Founder / Lead Guide
I started skiing at age 3, and just loved it right from the start. I started ski racing at age 11. I was not great - mostly I raced FIS in Europe speacializing in down hill for the last couple of years. During this time I watched a Warren Miller ski movie about ski guiding in the Monashees and that is what I dreamed about. Every time a race was cancelled I would hike into the back-country, and ski the Powder. The sense of peace, and the feeling of freedom were the main attractions.
Recognising that I was definately not good enough to make a career out of ski racing - I completed a commerce/finance degree and started work for a big bank. This led then to some corporate treasury roles, and then work with some private equity firms setting up the debt side of Leveraged Buy-outs. Along the way I completed a Masters in applied finance.
Having had a 10-15 year of finance experience at a high level - I was ready for something different. We had just had our first child Sammie, and we wanted to live in the mountains instead of the city. But the key questions were where would we go? And what would we do?
We decided that I cool thing to do would be to find some investors, and buy and develope a ski area. We heard that Red Mountain was for sale. So we talked to the owners and made up an business plan, and information memorandum for the ski area. We found some investors and put in a bid, but we were out bid (by a long way) By Howard Katkov's group - that still own the ski hill.
When we were out-bid on buying the ski area - we thought that the most fun part of the business plan that we had created - was that we thought that the area needed a really good cat skiing operation.
So we took a risk, and started and started Big Red Cats.
I had had quite a bit of backcountry experience - but not much in Canada. So the year before we started Big Red Cats I completed the CSGA1 and CAA1 and CSIA1.
Over the next 4 years of this I had completed all of the certifications to become a fully qualified ski guide in Canada. I have completed the CAA3, CSGA3 as well as the CSGA2 CAA2 and CSIA2.
I have been chief guide at Big Red Cats for the last 11 years. I have scouted all of the runs and made all the first descents (except for maybe a handful). I have personally gladed about 60% of the Gladed runs.
I really like showing people the area. The most gratifying is to see the reaction of many long term guests to the improvements that we make each year.