Old time friends Neil and Mark come to us from Santa Fe. They carry on like brothers and fit into the Great Canadian Heli-skiing family like they were born here. Every good friendship has a story.
It was a historic moment in Neil’s life when his buddy Mark invited him up to Great Canadian. They packed their bags in the sunny south and made the trek up here together. That was eleven years ago. Today, sitting in the bar, Neil tells me the story of how Mark slowly weaned him off the typical businessman past times of golf and resort skiing and got him into the mountains.
Mark laughs and looks up over his local Kokanee beer with a mischievous twinkle in his eye – “There’s too many rules in golf.” And so it goes. Mark has a double black (or harder?) mountain bike trail built into his Santa Fe property, and when the two aren’t heli-skiing together they’re feeding their need for speed on highly technical bike descents. Neil says he made the transition when he realized that when he was golfing he could still think about work. Flying down a steep pitch in the backcountry on skis or a mountain bike is the ultimate freedom from a life full of responsibility.
The two timed their trip this year perfectly. Skiing for six days in the last week of March secured them a solid spring session full of epic powder, steep alpine lines, and exploration into rarely skied terrain in our tenure. On his last day with us Neil came in with a serious goggle tan and a HUGE grin saying, “Today was the best skiing of my life!”
When they weren’t skiing together the two were regaling us with stories of their life’s adventures all over the world, contemplating the fine art of choosing a good wine for dinner, and keeping guide Terry Makos on his toes with a six day long game of “name that tune” in the evenings.
Reminiscing about the good old days while still living the good old days is what these two are known for. Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, having a week-long adventure in the mountains with your best friend is pure gold.