Since earlier this week I celebrated the 12th anniversary of my 29th birthday, the husband and I took a short trip. One might wonder where ski industry folks go on vacation. That’s easily:
We go skiing.
Thanks to the same early season snow storms Crystal received, the Cariboo and Monashee Ranges are in deep–already sporting their mid-January snow levels. We spent three days heli-skiing with Mike Wiegele’s crew, and it was spectacular. Al, one of the members of our group, explained it this way: the first two days of a heli-trip are pretty good, but the last day they, “set the hook,” which is precisely what happened.
Out of Blue River, where Wiegele’s operation sits among towering peaks, just a short heli ride to the east brought us to some amazing alpine bowls and high glaciers. John and I skied yesterday with friends old and new in boot-top powder against brilliant blue skies. This kind of experience could be addictive, so much so that I’m surprised the town of Blue River isn’t lined with homeless people holding up hand-printed signs with the words, “need money for heli” on them.
It’s that good.
I recently wrote a guest post about the lack of women in the heli-skiing niche. A strange phenomenon occurs in the wake of Jet A fuel. Men tend to over-inflate their abilities while the ladies seem to under-inflate. A good friend of mine from Crystal Mountain, I’m not naming any names here Tiana, once told John she didn’t think she was ready to try heli-skiing. To which I dropped my jaw and said, “you’ve got to be kidding me?” I’m here to tell you that if you can ski powder at a resort–even the edge of the run left-overs at 11am–you can heli-ski. The most challenging part is getting in and out of the machine in knee-deep snow.
But the skiing is glorious. What a way to celebrate your birthday. I am a very lucky woman. If ever you have the opportunity to get out in the deep peaks in the belly of a helicopter with your skis and some very good friends, you must do it.
Because if you don’t do it this year, as Warren Miller says, “you’ll be another year older when you do.”