Mike Wiegele, founder of world-renowned heli-skiing company Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Skiing, has died, according to a statement released by the company.
He was 82.
“We know that Mike enjoyed close and enduring relationships with a broad community of colleagues, guests and friends from all walks of life, whose kinships were regularly forged on skis, on bikes and on hikes up mountain trails,” the statement reads. “On behalf of the entire staff at MWHS, we extend condolences to all those connected to Mike across Canada and around the world.”
The team also extends sympathies to the Wiegele family, the statement continues, “most notably Mike’s wife Bonnie, their daughter Michelle and their grandson Charlie.”
There are two ways those who wish to can share their condolences.
The first is through a donation to a newly established fund through avalanche research to support safety and loss prevention called Mike Wiegele Avalanche Association Fund. It will be made up of a board of directors, members of the Wiegele family and senior MWHS management. Those who would like to donate can do so with the information found here.
In celebration of Wiegele’s love for sharing stories, people can share their words on the company’s website here.
Wiegele first started his helicopter business in Valemount in 1970, with day trips into the Cariboo Mountains. The business was moved to Blue River four years later, where it remains today. The move was made because of the community’s abundance of snow and minimal wind, creating the perfect powder snow conditions.
Wiegele also founded and developed the Canadian Ski Guide Association to train young Canadians, according to the MWHS website.
In 2019, Wiegele and the MWHS team celebrated 50 years in business.
“Mike lived a remarkable life,” the statement reads. “He had an unparalleled passion for skiing, was a fearless entrepreneur and was a tireless and innovative advocate for safety in the mountains, efforts that leave many lasting legacies within the Canadian ski industry.”