In our “Meet Our Staff” blog series, we proudly introduced head chef Jens Larsen in our first post. Next on the list is Ryan Merrill, our guiding operations manager. Ryan Merrill is an ACMG ski guide who lives in Terrace and has been with Northern Escape Heli Skiing here in beautiful British Columbia Canada, for 5 seasons.
Northern Escape Heli Skiing: How would you describe your job to a child?
Ryan Merrill: I fly up into the mountains in a helicopter and take my friends skiing.
NEH: What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
Ryan: In the winter I get out of bed at 5:45 am, make a coffee. Head to the Yellow Cedar Lodge, have another coffee, check the weather and prep the morning guides meeting for 7:00 am. Coffee and breakfast. Ski all day. Come back and enjoy a beverage at après ski with the guests (not coffee). Afternoon guides meeting. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
NEH: What three words would you use to describe your role?
Ryan: Exciting, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time.
NEH: If you could switch jobs with someone in the company, who would it be and why?
Ryan: I wouldn’t switch jobs. I love my job.
NEH: What do you like most about your [guiding operations manager] job?
Ryan: I like exploring new places in the mountains. I see them in a different way every single day. Oh, and the [heli] skiing.
NEH: Tell us a bit about your life in Terrace during the off-season.
Ryan: Spend time with my family. Get out on the rivers and go fly-fishing, do a bit of gardening, and explore.
NEH: What is your motto or personal mantra?
Ryan: “Speed will be my helmet.”
NEH: What’s your favourite line from a film?
Ryan: “I tried to climb it twice. It tried to kill me twice.” From the Eiger Sanction. I grew up watching Clint Eastwood movies.
NEH: What is your guilty pleasure?
Ryan: Ice Cream! I love ice cream!
NEH: What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
Ryan: My job. I get to spend my day doing what I love.
NEH: Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
Ryan: I sing karaoke. I also look really good in women’s jeans.
NEH: If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
Ryan: Cuba Libre.
NEH: What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
Ryan: I love to take people [heli] skiing.
NEH: How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
NEH: What are you happiest doing when you are not working?
Ryan: Spending time with my family and being outside in the wild places.
NEH: What’s it like working for Northern Escape Heli Skiing?
Ryan: We are like a family, share lots of laughs and have an amazing playground in our backyard.
NEH: Finally, what can we expect for this upcoming heli skiing season?
Ryan: Lots of deep powder skiing and a talented group of guides to share it with.
About NE Heli Skiing in BC Canada
Each year, Northern Escape Heli Skiing is visited by hundreds of heli ski aficionados from around the globe. Many are repeat clients and hail from Germany, Norway, Austria, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to name a few.
Now in our 15th season (as of 2019), NE Heli Skiing offers Classic, Elite, and Private Heli skiing packages that include 3-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 7-day heli skiing trips in Canada. We also offer our guests a Snow Cat skiing backup program in case the weather prevents our helicopters from flying.
For available dates for our 2019 heli skiing season here in BC, Canada, please visit our Booking page!
Check out Northern Escape Heli Skiing on social media!