Greg was born in 1969 in the Pacific Northwest, where his life of chasing snow began while freeskiing and ski racing at Mt. Hood. His professional career as a skier started at Mt. Hood Meadows where he began as a ski instructor. After high school, Greg spent several seasons in Tahoe during the storied winters of the 90’s. This is where he sealed his passion for freeskiing; his dream of chasing powder year-round began.
It was also in the 90s that he started to spend his winters in Aspen, Colorado. This is where Greg went on to establish himself as a true force in international ski guiding. In 2003, Greg began as a heliski guide in Alaska. Soon after, Third Edge Heli was born when Greg began taking his clientele to South America, Alaska, Iceland, Canada and beyond.
Greg was a ski guide. What he wanted the most were seamless days pursuing his passion in remote places with people he considered to be his friends. Greg could be described as memorable, funny, caring, inspiring and of course, BIG! His presence loomed large, and his magnetism always drew people in. When you had his attention, you had all of it. Those who loved him called that being “in Harms’ way.”
He was a master of living in the moment, and that energy was contagious. Greg’s authenticity in friendship with his guests informed his uncanny ability to understand, adapt his approach, and ultimately lead them to personal breakthroughs. He thrived on giving people a sense of accomplishment as he helped them improve their riding ability and readiness in the wild snow outside the parameters of a ski area. As he would put it – Fuck Yeah moments.
One could write a book about all Greg’s different exploits in the mountains. First descents, opening new areas, countless huge days shredding in perfect conditions, après antics…The motto was “must be present to win” and Greg was, and did.
He leaves a fresh perspective as a mentor to many in the field of ski guiding; he was particularly focused on the interpersonal skills that are not always addressed in guide training courses. That continued focus on the needs of individual clients, and providing them the tools they need to achieve their best day ever in the mountains, is a skill set that those who worked and played with him will carry forward forever. This came easy to Greg, and he remains an inspiration to some of the top guides in the heli ski industry.
Greg truly lived the dream and was literally able to turn that dream into a full-time job. It worked well for him because he didn’t view it as work. It was his passion. He was not only the pioneer of an immense amount of terrain in Alaska and Chile, but was also a pioneer of new and out-of-the-box ways of approaching a day of heli skiing and really homing in on the guest experience.
If you were able to ask him what accomplishment he was the proudest of, his answer would be the myriad friendships he established with others while doing what he loved. Greg has SO many friends and he impacted so many people’s lives in a positive way. He had a way of leaving an impression on people that they didn’t forget. He was a master of stoke and was accepting of everyone. He led the way by showing others how to pursue their passions, regardless of the obstacles. He helped people believe in themselves. He made his coworkers’, guests’ and friends’ mountain dreams become realities, beyond what they could have imagined.
Greg Harms was a legend and lived like one.
On March 27, 2021, Greg Harms passed doing what he loved most in the mountains of Alaska at the age of 52. Greg is survived by his immediate family, including his mother and father, as well as his partner Chantel and daughter Freja.