Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing’s annual Snow Cat Program is underway. Blue River Elementary School students gave the program a shot on Jan. 11. Pictured, Blue River Elementary School students Richard Onslow, Grayson Onslow, Luke Preston, Aiden Badburn, Sierra Bradburn, Autumn Deuling, Rome Deuling, Connar Desjarlais, Tristin Dejarlais, Blue River Elementary School teacher Josh Brown, MWHS guides Ryan Bush and Anna Heuberger, and Mike Wiegele. Photo by John Schwirtlich

Annual Kids Snowcat Program gets underway

“We believe strongly in giving kids the chance to ski.”


The Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS) annual Kids Snowcat Program is back.

On Jan. 11, Blue River Elementary students and their teacher Josh Brown joined MWHS guides on Saddle Mountain for the first Saturday of this year’s snowcat ski development program.

Over the decades, Mike Wiegele and MWHS have provided Blue River Elementary School students the chance to learn how to ski and snowboard with certified guides. According to Wiegele, the snowcat program has become an extension of his ski program that was started at Lake Louise in the 1960s, which successfully developed numerous national and world champions.

“We believe strongly in giving kids the chance to ski,” said Wiegele. “…and to offer them a high level of training is very special, as most of our guides are professional teachers, coaches and guides.”

Read More: Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing: 50 years in powder paradise

Wiegele explained that it’s always fun to share this program with the community, as it offers a special opportunity for students to gain skills that will last a lifetime.

“We are excited to have these aspiring young skiers from the valley take part in this unique ski program,” Wiegele said.

Blue River’s Elementary School teacher, Josh Brown, joined his students for the first day on the mountain and said he could tell that his students had a lot of fun.

“It really is an amazing time and the whole experience was incredible,” said Brown. “I would like to thank Mike Wiegele and his staff for inviting the Blue River School to be involved in such a unique opportunity in their own home town.”

This year’s snowcat program will run until March 14 and is open to Blue River Elementary School students.

Also, on the calendar at MWHS is the annual Andy Aufschnaiter Memorial Cross-Country Ski Race, which will be held at Blue River’s cross-country ski trails on Feb. 20. This year’s race will welcome elementary students from School District No. 73, which draws crowds from the North Thompson Valley to cheer on the next generation enjoying the fun of this exhilarating winter sport.

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