The Tsaina Lodge
TSAINA UPDATE: During 2011-12 the Tsaina Lodge’s new owners built a new, beautiful , and contemporary Tsaina lodge at the remote heli-ski destination in the middle of the great Chugach mountain range. The new Tsaina Lodge equals the area’s great world class skiing.
Visit Tsaina.com to get a peek and book your time to make turns.
Tsaina, which is an Alaska Athabascan term, means river of little fish.
In these stories there are many skiers and snowboarders recognized who are no longer with us because they pursued their passion for the steeps.
- "The Tsaina Lodge was a place oozing with style." Transworld Snowboarding October 1992
- "It is more fun than anywhere I have been." Jim Conway, Snowcountry Magazine, March 1994
- "For a vacation, I would go to Alaska to the Tsaina Lodge" Dan Donnaly Alaska Airlines Magazine November 1992
- "Fellow snowboarder Kimo Kole and I were greeted by the host of all host, the owner of Tsaina Lodge, Michael Cozad. Our accommodations were no less than that of a 5 star hotel with three meals a day prepared by a real chef that had studied at three highly regarded culinary schools." Snowboarder Magazine September 1993
How the Tsaina Lodge became the most publicized ski resort in the world between 1991-94 is a monumental event in skiing history. The residents of Valdez knew for decades they had something special in the Chugach mountain range. The City of Valdez came together in 1991 to show the world about their winter wonderland. They succeeded.
This site?s goal is to provide information that helps provide the ski aficionado a resource for the history of skiing at the Tsaina Lodge, Valdez and the Chugach Mountain Range. The following stories and history is a compilation of works by professional writers, photographers, movie makers and individuals. They either lived or visited the Valdez area between 1934 to the new century. Please contact us and send any materials you would like to add to this historical collection.
Some people who contributed to this website are Marc Vance, Race Dept. coordinator and director of the Extreme skiing championships at Alyeska Resort for many years, Martin Guinane who managed the Tsaina Lodge and Co-Founder of WESBC , Michael Cozad, the owner of Tsaina and Founder of WESC and WESBC , pooled their resources and time to pull this material together.
Today there are many skiing operations in and around Valdez. All these operations followed in the steps of the Tsaina and the leadership of the Valdez people. The Tsaina Lodge heli-ski operation was the sole ?Heli-ski? operator in the Chugach up to the 1994 season. If the residents of Valdez did not gather around and support the idea of the World Extreme Skiing Championships it is entirely possible no ski operations would be operating in the Chugach today.
The following stories and links are to provide a written history of how skiing and snowboarding came to the Chugach Mountains. First descents by the winter of 1994 were nearly none existent for a 20 mile range north, east, west and south of the Tsaina Lodge. Today, ski operations are still selling 1st descents