Alterra Mountain Company is set to acquire Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS) in Blue River, BC, Canada. Upon closing, the heli-skiing operation will expand the company’s heli-skiing portfolio, complementing CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures.

MWHS said the choice of Alterra to continue building on the company’s legacy was guided by the Wiegele family’s “immense respect for the wilderness and mountain environment, and, together, the entities share a commitment to environmental sustainability, capital improvement and making mountain sports more accessible.”

Alterra said in a release it “recognizes that MWHS lies within the territory of the Simpcw First Nation and intends to consult with and work with the Nation throughout the ownership process.”

“Mike Wiegele was a pioneer in the heli-ski world, and we are excited to add another premier heli-skiing operation to the Alterra family,” said Jared Smith, president and CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “In many ways, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing helped set the standard for extraordinary guest and employee experiences that prioritized safety and quality, which directly aligns with our values at Alterra.”

Founded in 1970, MWHS is located in the Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky Mountain ranges. This area of BC is said to be “renowned as one of the world’s most productive regions for high-quality, reliable powder snow.” The 1.5-million-acre ski terrain and its 1,000 peaks offer varied terrain that appeals to all levels of snow enthusiasts. The operation consists of 22 log chalets, a 20,000-square-foot main lodge, the Albreda Lodge, and a full-service sports shop. MWHS is known for its experienced guides, culinary offerings, service, and amenities.

“Alterra Mountain Company is the ideal partner to celebrate and preserve the legacy that Mike Wiegele left behind,” said Elias Ortner, general manager of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. “Becoming a part of the Alterra family will propel this operation to new heights, allowing us to enhance the guest experience further and deepen our existing community and loyal guest partnerships.”

The heli-skiing operation was the brainchild of Mike Wiegele, a ski-obsessed Austrian who translated a lifetime of innovation into a “legendary reputation.” He became one of the “most influential ski pioneers in Canada.” With MWHS, “he set the standard for avalanche safety, influenced groundbreaking changes in ski technology and inspired future generations of skiers, snowboarders and guides.”

“Mike and I were always committed to an enduring future for the business. A future that would honor our commitments to mountain safety and stewardship, to an exceptional powder skiing experience, to our committed guides and staff, and to the relationships we have formed with partners and guests from around the world. The sale to Alterra ensures MWHS will continue to be one of the world’s most unique powder skiing experiences for the next 50 years,” said Bonnie Wiegele, owner of Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing.

The transaction is expected to close in late 2023 and is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. More details will be released once the transaction is completed.

Photo courtesy Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing