Paul Forward is a lead heli guide for Chugach Powder Guides in Girdwood, Alaska. He is also a physician who works a lot in the arctic village of Kotzebue, just north of the Arctic Circle. And in addition to that, Paul is one of our senior reviewers here at Blister — as well as being a bow hunter, a fly fisherman, an absolute gear whore, a lover of big missions, a good friend of mine, and (as a lot of people around the world will attest) a really fun person to venture out into the mountains with.
In this conversation, we talk about Paul’s background; how he and I met and how he got involved with Blister; the life and logistics of a heli guide; and the new program on advanced wilderness medical care that Paul is starting this spring. And of course, Paul and I talk a bit about some of the new gear that he and I are currently reviewing, including the 4FRNT Devastator, Salomon QST 106, and Volkl 100Eight.
TOPICS & TIMES:
- How Paul and I met (in Argentina), and how he almost killed me (3:20)
- How he became a Blister reviewer (5:20)
- Paul’s background (11:40)
- How he became a heli guide (18:25)
- How it works to be both a physician and a heli guide (22:38)
- What does a typical day in the life of a heli guide actually look like? (29:45)
- What are the most common mistakes that first-timers make? (35:09)
- What it’s like guiding pro skiers / filming AK lines for movies (42:35)
- Paul’s new “venture,” offering advanced wilderness life support courses (52:05)
- Paul and I talk Gear: ski boots; 194 cm 4FRNT Devastator vs. 184 cm Devastator; Salomon QST 106 vs. Volkl 100Eight (57:55)