11March 2016

The Run Name Game

Many who ski with us here at Purcell can attest to the fact that Rudi is a fount of entertaining stories, facts, and anecdotes from his decades in the heli ski world. He has a story for any occasion and any audience (and a couple that are appropriate for very few). Often the stories flow without prompting, but when in doubt, ask Rudi about the origins of some of Purcell’s run names.

Like Scratcher and Breaker: these two runs were explored first in 1975, and Rudi skied them one after the other with a group of guests. While having a close encounter in the forest, a skier emerged with a hefty scratch across his nose, then the same guy actually broke his nose on the next run! A streak of bad luck for one poor skier, and Scratcher and Breaker were born.

G-String. You see it from the air, you get it.

Still Smoking. This run was a gift from the logging companies that year, opening up a swath of amazing skiing mixed in with some super fun glades. The first year Rudi explored it, snow had covered everything nicely, but the evidence of recent logging was hard to miss. The slash pile he found at the bottom was, you guessed it, still smoking.

T&A. Why no, not what you’re thinking. The ridge descent from the upper landing is technical and advanced, that’s all.

Bella Vista encompasses a series of runs in the northern part of our terrain. From the landings, you get an absolutely stunning view into Glacier National Park. A group of Italian guests were enjoying their lunch break there, and the name choice was suddenly clear. Grazie!

Runs are still being named, and the stories are still being made. Our favourite recent addition is Swedish Engagement. Long-time client Johan proposed to Stina on the landing, while the heli circled above. She said yes, and the run named itself.

Then there’s Piepless, Ograssmic, Cork Popper, Nose Dive, Frick and Zorro… stories for another day.

Want to get to know the runs behind the stories, or maybe become the story of a new run yourself?
You can check out more about our heli-skiing terrain here, along with photos to help get how big it really is out there!


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Article photo: Claire Dibble