Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing is celebrating its 50th season with a video launch this week and the announcement it’s bringing back the Powder 8 World Championships event.
One of the most influential ski pioneers in Canada is celebrating his 50th year of shuttling skiers to the top of western peaks by launching a video this week titled, “Call Me Crazy.” The Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing company (MWHS) has also announced it will bring back its famed Powder 8 World Championship this season as part of its celebrations.
Launched in 1980, the annual MWHS Powder 8 World Championships was the showcase event for synchronized powder skiing for two decades. Teams of two competed head-to-head in creating perfect “8s” in deep powder snow. The event is also credited with popularizing the burgeoning freeskiing movement of the ’80s and ’90s that now permeates ski culture and the experience of mountain resorts everywhere.
The event will happen next year between March 31 and April 3 near the company’s lodge in Blue River, British Columbia, and the US qualifying events will be held at Powderbird, a heli-ski company based in Utah’s Wasatch mountains February 5-7, 2020. It is open to the public. Two teams from the Powderbird U.S. Powder 8 Nationals will compete in the MWHS event, building on a longstanding training partnership between both organizations.
“We’ve worked with Mike Wiegele guides and staff for more than 20 years, sharing knowledge and best practices,” said Kevin O’Rourke, Powderbird’s Vice President of Operations. “Naming the U.S. contingent for Mike Wiegele’s legacy Powder 8 championships while celebrating 50 years of heli-skiing excellence with his team is a sincere honour.”
As part of celebrating its 50th season, MWHS is also releasing a documentary, “Call Me Crazy,” this week that documents Wiegele’s arrival in Canada and the business his built. “When I landed in the mountains of Canada in 1959, I had no idea the impact we would have on the sport of skiing. I was just in search of the world’s best powder,” says Wiegele, who recently celebrated his 81st birthday and still leads MWHS. “However, since starting this company in 1970, we have shared the magic of powder skiing with many thousands of guests, developed the first powder ski at our lodge in Blue River, British Columbia, and ignited a global passion for powder skiing.”
For more information visit wiegele.com/powder8.