Heli-skiing is intended to be the thrill of a lifetime. On Saturday evening, an exhilarating day turned tragic when a helicopter from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge crashed killing five of the six passengers aboard.

Among the deceased were Alaskan heli-skiing pioneer, Greg Harms, the Czech Republic’s wealthiest person, Petr Kellner, Benjamin Larochaix (also of the Czech Republic), heli-guide Sean McManamy, and helicopter pilot, Zachary Russell. The sixth individual in the helicopter at the time of the crash survived and is in stable, but critical condition.

Greg Harms was a beloved big-mountain skier and lifelong Alaskan guide. His bio on the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge website identifies him as the “backbone of our team.” Harms was the owner and operator of Third Edge Heli which operates heli-skiing in Alaska, Canada and Chile. When not skiing and guiding, Greg lived in Aspen, Colorado. He was 52.

It is not yet known the cause of the crash which occurred roughly 50 miles from Anchorage near Knik Glacier. Tordrillo Mountain Lodge issued the following statement as the news broke of the accident on Sunday: “This news is devastating to our staff, the community in which we operate and the families of the deceased. In 17 years of operations this is the first time we’ve had to face an event of this measure.”

Thank you to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center for rescue efforts. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those involved.

conSKIerge co-founder

Charlotte Miller caught the ski bug early from her dad. An avid skier and gearhead, Charlotte claims Sugarbush, Vermont and Alta/Snowbird, Utah as her home mountains. In addition, she has explored many other resorts throughout North America and northern Japan. Despite having a job in the corporate world, she skis 40+ days a year. She is an Ambassador for Atomic. Warning – while she loves to share her love for the mountains with others, don’t try to keep up with her on the hill – it won’t end well.