Sun Valley, Idaho Jan. 4, 2007 (Press Release)—In March, 2007, skiers and riders will be able to lay claim to the only magazine dedicated to the rapidly expanding helicopter and snowcat skiing industry. Published quarterly, the high-quality, comprehensive journal will introduce readers to the 95+ operators, their technology, the thousands of guides, pilots, owners and guests, and the millions of backcountry acres explored by the expanding community of intermediate to expert-level riders. The full-color, heavy-stock, coffee-table publication will be distributed by subscription and through select shops and outlets.
Skinner Media, founder of
Mountain Resort Magazine
, has partnered with the three associations governing heli- and cat- operations to produce
HELI-SKI US, THE UNITED STATES SNOWCAT SKI ASSOCIATION, and HELICAT CANADA. An Editorial Board has also been formed consisting of the leading minds in the industry with representatives from the operators, manufacturers including K2 and Dynastar-Look-Lange, Snowsports Industries America and more.
"The number of cat- and heli- opportunities has nearly doubled in the last five years," said publisher Gard Skinner, "while the number of guest days has not taken a hit. Visits now measure in the hundreds of thousands; these operations are growing their market. The barriers used to be cost and ability, but with resort prices escalating, the gap between cat or heli skiing and any destination vacation has narrowed considerably."
"One of the common misunderstandings about helicopter skiing is that you must be an expert skier," added Sigi Vogl, Executive Director of Heli-Ski US Association. "Too many films have depicted this as an extreme sport. The fact is heli skiing is a wonderful activity for the family and no guest has to be an expert skier. Technology has been a huge boost with the advent of the fat ski, making backcountry skiing easy for intermediate skiers. Now, as snowboarding has matured, the helicopter skiing industry has seen a large spike in the amount of heli boarders. They are a welcome emerging market."
"Safety is always our number 1 priority," stressed Mike Wiegele, owner and guide at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. "The industry demands the highest level of certification, training and instruction from our professional guides, and it is our responsibility to ensure our clients have a safe and enjoyable experience. The sport which was once defined as an adventure is now re-defined as a safe, affordable vacation for everyone in the family. This is in part due to the knowledge and education surrounding snow science, safety, and hazards."
Bob Rule, Executive Director of the United States Snowcat Skiing Association, said, "Every day, more fat boards are sold than race boards. Snow science expertise expands and is shared across our network. An escalating number of both affluent and middle-class consumers have come to realize that what was once an experience they could only dream about is safe, incredibly addictive, and readily available."
The magazine will focus on the wide range of helicopter and snowcat operations in North America, and on the dozens more that spring up each year worldwide. The gear, machines, personalities, traditions, knowledge and terrain will all be shared in its pages. Each issue will also serve as the only up-to-date, complete directory of operators in North America. More information is at
Skinner concluded, "Any journalist would thrive on the opportunity to tell these stories. The operators are pioneers and the guests are avid adventurers. No other publication has been produced with the sole purpose of documenting the history and the accomplishments taking plaace on this frontier. Skiers and riders make up a huge, powerful, global community. It matters little if we spend our day in a terrain park, race course, in the bumps, freeskiing, hiking, or in the bowls. The binding thing is that we all aspire to make our turns in deep, fresh snow. It is the common denominator for every skier and rider--it is our relationship with each other--and that won't change. Hopefully, we'll be able to help make the experience a reality for as many readers as possible."