Avalanche air bags are becoming de rigueur in more wild snow situations. Alaska’s Chugach Powder Guides announced today that the heli-ski operator will become one of the first in the United States to provide avalanche air bags to guests free of charge.

Mammut’s Rocker R.A.S. (Removable Airbag System) 18 will become part of the company’s standard issue safety gear provided to each heli-skier.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Chugach Brand Manager Chris Owens told the Gear Institute. “Air bag technology is about not getting buried in the first place and that’s the kind of safety precautions we’re going to take for our guests.”

In a press release, Owens likened using an air bag to “wearing a seatbelt,” adding that while many heli-ski operators give clients an opportunity to rent an air bag system, Chugach Powder Guides will add Mammut’s Rocker R.A.S. 18 to the Mammut Pulse Barryvox avalanche transceiver heli-skiers already receive.

“Backcountry skiing can be dangerous, and top-level operations such as CPG work with very experienced guides in order to provide the highest level of client safety that’s possible,” said Gribbin Loring, Mammut marketing services coordinator. “But this is really noteworthy within the industry because it makes a statement that Chugach Powder Guides believes that these devices are effective enough that it makes sense to treat them as required equipment for their clients.”

He added that, “This is the first time we’re aware of that a major ski guiding operation in North America has taken this step.”

Check out more on the Chugach Powder Guides website by clicking here.