Paul Forward — Heli Guide, Doctor, Blister Reviewer (Ep.34)

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.

Paul Forward, heli guide for the Chugach Powder Guides, on the Blister Podcast
Paul Forward, guiding for Chugach Powder Guides last week.

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.


  • 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)

1 comment on “Paul Forward — Heli Guide, Doctor, Blister Reviewer (Ep.34)”

  1. I worked with paul in libby, MT during his residency… Skied Turner together- best skier ive run with :). Hey paul- any suggestions for a guy who wants lightish side/bc boards for moderate nordic duty but is terrible at tele? Tech bidings on karhus or just go full on w $800-1000 dedicated bc ski (slopes <25%, powder to variable, no hardpack or ice). So cool to see you living the dual dream :)
    Cameron Gardner MD
    columbia falls, MT

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