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Heli-skiing pioneer Mike Wiegele dies

The fearless entrepreneur founded a helicopter-skiing business in the 1970s.
Mike Wiegele had a career that spanned decades.

One of the best-known names in skiing in B.C. has died.

Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing announced July 15 the passing of its namesake and founder.

“Everyone at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing extends our deepest sympathies to the Wiegele family, most notably Mike’s wife Bonnie, their daughter Michelle and their grandson Charlie,” the company said in a post on social media.

Wiegele was born in Austria in 1938 and moved to Canada in his early 20s to work as a carpenter, according to a biography on

In the 1970s, Wiegele founded a helicopter-skiing business and moved it to Blue River. It became a world-renowned tourism operation.

“Mike lived a remarkable life,” read the post on social media.

“He had an unparalleled passion for skiing, was a fearless entrepreneur and was a tireless and innovative advocate for safety in the mountains. His industry leadership spans 50-plus years, leading to numerous national and international commendations.”

Based out of Blue River in the North Thompson, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing runs heli- and cat-skiing trips in the Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky mountains.

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