Haines, Alaska

Best place to make a first descent

Skier’s eye view

Skier’s eye view     Photo: Alaska Heliskiing

There’s no central lodge, no hot chocolate on the slope, and you have a better chance of making out with a grizzly bear than of receiving a massage from anyone on staff. Welcome to Alaska Heliskiing, where a guy named Sean Dog runs the show and TGR hang outs from time to time. If you want to ski big lines that will soil your skivvies, or maybe even nail a first descent, get on an AStar with these guys. Packages here are a la carte—it’s $125 a run—and you can expect to average about 3,500- to 5,000-vertical feet per drop. The company recently had a terrain swap. The BLM closed down some old terrain and gave the company some new stuff off the Ferebee Glacier. That means there are still some un-skied lines to be had back in there. Then again, when you’re standing atop an unnamed peak, seeing the slope roll over so steeply it drops out of site, the last thing you probably care about is whether someone skied it before you. Hell, it's a first for you anyway. ($125 per run; Alaska Heliskiing, 877-754-4246; alaskaheliskiing.com)

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