Monthly Archives: September 2012

Aging gracefully with Methven Heliski

Christof and Britta Weiser are proof you can do what you love at any age.

The couple first came to Methven Heliski 20 years ago. This year, Christof, 84, and Britta, 73, returned from Mondsee, Austria to spend another spectacular season with us.

They enjoy escaping away to New Zealand for their summer months, always returning to Methven Heliski.

“Kevin has the biggest area and the most exciting area. Every day he finds a new run,” Christof said.

Over the years the couple has become familiar with many of the runs in Methven Heliski territory, but even during this season, the guides managed to find them a new route to ski.

“It’s amazing coming for so long and to never have done a run,” Britta said.

The thrills and adventure of Heliskiing – along with the peacefulness that comes with making the first tracks down an untouched mountain – is something the couple doesn’t take for granted.

They enjoyed ski touring when they were younger, but Heliskiing was out of reach. Upon first inquiring about Heliskiing in Canada, they learned it would cost seven months of Christof’s salary.

“There was no way. It was impossible. Not in this life,” Christof said.

But the prospect of Heliskiing became a reality through a gain in the Austrian economy, and the Weiser’s savvy business practices.

In 1989, they went on an all-inclusive Heliskiing trip. They recalled Vodka being part of the all-inclusive offer – and when the time came to Heliski a few people were too sick to even venture up the mountain.

Luckily, the Weisers’ distaste for Vodka allowed them to get the full Heliski experience – and they haven’t stopped doing it since.

At age 80, Christof received a certificate for being the oldest regular Heliskier (requiring more than 50 days of Heliksiing per year) in the world.

In the past few years, they’ve developed a routine visiting Canada, Northern India, Greenland and New Zealand every year to get their Heliski fix.

These days, Heliskiing offers adventure in an otherwise relaxed life. With their children grown, and their business operating as a well-oiled machine, the biggest worry these days is when they will go Heliskiing next.

The Weisers say a big reason they’ve been successful in life is because they work hard and aren’t afraid to take on new challenges. This is reflected today while they ski down the jagged mountains of New Zealand.

“At times you think, ‘What am I doing here?’  But you overcome it. You just do the turn, or you slip sideways. However you get yourself out of the situation, you figure out you can handle it and get the satisfaction of having done it.”

Britta and Christof will celebrate 50 years of marriage in just a couple months. Although they don’t have an exact formula for their success, they agree finding a passion they both enjoy is definitely an added bonus.

Heliskiing is a bond Britta and Christof plan to share for as long as they can get away with. When you are skiing, you are not thinking about your age, they said.

“It always gives you something to look forward too. At this age, there is nothing that compares to skiing,” Christof said.

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Missing winter?

We thought this season was pretty good for snow with some excellent powder days and good coverage in our Southern Glaciers region. We usually get some Westerly weather as spring approaches but we didn’t expect several meters of new snow over the past week and we didn’t expect the quality to be excellent!

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Winter goes on

Big mountains mean big weather ! Methven Heli has been unable to operate for the last 5 days due to a classic Northwest weather bomb. The good news, however, is that we got 100cm of fresh snow in this afternoon alone ! Conditions above 1600m will be “amazing” says snowboard guide Roy Hawthorne. With plenty of fresh tracks for all, it’s not time to retire the powder skis or board just yet…

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