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Follow your ski dreams. Live like “Harry the dreamer.”

Posted by & filed under Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, Guest Stories.

skiing in the backcountry

 

 

 

Many of our guests are dreamers… they have answered the beckoning call of powder in hopes to ski that “perfect run,” and some even make a lifestyle out of it! Out of those whom have pursued that dream for their entire lives, there is one that stands out as a legend:

“Harry…the dreamer”

Before he had even arrived at the Heather Mountain Lodge, whispers of his name echoed through the halls.  Like an old Clint Eastwood movie where Clint was about to arrive in small village, guests and staff acted the same way as the villagers in the bar and the passed stories of “Harry,”  from one to the other.

It was fitting when he finally arrived this year, that he matched his description of a “ski bum unlike many other.” His relaxed demeanor and gregarious personality immediately draw you in and you can see why he has left a trail of great relationships with other skiers and the staff during his travels.  Now, it will come as a real shock to most, but “Harry,” is a name that was bestowed upon him by his fellow ski peers, his actual name is “Al.”

When I asked how he ended up getting named “Harry,” he went onto explain that he was named after “Harry the dreamer, from an old Greg stump ski movie about a guy who’s life is extremely boring…that left for out west to live a dream life.” This astounded me because it reminded me of many ski hero epic tales where the skier must leave all they had ever known to experience the true delights of deep snow.  So how did this all start?  And who named him this in the first place?

He told me “in the movie (Harry) is a bald headed guy that sleeps on a mattress on the floor and dreams about skiing all night long.  He eventually goes off and lives out all of his dreams after he abruptly leaves the life he is currently living.”

Al surprised me when he said that “he had named someone else in his ski group “Harry the dreamer.” Over the course of a few years,  the group started to call its members “Harry the dreamer.”   At one point in time, there was over 40 people that called themselves Harry the dreamer.   As the years passed on and the skiers slowly left the group, he was eventually bestowed the name that he had given another.  In a weird cycle of events, he had become the ski hero from that movie incarnate.  Al had left the east to go out west and become a resident of  Salt Lake city, and he has been an Alta season pass holder for 32 years.  His whole journey had started with a feature of many great stories, the catalyst that changed the course of his entire life; his fantastic wife “Sally.”  His world changed when Sally accepted Harry’s invitation to go out west in a van with him and his dog.

How does he thank her for urging him to follow his dreams which involve skiing our great tenure?  He always sends home great photos based on the theme of “When Harry met Sally.” This year “Cathy, ” one of our great helicopter pilots from Coldstream Helicopters, took some skiis and with the help of the guides, made them into swords.  The theme this year involved “Sally” being one sword and “Hairy” being the other.”    The swords made their way to the top of the mountain and made for an epic photo shoot.   They were also used to saber some delicious champagne to celebrate!

When asked for words of wisdom…. “Harry” simply replied: “Stay focused on what you want and you will get it.”

Why does Harry come here? “The whole package, the culture and because it is on one hand very professional and on the other hand very personal.”

Thank you Harry!

 

Pirates on a ski day