Dean Cummings is an ass-kicking trailblazer. You can say he is a beardless Chuck Norris but truthfully that wouldn't do this cat justice.
Dean has committed his life to sharing the outdoors lifestyle, while learning, training, and pushing the limits in the mountains since childhood. With no coaching Dean became a U.S. Freestyle Ski Team member and was the #1 freestyle skier in the U.S. and #2 in North America during his tenure. In 1991 he was invited to compete in the inaugural World Extreme Skiing Championships (WESC) in Valdez, Alaska, and claimed the world title in 1995.
Alaska big mountain skiing in the early 1990s launched a new era in the sport. Athletes including Dean Cummings, Doug Coombs, Seth Morrison, and Shane McConkey became the new ski heroes. They helped invigorate skiing beyond earlier ski legends including the Mahre brothers, Glen Plake and Scot Schmidt, relating to all-mountain powder skiers through magazines, ski movies and televised extreme skiing events. Dean starred in ski films produced by Warren Miller Entertainment, Greg Stump, Matchstick Productions, and RAP Films and has appeared in more than 50 ski films to date.
From 1991-1994, Dean conducted extensive research and development while being filmed and guiding heli-skiing in the Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez. He has pioneered hundreds of runs and achieved more first descents in the Chugach than any other skier alive. H2O Guides was born in 1995 and today is the premier luxury-adventure Alaska heli-skiing operation accessing 4,000 square miles of the eastern Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez.
With a mission to teach people how to be safer in the mountains based on Alaska-developed top-down backcountry terrain management protocol, Dean created the first formal avalanche education programs in Alaska: the North America Outdoor Institute and the Be Snow Smart statewide winter skills program for public schools and communities. This inspired multiple Alaska avalanche education programs prompting the Governor of Alaska to issue an executive proclamation designating November as Avalanche Education Awareness Month annually and officially recognizing Dean for his efforts.
Then Dean took avalanche education nationwide with the annual Steep Life Protocols presentations that teach practical backcountry terrain management protocol, and he was voted Educator of the Year two years in a row by his peers in the industry. Dean also implemented the first ever big mountain ski clinic at Snowbird, Utah—the first ever PSIA all mountain/backcountry program in North America.
Today Dean continues to lead the H2O Guides Team of Alaska—the longest running, original owner Alaska heli-skiing company, offering intermediate to pro level skiers and snowboarders access to Earth's largest and snowiest tract of heli-ski terrain. With an unwavering drive Dean still knocks off first descents so challenging that they have not been seconded to this day.
While the majority of Dean's time is focused on the heli business, he is also a big family man. Happily enjoying the great outdoors surrounded by his wife, Karen and two kids, Tesslina and Wyatt. Dean even named two different lines of skis after his son and daughter. Tazlina skis, for daughter Tesslina. Kodiak, for his son Wyatt Kodiak.
I mean this dude has his own skiing magazine article titled "9 Ways To Be Dean Cummings." Plain and simply, Dean is a legend!
For more information on Dean Cummings, H2o Guides, H2o Gear or available trips, check out their website here
We look forward to seeing Dean and the H2o Guides Alaska Heliskiing team contribute in the growing of our Ambassador program! Welcome back Polarmax Ambassador, Dean Cummings!!!