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Originally from Feistritz, Austria, Mike Wiegele came to Canada in 1959 to pursue his passion of skiing. He has worked with industry legends Ernie McCulloch at Mont Tremblant and Junior Bonous at Sugar Bowl Ski School.
In 1964, Mike was certified as a Level 4 instructor by the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance. Soon after, he began to operate a ski school and pro shop in Lake Louise.
At the same time he began coaching for the Lake Louise Ski Club which produced six National Team athletes: Ken Read, Jim Read, Chris Kent, Bobby Allison, Mike Irwin and Bill Irwin.
In 1967 Mike married Bonnie in Lake Louise. Together with friends, they founded the Banff Alpine Racers and Bow Valley Quickies. Mike Wiegele opened his first heli-skiing operation in Valemount in 1970. After exploring different mountain ranges and searching for optimal weather patterns he moved his operations to Blue River a few years later. In 1990 Mike founded the Canadian Ski Guide Association in order to train young Canadians as ski guides.
Throughout his skiing career Mike Wiegele has been dedicated to mountain safety. He initiated the Blue River Avalanche Research Centre in partnership with the Federal Government and the University of Calgary. In 2000, he was elected into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Honour Roll of Canadian Skiing for outstanding contributions to the growth and development of skiing in Canada. In 2006, he was inducted into the Banff Sports Hall of Fame. During the 2012 season, Mike was presented with a Golden Buckle for skiing over 84 million vertical feet. Most recently in 2015, Mike was awarded by the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame in the category of Honoured Builder.
Mike Wiegele still skis and guides guests safely through the mountains throughout the winter season - living true to his favorite saying "Let's Go Skiing!"
Born with skiing in her blood, Michelle feels most alive with a board strapped to her feet on a powder slope. Being brought up in the wilderness has had the most influence on Michelle’s life. Since 2000, Michelle has taken a leadership role as president of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. Working alongside Mike in the office and on the slopes, Michelle has developed a full understanding of the business. Also since 1992, she has used her skills in landscape planning and environmental development to transform the Wiegele Resort grounds into the picturesque retreat seen today.
Michelle holds certifications including Canadian Avalanche Level 1, Canadian Ski Instructor Level 2, Canadian Ski Patrol System basic first aid, and was a member of the Alberta Alpine Development team. Enrolled in Banff Centre’s Leadership Program she has completed courses in Building Personal Leadership, Team Leadership and Facilitation, Change Management, Strategic Leadership, and Succession Management. Through the Arthur Andersen Centre for Family Business she completed Managing Succession without Conflict. Michelle has also taken CORE(Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education). Each year, Michelle expands her education in risk management by attending industry conferences for the International Snow Safety Workshop, International Congress of Alpine Rescue, and Canada West Ski Area Association.
Fun, lighthearted, and a great listener, Michelle has a relaxed manner and easiness about her. Michelle’s diverse skills include an interesting ability to create the most amazing meal from whatever she has in the fridge.
Influenced by both her mother and father, Michelle’s direct and truthful demeanor is refreshing and truly depicts what it is to be a Wiegele.
Toll Free: 1.800.661.9170 Local: 1.250.673.8381
1 Harrwood Dr., Blue River, BC, Canada, V0E 1J0