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Snowboarding in Alaska

Alaska. Snowboarding’s final frontier. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either the stuff that dreams or nightmares are made of. We’re a positive bunch of people here at Mint Tours, so for us and a lot of our guests who ride here every season, there’s nothing better than picking a line and pointing it.

Alaska has always been on the top of every serious snowboarder’s bucket list. Real big-mountain terrain, a stable maritime snowpack, more heli operations than ski areas and the promise of riding the best lines of your life. And then there’s always the bragging rites of riding in AK.

If you’re looking at heading to Alaska for the first time, here’s a few places to check out. These only scratch the surface of the Alaska experience, which is why some devotees make it an annual pilgrimage. You gotta start somewhere..

Anchorage, Girdwood & Alyeska Resort
Most AK adventures kick-off from Anchorage. It’s the largest city with the largest airport in the state. If you’re experiencing Alaska for the first time, you don’t really need to go much further. Alyeska Resort is the only real option if you’re looking to ride a resort and it’s often a good warm-up before you get the the main event.. HELI! Alyeska is just an hour away in Girdwood and has nine lifts including two high-speed quads, a 60-person tram, and 2,500 vertical feet that gets covered in 650 inches of snow a year. Not a bad place to start. You’ve also got a world class heli operation based here that offers a wide range of heli-ski opportunities, as well as cat skiing right from the resort. Also, Girdwood is a legitimate ski town with good food, live music, and some good accommodation options.

Valdez & Thompson Pass
Considered the birthplace of the Alaska heli-skiing industry, Valdez is home to five different guided heli-ski operations. Helicopters, snowcats, snowmobiles, or touring skis/splitboards are the only options for riding in the Valdez/Thompson Pass area. All operations fly to similar terrain in the Chugach Mountains, but each offers different sets of amenities and lodging options. The heli-ski season runs from late February to early May. Every operation has great terrain and can offer the life-changing AK experience. Which one you choose depends on what you are looking for.

Alaska Heli Tour
7 Nights I 5 Days riding I 3 Days heli
March 13 – 20, 2016
AUD $7360 per person
If you want to ride in Alaska and you don’t know where to start, join us as we tour through Alaska with our experienced guides. We kick off the tour in Anchorage, and head to Alyeska Resort, where we spend our first 2 days riding. The resort has some of the most insane in-bounds terrain in North America. Home to the infamous North Face, Alyeska lives up to its reputation of steep and deep with serious snowfall and challenging terrain. A perfect warm-up. Of course the highlight of this tour is three days heli-skiing, racking up over 30,000 feet of vertical. We ride iconic big lines of the famous Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska, including incredible open bowls, spines and long glacier runs. Throughout the trip we stay in luxury twin share accommodation, including the Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge. We’ve got the heli pad out the front and the hot tub out the back, ready for us to kick back with a few frothy’s after scoring the best lines of our life.

Conditions
We run this tour from 13 – 20 March 2016. The heli ski season in Alaska runs from the start of February to the end of April – it’s a pretty short season, mainly due to the lack of daylight hours early in the year. Mid-March is prime time, as the days are longer, giving you more opportunities to heli ski, and the temperatures are still cold with regular snowfall. So essentially you can strike a balance between daylight, conditions and snowpack stability.

 What’s Included
+ 3 full days Heli-ski, includes 30,000 vertical feet
+ 2 day riding at Alyeska Ski Resort
+ 2 day lift pass Alyeska Ski Resort
+ 3 nights accommodation at Alyeska Resort
+ 3 nights accommodation at Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge
+ 1 night accommodation, Anchorage
+ Avalanche safety training & orientation
+ Avalanche gear including airbag pack, transceiver, shovel & probe
+ All meals whilst at Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge
+ Airport meet & greet
+ Return airport transfers
+ Mint Tours hosting & guiding throughout

Itinerary
We’ve got an action packed week planned for this tour. View our full itinerary HERE

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