MWHS Operations Manager and 30-year veteran heli-ski guide Bob Sayer, knew he wanted to be a ski guide the moment he saw a Warren Miller movie featuring “Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing.” He kept that goal for 10-years while working in the ski industry, until he earned the chance of a lifetime.
In 1987, Sayer won the Canadian Powder 8’s competition at Lake Louise, which earned him a coveted position in the Powder 8 World Championship at Wiegele’s. Sayer says when he arrived to ski, he met Mike Wiegele himself and convinced the skiing legend that he was the MWHS operation’s next perfect guide. Three-decades later, Sayer certainly hasn’t lost his spark and says his intense passion for skiing and guiding that brought him to Blue River, remains as strong as ever.
Being equipped with the right gear for the rugged MWHS terrain, is an essential part of enjoying the backcountry experience. According to Sayer, there is one important piece of head gear that has made his heli-ski guiding career a whole lot easier…
What piece of equipment have you worn for most throughout your 30-year ski-guiding career?
I’ve been wearing Smith Goggles since 1991. I normally get two whole years out of a pair of goggles, and those are 150-day years… so I can get 300 days out of a pair of goggles.
Do the goggles help you in your role as a guide?
As a guide they are awesome… they give me a large view area – especially the I/OX. It’s important, because in guiding you want as big a picture as you can get and as much information as possible. If I can see more, I can see more of my clients and the conditions around me.
The Anti-Fog in the Smith seems to work better than other goggles I’ve tried. When I switch guests to my goggles after they have completely fogged theirs, they don’t fog my goggles nearly as quickly as they fog theirs.
On those sunny alpine days, will you switch your lens?
For most of the year I use one lens, then come spring time… I will switch to another. But, whenever it’s sunny I guide in my Smith sunglasses. I really like the polarized versions, because it allows my eyes to relax more. I carry them in my pocket unprotected a lot of the time and they hold up well too.
At -20 C (-4 F) or warmer, these glasses are great – even though I tear up more. Nearly every helicopter ride, I have to wipe tears off my lenses… but sometimes it’s just pure happiness!
Interview by 10-year MWHS heli-skiing addict and guest MWHS blogger Jean Strong @jeanbstrong