Points North Heli is adrenaline camp for adults. As soon as I stepped off the Anchorage-to-Cordova shuttle, Red Bull-sponsored BASE jumper Miles Dasher bounded up with the energy of a puppy and exclaimed, “It’s too cloudy to ski in the zone, let’s go skydiving!” Two hours later, I found myself falling out of the door of the drop plane above the Copper River delta. Crossed that one off the bucket list, and I still hadn't unpacked my bags.
Points North Heli blends the ski lodge experience with a uniquely Alaskan vibe. A cluster of buildings that was once a cannery located literally at the end of the road on the Prince William Sound is home base for the operation. Guests eat in a communal dining/recreation room, and they play together on down days, exploring Cordova’s small ski area, paddling canoes in the sound, fishing or skydiving. Since you’re lucky to ski more than two of seven days in Alaska, PNH’s unique adventure-lodge feel is what makes the PNH experience stand out.
But when Owner Kevin Quinn blows the airhorn to signal that it’s clear enough to fly in “the zone,” a mad scramble to gear up and get on the first heli ensues. And, the minute you exit the helicopter, PNH’s ski experience is Alaska as you always imagined it: long, steep, beautiful powder lines. It’s enough to make skydiving seem like old news.
In 2011, Points North obtained a non-motorized ski touring permit from the U.s Forest Service, for the Cordova Ranger District, a first of its kind for the Chugach Range. The program allows guests to tour terrain that has never been traveled, either up or down, before. They even suggest the possibility of naming completely new "zones" within their permitted ski touring area. PNH is offering 5 weeks of Heli Access Touring for 2013:
- Week 1 :: March 10 – 16
- Week 2 :: March 17 – 23
- Week 3 :: March 24 – 30
- Week 4 :: March 31 – April 6
- Week 5 :: April 7 – April 13
If You Go:
Travel: PNH is a 15-minute drive from Cordova's airport. Alaska Airlines offers direct flights into Cordova from Anchorage (28-minute flight) and Seattle (3-hour flight).
Basic Package: Seven nights lodging, all meals, transportation, all essential gear and powder skis can be rented for $40 per day.
Years in Biz: Fifteen
Size of Tenure: 1500 square miles
Snowfall: 50-plus feet of annual snowfall
How they Charge: A six day, seven night all-inclusive trip is $4,875.