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Alaska Powder Descents Provides Total Heli-Experience This Season

While snow may have negative connotations for some, it represents heaven to Alaska Powder Descents (APD), a heli-ski and snowboarding company providing access to over one million acres of pristine Alaskan mountains.
    January 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- From its base outside Juneau, AK, APD services the Coast Mountains and Chilkat Range bordering Glacier Bay National Park. APD holds one of the largest commercial use permits (USFS) in the nation, and its extensive territory covers a number of unique zones in different microclimates. Terrain includes tree skiing to steep chutes and glaciated mountains in the Juneau ice field, with spectacular coastal views.

Recent record snow falls have ensured that the 8-week helicopter season, due to kick off in mid-February, will provide enthusiasts with unprecedented and exhilarating snow conditions, and a chance to fully experience the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

While APD offers half- or full-day heli-skiing experiences, popular choices are the all-inclusive weekend or weeklong packages at Adlersheim Wilderness Lodge. The five-star, 9-acre waterfront site accommodates up to 20 guests either in rustic bunk cabins or luxury suites with private spa bathrooms. An FAA-approved heli-pad provides easy access to the mountains on A-star helicopters and a private boat dock services the departing adventurers embarking on water activities.

According to Sean Janes, APD's co-owner and lead guide, most guests combine their heli-experience with a mix of sea kayaking, marine wildlife viewing and a sampling of the local Eaglecrest Ski Area, known by locals for its challenging terrain, record snow pack (140 to 180 inches on average) and unexplored back country. "Our lodge packages allow guests to experience Alaska to the max," he says, noting that a 5% discount is offered to guests who book weekend or weeklong trips for the spring season.

APD guests will average eight runs with heli-descents ranging from 2,500 to 6,000 vertical feet, depending on the zone. "But there's nothing average about our terrain and it's tough to describe a typical guest experience," Janes says. "We have steep lines (5,000 foot descents) that may take an hour to navigate, while other runs may only be 15 minutes. There are many variables involved on a given day including a group's capabilities and snow pack conditions."

While weather is foremost in APD's minds, flight and snow safety concerns are constantly monitored and evaluated by APD's certified (American Avalanche Association) ski guides and experienced helicopter pilots. APD's operations are modeled after the standards and protocols established by the Heli Ski US Association. APD's guests are briefed in safety and transceiver practices and required to carry full avalanche safety equipment. APD holds extensive safety briefings including beacon search practice, mountain awareness, helicopter procedures, and communications in the field prior to any heli-ski activities.

"Safety is our number one priority, while fun is a close second," Janes says.

Alaska Powder Descents (APD), based in Juneau, AK, is a helicopter skiing and snowboarding company providing outdoor enthusiasts with access to over one million acres of pristine Alaskan mountains. APD holds one of the largest commercial use permits in the nation, servicing the Coast Mountains and Chilkat Range bordering Glacier Bay National Park. Skiers and boarders enjoy world-class snow terrain on APD's half- or full-day heli-trips, or weekend and weeklong all-inclusive lodge packages.

Sean Janes
Alaska Powder Descents

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