Monday, February 7, 2011

10 minutes with the creator of Steep Week

Jonny Simms is a trained CAA Avalanche professional, ACMG Ski guide and co-founder of the Whistler Alpine Steep Academy (WASA). He's also funny, down to earth and one of the hardest workers out there focusing on his guiding work at TLH Heliskiing and also on growing his own free-ski coaching/guiding business. I recently had the chance to sit down with Jonny to talk about the upcoming TLH & WASA Steep Week and learn a bit more about how it all came together and what we should expect from the week...

Q1 - What can guests expect at the first ever TLH/WASA Steep Week?

JS - Guests can expect to get some professional coaching from Ryan, he will be giving pointers on techniques in different types of technical terrain and showing guests how it's done. I will be providing the best possible challenging terrain given the conditions and snowpack at the time. Guests will challenge their own skill levels while still working within their own comfort levels and having a great time!


Q2 - What gave you the idea to start WASA and how did it all come about?

The idea came from the combination of the guiding industry with the pro skier industry. Bringing the two together, we felt we could create a product that was original and high end. I come from the guiding side and Ryan from the professional skier side.

Q3 - How long have you known Ryan and how did you guys meet?

JS - Ryan and I have known each other for about ten years. We use to ski together in his hometown of Fernie, BC. I moved to Fernie to start my ACMG Guide certification process with the local College of the Rockies. Ryan and his longtime friends were the better skiers in the community. I would bump into Ryan every year or so through out the ski industry. At that time, he was traveling alot internationally as a professional skier.


Q4 - What made you want to become a guide?

JS - I decided to become a guide because of the freedom it offers. Seasonal work and a variety of different working environments. From heli skiing, ski touring, climbing and ice climbing.


Q5 - If you had it your way what would your fave run look like?

JS - My fave run would be from glacier summit to low elevation valley bottom. In the 6-7000 foot range. Runs that take 20-30 minutes to ski. I prefer runs with interesting pillow drops, steeper lines and deep snow.


Q6 - Do you have a favourite run at TLH?

Favourite run at TLH is Apollo.



Jonny is a busy guy and had to run off to take care of some of his guiding duties but not before he showed me the latest edition of WASA TV, filmed at TLH Heliskiing this winter, check it out.

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