How do you know when a ski guide walks into a bar?
Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
It’s a mountain-town joke built on cliché. But there’s some truth to it. Ski guides need to be self-confident. Poor decision-making can be disastrous.
When Dean Cummings walks into a bar in Valdez, AK, he doesn’t need to tell you what he does for a living. Dean’s opened up countless lines around the Chugach while skiing and guiding there for the past 25 years. Square-jawed with a permanent goggle tan, he’s 50 years old, but could pass for 35. His taut, compact frame radiates energy. His eyes tell you he doesn’t fuck around. He’s the kind of guy that orders a chicken-fried steak for breakfast. He’ll give you home-smoked Copper River salmon for lunch and feed you moose burgers for dinner…