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(New York Post) — With the holidays now over, we gleefully enter into that sweet spot of the winter season when the rush of vacationers subsides; prices lower and pistes become less crowded. For those with a ski trip on the brain — whether that means playing hooky upstate, or hurling yourself out of an aircraft while chasing perfect pow — our shortlist of early 2020 picks promises to fulfill everyone’s downhill-ing dreams.

Longer flight: Valdez, Alaska

Valdez Heli Ski Guides red helicopter flying in the air over Tsaina Lodge wooden signe near Thompson Pass in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska


Going from snorkeler to scuba diver is pretty straightforward: you enroll in a PADI Open Water course and snag a certification.

For skiers hoping to add the heli- prefix to their pedigree, the process seems a little more opaque. Luckily, there’s Valdez Heli Ski Guides; if you’re willing to make the journey to a rather remote corner of the 50th state, you’ll be swapping chairlifts for airlifts in no time.

From Tsaina Lodge, the birthplace of Alaskan heli-skiing, guests can land at the top of some of the steepest slopes in the world, but intermediate skiers will find plenty of space to work on their technique as the helicopter drops them anywhere along an expanse of untrampled blue terrain that’s larger than Vail, Apsen Snowmass and Beaver Creek combined.

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