The guiding staff at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing gets excited for the 50th-anniversary season of the Blue River operation. Photo John Schwirtlich

The guiding staff at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing gets excited for the 50th-anniversary season of the Blue River operation. Photo John Schwirtlich

Mike Wiegele kicks off 50th anniversary season

  • Dec. 14, 2019 1:30 a.m.

Submitted

The first guests of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS)’s 50th anniversary season arrived in Blue River, and the operation is ready to embark on the festivities at the resort throughout the next four months.

In 1970, MWHS was established by founder, owner and heli-skiing pioneer Mike Wiegele. Today, MWHS is proud to be known around the world as one of the premier heli-skiing destinations.

“This will be a very exciting season that is for everyone and our guests, who have been a part of this incredible journey,” said Wiegele.

According to MWHS general manager Matic Vecko, the resort is looking forward to the future of the operations with excitement this winter.

“As we celebrate 50 years of providing the best and safest backcountry powder skiing experience in the world, we honor all who made this monumental achievement possible,” said Vecko.

“We are strengthening our friendship with the Simpcw First Nation, with whom we share not only the stunning mountains in which we work and play, but also our common vision of sustainable and environmentally responsible economic development.”

During the next 10-years, Vecko said MWHS is also focusing on increasing its investment in education and research.

“We are working with Thompson Rivers University on new initiatives that will provide better access to post-secondary education for the residents of North Thompson Valley. With tourism becoming a major economic force, we will continue to provide well-paying, local employment opportunities, which ensure that our small community of Blue River continues to punch above its weight in the regional and provincial tourism economies.”

This season will be the second year that guests will have the chance to ski and explore MWHS’s new 368,752-acre (149,229 ha) tenure in the Rocky Mountains. Operations manager Bob Sayer explains that this new area provides more options for guests to experience the operation’s vast 1.5-million-acre terrain.

“Last spring, we had a chance to go out into the new Rocky Mountain tenure,” said Sayer. “We skied and named 40 runs last season, and there are hundreds more to be skied.”

Throughout the summer months, Sayer added the guiding operations have been glading new areas on Saddle and Ptarmigan mountains, to offer more great skiing within minutes of the resort.

“Our goal is to make runs close to Blue River, more accessible,” he said.

This will be Sayer’s 34th season at MWHS and he says guests can look forward to more great skiing this winter, in the Cariboo, Monashee, and Rocky Mountains.

“Last week during guides training, there were three meters of snow on the glaciers,” said Sayer. “Skiing was really good.”

With snow in the winter forecast throughout the next week, MWHS is looking forward to sharing Mother Nature’s special delivery of world-famous Blue River powder with guests to kickstart this historical season.