Do they have any tree skiing at the heli-ops based out of Valdez? I haven't heard of it, but just interested.
We did a little bit of tree skiing on the west side of Thompson Pass during a couple of days when the heli was shut down during the big storm that happened right as we arrived at Alaska Rendezvous Lodge (ARL). The lodge shuttled us to somewhere near the top of the pass, we skied a little bit of open terrain and in some trees, and then the van picked us up a couple of switchbacks down.
The treeline up there is very low. I'm not sure the exact elevation, but my guess is it's not much higher than about 1,500 feet above sea level. Also, the "trees" that we saw were mostly thick alders and other deciduous stuff. It didn't make for nice, Steamboat-style glade skiing. It made for serious, obstacle-course bushwhacking when we were in the trees on those van-shuttle days. We had a great time, but I wouldn't travel thousands of miles for that skiing.
I did a long report on that trip and you might want to take a look:
In looking up that link, I noticed that there are a few photos in the report where you can see some of the low-elevation vegetation in the background. You can decide for yourself how much fun that stuff would be to ski. It's just not a significant element of the skiing scene up there.
Have fun if you go. I sure did.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with eccimortal. No experience, but if I was looking for tree skiing, I'd be looking at some of the BC cat operations. Alaska heli seems all about big, above-treeline faces and fields and seems like a lot of extra expense if you're looking for trees.
What Bob Peters said.
Timber line is at a much lower elevation due to the latitude in the Chugach or pretty much any where North of there. Central Alaska is not real strong in that department.
That said some of the nicest tree runs I have ever skied were off of Max's Mountain; the right side of the cirque that makes up Alyeska. It can be hiked but a heli ride sure made it a lot easier.