Snow & Terrain
Too many choices? We were hoping you’d say that.
Flexible daily agendas, 1.2 million acres of Alaska heli ski terrain, and 600 inches of light snow each season mean the Tordrillos offer endless terrain options for the most diverse, exciting Alaska heli skiing and boarding terrain in the world. Heli ski guides start each day assessing field observations, snow pit data, remote weather stations, and input from our pilots to choose the best drop spots for that day’s activities, based on skill level and interest. High-pressure systems common in this region usually mean dry weather and clear skies that come with sunshine and good snow stability. Temperatures average 15º to 25º and powder hounds will get their fill with runs that top out at 7,500 feet and end at 2,000 feet, and couloir-incised peaks with a panoramic view of Mt. McKinley and volcanic summits. If poor weather moves in, we head for more gentle terrain where the snowpack is less avalanche prone.
Find Your Place in the Tordrillos
In a couple of warm-up runs, heli ski guides will be able to evaluate your ability and determine where to start you out. Along the way, they will continue to assess your progress and work you into more challenging heli ski terrain that increasingly presents bigger thrills, but at a pace you’re comfortable with. The key is to make sure that you’re never under challenged, or overwhelmed. Intermediate skiers find the terrain is challenging enough to keep them interested, but not so difficult that it is intimidating. Advanced and expert skiers will have the opportunity to push themselves in some of the most scenic and thrilling mountains in the world, as our heli ski guides take time to evaluate appropriate route selections in steeper, more consequential terrain.
About the Tordrillo Mountains
The Tordrillo complex sits on top of a large granite batholith, surrounded by sedimentary deposits. Some of the peaks are volcanic with large deposits of erosive tephra, which combined with glacial activity, have carved out unrivaled skiing and boarding runs throughout the range. They are heavily glaciated, partly due to their location near Cook Inlet. At the same time, granite bulges with incised couloirs and towers result in runs that never disappoint, ranging from between 3,000 and 4,000 vertical feet with great landings and pickup zones that typically offer picture-perfect panoramas of the Alaska Range and Mt. McKinley, the largest peak in North America at 20,320 feet.
Named Peaks of the Tordrillos
Mount Torbert (11,413 feet/3,479 m)
Mount Gerdine (11,258 feet/3,431 m)
Mount Spurr (11,070 feet/3,374 m)
Hayes Volcano (9,147 feet/2,788 m)
Crater Peak (7,575 feet/2,309 m) (A subsidiary peak of Mount Spurr)