Ski Utah Press Release

Public Relations Director

Utah's Powderbird Heli Ski Operation To Host Official Powder 8 World Championships Qualifying Events

Powderbird has been selected by Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing as the official host venue of U.S. Powder 8 National Championships Event Series, January 22–24 and February 5–7, 2020.

Snowbird, UT (December 5, 2019) — Powderbird, Utah’s premier heli-adventure operation and part of the POWDR adventure lifestyle portfolio, today announced with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS), that it was selected to host the U.S. qualifying events for the Mike Wiegele Powder 8 World Championships, which are returning in 2020 to commemorate Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing’s 50th anniversary. Powderbird’s selection by MWHS as the only official Powder 8 qualifying host venue builds on a longstanding training partnership between the two organizations.

Powderbird will host two U.S. qualifying events in the Wasatch Range of Utah for the MWHS Powder 8 World Championships, including a national championship qualifying event open to the public, with pre-registration required, from January 22–24, 2020 and a final world championships qualifying event during the U.S. Powder 8 National Championships, February 5–7, 2020. Two teams from the national championships event will be advanced to the official MWHS Powder 8 World Championships, held March 31 – April 3, 2020, in beautiful Blue River, B.C. The world championship event will welcome teams from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Canada, and the U.S.

“Powderbird has worked with Mike Wiegele and his guides and staff for more than 20 years, sharing knowledge and best practices,” said Kevin O’Rourke, Powderbird’s Vice President of Operations. “It is a sincere honor for our team to host the qualifying events and we cannot wait to do so in celebration of 50 years of heli-skiing the Mike Wiegele way.”

Launched in 1980, the annual MWHS Powder 8 World Championships was – for two decades – widely heralded as the pinnacle showcase event for synchronized powder skiing, where teams of two compete head-to-head in creating perfect ‘8s’ in deep powder snow. The event is also credited with popularizing the burgeoning freeskiing movement of the ’80s and ’90s that now permeates ski culture and the experience of mountain resorts everywhere.

“When I landed in the mountains of Canada in 1959, I had no idea the impact we would have on the sport of skiing. I was just in search of the world’s best powder,” said Wiegele, who recently celebrated his 81st birthday and still leads MWHS. “However, since starting this company in 1970, we have shared the magic of powder skiing with many thousands of guests, developed the first powder ski at our lodge in Blue River and ignited a global passion for powder skiing. For this we are both incredibly grateful and extremely proud.”

As part of celebrating its 50th season, MWHS is also releasing a documentary, Call Me Crazy, on December 9, 2019, as well as being featured in this season’s Warren Miller Entertainment film, Timeless, now screening throughout North America.

“I established the Powder 8 World Championships because I wanted to motivate and sponsor the sport of powder skiing. To ski more and ski better.” says Wiegele. “We are excited to partner with Powderbird for the U.S. Nationals and, once again, host the world’s best powder 8 skiers in the world’s best snow.”

For more U.S. Powder 8 Nationals qualifying event series and Powder 8 World Championships event information, follow these links:

Powderbird: U.S. Powder 8 National Championships
MWHS: Powder 8 World Championships

Media Contacts —

Kettler Thomas
Phone: 801-742-2800

Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing
Daniela Aufschnaiter

Phone: 250-673-2495


About Powderbird: Founded in 1973 as one of the world’s first helicopter ski operators, Powderbird has grown into a premier year-round international guide service. Today, the Powderbird professional guide team is dedicated to providing clients with the pinnacle experiences in guided helicopter skiing and mountain adventures. Powderbird is part of the POWDR adventure lifestyle portfolio.

About Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS): Established in 1970, MWHS is a family owned heli-ski operation – located in the heart of the magnificent Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky Mountains ranges. This unique area of British Columbia is renowned as one of the world’s most productive regions for high quality, reliable powder snow. The MWHS 1.5-million-acre (600,000 ha.) ski terrain offers world class skiing and boarding and hosts a variety of summer activities. The MWHS resort consists of 22 handcrafted log chalets, 20,000 sq. foot main Lodge, full-service Sport Shop, Guides Haus, and the Albreda Lodge. The winter season runs from December 1, 2019, until April 11, 2020.