What about heli ski permit areas and land use?

In Alaska the majority of the incredibly vast heliski terrain currently utilized throughout the state is open to General Use

Essentially this means that most of the areas are open to all the Heli Skiing Operators, for the most part, all of the operators can ski everywhere. That's not to say that each of us doesn't have our own favorite places to go!


Some Heli Ski Operators will speak of exclusive terrain but, in all but a very few cases, the vast majority of the heli skiing terrain is actually non-exclusive in Alaska. Most of the small percentages that are exclusive are federally held lands and tend to be highly encumbered or at distances causing prohibitive (many times non-advertised) costs for you as a heli ski client to access. At least one operator in Alaska deals almost exclusively with this style of federal land management. Beware of the hidden charges with lands of this type.

Environmental organizations have used, and continue to use encumbrances achieved through the federal process to impede and challenge heli ski operators utilizing these lands. Those costs are being passed on to you. In Utah, Wasatch Powder Bird's challenges with this issue are but an extreme example of being slowly "managed" out of profitability or existence by heli skiing opponents.

Be sure to ask if there are different fees to access different terrain in a heli ski operator's area and what driving distances, flight distances, flight path restrictions, wildlife, environmental, and other encumbrances exist to utilizing those areas.  Many times the advertising of exclusive or seemingly larger of more expansive terrain sounds far better in advertising than the reality of you actually gaining any advantage by it during your trip. 

With the cost of aircraft and fuel as it is, all operators are always seeking to provide the highest quality experiences at the closest distances from their helicopter bases.  Therefore, it behooves you to choose an operator with a central location to high quality terrain in all directions with a minimum of encumbrances.

These are some of the most important questions to ask;

Are your operations central to your terrain?

At one end or the other of the terrain?

Are you disconnected by available lands or water over flights to your primary heli ski terrain?

Must we travel or ferry in the helicopter any distances to access the bulk of your terrain from your base?

Must we ferry by car from your operations base to access the majority of your terrain?

What other encumbrances to access to all of the terrain you advertise might I find?

To learn more about the VHC Ski Terrain visit:

Your Heliskiing Terrain

To find the most detailed information about the Valdez Heli Camps heli ski and snow cat skiing terrain you can click on our interactive terrain map and view it for yourself!