspects of guiding and business operations
  • Considering and minimizing our visibility and impact as commercial operators in the areas where we operate
  • Taking ownership throughout our operations