Our guides are superbly trained to lead small-group heli-skiing expeditions to the world's most remote areas. Along with years of ski patrol and backcountry experience, they are skilled in Outdoor Emergency Medical Care, avalanche safety, helicopter safety and the science of reading snowpacks.Every WPG trip is staffed with one guide for every four guests, so you'll get the individual attention you deserve.
Our company CEO began working for Wasatch PowderbirdTM Guides in 1984. An avid kayaker, trekker and helicopter pilot, Rusty has indulged his thirst for outdoor recreation on repeated excursions to Central America, South America and the South Pacific. He feels especially privileged to have guided thousands of people on one of the world's most awe-inspiring adventures: rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. When not globetrotting, Rusty lives in his home outside of Park City, Utah.
Powderbird's COO is also director of our Greenland helicopter skiing program. Kevin joined Wasatch Powderbird Guides in 1992 after working with the Powderbird crew during the production of the feature film K2. During the next several years Kevin received guide training at Powderbird and gained experience in snow safety while serving on the ski patrol at Utah's Alta Ski Resort. He has carved his ski signature in the mountain snows of Greenland, Turkey, Japan, Alaska, New Zealand, and Nepal.
The third member of the Powderbird Board of Directors is Mike "Ole" Olson. He has been guiding with Powderbird since 1985 and is now part owner. He currently lives in Utah with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He has been on several ski descents to Mt. Rainer, Mt. Baker, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams including a few ski expeditions to Nepal, Greenland, Chile and New Zealand. Working on the snow covered mountains has become second nature. He also has a passion for film work and can be found in the following credits: K2, Invasion of Privacy, The River Wild, Species, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic and numerous ski and snowboard film projects and commercials.
The fourth member of our Board of Directors is no stranger to heli-skiing. Scott began skiing with Powderbird in 2001 and quickly became a regular. He has skied in Greenland, Argentina, British Columbia, and the backcountry of the Bitterroot Mountains on Powderbird led private trips. Two years ago Scott followed his passion and joined us full time and now spends the winter at Canyons Resort in Park City. Scott grew up skiing and working in the Sierras Mountains of California. When he is not skiing with us, you can find him in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Phyllis and his two daughters Sarah and Becca.
Spencer developed a love for the mountains as he grew up ski racing in the Ogden Valley Ski Education Program based at Snowbasin Ski Area. At 17 years old he moved to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, where he earned a degree in Commercial Recreation and Tourism, while working for the Town of Alta. His passion for climbing and skiing eventually led him to a career as a professional skier and mountain guide. While guiding helicopter skiing in Valdez Alaska, he won the 2000 World Extreme Skiing Championships. This gave him the opportunity to travel the globe to ski, compete and film. He now finds his greatest satisfaction in guiding, teaching, and sharing his appreciation for the backcountry with others. Summers you can find him biking, motorcycling and climbing while running his Real Estate business in Salt Lake and Park City Utah
Matt is a career outdoors man living and working in the Southwest. Matt was born in Virginia but exposed at an early age to the western ski experience. After completing college at the University of Colorado, Matt discovered the great skiing of Telluride, Colorado, before landing on the Alta Ski Patrol in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The consistency of world-class powder skiing in the Wasatch Mountains kept Matt with Alta Ski Patrol for eight seasons. He then joined the Wasatch Powderbird Guide team and has loved every minute. When not guiding clients in the Wasatch, Matt is rowing guests through the Grand Canyon as a commercial boatman on the Colorado River.
Eric is a sixteen year veteran with Powderbird. Born and raised in Boise, Idaho he began skiing at Bogus Basin and soon started competing in mogul, aerials and ski ballet. Eric was able to make a living being a ski model and has been shot by famous ski photographers Lee Cohen and Scott Markewitz, his photos have been featured on the cover of Powder, Skiing and Men's Journal. Eric has guided heli-skiing trips in Nevada, Alaska and Utah as well as river trips through Montana and Idaho. In the summer time you can find him in Horsebend, Idaho where he runs a zip line tour company, he also enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking and off-road motocross.
Tom Carruthers moved to Utah in 1979 from Lake George, New York to ski and work in Little Cottonwood. He started his Utah career by working for Alta Ski Lifts where he became very interested in telemark skiing and soon started to ski in the backcountry. About the same time his brother introduced him to Rock climbing and Tom spent the next 10 years doing extensive ski touring in the winters and rock climbing tours throughout the western US during the summers. Tom is credited with numerous first ascents in Utah. In 1989 Tom started guiding with Powderbird and has been a lead guide ever since. When Tom is not ski guiding, you can find him in Cottonwood Heights with his wife Linda and daughter Jessy, where they enjoy water skiing, rock climbing and coaching youth soccer.
A native of Utah, Chris has spent most of his life skiing and snowboarding in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. His passion since a very young age has been to explore all that the Wasatch has to offer. For the past decade he has spent his winters in Utah's backcountry on his splitboard and skis. A member of the National Ski Patrol, Chris has his level 3 avalanche certification through AIARE, as well as American Mechanized Ski Guide. Chris has skied all over western North America with multiple trips skiing and snowboarding in Alaska. He has been at Powderbird since 2007, before that he was a ski patroller and also worked in and ran some of the great ski shops in Salt Lake. When he is not in the snow, he enjoys hiking, climbing, and camping with his wife Jerilyn and daughter, Molly Jane.
Originally from the icy slopes of the Midwest, Justin moved to Colorado at the age of 19. He settled in Vail, Colorado for many years, where he found his passion for backcountry skiing. After several years of guiding in the Colorado Rockies, he relocated to the infamous Wasatch Range of Utah to explore greater opportunities and begin his heli-ski guiding career. Justin joined Powderbird 2009 and is a graduate of our guide apprenticeship program. During the summer, Justin can be found in the deep reaches of Argentine Patagonia, where he runs his own ski tour operation, Patagoniaskitours.com
Jenna moved to Jackson, Wyoming, in the 1990s and joined the professional ski patrol at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. She spent summers teaching for the National Outdoor Leadership School and guiding in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico for Backroads. In 2004, she moved to the Wasatch to attend the University of Utah's Physician Assistant program. Jenna now works as a PA in Neurosurgery and Trauma at Intermountain Medical Center. She continues to work as a ski patroller at Alta, and began working with Wasatch Powderbird Guides in 2007. Jenna is an Outdoor Emergency Care instructor and medical training coordinator for WPG. She also loves international medical relief and is planning her return trip to Haiti this spring with a volunteer surgical team.
A Utah native, Steve learned to ski in Little Cottonwood Canyon at a very young age. He split his time in his 20's between guiding river trips in the breathtaking red rock canyons of Southern Utah and serving with Alta Ski Patrol. His six seasons with Alta eventually led to him joining WPG. Steve has guided heli-ski adventures in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska as well the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Steve works hard and plays hard with his chocolate lab, Nexpa, all summer so that he can spend every minute of the winter skiing! He currently lives in Salt Lake City.
Powderbird's in house meteorologist started in 1990 as a part time guide while he was attending the University of Utah. In his beginning days Mike was also a part time ski patrolman at Alta where, in 1995 he founded the Alta Weather Program to provide an increase in weather support in the Cottonwood Canyons. This information is used by UDOT, avalanche control workers and Cottonwood Canyon ski resorts. When Mike is not guiding with Powderbird or predicting the weather you can find him at his home in Montana operating a recreational company.
Ryan grew up in Solana Beach, California and moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah. Drawn in by "the greatest snow on Earth" he served on the Snowbird Ski Patrol before joining Powderbird in 1997. His rapport with guests quickly earned him a full time position and spot on the roster. The groups he has led for Powderbird in the Wasatch and Chugach are recounted by heli-skiers with near reverence. Ryan lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Annie and their son, Owen.
Tyson wrote the book on backcountry skiingliterally. Published in 2003 by Falcon Guides, "Backcountry Skiing" is an authoritative book on trip planning, skiing techniques, avalanche safety, and the art of finding fresh powder. Bradley guides more than heli-ski trips. He and his wife, Julie Faure, own Utah Mountain Adventures, which specializes in mountaineering and climbing expeditions. Bradley, Julie and their two children make their home in Salt Lake City, Utah.