Big Mountain Skiing

In the early 1990s, competitors in the World Extreme Skiing Competition in Valdez skied on slalom, GS, or Super G skis. The competitor's technique was influenced by the equipment they were using. Hop turns, short radius turns, and even side slipping were common technical maneuvers in that period.

As the Valdez competitions gained popularity, ski manufacturers began to design equipment more suited to the new Freeskiing movement taking to big mountain skiing. Some say that the turning point, so to speak, in big mountain ski manufacturing occurred in 1997. Former US Ski Team member Jeremy Nobis was being filmed. Nobis, who had claimed 9th place in GS at the Olympics, had recently become a bike racer and Big Mountain Freeskier.

In 1996, a top level extreme skier had skied the same pitch where Nobis was being filmed. It had taken the previous skier several minutes and 90 turns to get down the 50 degree, 2,000 vertical foot wall. Nobis was sporting a pair of specially designed skis from Dynastar. In less than 30 seconds, he skied down the pitch, using only five GS turns. The Super Nobis was born! Today, both big mountain skiing equipment and technique have evolved, making extreme athletic pleasures such as heli skiing accessible to more people. At Valdez Heli Camps has a supply of Dynastar and Atomic skis, as well as Burton Snowboards to help you optimize your Big Mountain skiing experience.

As the sports of big mountain, backcountry and heli skiing have gained popularity, the gear manufacturing industry has become more sophisticated. Nonetheless, packing the right gear and equipment for your trip to Valdez Heli Camps will ensure a more enjoyable experience. Since you obviously won't find any nearby ski shops on a heliskiing trip, you'll need to bring a lightweight pack, preferably one with an attachment for a hydration bladder. Don't forget to pack goggles, glasses sun screen, lip balm, and your favorite regulating clothing layers with your normal ski attire.

If you have any questions regarding gear, contact Valdez Heli-Camps by email at