Ben was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. Growing up in Nome meant Ben and brother Russell learned to love and appreciate the great outdoors. Spare moments were filled with flying, fishing, dog mushing, skiing and snowboarding. Ben is an Airline Transport rated pilot as well as a Flight Instructor, and he flies for a living when he’s not guiding fishermen or skiers. He is proficient in fixed wing, rotor wing, ski and float flying, tailwheel and multi engine prop and jet aircraft. He not only has extensive knowledge of the Seward Peninsula from a birds-eye view, but has also traveled much of it in boats and on snowmobiles. Ben worked three summers for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Technician, primarily on salmon spawning projects. He is a certified Alaska freshwater fishing guide, first aid responder, rescue diver, and trained in avalanche avoidance and rescue. Adventurous by nature, he always has to know what’s around the next bend, whether it be a new place to fish or a first descent on skis. Ben enjoys exploring new territory and sharing flying, fishing, skiing, and his Alaskan backyard with others.
Russell was born and raised in Nome, Alaska, along with brother Ben. From an early age he became interested in the outdoors and all things mechanical. In addition to hunting, fishing, dog mushing, skiing and snowboarding, he was also quite involved in snowmobile maintenance and racing. He went on to high school and college jobs turning wrenches at the local snowmobile dealer, Anchorage House of Harley, and Aero Twin aviation maintenance. In 1998, at age 18, he became the youngest rider to finish the Iron Dog, the longest snowmobile race in the world, covering 2000 miles across the frozen Alaskan wilderness. Russell earned his Airframe and Powerplant license, followed by Airline Transport pilot and commercial rotorwing. He’s proficient in tailwheel, ski flying, and several types of helicopters which he flies year round for Bering Air in Nome. He not only has extensive knowledge of the Seward Peninsula from a birds-eye view, but has also covered it by boat, 4-wheeler and snowmobile. When not in the air, Russell enjoys adventures in the country with his wife Sandra and their two boys, Jesse and Bradley.
Born in Alaska in 1979, Chris was raised at his family’s remote homestead and lodge located inside Denali National Park, less than 30 miles from the summit of Denali. He grew up helping with the family business and guiding guests from all over the world. From dog mushing to skiing, boating, rafting, flying, fishing, and winter camping he loves to show visitors a great Alaskan time. In 1998 he made his way to Nome and found the perfect combination of wilderness, play, and work for his adventure-seeking spirit. Chris has worked at Bering Air since 2004 and settled 13 miles north of Nome where he built his own home. He is a certified first aid responder and trained in avalanche rescue and avoidance. He loves doing subsistence activities such as hunting, gathering, and putting away food with his wife Anahma and children, Shyloah and Kivé. You’ll find him flying his bush plane around the Seward Peninsula exploring for the next fish, float, or skiing adventure.
Growing up in a ski racing family meant John spent every weekend and school vacation at Mad River Glen during ski season. His earliest memories are of climbing stairs, still in skis he was not able to get off his feet, so as to get to where his nationally ranked ski racing mother had left lunch. She always encouraged him to go faster and jump off higher things. Once he reached 5 years old he was either racing or training to carry on the family tradition and this continued through the end of high school. He did often get distracted from the highly disciplined practice courses and take a friend or two to the narrow, tight, steep trees that Mad River Glen is known for. After college and 10 years as a Naval Aviator, John found himself with a company that eventually had him living in Europe. He and his skiing wife Deb wintered in Verbier, Switzerland for 4 seasons. The skills learned on the small but demanding slopes of MRG were the core of his ability to quickly adapt to big mountain side country skiing and mountaineering. The near endless skiing possibilities in the Alps still have his attention. Friends and family soon relied on John to know how and where to get where other people seldom did. Nome opened up a whole new arena for ski exploration for John and the thousands of “first descent” opportunities have kept him coming back.
Safety is our number one priority as we guide you around our remote playground. We are practically in the middle of nowhere, and while risks are always present, we will mitigate them by safe operating practices. You will not find better helicopter pilots anywhere. Our pilots from Bering Air, Inc. are the best in the business. Their flight hours and experience, especially in arctic and mountain operations, far exceed the minimums of Heli-Ski US Association and the Federal Aviation Administration. Your ski guides are trained in Basic First Aid and CPR, and continue to renew and improve their snow safety and avalanche training levels each year. Ben and Chris have made Nome their home for more than 20 years, and have more extensive knowledge of the mountain range we ski in than anyone. Avalanche airbag backpacks with shovel, probe and beacon will be worn as standard equipment. We will check your equipment to make sure it is acceptable, or we are happy to provide Mammut brand gear for your use during the week at no additional charge.