Skiing and snowboarding greats, such as Reggie and Zach Crist, Chris Davenport, Bryan Iguchi, Jess McMillan and Girdwood local Elyse Saugstad, will each lead one week of heli-skiing adventures with Chugach Powder Guides throughout the season. There is no additional cost or premium to ski with any of the hosts. Trips start from $5,600 per person double occupancy.
Renowned ski photographer Scott Markewitz will also lead one week, teaching guests how to capture the best action shots on the slopes. Markewitz hosted a similar trip last winter, but EpicQuest took $1,000 off this season's heli-ski and photo instruction session. The seven-day package starts at $8,900.
"No matter what week you come see us this winter, an inspiring personality is going to be skiing or snowboarding with you," said Chris Owens, EpicQuest vice president of marketing and brand development. "It's one thing to watch one of these athletes perform in a contest or a ski film, but to hang out with them on the slopes is an experience our guests crave."
The following athletes will host the 2012 Girdwood heli-ski season:
Bryan Iguchi (April 7-15) The California native has been on the snowboard scene for almost two decades. He took home a bronze medal at the 1997 X Games and finished second at the first Air and Style competition in 1993. But he is more well known for his appearances in now classic snowboard movies like, "The Hard, the Hungry and The Homeless," "Roadkill" and "Alive We Ride."
Ian McIntosh (Feb. 11-19) After years of podium finishes on the Freeskiing World tour, McIntosh became a regular in ski films. He's headlined several Teton Gravity Research productions and earned Powder Video Awards' Breakthrough Performer of the Year title. In 2011, he won Powder's Best Line prize.
Reggie Crist (Feb. 18-26) Crist has occupied the forefront of big mountain skiing for the past 20 years. He spent 10 years competing on the world circuit with the U.S. Ski Team and is one of the most accomplished X Games athletes of all time. He is frequently featured in productions by Warren Miller Entertainment and Rage Films.
Chris Davenport (Feb. 25-March 4) Davenport has pioneered the world of freestyle skiing. He hit the freestyle ski scene in 1996 claiming a first place victory at the World Extreme Skiing Championships and then continued a medal run on freeskiing events for years to come. Recently the mountaineer adventurer climbed Mount Everest with Neal Beidleman. The pair took the opportunity to ski the Lhotse Face, the steepest face of its size in the world, joining only a handful of skiers to make the descent.
Jess McMillan (March 3-11) A force to be reckoned with on the mountain, McMillan is the reigning Freeskiing World Tour Champion and the U.S. Freeskiing National Champion. The Jackson Hole, Wyoming native is also featured in this year's Warren Miller film, "Like There's No Tomorrow."
Lynsey Dyer (March 10-18) Dyer took the ski world by storm when she was named the 2004 International Freeskiers Association North American Tour champion. She's won most of the big mountain competitions she has entered since then and for the past seven years, has starred in films by Teton Gravity Research and Warren Miller Entertainment.
Zach Crist (March 17-25) After seven years of intense training and competition on the U.S. Ski Team, Crist changed it up for a life of freestyle skiing. He joined the Freeride Tour and in 2001 and claimed a gold medal victory at the X Games. He earned silver again in 2005. Crist is a regular in Warren Miller Entertainment and Rage Films and has been featured in several adventure films claiming first descents in exotic ski locales.
Scott Markewitz (March 24-April 1) Renowned in the industry as the go-to guy for outdoor adventure sport photography, Markewitz's images have appeared on the covers of more than 400 U.S. and international magazine covers. He was named in Ski magazine's list of 100 Most Influential Skiers of All Time.
Elyse Saugstad (March 31-April 8) A hometown girl, Saugstad grew up racing on the Alyeska Ski Team in Girdwood, Alaska. In the past two years she has won five out of the nine international competitions she has entered. Notable victories included the 2009 Freeride World Tour champ and Line of the Year. Shifting her focus from competition to film, she was nominated by Powder magazine as Best Female Performer for her role in the "Invincibles" by Mog productions.
Together with these experts, heli-skiers and boarders will hit the Western Chugach Mountain Range near Girdwood and the Alyeska Resort, which averages 600 inches of fresh powder each year. Hundreds of peaks offer runs of up to 4,000 vertical feet, ensuring that guests have access to a variety of terrain that fits their skill level. Chugach Powder Guides staff determines every skier's abilities and choose runs based on difficulty level and safety factors.
Five-day and seven-day heli-ski packages include guaranteed vertical feet of heli-skiing or boarding, accommodations at the Hotel Alyeska, round-trip transportation between Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and the hotel, lunch on any heli-ski day and use of a Mammut PULSE Barryvox Avalanche transceiver. Skiers and boarders also have the option of purchasing the Ultimate Flex Package, which provides them with a snowcat seat to access backcountry terrain on no-fly days or allows them to cancel their trip at any time with a money-back guarantee.
Founded in 2008 through the merger of Chugach Powder Guides and Sun Valley Heli Ski Guides, EpicQuest is the leading provider of once-in-a-lifetime, action-based travel experiences in destinations that few have ever seen or experienced. Renowned athletes, notable mountain guides and other knowledgeable insiders will lead EpicQuest's evolving and diverse portfolio of world-class itineraries, providing a backstage pass to the world's greatest travel adventures. More information about EpicQuest tours and guides are available by visiting www.EpicQuest.com.