By popular demand, you can now pick up your CPG and EpicQuest gear in our new online store! Sarah Saarloos and her team have been spending more time than ever generating great designs and stocking the shelves with a wide variety of goods you’ll love. Check it out! Just browse, pick your items and place your order. We’ll have it on your doorstep in no time!
Sent in by Tyler Ferris of Sun Valley Heli Ski:
Right now, Sun Valley Helicopter Ski Guides can boast the best heli-skiing this side of Canada.
While other operations in the lower 48 are waiting for another storm or two to start up, SVHS was blessed with a couple of big ones at the end of 2011. The snowfall in our remote terrain doubled from 2 to 4.5 feet. On our first day of operation on January 6, stability was rated “fair” and skiing was rated “good” to “very good”. Groups skied several extra runs.
It may look thin on Sun Valley’s Balm Mountain web cams, but as often happens the jet stream came straight from the west and dropped two times the snow in the Smoky Mountains, the hidden gem of SVHS.
Ok, how can SVHS offer great skiing with only 4.5 feet? The secret is the terrain. Runs are typically long and consistent with few cliffs or dramatic breaks. There are open slopes and great glades of trees. Every aspect has a skiable line.
In the heart of this skiers paradise is the Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge. Right now you can have a private “Canadian Style” heli ski experience right here in the US. Check out the footage from our opening weekend below!
As all of the snow on the planet seems to be falling in Alaska and Europe right now, it’s great timing to see the latest episode of Salomon Freeski TV featuring the Glacier Express. This is such a cool way to explore the European ski experience.
The Glacier Express is Switzerland’s most famous train route, running from the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt to the playgrounds of European royalty in St. Moritz. Between, it passes through a dozen of Europe’s “little areas that rock.” The train works it’s way through the Alps’ finest terrain, allowing passengers to hop off in prime spots to explore gems like Andermatt, Arosa, and eventually the famous endpoint, St. Moritz.
You can join us and Epic Europe ski guru Jack Shaw on the Glacier Express this season. Combining this kind of access with the right guides and the local knowledge to find the secret stashes is really one of the best ways to tour and ski Europe. Check out Salomon Freeski TV below and enjoy!
September is almost here and we’ll soon be judging the submissions from the GoPro video contest. If you have been putting together video for our GoPro contest, don’t forget that the deadline is September 1. You could win a free heli trip! So get your edit on and submit before it’s too late. Check out this entry from Dave Cohen.
A reminder about the contest:
WIN A FREE 2012 HELI SKI TRIP WITH EPICQUEST AND GO PRO
Make a video, win a trip. It’s that easy.
Through a unique and generous relationship with GoPro, we are excited to offer all package guests the use of GoPro wearable HD video cameras for the entirety of your stay at no cost to you. We’ll make sure you leave with a copy of your video data so you can share with friends and relive the memories of your trip.
When you return home, get creative and make an edited video of your experience.
The best submission of a fully edited video that captures your trip as a whole will win a free 2012 heli ski trip in Girdwood!
The Grand Prize winner will receive:
• Round-trip ground transportation from the airport to Girdwood, AK.
• Six (6) night stay in a deluxe room at The Hotel Alyeska.
• 50,000 – 60,000 vertical feet of heli skiing for one person
• Snowcat backup for “no-fly” days
• Use of Mammut Pulse Barryvox avalanche transceiver.
• Use of Salomon power demo skis.
• A full Go Pro Hero video Camera Setup
• A Mammut Pack, Probe and shovel kit
Runners up will receive:
• (1) Mammut Pulse Barryvox Beacon, Nirvana Ride Pack, Alugator Light Shovel, and Probe Light.
• (2)Full Go Pro Hero video camera setups
Submissions must be received by September 1, 2011. Submissions may be sent to email@example.com or mailed on disk to Chris Owens at Chugach Powder Guides, PO Box 641, Girdwood, Alaska 99587
Kings and Corn 2011 is drawing to a close and it’s been one for the books. While we were concerned that the low winter snowfall might affect the Kings and Corn adventure this summer, we found that there was plenty of good, creamy corn to be had for all. The run of King Salmon has been steady and we’ve had good success in getting guests into the big fish. As always, our exploration of this vast region has continued and we’ve gone deep into the Alaska Range for an unforgettable good time. Check out some of the photos from the 2011 Kings and Corn adventure.
As we enter our last week of Kings and Corn and wrap up our Alaskan skiing for 2011 with a crew from Warren Miller, we’re already starting anticipate the high altitude powder to be found in Valle Nevado Chile. While it’s been great skiing world class corn, the prospect of powder around the corner is just too exciting to ignore. We’ll be heading to Valle Nevado from late July through September, running 3 heli ski sessions with EpicQuest guide Greg Harms.
We love Valle Nevado for a lot of the same reasons we love out Girdwood operation. Not only is there hundreds of thousands of acres of world class heli skiing served by a ultra professional guide corps, but there is fantastic lift served skiing for days when there is inclement weather that can keep you from flying. Of course, the Chilean wines are ridiculously good and that doesn’t hurt either. Greg Harms recently put together this collection of photos from Valle Nevado. Check out the slide show. We’re ready to head to the southern hemisphere and the high country of Chile. We hope you can join us for deep, dry powder as we continue to Live the Epic Life.
Mia and Jason joined us from Australia for some great pow in February. Check out the vid from their adventure. Thanks for coming you guys!
As you may have heard, at our operations in Alaska, we have joined forces with Go Pro to put cameras in the hands of our clients and turn them loose on the interweb machine. We’ve backed this up with a great contest. The best fully edited submission from a client will win a free heli ski trip next season! Check out this submission from John and Xavier! Thanks guys, and good luck!
We meet below the tram at the cafe, frustrated and over-caffeinated. We are hemorrhaging cash, craving adventure and skiable snow, and trying to salvage a precious ski vacation. Give up or get creative?
Make a few calls and hear that the snow and weather is better to the west, in Sun Valley. Call over to Sun Valley Heli Ski to check on availability and snow conditions. Reports favorable.
Call to Independent Jets in Teton Village to check on availability and pricing for a King Air… response favorable (and surprisingly affordable). Aircraft is available and ready to go.
Our crew decides to go for it, and calls Sun Valley Heli Ski again. They warm up the heli, rally the troops, and make arrangements. We go to our rooms and suit up for skiing, slipping a toothbrush into our pockets.
King Air C90 wheels up from Jackson Hole. Weird wearing ski boots on an airplane… we’ve got skis stacked in the aisle.
Wheels down in Sun Valley. Met on the tarmac at Hailey Airport by the Sun Valley Heli Ski helicopter.
Hop in the heli, and we are off…
Adrenaline levels return…
Happiness returns, stoke is high, grumpiness gone.
Land at the remote Smoky Mountain Lodge. Pure backcountry luxury!
Welcomed by the lodge team, Dire Straits, and PBR.
Followed by steaks, birthday cake, and shenanigans.
Breakfast is on the table. Wake up!! A nice start to the day…
Warm up the heli – we are going skiing again!
10am – 2:30pm
Fly the heli back to Sun Valley Airport, transfer gear from the ship to the plane, and fly back to Jackson for our regular flights home.
Many thanks to the terrific team from Sun Valley Heli Ski for pulling this off on about an hours’ notice. It was an epic trip, requiring an amazing display of spontaneity, logistics, and hospitality. We all sat on the plane home incredulous that you pulled it off, so happy that we grabbed life by the horns and went for it…
MAKE THE CALL!
Ethan, John, Nick, and Craig