When you Take Flight on your first helicopter ride of a CMH Heli-Skiing trip, there’s a little magic in the air. It feels as if everything was set up just for you. The lodge feels like home, the guides seem like they build their whole career around giving you the best snow riding experience on earth and the staff act, not like people at work, but rather like close friends who care about you. And the lofty mountains and deep snow? The ultimate gift.
Early winter is an exciting time for everyone at CMH, while we prepare the “magic” and get out into the hills to see what the mountains are like. Right now, some of the CMH areas have opened and the magic is happening, and others are being prepared and the guides are venturing into the field for the first tracks of the season.
While we have 48 years of experience at creating and crafting mountain hospitality, what the Germans call huttenzauber or “hut magic”, we still don’t create or craft the mountains or mountain conditions. We go out and find the right parts of the mountains where we can play safely in the, but we’re always thrilled when good snow conditions set up each winter and we hear back from the guides after their first days out.
A few of the CMH areas are now open and reporting great conditions, and sending in early season Heli-Ski photos! To share the stoke, here's a few of the photos sent to the Banff office recently from guides in the field:
Bugaboos, November 2013
Galena, December, 2013
Gothics, December, 2013
Revelstoke, November, 2013
The magic is on, and with snow in the forecast every day for the next week in Revelstoke, it only gets better from here. Contact CMH Reservations at 1 (800) 661-0252 to carve your piece of the magic (Hint: if your plans are set this winter, this week kicks off booking week for 2014-15 season!).
A magazine feature in the winter edition of Kootenay Mountain Culture is devoted to the young partnership between CMH and K2, and how it has put the sleepy town of Nakusp, in Interior BC, Canada, on the map.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Kootenay Mountain Culture, check it out. It’s the magazine you wish all other outdoor mags were like. It’s honest, well-written and diverse, covering every mountain sport yet invented and revealing the often hidden world of mountain culture, art and lifestyle.
In the article on CMH K2, titled “Nakusp Gets Sethed”, Editor-in-Chief Mitchell Scott presents the local’s view of the new face of Nakusp, the K2 athletes and executives thrill at having a world-class Heli-Skiing destination to “work” with, and the CMH guide’s story of their “office.”
I suppose it’s not surprising that two of the snow sport industry’s most iconic brands, with a century of experience between them, could get together and turn one of the least know ski destinations in BC into perhaps the world’s coolest place to ride, but it is surprising how the change has permeated the local culture.
From the local ski hill, where K2 put up $1500 to install rails where the local kids could learn to jib like the pros, to the renovation of the Kuskanax Lodge into the K2 Rotor Lodge, in just two years, cool has transformed the ski scene in Nakusp.
A quote from Mike Gutt, K2s Global Marketing Manager, sums it up: “It’s a cool place where everything resonates with the K2 vibe: the town, the mentality, the terrain.”
Scott describes the renovation at the Rotor Lodge that helped lead the town’s metamorphosis from unknown to cool:
"Old K2 paraphernalia is sprinkled throughout the lodge, and each (room) has its own distinct theme. There are posters, top sheets of classic K2 models, covered bar stools, and bits of helicopters on the walls. It’s funky and it feels ‘ski’ in every room."
CMH K2 Area Manager, Peter Macpherson, reveals the mentality:
"The presence of K2 athletes and staff, who've been coming up religiously for the past couple of years, as well as the photography and footage that's coming out of our lodge, is beginning to attract younger, more adventure-oriented skiers."
Finally, an interaction with one of the guides reveals the conditions and terrain:
“It’s sunny, there are 20 centimetres of col -9C powder, and the mountains are firing. ‘This is skiing in the Selkirks,’ says lead guide and Nakusp local Patrick Baird. ‘It’s always good up here. It always snows.’ With that he leads his group of 10 skiers down into clouds of whitesmoke, through perfectly spaced trees, to the valley bottom far below."
The terrible twos at CMH K2 are happening, but there is hardly any space left at the party. All the seats during the K2 athlete weeks are sold out, and the rest of the season has precious few openings, so if you want in on the coolest partnership in skiing (and a free pair of K2 skis of your choice for your efforts) speed dial CMH reservations before anyone else at 1 (800) 661-0252.
Lots of space next season though!
Photo by John Entwistle: Seth Morrison hiding out in the Kootenays.
Being a guest of CMH inspires great stories. Today, with Thanksgiving coming in my neck of the woods, I was skiing with my kids and thinking about how thankful I am to have had a chance to work and play at CMH.
My story is by no means the best CMH story, but after contributing to the Heli-Ski Blog for the last 4 years, and working with CMH for the last decade, I thought it worth sharing.
In 2003 an assignment from Climbing Magazine gave me the chance to visit CMH Adamants, in the summer, to experiment with heli-climbing and write an article about it. I’d been to the Bugaboos before, but seeing the Admants opened my eyes to the vastness of the Columbia Mountains. For six days we bagged first ascents on the vertical walls of the Adamants.
After seeing my photos, Jane Carswell in the CMH Marketing department, invited me back the next summer for a photo shoot in the Cariboos. There, I was lucky enough to share the trip with none other than CMH founder Hans Gmoser, his wife Margaret, and their two grandkids.
Like most journalists, I had to ask Hans a few questions. Also, my father was a mountain guide, so I was curious about another family that made a life in the mountains. In the ensuing conversation, Hans told me about the upcoming celebration at the Bugaboos to celebrate 40 years of Heli-Skiing. I remember saying, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall at that party!”
Hans replied, “You should come.”
Who would turn down that invitation? When I got home, I contacted Powder Magazine to get an assignment that would make it worth my place at the party. And what a party it was; many of the original guests and guides, their families, and other friends of the business expressing their appreciation for being part of the invention of Heli-Skiing and 40 years of friendship.
After skiing, the wine and stories would flow and I took notes and recorded presentations. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the story of CMH is much more than a magazine article. At one point I asked one of the guides, “Hey, I’d be happy to contribute the material I’m getting here to whoever is writing the book.”
He looked at me and said, “Nobody’s writing the book.”
I was stunned. CMH seemed like the best story I’d come across in a lifetime spent living in, writing about, and photographing the mountain culture. After a few long conversations, I found myself with the dream assignment: write the story of CMH Heli-Skiing.
In 2006 and 2007 I visited every CMH area, filled several notebooks with interview material with some of the most incredible individuals I’ve ever had the honour of meeting, and in 2008 Rocky Mountain Books published the result: Bugaboo Dreams, A story of Skiers, Helicopters and Mountains.
Since then I’ve helped CMH with creative content of various kinds, becoming friends with the hard-working staff, guides, and guests and feasting on some of the most delicious snow I’ve ever tasted. And like so many long-time guests, staff and guides have told me: at first we think the CMH experience is all about the skiing, but then we realize it is so much more.
- It is the intimacy of the remote lodges and the great people.
- It is returning to a place that is so wild and pristine yet feels like home.
- It is living a lifetime in a week.
- It is getting to be where you’d rather be no place else on earth with a group of people who feel the same way.
The people I met while working on Bugaboo Dreams, and my relationship with the guides, staff and guests of CMH - and of course the skiing - have made working with CMH a dream project. Thank you CMH!
CMH HELI-SKIING TO UNVEIL REFASHIONED GOTHICS LODGE WITH EXPANDED SKI TERRAIN FOR 2013/2014 SEASON
CMH Heli-Skiing, the world’s largest Heli-Skiing operator and the company that invented the sport in Western Canada nearly 50 years ago, announced today that it will unveil significant renovations to its Gothics Lodge, along with a sizeable expansion in its ski terrain in the Selkirks sub-range of the Columbia Mountains for the 2013/2014 season.
The refashioned Gothics Lodge, which will open on December 7, 2013 for the CMH Heli-Skiing season, will feature new interior design by the cutting-edge Portland-based design firm, Skylab Architecture. This new design concept for the public spaces of the Gothics Lodge seeks to connect the rugged terrain for which CMH is known with a warm, yet contemporarily designed alpine lodge. The renovations include an overhaul of the central living and dining areas of the lodge, adding designer wrought iron chandeliers with hand-blown glass, wool accessories, digitally printed alpine views and Swiss-stacked fir tables from a regional Canadian designer to the lodge’s iconic native Douglas fir walls and columns and large stone fireplace.
Guests of the Gothics Lodge will also benefit from a significant expansion this Heli-Skiing season in the lodge’s skiable terrain, which will add nearly 18,000 acres to its tenure—an additional area almost as large as the three largest ski resorts in North America combined.
“With the redesign of the Gothics Lodge with its sleek new look, we are thrilled to usher in a brand-new era of CMH Heli-Skiing,” says Joe Flannery, President of CMH. “Skylab has done a fantastic job at creating an aesthetic that retains the warm social space of an iconic CMH alpine lodge while updating it for the next generation, as we head towards our 50th-anniversary celebrations next year.”
“For a skier, there is no place like British Columbia for fresh powder,” says Jeff Kovel, AIA, Principal of Skylab Architecture. “The CMH vision, aligning the hospitality experience with an inspired natural surrounding, is something we’re proud to be a part of.”
For more information about CMH Heli-Skiing and the brand-new Gothics Lodge, please visit: www.cmhski.com. For more about Skylab Architecture, visit: www.skylabarchitecture.com.
In July of 1913, exactly 100 years ago this past July, Conrad Kain guided two guests, Albert McCarthy and William Foster, on the first ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Kain wrote in his book, Where the Clouds Can Go, in his typically dry prose, an account of the ascent. In describing their summit push, he reveals much about the profession of guiding - the effort, the judgment, the human element, and about safely venturing into the unknown:
“About 3:45 I lit a fire, cooked breakfast, and at 4:30 we set out, reaching the summit of Mt. Robson ‘King of the Rockies’ about 5:30 p.m. I was half snowblind. I cut 500-600 steps in sheer ice, often breaking in above the knees in soft fresh snow. It was a hard day for me, but I reached the goal and made the real first ascent.”
Later, Kain describes his decision-making:
“The descent was very dangerous, and I would not undertake to follow the route of ascent going down. So we descended to the southwest side."
Today, Kain's ascent of Mt. Robson is revered worldwide by mountain guides aspiring to lead their guests safely through the ultimate mountain experience.
50 years after Kain's ground-breaking ascent, another phenomenon of mountain adventure was underway. This time it was not a singular summit, but rather an awakening; the realization of the quality of skiing to be found in Western Canada.
An Austrian guide named Hans Gmoser, who had immigrated to Canada to escape the deprivation of post-war Europe, was leading ski tours each spring and shooting films of the cozy huts, deep snow, long runs and camaraderie of backcountry skiing. During the off season, he took his films on tour through Europe and the United States, opening the eyes of skiers across the globe to the wonders of Canadian skiing.
Skiers by the dozens joined Hans, and the combination of Hans’ personality and the mountains and snow where they skied, proved irresistible. One guest summed it up perfectly:
“Hans, when I skied with you, I not only learned how to ski powder, I learned to live. It was a precious gift; I have treasured it constantly since. Thank you, thank you more than I can express.”
The growing popularity of mountain sport, partly fueled by Gmoser’s inspiration, demanded that guiding standards were developed. So, in 1963, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) was formed in collaboration with Parks Canada, with Gmoser as the ACMG’s first technical director.
The same year, Hans began experimenting with Heli-Skiing, and by 1965 had taken the concept into the promised land of helicopter-accessed snow riding, the Columbia Mountains, and founded CMH Heli-Skiing. The remote peaks, deep snow, and ideal ski terrain afforded meteoric rise to the popularity of Heli-Skiing. By the late 60s, without enough Canadian guides to handle the burgeoning popularity of the sport, Hans was actively recruiting European guides to work with him Heli-Skiing in Canada. There was no program for teaching Canadians the skills needed for mountain guiding, so in 1966 the ACMG ran their first guide training, with Hans as the instructor.
Two Swiss guides who worked with Hans, Rudi Gertsch and Hans Peter “HP” Stettler, began laying the groundwork to include Canada in the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA).
Photo of some of Canada's guiding forefathers in the Bugaboos in 2005 to celebrate 40 years of CMH Heli-Skiing. From left: Rudi Gertsch, Hans Gmoser, Hans Peter "HP" Stettler, Kobi Wyss, Peter Schlunegger, Hermann Frank, Lloyd "Kiwi" Gallagher, Sepp Renner, Ernst Buehler, Leo Grillmair and Bob Geber. Photo by Topher Donahue.
In Seizing the Sharp End: 50 years of the ACMG, the 17th edition of The Summit Series books written by Lynn Martel and published by the Alpine Club of Canada, Stettler is quoted saying: “Canada was always very well accepted. We had something to offer that nobody else had, which was Heli-Skiing. It was a lot of work, but I always felt that Canada was important enough of a mountain country with a mountain guiding fraternity to be part of that (IFMGA).”
In the book's introduction, Peter Tucker, the Executive Director of the ACMG, sums up the philosophy of Canadian mountain guides: "But above all, the story of the ACMG is about its relationship with the public and the unrelenting commitment of its members to keeping (guests) safe while providing them with the adventure of their lives, a commitment that is carried out with an impossible-to-describe balance of bravura, humility and wisdom. A promise that is, indeed, the keystone thread throughout the tapestry of this organization."
In 1974, Canada officially became the first non-European country to be accepted into the IFMGA, setting the stage for other countries across the globe to become part of the organization.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the ACMG, and nearly half a century of the world’s greatest skiing, and celebrations include an exhibition at Banff's Whyte Museum titled Pinnacle Perspectives: Celebrating the ACMG 50th Anniversary. One of the biggest reasons to celebrate this anniversary is in recognition of how the IFMGA and its affiliated associations, including the ACMG, have built the guiding profession to exemplify international cooperation and trust in a way that very few professions have ever achieved.
Roko Koell, a long-time CMH Heli-Skiing guide told me once that he thought Hans Gmoser deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for the way he helped the guides and guests from different cultures enjoy the mountains together in seamless harmony. Hans however, whose warm humility in his later years would have never wanted exclusive recognition, would likely suggest that the deserving party for a Nobel Peace Prize would be the IFMGA.
So tonight, when you’re daydreaming about enjoying the deep snow in the Columbias with the security of a mountain guide on your team, pour a toast to Hans, 50 years of the ACMG and the international cooperation of the guiding profession.
A lot of people ask me if the skiing and snowboarding in the Revelstoke area really lives up to all the hype, and if it does, why?
Well, it does, and the precipitation phenomenon is a big part of the reason why:
- During the winter months, the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Haida Gwaii Islands receive the most rainfall in North America. These storms turn to snow when they hit the coastal mountains.
- The driest locations in British Columbia are just inland from the coastal ranges where a series of huge valleys run north and south including the South Thompson and Okanagan. These are some of the driest and warmest locations in British Columbia, since the storms lose much of their moisture passing over the coastal ranges and warm air is funneled up from the south.
- The warming of the air over these valleys allows the atmosphere to pickup more moisture as the storms pass over the rivers and lakes of these Interior valleys, one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water. The air in these valleys is warm enough that the lakes and rivers remain largely unfrozen, allowing evaporation to continue through the coldest winter months.
- When the storms reach the Columbia Mountains on the eastern edge of these warm valleys, they are again saturated with moisture. Most of the moisture in the Columbia Mountains, which feeds North America’s 4th largest river by volume, falls during the winter months, in the form of snow – usually the light, fluffy champagne kind.
- To the north the Polar High, a shallow dome of high pressure and frigid air that moves south during the winter months, feeds cold air into the northern reaches of the north-south valley systems including the North Thompson and the Columbia River valley.
Super-saturated storms simultaneously slam into a huge mountain range and a wall of frigid arctic air directly on top of the CMH Heli-Skiing areas. Bingo - Take Flight!
This phenomenon is what makes the Mt. Fidelity weather recording station near Revelstoke, some 400 kilometres from the coast, the snowiest weather station in Canada. On average, the Mt. Fidelity station receives almost 15 metres (49 feet) of snow, and during one epic season the station recorded 23 metres (75 feet) of snow!
Any ski guide will tell you that while the Mt. Fidelity weather station gets a lot of snow, there are pockets in the region receive even more. Those spots just don’t have a weather station to record the totals, but we can go Heli-Skiing there…
Photo of the Gothics Lodge and a happy Heli-Skier, with a view out the window worth writing home about, by Topher Donahue.
For the last three months, the CMH Heli-Skiing staff has been competing with the squirrels for who can be better prepared for the deep snows of Western Canadian winter.
For those of us who join CMH for the world-class powder and hospitality, it seems as though the lodges are stocked and ready for us as if by magic, so this year the staff made this video to capture the precision frenzy of preparing a CMH Heli-Skiing lodge for a winter of fun and pleasure.
Get Ready to Take Flight - Winter is Coming from CMH Heli-Skiing on Vimeo.
The mastermind behind stocking the lodges is Rick Carswell, who, with a small team, carefully inventories and stocks 40,000 pounds of non-perishable food and beverages into each lodge before the roads are drifted closed for the heart of Heli-Ski season. Perishable items are brought in to the remote lodges each week using a combination of helicopter and snow machine, but the fall stock provides the lion’s share of the calories that will fuel five months of turning deep powder dreams into reality.
Then there’s the 13,000 bottles of wine that are stocked to celebrate realizing those dreams...
Meanwhile, in the Alpine Helicopter’s hangar, the fleet of helicopters used by CMH Heli-Skiing is being tuned up for ski season and converted from fire fighting and flight-seeing machines into one of the world’s largest and most well-maintained fleets of Heli-Ski helicopters.
Ski and snowboard technicians are slapping bindings on the latest quiver of powder harvesting tools from K2, Atomic and Burton, guides are testing safety equipment and the lodge staff is putting the final touches on the comfortable rooms, luxurious spas, welcoming living areas and cozy lounges that so many CMH Heli-Skiers call, quite simply, “home”.
Photo of Gothics Lodge by Topher Donahue.
Two Belgian knee surgeons claim to have found a “new” ligament in the knee, called the Anterolateral Ligament(ALL) that could have great implications for the success of ACL reconstruction, one of the most common skier injuries.
After reading about the new ligament on BBC, I could hardly believe that something as large as a ligament could have escaped the eyes of great surgeons and MRI scans, so I called an old friend, skier, and knee guru, Dr. Gilbert Anderson, to get his perspective. “I’d be surprised if they found a new ligament,” he replied, “but what happens sometimes is they learn to break down a previously known structure into new parts.”
In 1879, a French surgeon named Paul Segond pointed out the potential of such a ligament, but it has been classified more as part of the neighboring Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) rather than its own structure.
So new or not, here’s the exciting part for skiers: 10-20% of patients with ACL reconstructions do not recover fully. The hypothesis of the two Belgians, Dr. Claes and Professor Johan Bellemans, is that many people injure the ALL at the same time as the ACL, but that only the ACL is being properly repaired. Studying the ALL may give surgeons a better understanding of the damage that happens to the knee in ACL injuries, and potentially increase the recovery rate of patients.
But before you hammer those bump runs even harder, or ride that backseat even lower like in the photo above, thinking that ACL surgery just got better, the integration of this knowledge into clinical practice is a long ways off. While some surgeons are excited about the implications of the discovery, others made the point that it is entirely unknown if operating on the ALL would actually help ACL patients.
I know a few of you readers of the Heli-Ski Blog are orthopedic knee masters who also understand skiing – what do you knee gurus think?
Photo of ACL testing by Topher Donahue.
Want to find the nearest gas station, read reviews of a bottle of wine by scanning the bottle, or find someone buried in an avalanche?
There’s an app for that.
Turning a smartphone into an avalanche victim locator is a bold and innovative idea, and these three European companies are now marketing apps that they claim turns a smartphone into an avalanche rescue tool:
While the specifics differ in each app, they use WiFi or Bluetooth signals, and the idea is that two smartphones running the same app can be used to find each other. It's an exciting concept, however, the smartphone apps have serious shortcomings when it comes to being used as an avalanche transceiver, including:
- Battery life – International standards for avalanche transceivers require them to transmit over 200 hours. Smartphones hardly last a day, especially in the cold.
- Compatibility – These apps only work with another phone using exactly the same app while different brands of avalanche transceivers all work on the same frequency so different brands can find each other.
- Antenna – Modern transceivers use two antennas, smartphones only have one, making them less accurate.
- Reliability – Ever try to use your touch screen while wearing gloves in a snowstorm, or have your OS crash during a rescue?
- Harness – Smartphones do not have a harness designed to prevent being torn away during an avalanche.
But the biggest issue appears to be the signal itself – avalanche transceivers operate at 457kHz because it transmits very well through heavy snow, rocks and wood, and is extremely accurate. Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) Director Gilles Valade explains: “WiFi and Bluetooth signals are significantly weakened when passing through snow, and easily deflected by solid objects we expect to see in avalanche debris. And the accuracy of a GPS signal is nowhere near the precision required for finding an avalanche victim.”
The apps have been tested at distances around 40-metres and up to 2-metre burials, but the tests were done by the companies that make the apps, so the tests were likely conducted in optimal conditions. Unknown factors in their performance include a person lying over the phone, wet or dense snow, and objects in the snow interfering with the signal.
So the question remains: Is there a place for these apps? After reading through the websites of the three apps (interesting reading by the way), I tried to think of a scenario where the app may have a place. One possibility is the use described as appropriate on the iSis site: skiing deep powder in-bounds at a ski area. (To iSis' credit, they are the only one of these app makers that specifically says that the technology is not appropriate for use in the backcountry.) But then you'd need a friend who has the same app as well as a shovel and probe. Rescuing a person under avalanche debris if the rescuer does not have a shovel and probe is nearly impossible. And if you own a shovel and probe you’d better have a proper avalanche transceiver as well.
The CAC has posted a press release and a comprehensive paper on the app technology with the clear message that these apps are inadequate for avalanche rescue purposes, and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) has posted the paper on their website.
Besides the warnings from these respected professional organizations, the apps are getting a lot of bad press, and perhaps the mistake being made is in marketing more than technology. Rather than promoting them as technology that turns your smartphone into a reliable avalanche rescue tool, they should be promoted more in the way Todd Guyn, the Mountain Safety Manager at CMH Heli-Skiing, described his view of the apps: "It is an interesting concept of technology and possibly useful in an unplanned, unprepared avalanche rescue. Having said that, I like to have the right tool for the right job. If you are ill do you want to go to the doctor or do you want to pull out your app? In the end it is your life."
By the end of my research I came to the obvious conclusion that smartphones are not designed - at least not yet - to be used as avalanche rescue technology for backcountry use. You wouldn’t replace the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) on your boat or the smoke detector in your bedroom with a smartphone app, so don’t use a smartphone in place of an avalanche transceiver either.
Photo: Just because this avalanche transceiver is about the same size as your phone doesn't mean your phone can do the same job.
Last month in the UK, 300 organizations including schools, play groups, Scout groups, businesses, conservationists, campaigners, farms, and others officially launched the Wild Network, a movement to help break kids away from growing up indoors in front of screens and to get them outside.
It’s already old news that our kids are losing touch with the outdoors at a staggering rate. Exposure like Richard Louv’s best selling book, Last Child in the Woods, that explores what he calls “nature-deficit disorder” is blowing the problem wide open. But even with the headlines, the books, and obvious connection between health and the outdoors, we’re not changing the trend. The Wild Network is the most ambitious collaborative effort yet to do just that.
Andy Simpson, chairman of the Wild Network, put is bluntly: "The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation."
The Wild Network’s opening salvo in their battle to get kids outside is a feature length documentary film, Project Wild Thing, which began a tour of 50 cinemas across the UK on October 25th.
Just watching the trailer for Project Wild Thing made me shudder; the picture painted by the film is horrifying, but it’s not a horror film, it’s a documentary about our kids. Here are a couple of attention-getting sound bites from the trailer:
“Technology is turning our children into glassy-eyed zombies.”
“Our children’s generation is going to be the first in history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.”
Producer David Bond calls the outdoors “the ultimate, free wonder product.” But for some reason parents aren’t buying it. Bond explains, “It’s not the kids don’t want to touch the frog or jump in the pond, it’s the adults that have said, ‘no’.”
Only one in five children between the ages of eight and 12 have a connection with nature and, on average, children in the UK spend four and a half hours in front of a screen. The rest of the modern world shows similar trends.
One goal of the Wild Network is to get kids outside for an extra half an hour of “wild time” each day. To put that in perspective, getting your kids outside for half an hour each day will only reduce their screen time by 10%.
I wasn’t able to download the film here in North America, but when it becomes available, it will be high on my list.
Meanwhile, we all need to do what we can to get our kids outdoors. To begin with, taking your kids on a dream trip works like magic for turning kids into lifelong outdoor enthusiasts, but what matters in the long run is turning the outdoors and nature into a normal part of your child's everyday life. It seems to hardly matter what activity kids do, so long as they do something outdoors almost every day.
The Wild Network is essentially a marketing agency representing nature, giving parents ideas and resources for easy, and often free, access to natural areas: be it landscaping your own backyard, local parks, simple play areas or other family recreation resources.
In some ways, writing about this on the Heli-Ski Blog feels a little like preaching to the choir. We all love the outdoors. But are we giving our kids the same opportunity to be outside that we had when we were young - or that our kids deserve? And do we have the same conviction to get kids away from their screens as we do to direct our children away from other aspects of an unhealthy lifestyle? Or are we buying healthy food for our kids, sending them to good schools, and then accidentally doing them a huge disservice by helping them spend their childhood in front of a screen?
Unfortunately, it seems that in trying to protect our children from the dangers of the world, we’re creating another monster and keeping them inside a bit (ok, a lot) too much. And the powerful marketing machine behind electronics does nothing but make it easier for our kids to be outdoors less, get less exercise, socialize less and be less healthy.
The Wild Network is nature’s first public relations firm. It’s about time. Bring it across the Pond, please!
Photos of kids unplugged at a local playgound, and far from the screen with CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures by Topher Donahue.