A Brief History of Thompson Pass Skiing


While many expert and extreme skiers and snowboarders know the allure of Thompson Pass, it remains a lesser known destination to many. However, as many longtime snow enthusiasts will tell you, Thompson Pass offers some of the best skiing on the planet.

Teton Gravity Research did a segment on the rich ski history at Thompson Pass in their film Dream Factory:

The film tells the story of bush pilot Chuck McMahan, who is widely credited as the progenitor of Thompson Pass’s thriving freeskiing scene. In 1987, Chuck hen he started flying his buddies up into the untouched peaks in his ski-equipped Supercub.

“So when we’d travel to Valdez, I’d look up at those nice snow-covered mountains and I’d say, ‘Man, I think I could land at the top of that one, and we oughta get something going with skiers down here,'” McMahan says in the short documentary.

Those early trips were a bargain, too: only $15.

Today it might cost you a little more to experience the amazing riding at Thompson Pass, though if you talk to anyone who has made the trip they’ll assure you the experience is worth every penny (and then some).

Ready to come experience Thompson Pass for yourself? Check out our heli ski and heli snowboarding packages. Our expert guides, who have all been riding and guiding in these mountains for decades, will keep you and safe and are sure to deliver an unforgettable and life changing experience.

We hope to see you this spring!