Update 16/7/21 Sad news out of Canada today with the passing of Mike Wiegele.
For those who never had the privilege of meeting and skiing with him, and more so for those who did, the movie of his life story is a great place to remember the good times with him and what a character we have lost today.
“Call Me Crazy – The Legend of Mike Wiegele” is now available online. Check out more of the amazing life story of how a young Austrian with little more than a dream and a love for skiing became one of the most influential skiers in Canada and the founder of one of North American’s preeminent heli-skiing operations – Mike Wiegele Heliskiing, which as we have told you several times is one of the all time must-dos for serious skiers and riders.
“Call Me Crazy – The Legend of Mike Wiegele” is now available online.
According to Mike Wiegele, it’s an overwhelming experience to share his life’s journey with the world.
“It’s very gratifying to have your life documented on film,” says Mike.
It started with a dream and Mike says, “It was a miracle that came true and we hope that it keeps growing.”
Whistler based Origin Outside is the production team behind Call Me Crazy. According to the film’s Director Andrea Wing, the production of this film was an emotional experience – from start to finish.
“It has been an absolute joy to bring this film to life,” says Wing. “It’s challenging trying to tell a life story and it’s also something you definitely don’t want to get wrong. So… getting Mike’s nod of approval was really the highlight of the whole process.”
“For Mike to be honoured in this manner is really inspiring,” says 30-year Senior Lead MWHS Guide Bob Rankin.
“This film is really special, and Mike deserves it. He is a legend in the industry. There were only two or three of them that started out in the late 60’s, with an idea to fly up onto a glacier with a helicopter and skiing down… and thinking maybe people would be interested in doing this. Look where it is now,” says Rankin.
Rankin explains that Mike is still pursuing this dream and at 81-years-old, he continues to inspire people who have a passion to experience the mountains.
“This film provides the next generation the opportunity to see Mike’s dedication to a dream and his dedication to take people to the mountains and share the joy and beauty of what the mountains give people,” says Rankin.
Among many other achievements, Wiegele founded the World Powder 8 Championships. Snow Action’s Owain Price had the privilege of skiing with him there at the 1991 event. “One scheduled competition day the wind got up and the comp couldn’t go off, his wife Bonnie didn’t want to ski, so I scored the last seat in the chopper with several of the competion team pairs going for a private fun session.”
“Mike looks at me at the top of the run and says, ‘OK, you my buddy!’ and they all disappear into the trees at warp speed. I follow the tracks, my buddy and the rest long gone. I get to the chopper just as it’s ready to take off and they throw me in. Round we go, again and again, until it got too dark to ski anymore. A bunch of the World’s best powder skiers, and the magazine guy from downunder who had never heliskied before that trip. But Mike didn’t mind, or treat me any different. He was just happy as he always is sharing his amazing domain with friends.”
That shared friendship experience remains at the core of MWH trips to this day – it’s not a mega operation.
Call Me Crazy has received a POWDER Award nomination for Best Documentary, and was included in the Whistler Film Festival and the Rossland Film Festival and was nominated for Best Storytelling at iF3 Montreal. The film is now available online here.
Enjoy, but be warned, you’ll likely be lining up to go ski with Mike Wiegele Heliskiing too, soon!