Celebrating Advancements in Adventure Tourism

BLUE RIVER, BC – On June 7, Mike Wiegele was honoured by Thompson Rivers University (TRU), with the prestigious Doctor of Laws degree at the 2019 TRU Convocation Ceremonies, in Kamloops. Mike feels incredibly grateful for this special tribute to his life’s work – which focuses on developing tourism and research for backcountry risk management.

In 1989, Mike founded the Canadian Ski Guide Association (CSGA) and recalls the connection that was made by TRU in the 1990’s, to integrate its Adventure Studies programs with MWHS, in Blue River. Mike says there was a mutual desire for TRU and his operation to support each other and Ross Cloutier and Ian Stewart-Patterson were key in activating the relationship with the university.

“Connecting our risk management research with the university – this was my goal,” says Mike. “The university was doing the academic research and we were doing the practical. We exchanged ideas… it was a strong connection that was made in the education segment. I felt very privileged at that time that I was included with the education program.”

According to Mike, he was very supportive of the integration of TRU’s programs at MWHS – because a large portion of the course work is focused on practical segments for safety and for enjoying backcountry winter sports.

Over the last three-decades, several TRU grads have been able to start their professional guiding careers at MWHS. On the dawn of MWHS’s 50th Anniversary season, Mike says he feels incredibly humbled by his nomination and receipt of the Doctor of Laws degree, from TRU. He would like to thank all of those who have been a part of the developments in the industry and the academic community in Canada. As ultimately, he says, achievements in research for adventure tourism are to provide more information, so that everyone can enjoy the backcountry safety.

About Mike Wiegele: Mike’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for skiing, has evidently made an impact on many parts of the industry. In 1989, he established the Canadian Ski Guide Association (CSGA) – which has established its self as an internationally recognized training institute, that trains and professionally certifies ski guides for the mechanized ski industry. He has also gained honorary inductions in several of Canada’s top ski associations: including the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, the Banff Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame. In 1990, Mike received Bravery Award for the Governor General of Canada and the Marshall Award for Excellence from the Canada West Ski Areas Association for outstanding contribution. Awarded Austria’s prestigious Gold Medal (“Goldenes Verdienstzeichen”) by Austria’s Ambassador to Canada.

Mike Wiegele’s Biography Timeline

Watch for more details of Mike’s’ Story, a documentary film launching this fall. MWHS and Whistler based Origin Outside, have teamed up to produce and deliver a celebratory film detailing Mike’s lifelong dedication to the heli-skiing industry. This film features interviews from influential connections to Mike’s ski career and showcases the talent of today’s top freestyle skiers Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and Jennelle Yip, as well as pro snowboarder Austin Smith.

About Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS): Established in 1970, MWHS is a family owned heli-ski operation – located in the heart of the magnificent Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky Mountains ranges. This unique area of British Columbia is renown as is one of the world’s most productive regions for high quality, reliable powder snow. The MWHS 1.5-million-acre (600,000 ha.) ski terrain offers world class skiing and boarding and hosts a variety of summer activities. The MWHS resort consists of 22 handcrafted log chalets, 20,000 sq. foot main Lodge, full-service Sport Shop, Guides Haus, and the Albreda Lodge. The winter season runs from December 1, 2019, until April 11, 2020.

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