Ski Canada Magazine

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The Making of a Mountain

Helicopters stood in silence, flags fluttered and people milled about on the broad plateau beneath Saddle Mountain, chatting or munching smoked salmon and other treats from a vast buffet spread on improvised tables carved from the compact spring snow. Mike Wiegele stood in the stiff April breeze and officially announced that Saddle Mountain Resort had … More »

Is it all doom and gloom?

Climate graphic

It was a magical January day with Mica Heli Guides high in the Rocky Mountains northeast of Revelstoke. We were pausing between huge pitches to gaze at the mountains ringing us. Someone pointed out a hanging glacier clinging to an enormous mountainside, its toe cleaved into translucent blue seracs that periodically crack and tumble down … More »

Cats out of the Bag

Hill 2, photo by Bruce Rowles

I’d been itching to ski something really steep, and while a massive snowfall is usually the time to dial things back in the backcountry, our guide at Mystical Snowcat Paradise (MSP) was governed by the same impulse. We started out fairly steep, fairly treed and with snow fairly deep. For the rest of the day … More »

Two Resorts, Multi-Flavours

Photo by Henry Georgi

Now that they’ve resolved their long-running battle as to who ranks second behind Whistler-Blackcomb for highest vertical drop in the country (Kicking Horse won), Panorama and Kicking Horse have little to fight about. The distinct flavours of the two mean there’s little competitive crossover between the Hwy 95 resorts to spark any internecine strife. If … More »

No fly zone for heli-skiers?

Heliski ban, by Conny Schwindel

Recent headline news in my local newspaper read: Swiss government is considering banning helicopter skiing across the nation. It wasn’t the first time such a measure was officially considered. Back in 2000 a group of “ecolos,” as environmentalists are dubbed in French, led by an organization called Pro Natura and backed by the WWF, proposed … More »

The Original Cat: Sekirk Wilderness Cat Skiing

Skiier in the air

It was seeing a modified snowcat shuttle in Aspen Snowmass in 1965 that planted the seed for Canada’s first-ever cat operation— and all the dozens that would follow. “My dad thought, why can’t we do this with a snowcat?” explains Rachel, the 20- year-old daughter of cat-ski pioneers Allan and Brenda Drury. “And then he … More »

The Sophisticat – Mustang Powder

The Sophisticat

At Mustang Powder, everything reinforces this self-constructed reverie. At lift resorts, reality—crowds, traffic, concrete, roads— has a nasty way of thrusting itself into your experience. But at Mustang, deep in the Monashee Mountains — that “deep in” being a cliché if it weren’t so true — reality got left far behind, either on the long … More »

The Feral Cat: Great Northern Snow Cat

No signs or billboards will lead the way either. It’s that kind of place. You have to want to get there. Or you have to have been there once before, like most of Great Northern’s guests. After taking the ferry across Galena Bay and driving around ineffectually for more than an hour, we end up … More »

The World According to Wiegele

Wiegele at home

From the Spring 2006 issue Three men are generally credited with inventing helicopter skiing: Hans Gmoser, Herb Bleuer and Mike Wiegele. Gmoser, founder and long-time head of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), retired years ago and Bleuer, the quietest of the three, currently consults to snowcat skiing operators. So of the founding trio of a genre … More »

Letter from the Alps

Alps1, photo by Gavin Foster

“No pain, no gain,” I insist, somewhat self-righteously I know but desperate to claw back some ground in an argument I’m losing. “Just try it,” my interlocutor responds smilingly. What we’re talking about is anathema to an old-school ski tourer but the promise of a brave new world to a downhill skier. The idea is … More »

The Making of a Mountain

Helicopters stood in silence, flags fluttered and people milled about on the broad plateau beneath Saddle Mountain, chatting or munching smoked salmon and other treats from a vast buffet spread on improvised tables carved from the compact spring snow. Mike Wiegele stood in the stiff April breeze and officially announced that Saddle Mountain Resort had … More »

Is it all doom and gloom?

Climate graphic

It was a magical January day with Mica Heli Guides high in the Rocky Mountains northeast of Revelstoke. We were pausing between huge pitches to gaze at the mountains ringing us. Someone pointed out a hanging glacier clinging to an enormous mountainside, its toe cleaved into translucent blue seracs that periodically crack and tumble down … More »

Cats out of the Bag

Hill 2, photo by Bruce Rowles

I’d been itching to ski something really steep, and while a massive snowfall is usually the time to dial things back in the backcountry, our guide at Mystical Snowcat Paradise (MSP) was governed by the same impulse. We started out fairly steep, fairly treed and with snow fairly deep. For the rest of the day … More »

Two Resorts, Multi-Flavours

Photo by Henry Georgi

Now that they’ve resolved their long-running battle as to who ranks second behind Whistler-Blackcomb for highest vertical drop in the country (Kicking Horse won), Panorama and Kicking Horse have little to fight about. The distinct flavours of the two mean there’s little competitive crossover between the Hwy 95 resorts to spark any internecine strife. If … More »

No fly zone for heli-skiers?

Heliski ban, by Conny Schwindel

Recent headline news in my local newspaper read: Swiss government is considering banning helicopter skiing across the nation. It wasn’t the first time such a measure was officially considered. Back in 2000 a group of “ecolos,” as environmentalists are dubbed in French, led by an organization called Pro Natura and backed by the WWF, proposed … More »

The Original Cat: Sekirk Wilderness Cat Skiing

Skiier in the air

It was seeing a modified snowcat shuttle in Aspen Snowmass in 1965 that planted the seed for Canada’s first-ever cat operation— and all the dozens that would follow. “My dad thought, why can’t we do this with a snowcat?” explains Rachel, the 20- year-old daughter of cat-ski pioneers Allan and Brenda Drury. “And then he … More »

The Sophisticat – Mustang Powder

The Sophisticat

At Mustang Powder, everything reinforces this self-constructed reverie. At lift resorts, reality—crowds, traffic, concrete, roads— has a nasty way of thrusting itself into your experience. But at Mustang, deep in the Monashee Mountains — that “deep in” being a cliché if it weren’t so true — reality got left far behind, either on the long … More »

The Feral Cat: Great Northern Snow Cat

No signs or billboards will lead the way either. It’s that kind of place. You have to want to get there. Or you have to have been there once before, like most of Great Northern’s guests. After taking the ferry across Galena Bay and driving around ineffectually for more than an hour, we end up … More »

The World According to Wiegele

Wiegele at home

From the Spring 2006 issue Three men are generally credited with inventing helicopter skiing: Hans Gmoser, Herb Bleuer and Mike Wiegele. Gmoser, founder and long-time head of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), retired years ago and Bleuer, the quietest of the three, currently consults to snowcat skiing operators. So of the founding trio of a genre … More »

Letter from the Alps

Alps1, photo by Gavin Foster

“No pain, no gain,” I insist, somewhat self-righteously I know but desperate to claw back some ground in an argument I’m losing. “Just try it,” my interlocutor responds smilingly. What we’re talking about is anathema to an old-school ski tourer but the promise of a brave new world to a downhill skier. The idea is … More »

Subscribe and SAVE!

Just $5.00 an issue!

1 year (4 issues) for $20 + tax! Outside Canada is additional for postage.