Ski Canada Magazine has been in publication for 40 years, in that time one of the things that skiers in Canada look forward to most is the annual Ski Canada buyers guide. This is a review and rating of all the latest and greatest gear. It gives consumers a chance to find the right skis for them based on a number of criteria. Skier type, skill set and price point are all considered to help the public narrow down their choices and get on the best gear for them. The guides at Mike Wiegele Heliskiing have been honoured and flattered to be the testers for the Powder Ski category for the past 3 seasons. This is a great relationship for both Ski Canada and Mike Wiegele Heliskiing. For Ski Canada it ensures the powder skis are being tested in the most realistic arena possible, by a group of testers who are arguably the most accomplished powder skiers in the game. For the guides who do the testing it allows the opportunity to stay at the forefront of what is happening in ski technology. By having a chance to test the newest gear we gain the ability to recommend skis to our guests based on their personal style. We know what works and can share that knowledge with our friends and clients. See what I mean? Win, win.

The job of a tester requires the ability to detect and describe differences in skis, a certain flair for vocabulary and the lack of prejudice of a supreme court judge. And while we take the job seriously, it's not all work. We get to do what we love, which is ski hard on the most advanced gear available. We get to test skis in big, open alpine bowls, we get to launch airs and do short turns in the best tree skiing on the planet, all in the name of journalism. I know, it's a tough job but someone has to do it.

The Ski Canada Powder test will hit the shelves in December and is available online at Pick it up from the newsstand or check it out online and get ready for the best winter of your life.

I dedicated this year’s Powder Test to Eric Rousseau. A friend and longtime Whistler local and legend, Eric tragically passed in an accident this fall. He will be remembered by those who knew him as one of the most inspirational and naturally talented skiers in our tribe. There will be many runs done in his memory this winter and I know that not many powder days went by in Whistler without Eric charging hard and living up to one of his favorite sayings, “The faster you ski, the less time you're in danger.” 

While his Joie de Vivre will be sorely missed, Eric's enthusiasm and memory will live on. His love of the sport, appreciation for his friends and loved ones and infectious smile won't be forgotten. I urge you to live your dreams, smile more and frown less and if you are considering heliskiing this winter, stop thinking and start doing. Life is too short for regrets.

Ron Betts, fortunate Mike Wiegele Heliskiing Guide and child at heart.