Swiss-born 8-year MWHS Heli-Skiing Guide Jenny Citherlet says she dreamed of being a ski guide shortly after moving to Canada from Switzerland 17-years-ago… but thought this idea was way too far-fetched and unrealistic. However, as she spent more time in the ski industry and completed guide’s training through the Canadian Avalanche Certification Program and the Canadian Ski Guides Association , she saw the true potential for herself as a professional heli-ski guide.
Citherlet says she quickly fell in love with the Mike Wiegele’s terrain, which offers many adventurous challenges for all types of skiers.
“I think skiing in the trees is a lot of fun,” says Citherlet. “Every time I think I’ve just had the best day ever… there’s always another one that comes after that.”
MWHS’s 1.2 million acre tenure has lots of varying ski conditions throughout the season. Citherlet says guiding groups through some of her favourite Cariboo and Monashee Mountain areas (like Freefall and Screwball), require specific North Face outerwear to keep her warm and dry.
When you’re skiing an epic line on Freefall, do you find your outerwear can stand up to branches you encounter?
Yeah…. when you’re scraping it on trees or walking around the machine – that’s when it’s really durable. I don’t know how many cuts I have on my hands and fingers, but the jackets seem to resist all of those elements.
When you’re in the mountains all day, guests can get chilly. How do you help them stay warm?
I wear my North Face jacket, but I do carry one of the insulated North Face jackets that we had from a previous year as a spare jacket and it’s usually the one I hand out to keep people warm. It’s really good for all the elements though. It’s very breathable so it keeps you cool on a warm day and warm on a cooler day.
You have a lot of equipment to carry with you too, do the North Face clothes help with that?
Yes, in the pants we have four pockets and even more in the jackets. Every day the same thing goes into each pocket, because it’s good to know where you can access things very quickly. North Face listened to what we needed as guides and used that input when designing the clothes.
Do you have any tips for people trying to keep their jacket pockets organized?
I wrap duct tape around my lip balm stick and keep that in my pocket so it’s nice and warm and the tape stays sticky. I end up using it every week!
Interview by 10-year MWHS heli-skiing addict and guest MWHS blogger Jean Strong @jeanbstrong