Co-Owner and CEO
Co-Owner and CEO
“The best three things about heli-skiing are the powder, the helicopter ride, and, most important, the privilege of being in those environments.” – Beat Steiner
Beat Steiner has always had a passion for skiing and capturing the beauty of the landscapes that make the sport possible. Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1961, Steiner’s interest in skiing started at a young age. Following his graduation from high school, he worked in Zermatt before enrolling at Simon Fraser University – the perfect Canadian destination to both study and expand his ski skills at some of the country’s most iconic ski resorts. To stay afloat and keep invested in his passion, Steiner stayed at several Whistler squatters cabins while working with some friends to organize extreme ski expeditions to slopes that had never or rarely been skied. Funding these expeditions meant working with media and organizations to publish articles about his experiences and even filming extreme sport videos.
After meeting Craig Kelly in 1989, the reigning world champion in snowboarding at the time, they decided to combine their love of skiing with their skills in cinematography. They created films where they would not only showcase the world’s greatest ski and snowboard destinations, but also provide tips and tricks for all levels of snowboarders so fans could watch and learn at home. With the snowboarding industry on the rise and home video technology becoming widely popular, Steiner was able to make a career of filming for the next 16 years, traveling the world’s most beautiful and exotic ski locations including Japan, Argentina, Russia, New Zealand, Iran, India and Greenland. As a full-time cinematographer, projects included work on Imax Extreme, The North Face expeditions for NBC, Warren Miller's feature films and Global Adventures series, as well as numerous action sequences for both TV commercials and feature films.
His company, ADventureScope Films, participated in creating a trend for shooting extreme-sports videos. To find the best terrain and snow conditions, he began using helicopters to fly to remote mountain areas in search of the deepest snow, and the biggest, steepest slopes. After discovering Bella Coola – nearly 450 kms from the nearest traffic light – in February 2000 with two friends and partners; Christian Begin, a fellow cinematographer, and Peter “Swede” Mattsson, the production safety coordinator and mountain guide; Steiner knew he had something untouched and decided to apply for a heli-ski permit.
They first operated in 2,000 sq/km of mountains to the north and south of the Bella Coola Valley, with 40 people signed up for their inaugural winter in 2003. Two years later the heli-ski business had grown to 120 sign ups, at which point Steiner and his partners began focusing full time on growing the business and expanding their permit area. They now have the largest permitted Heli-Ski area in the world with 15,500 sq/kms (3.25 million acres) of terrain stretching from the fjords and mountains of Bella Coola to Mt. Waddington, the highest peak in B.C. The intimacy of the groups and hands-on approach is what drives the business – with five separate lodging facilities, the team can host small groups and private programs, ranging from five to 16 people.
Steiner remains at the forefront of the Heli-Ski industry, constantly looking for ways to expand or improve and find unique new skiing opportunities. He plans to build another heli-ski lodge and expand its summer programs, which include sold-out grizzly bear viewing programs at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge.
When he’s not sliding down the most scenic slopes in Canada, he enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his passion with his children