Bodie Shandro started as a ‘soil expert’ before transitioning to snow and becoming a Mike Weigle heli ski guide. This is his love story.
I often say, ” I did it all “bass ackwards”.
I am an Alberta boy, lived in farm country, and I loved all board sports but was just too far away from the mountains to make it a lifestyle. I was educated in the sciences – pedology, thats soil science, essentially looking at dirt, digging profiles, looking at structure.
Thirty years later I’m doing the same thing only with snow not soil. I am now a CSIA certified Ski Instructor at Sun Peaks, a CSGA Ski Guide with Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing and an Avalanche Canada AST Instructor.
Back in the 90’s I was the Canadian distributor for the surf brand Rip Curl, living in Alberta but wanting to have my daughter live a “mountain life”. So we started looking for the perfect lake (I have a paddle board company paddlesurfit.com) and ski resort option and like most Albertans, thought Kelowna but only discovered everyone else had discovered it too.
We were driving home, distraught, wondering what now when we drove through Kamloops and towards the sign for Sun Peaks Resort. I knew a little about it but thought what the hell it’s lunch time and we decided to make the 32 km drive from HWY5 to the resort.
We passed a couple of ponds on the way. It was a beautiful drive and the resort was amazing, local shops, euro style, loved it. It was just too bad no lake to live on. Then in our favourite cafe to this day (16 years) Bolocco Cafe, we were advised by Conrad the owner that Heffley Lake (the ‘pond’ that we passed, was actually 8km long).
He called up the local agent and to make a long story short, by the end of the day we owned lake front property on Heffley Lake, just minutes from Sun Peaks Resort. A dream come true!
Although not having started skiing until late in life, I loved it and the backcountry became my passion. The best day of skiing ever was a day of heli skiing at Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing that a friend had taken me on.
I came home and thought, “I need more”. Not falling into the financial demographic that can make heli skiing a lifestyle, I thought hey, why not become a guide?
Five years later I am still guiding part-time with Mike Wiegele, and have since developed and now coordinate Sun Peaks Off Piste Camps. I am so grateful every single day to live my “bucket list”, sharing my passion for skiing and the backcountry in the most incredible ski community in the world!