Outdoor Storytellers – Paul The Guide

We’re often told to find something you love to do and then turn it into a career, but that doesn’t always pan out. But for one ski buff, that advice is working out extremely well.

Paul Butler is the co-owner and lead guide for North Cascade Heli-Ski. And a lot of people he meets immediately assume he’s got just about the greatest job anyone could ask for.

“A lot of people think, â??Oh you’re just out there skiing … what a great job!’ But it’s not just a lot of rippin’ it up and yahooing,” Butler says.

In fact, there are a number of intangibles on a daily basis that prove Butler has more to worry about than just having fun.

“You worry about snow conditions,” he admits. “You worry about the flying conditions, not to drop too many at once.”

Additionally, even if the conditions are perfect, there’s still a lot of training and prep work that goes into every outing. Clients who have sought out Cascade Heli-Ski have to go through avalanche safety and rescue training, which Paul happily teaches.

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” Paul says, adding, “When it all comes together it’s great.”

And great might be an understatement. When a trip comes together, clients can be led down mountainsides piled with four feet deep untracked powder through the trees.

“It’s really special; it’s really invigorating to be out there,” Butler suggests. “I think more people ought to get out there and do it. It’d be good for their soul.”