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November 20, 2012

Epic Career Journey Makes Dean Cummings One of the Industry’s Most Knowledgeable and Talented Backcountry Experts

Dean Cummings

A pioneer of Alaskan helicopter skiing, Dean is the owner, operator and head guide of Dean Cummings H20 Guides. His experience and diligence in developing the highest standards in guiding and education have allowed him to secure permits on the largest tract of heli-ski terrain in North America and build his dream of sharing adventures in the unspeakably beautiful Chugach Range of Alaska with the world. Dean began his career in the ski industry as the captain of the US Freestyle Ski Team and is a World Extreme Skiing Champion which inspired founding H2O Guides.

The last 22 years of guiding in Alaska have given Dean an intimate knowledge of the snowpack and mountains, and coupled with his vision and commitment to guiding, have led Dean to found several education programs, the North American Outdoor Institute and the American Mechanized Ski Guide Course and the Steep Life Protocols for both guides, and the general public. When not sharing his experience and knowledge of mountain travel, Dean, his wife Karen, their son, Wyatt Kodiak, and daughter, Tesslina, along with their Alaskan malamute, Kona, spend their time adventuring and enjoying family in Valdez, Alaska and Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Dean’s love for the sport has also lead to the development of creating outdoor products that are practical, intuitive to use and enhances your ability and outdoor experience.

Dean prefers his signature ski, the Karen-Cito from his line of four H2O Outdoor Gear skis. Find H2Og online at

Did You Know…

  1. The mountain I learned to ski on was: Pajarito Mountain when I was 4 years old
  2. I can’t live without: My wife, Karen-cito
  3. My favorite cuisine is: Moose Burgers
  4. When I’m not skiing, you can find me: Spending time with my kids, operating my 18-wheeler and heavy equipment, kayaking, photographing life in the Chugach
  5. My favorite movie of all time is without question: Legends of the Fall
  6. Who/What inspires you? Craig Brown, Scott Schmitt
  7. Favorite Mountains: Chugach, Alps, CO, UT, NM
  8. Bands: Jimmy Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith
  9. Books: Alaska by James Mishler
  10. Vacation Spots: Underwater in any clear, warm ocean water with my family