Fat & Fabulous – Powder Skis Test 2017

The guides at Mike Wiegele’s were happy to ride these plus-sized beauties. I spent 14 glorious years as a heli-guide in the most majestic ski terrain on the planet at Mike Wiegele’s in Blue River, B.C., home once again to the Ski Canada Powder Test. And over the course of those years I’ve seen plenty … More »

Avalanches and The Law

The Colorado Supreme Court in May ruled 5-2 that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing. This ruling upheld the state’s Ski Safety Act that puts a $250,000 cap on liability to ski areas in the event of accident or incident within ski area boundaries. The case was brought by the wife of a skier … More »

Glacier Know-How

Back in September when most Canadians were trying to cram in one last trip to the lake, there was one group who’d already started thinking about mountains. Many of the guides who work at heli-ski and snowcat operations dusted off gear and made the migration to Blue River, B.C., where the Canadian Ski Guide Association … More »

Powder Test 2016

Mike Wiegele’s heli-guides know a thing or two about testing fat skis. There’s an old fable by Aesop about the fox and the grapes. It goes something like this: A fox sees a vine heavy with grapes and leaps as high as he can but can’t quite reach them. He tries again and has no … More »

Big Mountain Test 2016

LIKE THE NAME SAYS—AND BEYOND If you talk about the progression of skiing in the past 15 years, it’s impossible not to include Vancouver-born Shane McConkey’s name in the conversation. The appropriately titled documentary of his life, McConkey, should be required viewing for all skiers. His is the story of a true pioneer, someone who, … More »

Skiing Kiwi & Oz – Translation Please

If summer in Canada hits and you still haven’t had enough of the slippy, slidey, lefty, righty, then it might be time to start planning your ski trip to the Southern Hemisphere. Many people are surprised to learn that the skiing can be really great in both New Zealand and Australia. That’s if you’re willing … More »

How to Survive a Tree Well

It seems every winter we hear about cases where people get trapped and sometimes suffocate in tree wells, the deep doughnut holes that form around the base of both big and small trees. If you aren’t able to alert help, or self-rescue, there’s a chance that you could join this unfortunate list. Here are a … More »

Playing in Powder – Test 2015

The Guides at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing know a thing or two about choosing a great ski for the deep.  WRITTEN BY RON BETTS, TEST EDITOR  *  PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN SCHWIRTLICH  *  from December 2014 issue The answers to many of mankind’s problems have been found in nature. Take for example the case of the … More »

Test 2015 – Big Mountain

LIKE THE NAME SAYS—AND BEYOND We’re all just a bunch of snow-hungry frothers—winter junkies who watch weather maps and plan important life events around the possibility of the big dump. Our sport is weather dependent and prone to subtle changes in environmental conditions. If temps warm up midway through a storm, a perfect powder day … More »

Assigning Blame

Will a case presently before the B.C. Supreme Court impact the relationship between you and your ski buddies? * by Ron Betts from the Winter 2014 issue How many skiers have found themselves in this situation? A ski instructor with a group of young, giggling kids, all hopped up on hot chocolate and adrenaline, asks … More »