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Joel O'Rourke
26/10/2022 5:15am

Joel O’Rourke is our mate from across the ditch and has been with HMH for the past 2 seasons. Joel happens to also be quite handy behind the camera and has been responsible for supplying a lot of the epic imagery you have seen across our socials this winter. We sat down for a little interview to find out more about what makes him tick, and surprise… it seems to be all things snow…

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Joel, where are you from?

I grew up in Sydney but I’ve lived in five countries following the snow: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the USA. I currently live in Park City, Utah and in Queenstown, NZ.

What’s your favourite mountain to ski?

Anywhere that’s white!? But for a ski field, in New Zealand – MT Olympus in Canterbury is my favourite; and in Utah my favourite is Alta.

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 What is your best skiing experience?

I have so many memorable ski experiences, but my favourite ski trip was with a buddy to Tromso, Norway for spring ski-touring. It was such a mind-blowing experience to drive around stunning fjords, look up and see gnarly couloirs, glaciers and endless adventures all for the picking under a never nighttime-sunlit sky.

 What is the best thing about being a heli-ski guide?

 Have you heard of the ‘Types of Fun’? You can google it, but briefly, there are three types:

  • Type 1 Fun is always fun! It’s fun while you’re doing it, fun after. It’s just plain fun;
  • Type 2 Fun is not fun while you’re doing the activity but it is once it's complete, as in, the recollection of the event is fun;
  • Type 3 Fun is never fun, it wasn’t fun during an it wasn’t fun after. But you did elect to do it for ‘fun.’

After years of Type-2 Fun activities, it’s so nice to be the purveyor of a purely ‘Type 1 Fun’ experience! You get to share with people a truly amazing adventure full of powder, mountains, friends and it’s all ‘Type-1 Fun,’ it’s just plain fun! 

 What do you do in the Summer?

After heli-ski season wraps up in Queenstown, I return to Park City, Utah to enjoy the last remnants of warm fall weather full of hikes, bikes and trail runs; before second winter descends and I start guiding and avalanche forecasting for Park City Powdercats – a catski operation located 35 minutes from town on a 15,000 acre private ranch in the neighbouring Uinta mountains. 

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Planning a heli-ski next winter, Joel could be the perfect guide for you, we love accomodating special requests!