Heli for Half Price:
Alaska Heli Week
February 17, 2018 – February 24, 2018
7 nights lodging with EVERY meal
Seaplane to/from Juneau / Haines
Fat powder skis if needed
4 to 1 guide / skier ratio
Late October 2017 Update: The response has been amazing for this tour. We now have 19 deposited and locked in! We have ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT for this once-in-a-lifetime ski week in Alaska. Please contact us as soon as possible to grab these last slots.
“Where is the best place you have ever skied, Skiman?” If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this…! I reckon folks ask because Skiman has skied a lot of places over his 50 years of skiing. It is a tough question to answer as there are many parameters to consider. At the end of the day, heli skiing is the winner, hands down. It is not a fair contest. Heli has all the advantages: untracked powder, no people around, stunning terrain, a different run every time, pristine natural environment. I have heli-skied many times in many places, so the question now becomes: “What is the best heli skiing you have done?” I have loved all heli runs in Europe, Canada, and Alaska, but the hands-down winner is: ALASKA.
We have done three heli ski weeks out of Haines, Alaska, a small town in Southeaster Alaska. Every one of those weeks was stupendous. Every run was untracked pow. My friend, Sunny Sandberg, is the only guy flying in the entire region with his company SEABA. He basically has the entire region to share for only his clients. The ski terrain is spectacular and has been featured in many ski movies over the past 10 years. And the scenery..? It is truly unsurpassed. Haines is on a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska, so you are literally looking down on the ocean as you ski. Giant glaciers, mountain goats, hanging glaciers (you have to see one to believe they exist).. We could go on and on.
FOR SURE click on the video link on the menu of our homepage (www.morningstarskitours.com) and scroll down to our 3 minute Alaska Heli video of our first Haines adventure. You will see what we mean. There are no words to describe this amazing location. The skiing is as good as it gets anywhere. Some of the runs are 4,000 vertical feet and every one is untracked powder. If you ask any of the 45 people who joined us on any of our previous ski weeks there , they will concur with our assessment of the skiing experience in Haines. It has been over 6 years since Skiman took a group to heli in Haines. He is ready to experience the ultimate skiing once again and wants to welcome his friends to join him on his journey back to one of the best places he has ever skied.
Why Haines and not Valdez? Valdez is the more famous heli location in Alaska. We have not skied there but we know of a few negatives about Valdez that pointed us to Haines. Valdez is right on the Gulf of Alaska coast, so the
weather is much more extreme there than Haines and the odds of down time due to inclement weather is greater than in Haines, which is 50 miles from the sea (It is on a fjord far-removed from the ocean.) Valdez has a lot more skiers and a lot of helicopters flying in the region. Haines will have us: our kind of crowd.
Alaska vs. Canadian heli: Skiman did one heli week with CMH in Canada. It was awesome skiing, but flying in 13 person helicopters with only one guide per 12 people was problematic at times. To make compatible ability groups with that many people and one guide was not optimum. At Haines, they fly 5 passenger helicopters with one guide per 4 skiers. The difference in that experience is palpable and obvious.
Price point: Compared to CMH or US resort heli, Haines is a steal. Our week of flying is about half as much as a Canadian heli week. Fly for 2 days inTelluride or other U.S. locations and you will spend as much as what we are offering 6 DAYS OF FLYING FOR in our Alaska package!
Speaking of price: Flying in helicopters is not cheap. These machines cost $1,800 an hour to lease and fly not including fuel. Once you experience heli skiing, you will understand why it does cost a bit. The logistics, the guides, the machine, the pilot, the jet fuel: it all adds up to a chunk of change. But if you are an expert skier and you want to have at least one week of the ultimate skiing before you hit the compost pile and if you have the funds, Skiman encourages you to go for it. Life is short and full of twists and turns. If you have dreamed of flying, here is your chance. Carpe skiem! Here is your chance to ski the best heli Skiman has found at about half the price of other places. Got the money? Got the skill? Got the desire? Consider joining Skiman for his fourth Awesome Alaska Heli Week in Haines this February.
Logistics: How this all works…
First, you get yourself to Juneau, Alaska from wherever you are. You need to arrive on February 17. You don’t buy your air until we have given the go-ahead, which will happen when we have 8 deposited people and we know the space is locked in.
Getting to Haines from Juneau: INCLUDED in your package is an awesome flight of 40 minutes on a sea plane from Juneau to Haines (round trip). It is spectacular scenery the whole way. You would need to get into Juneau as early as possible to catch one of the two afternoon flights going to Haines. If you are coming from the East Coast or for whatever reason cannot get a flight into Haines that arrives early enough to catch the sea plane flight, you would simply fly into Juneau on the 16th, overnight at a hotel we can arrange for you, and then fly to Haines on the 17th. You will arrange your return air on the 24th from Juneau. Any time mid-morning on will work.
If weather prevents the flight on the 17th, it is not a big deal. You would overnight at an airport hotel and take the ferry the next morning, and still arrive in Haines by mid day. You would still have plenty of time to get your heli vertical in. And, your trip insurance (mandatory, not included in price, but absolutely required for this trip, see below for explanation) would cover the extra hotel night and your dinner if this situation presented itself.
What is included: 7 nights of lodging at the Fort Sewart Lodge, an historic fort that has been transformed into a great hotel managed by our friend, Nick. Trust me: this place is a blast!
ALL MEALS every day are included and it is excellent food. Fresh Alaska seafood is often featured on the evening menu.
Fat ski rentals (should you not have fat skis) are INCLUDED for the week.
Avalanche safety inflatable backpacks are INCLUDED for the week.
1 hour of flying time is INCLUDED. This will translate into about 20 long heli runs, give or take. If you WANT MORE skiing after you burn your 20 runs, you can purchase these for about $99 a run.
What happens if you cannot get your 20 runs in due to weather, injury, etc…
This brings us to TRIP INSURANCE. SEABA wants everyone to have a policy so that in the event that you cannot get all of your guaranteed flights in, you will receive a cash refund for the unused flights. Since the flying segment of the package is a large part of the expense, this can add up to a lot of money at stake. SEABA used to give flight credit
to people to use on a later trip, but this proved not to be in the best interest of their clients. So last year they changed to having folks get insurance so that the pressure is off of them and the skiers. Please note that we ALWAYS implore folks to buy trip insurance. It can be a life-saver and it is not advisable to leave the country or do a big-ticket trip without it. $100,000 medical coverage and 1 million medical evacuation is a wonderful thing to have.
Cost: The cost for the entire week (lodging, skis, avi backpack use, all meals, flights to/from Juneau/Haines, 20 runs minimum guaranteed, guide services (with a 4 to 1 guide/skier ratio) is:
Double occupancy: $5,500
Single occupancy: $5,985.00 *We can attempt to get you a room mate if you desire to keep the cost down. No guarantees, but we are usually successful in the attempt.
INCLUDED: 7 nights lodging, heli flights, use of avalanche backpacks, ALL meals, flights to/from Juneau/Haines on sea planes, 20 runs guaranteed, 4 to 1 guide/skier ratio.
COST NOTE: The above costs assume we will be able to obtain your round trip air from Juneau / Haines for the price as it stands now. When you deposit and we purchase said air, the price may go up or down a bit depending on the cost of the ticket at time of booking.
Number of participants: THIS IS CRITICAL. The week we have chosen already is half full. We have space FOR ONLY 10 PARTICIPANTS. Game over after the first 10 spots are deposited on. Minimum for this trip to happen: 8 participants.
DEPOSIT: To lock in a spot, a deposit of $3,250.00 is required. The heli company needs this so they can lock in the
required helicopters and pilot for each week way in advance. The deposit is a firm commitment on your part and it is NON-REFUNDABLE.
This is yet another reason why you really need trip cancellation insurance.
Upon sign-up, we will take your deposit check and get the funds to the heli company AND we will purchase your air ticket on the sea plan to/from Juneau/Haines. The balance will be Jan. 17.
How to pay? a. Sending a check for the deposit / final is best to avoid the 3% fee charged by PayPal on our site. Mail check to Morningstar Ski Tours, 21080 Oriole Lane Bend, OR 97701
b. You can use PayPal on our site, but you must add 3% to any amount due to cover their fee.
Time is of the essence. Within two weeks of announcing this tour, we had 15 skiers and boarders sign up and deposit. Wow! We only have a hand full of slots left. If you want to hook up with us for the heli trip of a life time, don’t wait too long. We have no idea how long those last few spots will be around.
Final thoughts from Skiman: I realize it is a big-ticket ski trip, but heli skiing is the best there is and a lot is involved in providing amazing skiing safely with a helicopter. Considering what others charge for a heli week, our Alaska heli week is a good value. This is for expert skiers who have the means to go experience the ski trip of a lifetime. The ball is in your court.