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Bugaboo Dreams: A Story of Skiers, Helicopters & Mountains [Hardcover]

Topher Donahue
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2009

If you're a connoisseur of the high and wild, just hearing the name Bugaboos is enough to make you feverish with wanderlust. Topher Donahue captures not just the landscape but the people and dreams that shape these otherworldly peaks. -John Flinn, Executive Travel Editor, San Francisco Chronicle

Bugaboo Dreams is a marvellously detailed account of the evolution of heli-skiing and -hiking in the Canadian Rockies. More importantly, however, it is the story of the remarkable man behind the business, Hans Gmoser, whose passion and commitment to mountain environments led to a lifetime of bringing others to recreate in these places he loved the most. -Rebecca Martin, Executive Director, Expedition Council, National Geographic Society

The stars were aligned to create this remarkable story: a vast mountain wilderness of rock spires and undulating glaciers and a visionary individual who inspired others to help transform his Bugaboo dreams into reality. Topher Donahue has captured the tale in an engaging manner that makes for a great read. -Bernadette McDonald, author and former Director of The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals.

It was an honour and one of the highlights of my youth to be part of the beginnings of the Bugaboos. Skiing with Hans Gmoser and the wonderful guides who joined him became an indelible experience, not only for the ultimate thrill of skiing in deep powder through the trees and vast open areas of untracked territory, but it also gave me an insight into the true qualities of leadership. Topher Donahue beautifully captures the essence of the experience and the hearts and souls of the pioneers who have made helicopter skiing a passion for so many. -Isadore Issy Sharp, founder, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Companion to the Order of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Take the snowiest mountains in Canada, add two Austrian immigrants, an army of adrenaline-addicted skiers (kings, queens, billionaires, average people and everyday ski bums) and throw a helicopter into the mix for an unforgettable story of mountain adventure.

The tale begins when two childhood friends-Hans Gmoser and Leo Grillmair-leave postwar Austria and travel to Canada in search of adventure. They stumble upon employment taking skiers across the vast glaciers and through the thick forests of Western Canada. When skiers start asking the immigrant mountaineers if it would be possible to use a helicopter to reach the best high-altitude powder, the two find themselves catapulted into a project brimming with more adventure, success, tragedy and fame than they could have dreamed.

Complete with archival and contemporary photos, this is the inside story of the people, thrills, accidents and innovations behind the evolution of a sport from a dangerous, ramshackle and lawless enterprise into a multi-million dollar industry offering reliable access to one of the world's most exciting forms of recreation.


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About the Author

Topher Donahue is an award-winning mountaineer and journalist who has spent most of his life guiding, climbing and skiing all over the world. He first experienced the mountains featured in this book as a climber, which is how he was introduced to Canadian Mountain Holidays and its founders, Hans and Margaret Gmoser. Bugaboo Dreams is his first book.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love to ski........you'll love this book ! March 13 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love to ski and i recently went with my 2 sons to CMH Bugaboos where I came across this book in the lodge. I subsequently bought a copy to read. I first heli skied when I was 50 and I've been ten or so times since to heli or cat ski. It's a fascinating history of Hans Gmoser and the heli ski industry written in an entertaining and informative style. I really enjoyed reading the book and I'm sure you will too if you are a skier or boarder or you just love big mountains !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate heliskiing history Aug. 19 2012
By Stefan Mörtberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bugaboo Dreams: A Story of Skiers, Helicopters and Mountains [Hardcover]
The Ultimate Heliskiing history

"Bugaboo Dreams" is a book about the magic of heliskiing.
Topher Donahue tells the story about Hans Gmoser who developed heliskiing to a passion for so many skiers .
The beginning started deep in the Cascades mountains in a timberloggers cabin with a small helicopter. The long and steep slopes was covered with dry and deep powdersnow. A small group of friends tried this adventures way of skiing. The use of a helicopter instead of skilifts to get up in the high mountains. The rumour of the fantastic skiing was spread between skiers and friends. Soon were the Bugaboo Lodge built and more skiers came to Canada for the best powderskiing in the world. Today are 12 operations running under the name of Canadian Mountain Holidays.
A fantastic result from the visionary men who started business in the old loghouse. The author follows the development of heliskiing under four decades. The founder HansGmoser is described with all passion and commitment that led to this fantastic success.
I skied Bugaboos in 1979. That was the best skiing experience in my life. To read about the stories of the founders and thoughts and work behind the heliskiingcompany made my memories come alive again.
The book tells stories about what happened backstage - about the guides, the kitchen, the mountains , the helicopterpilots ,about guests and a lot of small things and is illustrated with nice photos. It is a well told story about Hans Gmosers mission and about heliskiing in the Bugaboos.
"Bugaboo Dreams" recommends to all skiers who are dreaming of heliskiing .

Stefan Mörtberg Funäsdalen - Sweden
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For when you're too old to heli-ski! May 30 2009
By M. Jantzen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Perhaps, like me, you are not one of those rare few who heli-ski. Well, you can join them--in your imagination anyway. Which is just what I did on reading Topher Donahue's great narration of the ups & downs (mostly down--it is heli-skiing) of this incredible extreme activity. Personally, I cannot imagine taking on such a dangerous activity; but he actually made me think "maybe I should have." The writing is interesting, the photographs often beyond spectacular--as well they should be considering what heli-skiing is all about. It's flying to some mountain slope which no sane person has previously skied that day (sometimes "ever") then following the guide down the slope on deep powder. I have a good friend who has descended over 1 million feet with the guides Topher tells about. Reading this book was my way of getting a little bit of insight into that amazing experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Serious Skiers/Boarders March 2 2009
By Mr JMO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Great story on the evolution of heliskiing...How the Vision of one man really began an entire industry..How they made it accessible to all..Fun and interesting read!!
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