The Passing of MWHS Founder and Ski Industry Legend Mike Wiegele 1938-2021
July 15, 2021
Blue River, British Columbia
Mike Wiegele, whose passion and gritty determination both created and fulfilled the world’s heliskiing dreams for more than 50 years, has died aged 82.
The entire team of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS) extend their deepest sympathies to the Wiegele family, most notably Mike’s wife Bonnie, their daughter Michelle and their grandson Charlie.
Mike’s close and enduring relationships stretched to a broad community of colleagues, guests and friends from all walks of life, whose kinships were regularly forged on skis, on bikes, and on hikes up mountain trails. On behalf of the entire staff of MWHS, we extend condolences to all those connected to Mike across Canada and around the world.
A humble farm boy from Austria, Mike emigrated to Canada in 1959 to chase his ski dreams. Arriving with no English, he first was employed as a carpenter-builder, a harbinger of things to come. After working as a ski instructor at Mont Tremblant and Sugar Bowl, with ski racing and “real mountains” in his DNA, he soon moved West. Mike went from instructor to director of Lake Louise Ski School at lightning speed. It was there he met and, in 1967, married Bonnie Derome, an accomplished athlete and astute businesswoman who would be pivotal in building their future enterprise.
At the heart of it all was a visceral love for skiing. In 1976, Bonnie and Mike started the Banff Quikies which evolved into Banff Alpine Racers, growing from seven young racers to 500 over the first five years. His coaching at Lake Louise Ski Club produced six National Team athletes. This enthusiasm for all things skiing was at the core of Mike’s long life.
“When I raced in Austria and later in Canada, I always went skiing after the race was done,” he relayed to one those students, World Cup and Olympic medalist Ken Read, on receipt of the Honoured Lifetime Builder Award from the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame. “At the end of the season, my friends would call me to come to the year-end banquets where I would receive all these trophies, because I had missed the awards ceremonies as I was out skiing after every race. I just loved it so much!”
His passion for life on skis, combined with being a fearless entrepreneur, led Mike to the mountains of British Columbia—the perfect place for the new sport of helicopter skiing. In 1970, Mike offered his first heli-skiing trip in Valemount, BC: despite attracting no guests, he remained undeterred. “I thought he was a little bit cuckoo,” said Bonnie of his early plans. “He was always a bit of a dreamer, and it was his dream to ski in these mountains.”
Mike would soon establish Blue River, BC as base for Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, an enterprise which, over five decades, he marshalled into an industry leading, internationally renowned resort. In 1978, he launched the Powder 8 World Championships and a decade later was instrumental in bringing fat ski technology to the people. His drive and innovation established many of the foundations the heliski industry, and his commitment to safety led to the establishment of many industry standards and an important avalanche research programme in conjunction with University of Calgary. In 1990, he established the Canadian Ski Guides Association, opening the door for Canadians to train as heliski guides.
Among numerous commendations awarded him: The Bravery Award from the Governor General of Canada; The Marshall Award for Excellence from Canada West Ski Areas Association for outstanding contribution to the betterment of the ski industry; the Honour Roll of Canadian Skiing for outstanding contributions to the growth and development of skiing in Canada; Hall of Fame from the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance; Banff Sports Hall of Fame; Austria’s prestigious Goldenes Verdienstzeichen Gold Medal. In 2019, Thompson Rivers University awarded Mike an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree.
In 2019, under Mike’s leadership, MWHS celebrated its 50th anniversary. In advance of this milestone, Mike hand-picked and trained a management team to lead the company into the next 50 years, ensuring his dream, his passion for safety and his high standard for customer service would continue.
Competitor, coach, pioneer, entrepreneur, husband, father, and man of the mountains. We remember the motto by which Mike lived his life, and we carry it with us in our hearts and into the mountains.
“Let’s Go Skiing”
To share memories and condolences, see below.
The Mike Wiegele Avalanche Association Fund
In lieu of alternative expressions of condolence, and to ensure Mike's legacy and dedication to safety in the mountains continues, the Wiegele family has established the Mike Wiegele Avalanche Association Fund. This fund will support safety and loss prevention through avalanche research by either funding or supporting individuals or groups advancing meaningful research to benefit the avalanche community. It will be administered by a Board of Directors made up of members of the Wiegele Family and senior MWHS Management. Mike's family would appreciate you honouring him through a contribution to this fund.
Image resources are available to download here:
Leave your Condolences
Please note your condolence submission will be delayed for moderation.
Submitted by Shawn Caithness on Tue, 08/03/2021 - 07:43
I was so very saddened by the news of Mike's passing. My Dad (who passed away earlier this year) had a long and enduring friendship with Mike and my father and I have had many good memories of taking it "deep and steep" with Mike.
My sincere condolences to all of Mike's family and friends.
Submitted by Max Joham und … on Fri, 07/30/2021 - 23:12
Liebe Bonnie und Michele, sowie an das Team von Mike Wiegele, Helikopter skiing!
Ich habe mit meinen Zeilen bewusst einige Tage gewartet und ich hoffe, es ist jetzt trotz aller
Traurigkeit, wieder ein gewisses Maß an Normalität zurückgekehrt.
Sehr überrascht und mit großer Trauer, haben wir die Nachricht vom Ableben unseres Ehrenmitgliedes Mike
Wiegele vernommen. Wie hatten zwar die Information, dass es ihm gesundheitlich nicht so geht, aber dass
es dann so schnell geht, haben wir auch nicht vermutet.
Ich möchte euch allen im Namen der Sängerrunde, aber speziell auch in meinem Namen, unser aufrichtiges
Beileid zum Verlust eures Mannes, Vaters, Großvaters und „Chefs“ aussprechen.
Wir sind sehr traurig, dass es mit unserem Besuch im letzten Jahr nicht mehr funktioniert hat. Ich glaube,
er hätte sich sehr gefreut uns zu sehen und einige Klänge aus der Heimat zu hören.
Wir haben uns persönlich bei einer Heiligen Messe am vergangenen Freitag von Mike verabschiedet.
Während dieser Stunde des Abschiedes, sind viele Bilder an uns vorübergezogen, die wir gemeinsam mit Mike
hier in Lading und St. Michael aber auch in Blue River erleben durften. Es waren unvergessliche Momente und wir
sind sehr dankbar, dass wir einen solch wertvollen Menschen kennen lernen durfte.
In unseren Gedanken wird Mike immer präsent sein und wir alle werden unserem Ehrenmitglied ein ehrendes Andenken bewahren.
Liebe Mike Ruhe in Frieden – Deine Sängerfreunde aus St. Michael / Österreich
Submitted by Sandercock Family on Thu, 07/29/2021 - 15:11
Bonnie, Michelle and family - we're thinking of you as you both mourn your loss and celebrate Mike's legacy. He was long connected to our dad Jack through their ski instructing training together and a true love of skiing and the mountains, and I am sure it brought them both lasting pleasure that their families also have a love of skiing, powder and the mountains. Ski trips at MWHS were some of his highlights in a life full of many. You will all miss him greatly. We are all so grateful to have benefitted and to continue to benefit from all he and you all have done for skiing, alpine safety, alpine ski racing and the greater communities for so many years - thank you, and may Mike rest in eternal peace - Doreen, Jane, Linda, Susan & Cheryl
Submitted by Art on Thu, 07/29/2021 - 14:42
Thank you for producing one of the greatest resorts ever my life will never forget you and my experiences at your resort rest in peace love you Art Stapleton
Submitted by Standby Larry on Thu, 07/29/2021 - 13:23
The best ever. Enjoy the heavenly powder. Thanks
Submitted by Sebastian Herb… on Thu, 07/29/2021 - 12:11
I had the honor to ski with you the Canadian champagne powder first time in the year 1980. Several visits in summer and winter followed. RIP Mike i will always remember this encounters
Submitted by Colleen Campbell on Tue, 07/27/2021 - 16:58
I wish I had your postal address - alas, I do not. I was sad to read about Mike in the paper this week and know that you will find his passing a big loss in your life. I have wonderful memories of first meeting you when I was patrolling at LL in the first years of the 70s. I know that I learned from you both. And It has been super to encounter you and for a long time, Mike, too, at the "dog-office" in Canmore. You are in my thoughts. Much love, Colleen
Submitted by Wesley Shennan on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 19:01
Condolences to you Bonnie and your family. I first met you and Mike at Lake Louise when I was a lift operator in the winter of 1966/67. Learned the 'check, plant, jump' Austrian ski method from one of Mike's instructors and I've loved skiing ever since. An old Buddhist once said: death is a journey; the end of the body's journey, and the beginning of the soul's journey. Mike's journey includes a lot of happiness and snow I'm sure. Blessings, Wes Shennan
Submitted by Leslie Anthony on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 12:54
Condolences to the family and farewell to the man whose personality, approach and pioneering efforts at guiding, safety and mass-marketing helped make heli-skiing the alpine juggernaut it became. I spent a lot of good times with Mike Wiegele — from Powder 8 World Championships to spring attempts at vertical-foot records. But the funnest — and funniest — time spent at his operation was a @powdermagazine assignment to report on two wholesome, wide-eyed teenagers from Colorado who won a week-long trip to “Wiegele’s”. To this day “Lighter Than Air” remains one of my most memorable features not so much because of the impression heli-skiing in big mountains made on those oh-so-green kids (considerable) but for the impression Mike’s passion for the mountains and welcoming attitude made on them. A legend may have passed, but the stories and legends he spawned live on.
Submitted by Alexandra (Lex… on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 10:48
Dear Bonnie, Michelle, MW family and Staff,
I met Mike when I worked there in '94-'95 as a driver/gopher. It was the 25 year Anniversary, and I go the bitten by the powder bug. Mike was in his 50's then, and an inspiration to me to this day. He had humility and can-do attitude, enthusiasm, and generosity. Despite having 100+ staff, he was approachable, appreciative and encouraging. MWHeli will remain a benchmark to me what can be accomplished with vision, grit, determination and zest for adventure! Sending you all hugs, Lexi Richards (von Rosen)
Submitted by Michael ( Ole) Olson on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 09:42
I want to send my condolences and thoughts to the whole Wiegele family. My experiences at Blue River were always memorable and educational and I will always cherish having had some minor moments talking with Mike about snow, people and the mountains. Being involved in the helicopter skiing industry since the early eighties in Utah I have always had the highest respect and regard for the Wiegele model and team and know Mike had a big part of that professional take on our sport and livelihood. I hope I get the chance to experience it again with you all sometime. Love from Utah..let’s go skiing!
Submitted by Chris Link on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 07:20
Was the Mid 90's when I first came to Blue River.. Mike and his program inspired me to pursue a career in the mountains. The passion for the craft at Blue River , was like nothing I had ever experienced . Rest easy!
Submitted by Markus Lang on Sun, 07/25/2021 - 07:09
Ich habe Mike bei mehreren Aufenthalten in Blue River kennengelernt und werde seine herzliche Art und seine großartige Gastfreundschaft nie vergessen ich wünsche der ganzen Familie und dem gesamten Team mein herzliches Beileid.
Submitted by Robin Putnam Ahmann on Sat, 07/24/2021 - 09:04
Sending my deepest sympathies to Mike’s family and friends. He was taken too soon but he has inspired so many with his love of the mountains. I have amazing memories of following Mike down untracked and yet to be named slopes in ‘86 and then returning to compete in the Powder 8’s in ‘87 with Gerhard G. I hope he is skiing endless untracked powder slopes.
Submitted by Ruth Prosser on Sat, 07/24/2021 - 08:19
Mike's generosity knew no bounds!
My fondest ski memory took place on the 24th March, 1974 when Mike invited a bunch of Lake Louise employees to Valemont for the adventure of a lifetime! Mechanics, ski shop employees, patrollers, instructors, all avid skiers, if you worked at Louise you were "avid"!
The day started grey and cloudy and there was some doubt that we would get to go, but from the coffee shop where we sat glumly waiting, our intrepid heli pilot looked out and said, "There's a blue hole in the clouds, let's go thought it! "
And through it we flew, excitement palpable as we witnessed the unfolding of a perfectly fresh powder blue sky day. Mike and Bonnie and Norbert and another guide whose name I regret I have forgotten led us on perfect ski runs all day and the entire trip was documented by a Japanese film crew accompanying us - can you imagine the pictures? I still have a copy of the Japanese Ski Magazine produced that day! Six full page spread of memories!
Thank you, Mike and Bonnie, for the most memorable ski day of my life!
The mountains miss you already......
Submitted by Christian Weniger on Sat, 07/24/2021 - 01:34
Liebe Familie Wiegele,
mit großem Bedauern haben wir die traurige Nachricht erhalten. Wir sind in Gedanken bei Mike und seinen Spuren, die er hinterlässt. Wenn wir wieder auf den Brettern stehen, wird er bei uns sein....
Unser aufrichtiges Beileid an Bonnie und Michelle.
Fam. Christian Weniger, 6176 Völs in Tirol, Austria
Fam. Klaus Gigele
Fam. Günter Moser
Fam. Willi Fink
Submitted by Grossman Family on Fri, 07/23/2021 - 23:47
"The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."
We were all so lucky to know and spend time with such a "dangerous man...!"
Thank you Mike for making all our wonderful, amazing dreams possible!
And thank you Bonnie and Michelle for sharing him with us. We love you, and everyone in Wiegele World.
Now, "LET'S GO SKIING!"
Sam, Peggy, Jim and John
Submitted by Joanna & Dan T… on Fri, 07/23/2021 - 13:25
A great person has departed, but the memories and legacy shall never fade.
The loss is huge and we can only share the pain while counting days to winter when we will go skiing in Mike’s memory.
May Mike’s soul rest in peace.
Our deepest sympathy,
Joanna & Dan Tyndall
Submitted by Tom, Honey & A… on Fri, 07/23/2021 - 13:11
Dear Bonnie, Michelle & Charlie our hearts are broken to hear of Mikes passing and we send you our condolences and love. We think of you all as family & hold so many incredible memories and traditions closely! Mike has always inspired us through his vision, persistence and execution to create Wiegeles World. Tom & I met at Wiegeles 30 years ago and have raised up our sweet daughter Ali to carry on our Wiegeles traditions. We will always be thankful & feel blessed to have shared in his paradise. We know Mike is continuing to make awesome turns in the best heavenly powder ever! Cheers to a life well lived and the incredible legacy you have left behind. We will always love you! Blessings, Tom. Honey & Ali xx
Submitted by Martina Brands… on Fri, 07/23/2021 - 09:40
ALL MEN HAVE VISIONS, BUT ONLY FEW PERSUE THEM”
Mike you deserved to have lived your Dreams. We recall with fondness the many times you and Bonnie welcomed us and relatives from our village in Austria with open arms to your homes in Banff and Blue River. Thank you Mike for sharing your heaven on earth . Bonnie, We will remember Mike along with you and always with respect and affection.
Love Tini and Maureene.
Submitted by Andreas Rauch on Fri, 07/23/2021 - 07:53
With sorrow I had to hear that Mike, a close friend over many years passed away so suddenly and we want to express our deepest Condolences to you, Bonnie and Michelle and the entire Team. Coming both from Austria, Mike and I developed a great and emotional relationship over all this years and created the 8 Peaks Panorama Rendering for him. He was a pioneer and with his vision, determination and foresight he created THE Heliski Operation in North Amerika!!! He will be missed!!!
Dr. Andreas Rauch, Skiron Inc.
Submitted by Dr. Robert Siorpaes on Thu, 07/22/2021 - 23:36
1997 kam Mike zu mir in die Praxis und ich habe ihm ein künstliches Hüftgelenk gemacht.
Im März des nächsten Jahres standen wir dann auf vielen der schönen Gipfel in Blue River und im Sommer des nächsten Jahres kam Mike erstmals zu mir und wir habe lange Mountainbike-Touren unternommen.
Es entwickelte sich eine innige Freundschaft.
Mike war mir zeitlebens ein menschliches und auch sportliches Vorbild.
Ich durfte mehrfach mit ihm im Blue River Skifahren, auch mit meiner Frau und unseren Kindern.
Jährlich im Sommer besuchte er uns in unserem Haus in Fieberbrunn und wir unternahmen ausgedehnte Mountainbike-Touren in der Gegend von Kitzbühel.
Wir werden Mike sehr, sehr vermissen.
Er wird mit Sicherheit in unseren Herzen weiterleben als ganz außerordentliche Persönlichkeit und lieber Freund.
Unsere Gedanken sind in diesen Tagen bei seiner Familie.
Robert Siorpaes mit Familie.
Submitted by Bob Pearson on Thu, 07/22/2021 - 19:47
Has been a privilege for me to have worked with Mike, although on the dark side Mikes compassion & ability to do what was best for the guest has made a lasting impression on me. I know there will be stories told for years of his adventures Bonnie,Michelle what wonderful memories you will have
Submitted by Victor Emery on Thu, 07/22/2021 - 13:40
Learning from Oslo of Mike's demise takes me a long way back - to the mid 60's when we were both young and filled with vision - Mike to ski his way into accomplished history - a true pied piper with countless followers, me to repatriate Ski Louise into Canadian hands from founder Sir Norman Watson. Over 50+ years Mike stuck with his vision to his family's benefit and countless followers. My vision was too grand for my followers of the time, however another pioneer - Charlie Locke, in his 40+ years at the helm, has made sure that Ski Louise well serves the interests of skiers from Canada and beyond. My brief encounters with Mike, bearing his enthusiastic and grinning countenance, over the decades are fondly remembered and my deep condolences go to Bonnie, Michelle and Charlie at the loss of such a marvellous family patriarch.
Submitted by Stoll Reinhold on Thu, 07/22/2021 - 11:29
Mike, mach's guat auf deiner neuen Reise. Grüße von einem Tiroler.
Warst ein starker Typ. Unser Mathias Maresch hat es ermöglicht, dass ich dich kennen lernen durfte.
Submitted by Kai and Cather… on Thu, 07/22/2021 - 00:08
Dear Bonny, Michelle and Charlie, we would like to send you our most sincere and deepest condolences on the passing of Mike, as in a way we feel part of your extended family. Mike made us feel that way, sharing his vision and passion for the mountains with an endless generosity and enthusiasm. We feel so privileged to have shared those unforgettable moment with him in Blue River. We will never forget him and are sure he is still skiing in a perfect place.
Submitted by Craig Ellis on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 20:17
We have certainly lost a charismatic individual. Developing heli-skiing in the 70's required foresight that a few very special people possessed. Mike was one of them.
Thousands of skiers have experienced our mountains through his endeavors, and many appreciated them as he did.
Submitted by The vonrotz Fa… on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 18:21
Dear Bonnie and Wiegele Family
Our deepest condolences, we will remember Mike as a wonderful gentle talented Man.
May he Rest In Peace and do lots of powder turns in heavenly Mountains.
Mike will always be remembered as a Legend in the Heli Ski Industry.
Rest In Peace
Submitted by Holly Seibel on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 17:17
I worked in Banff for Mike & Bonnie from '78 to '80. A very enjoyable time and experience. Lovely people. Condolences to Bonnie & Michele.
Submitted by Clara Hyrman on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 15:59
I am so saddened for the whole wiegele family. I worked there for one season, the beautiful season of Michelles Wedding and made memories to last a life time. Mike was kind, generous, and fun with a child like spirit that we all enjoyed. What a great life, what a great legend. Sending you all my deepest condolences. ❤️❤️❤️ Claire.
Submitted by Tom Putnam on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 07:53
Heartfelt condolences to Bonnie and the whole Wiegele family. It was an honor and privilege to ski with Mike, he was such a visionary! I will always remember and value the ideas he shared with me on my more then 30 trips to Blue River. How I remember following him from the tip top of Saddle Mountain to the very bottom, through all of the ditches on one trip. Mike was a very special person, and I will miss him greatly. Rest in peace, Mike.
Submitted by Jill Rempel on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 05:28
I want to say but I felt it was an absolute privilege to get to know Mike. Not knowing him as the legend he was, I knew him as the sweetest soul with a gentle spirit and a kind kind heart. You were such an example of a loving and dedicated wife. May he rest in peace now, skiing hard in the heavenly mountains.
Jill rempel. ( life enrichment @ Origin)
Submitted by Willy Sanchis on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 00:48
Mike I guess you will be flying high with your heli into a smooth slopes in heaven. Give us your supporting in the the mountains to keep them as wild they are , RIP.
Submitted by Cody Blackmore on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 21:14
I had know idea, Super Man no question. Take care Wiegele family. My Condolences. Cody.
Submitted by Philip Green on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 17:05
Dear Bonnie, Michele and family and Mike Wiegele team.
Very sorry for your loss. It was a privilege for me to have known and worked for Mike , he was a friend and inspiration to me that I will not forget.
Please accept my condolences, Phil Green.
Submitted by Fiona Chan on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 16:51
My deepest condolences to you Bonnie and Michelle.
May the great memories of Mike bring you comfort and strength.
Mike will always be remembered as a Legend of the Industry.
Submitted by Iris and Matth… on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 13:33
Dear Bonnie, Michelle & Charlie,
It is always a terrible turning point in life to lose a much-loved person. We feel with you and it is
difficult to find the right words. We would like to express our deepest sympathy.
For us it was an honnor to meet and get to know Mike as a friend and as a pioneer of heliskiing.
Since 1983 we have been privileged to enjoy heliskiing, which we love so much, to the full in the
wordly ski paradise that he discovered in Cariboos and Monashees around Blue River in B.C..
Thank you for the AWESOME time. Mike has now arrived in the heavenly ski paradise!
So long, farewell and good bye !
SERVUS - PFIATI - HABE DIE EHRE !
Iris and Matthias Maresch
on behalf of all the members of the
AWESOME BAVARIAN SKIING MACHINE
Submitted by George Stern on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 11:51
Was it staying at the Venture with Big Vern’s inedible food and Mike saying “one day this will be the finest resort”? Or was it the day we made a fire on Diamond Head in the rain and Mike gave Ricky D and Dr. Robin suits as compensation? Was it the first time we ate in the Lodge and saw a part of the dream become reality? Was it when we first stayed in one of the “new Chalets”? Was it when Mike rescued “Cartwheel” off the cliffs of Cedars North? Was it the time in the dining room where we were sending shots back and forth with the Bavarians and I said “SHUT UP MIKE!”? Was it one of those early December trips where Mike guided us and made notes all the time regarding any improvements we suggested (and within a few weeks the changes were made if he agreed with them)? Is it when I gaze at one of the Don Harvey Originals in my office? Was it when we first joined the Bruderschaft (number 45)? Was it the first time we got into an A-Star? Was it the first time I brought my son and Mike gave us a photo that he signed with his trademark tagline “lets go skiing”? It was all of those and more! So many more amazing memories and to top it all off, the thrill of meeting a man so passionate, so driven, and so much fun all rolled into one. We have been lucky to have met a man like Mike who changed our world and made it a much better place. I was 32 my first trip to Blue and am 69 now and basically have not missed a year of skiing with Mike and some Years twice. I know the landings, the runs, the mountains, and many of the amazing Guides and staff that Mike trained and guided to make each guest’s visit special and memorable. Great skiing, great accommodation, fabulous food but best of all was knowing Mike and watching him grow the dream. It was his dream. He made it come true, and everybody; guests, staff, friends and neighbours all are better for this one man’s vision. To say he will be missed is shallow at best.
Submitted by Chris Thoms on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 09:45
RestInPowder Mike. My condolences to the whole Wiegele family.
I was fortunate to meet Mike, Martin, Genevieve, and others on my week trip to Wiegele World in February of 2004. For this week and the many memories, I hold dear Mike's powder playground.
Please continue his legacy of the best skiing in North America, along with the amazing hospitality the whole Wiegele family extends to its guests, and honor his moto "Let's Go Skiing".
Wayne, IL USA
Submitted by Bill Gardiner on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 09:25
Mike allowed me to enjoy one of my bucket list life experiences. He will be missed but not forgotten.
A true good person
Submitted by Michelle Janze on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:49
I worked in the Blue River office one ski season. It was 1980 or 1981 I believe. It was a wonderful experience. Only a few of the cabins had been built. You've now grown to 220 employees! We were 2 in the office and ski guides. It was such a warm family like working atmosphere. Mike was a terrific person to work for. I would very much like to be at the memorial.
My deepest condolences to Bonnie, Michelle and Mike's extended family.
Submitted by Sylvia, Nichol… on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:44
Wir haben Mike am Kitesurf Beach auf Maui kennengelernt und viele interessante Gespräche geführt, während er auf Bonnie gewartet hat. Mike war weltoffen, humorvoll und großzügig. Er hat gerne seine Erfahrungen und sein Wissen geteilt. Wir werden ihn sehr vermissen.
Submitted by Guntram Weisse… on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 07:57
I noticed in your article you did not mention that Mike, along with 7 guests, broke the world record for most vertical feet skied in a week in 1982. My father Guntram Weissenberger, also an Austrian born immigrant (to the US), skied with Mike that week in which they skied 243,000 vertical feet in 6 and 1/2 days. While for todays standards it does not seem like much, this was before the days of fat boy skis and other technologies. I believe the record held until fat boys came along. Mike was a dear friend of my fathers and we send our condolences to his family - he provided many people with many great memories!
all the best,
Submitted by Peter Bellos on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 07:21
Mike Wiegele Tribute
Reading through the many wonderful posts celebrating Mike’s life, I am reminded of his graciousness and keen awareness of the individual. I knew Mike from ski racing in the late 60’s and early 70’s, yet several years later while returning home from BYU to Kamloops for the Christmas holiday, Mike got on the same Greyhound bus. As he got on the bus he recognized my face among the many travelers in the dim light of that late night. I appreciated his company and interest in what I was doing as we rode from Calgary to Banff. Years later while working at Cariboo College Mike hosted my wife and me for a night stay in Valemount. I have skied many days yet not one with Mike but I will always remember his gracious awareness of the individual.
At times like this I reflect upon Mary Magdalene as she stood at the empty tomb doorway and thru her tear filled eyes she was the first to witness, for all of us, there is much more to life than mortality. John 30:11-17
With that hope I express my condolences to Bonnie, Michelle and family.
I will always remember Mike and his kindness to me.
Submitted by Susanne Fränkl… on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 03:08
We want to send a big ThankYou for so many great moments in Blue River during and next to the Powder8Championships. We always admired Mike for his love and enthusiasm for skiing in untouched nature, his generosity and friendliness. Our thoughts are with his family and we say goodbye from Ehrwald/Austria and Hamburg/Germany.
Submitted by Ute and Jörg Wolf on Tue, 07/20/2021 - 01:51
We met Mike in Blue River in February 2016 when our dream of heliskiing finally came true.
For us it was a fantastic and unique experience. Apart from great skiing we were absolutely impressed by the safety system Mike had developed. He was a pioneer in so many ways.
Our thoughts go out to his family and close friends
Ute and Jörg from Germany
Submitted by Dr. Scott Negri on Mon, 07/19/2021 - 21:06
Mike Wiegele was an extraordinary man, a dreamer and a kind man who loved for us all to go skiing with him. His ethics and commitment to safety and excellence are an example of utmost fineness, that all of us of any profession can only wish to achieve. I enjoyed his humble company many times and his guides and staff revered him, honored him and understood and loved him . I was blessed by incredbible days and weeks in his tenure of mountains. I relished in his honor and hugs as I was awarded a silver buckle. An average, adventurous skier, I had learned to excel in his mountains under his leadership via his guides and their coaching and encouragement. All because Mike created the opportunity for me to live out and experience a skiing dream. The quality of the experience with Mike and his family of employees will always outshine any measurement of success or vertical feet. It just feels like it was the entire universe. God bless Mike Wiegele, his family, guides, and staff. R.I.P. , my special skiing friend. Until we ride again.
Submitted by Mary Ann Gardn… on Mon, 07/19/2021 - 19:23
I too remember many days at Louise with Jane, Barb MacGoo Renner …we followed Mike on slopes we wouldn’t have ventured to without a trusted leader …and we learned. Well remembered. Condolences to his family.
Submitted by Cindy Cordonier on Mon, 07/19/2021 - 19:12
I met Mike some years ago. He was a very down to earth person that you ever want to meet. He asked about you, your interests and your family when he talked with me. Mike cared about everyone he was in contact with. I’ll never forget that moment with him.
My condolences to Mike’s family ⛷