In the early ‘90s, World Extreme Ski Champions (WESC) Doug and Emily Coombs (below) skied first descents on the immense peaks of the Chugach with the help of legendary Alaska West Air Taxi pilots Chet Simmons, Doug Brewer and Tom Thibodeau.
Recognizing the need for a professional guide service to mitigate the dangers of these daunting peaks, Doug and Emily founded the first heli-ski guide service in Alaska: Valdez Heli-Ski Guides, now celebrating its 23 years in the Chugach!
Steep and deep skiing started at Valdez Heli-Ski Guides with Doug Coombs and, with the development of fat skis and snowboards bringing demand for this terrain to an all-time high, our guide service continues to be a pioneer in the field. In 2000 Coombs sold VHSG to Scott Raynor, its current owner. VHSG has since grown to operate three helicopters and host up to 32 clients a week, yet keeps the overall operation small and personalized. VHSG remains one of the most respected heli-ski operators in the North America.
FIRST TO GUIDE
While exploring the eastern Chugach Mountains, Doug Coombs and VHSG were the first to develop innovative techniques for safely guiding some of the steepest runs in the world. Tackling more first descents than anyone else in the region, Doug and VHSG also named most of the runs still skied today.
photos wade mckoy/jhskier.net
Valdez Heli-Ski Guides
PO Box 3281
Valdez, AK 99686 USA