Why is it that some of CMH Heli-Skiing's most experienced guests book early-season trips each year? They're going to throw snowballs at me for telling you this, but here's the top 5 reasons why:
#1 Snow Quality
While the Columbia Mountains are vast, northerly (Revelstoke sits at 51 degrees latitude), and receive immense amounts of precipitation (the snowiest mountains in Canada), they are not terribly high (Sir Sanford, the biggest peak in the Columbias is 3,519 metres or 11,545 feet) so the average winter temperatures are not as cold as you might expect. This means early season offers the shortest days to keep the snow cold at the moderate elevations and thus (now for the important part) quite often the lightest, fluffiest snow.
#2 The Vibe
Many of the early and late season skiers are seasoned heli-skiers and snowboarders who have learned the secrets of the early season. It’s typically an easy-going but hard-ripping crew you find at CMH Lodges in December and January.
#3 The Atmosphere
Mike Welch, the area manager of CMH Galena, put it best when he described why December is his favourite month: “The snow is bottomless. Twenty centimetres fall every night. The days are short. It’s kind of dark all day. I love the whole ambiance! We come home wet. Our gloves are soaked. Our zippers are frozen. I just love it!”
#4 The Psyche
There is no place more exciting to be as a snow rider than a CMH Lodge in the early season when that first massive storm cycle of the Heli-Ski season rolls in. The guides, staff and guests are fresh off summer fun and everyone is rip-roaring-ready for ski season. Sure, deep powder in mountain paradise with helicopter access is dream-worthy anytime of the year, but early season in Canada is when the amp gets turned up to 11.
#5 The Cost
Last but not least; it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. There are only so many seats on the helicopter, and more skiers and snowboarders want to go Heli-Skiing in February and March. This means you can get in on an early season CMH Heli-Skiing trip for about a third less than the cost of a peak season trip.
Photos of early season conditions in Galena and the Monashees by Topher Donahue and Fred Huser.
After watching the Lego Freeskiing clip that’s been circulating the ether, I was struck by two things. First, how fantastic it is that modern digital capture and editing methods can make a plastic toy reveal much about the experience of snow riding. And second, how we’ve become so distracted by modern digital capture and editing methods that a one minute clip of a lego skier can inspire nearly the same emotional response in the viewer as many ski videos.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lego Freeskiing, and hats off to Devon, who made the clip, but as a visual storyteller myself it left me with some curious questions.
The sudden drop is frame rate to slow motion, the shallow depth of field, and sincere music; is this all that is needed to make a modern ski or snowboard video? Are we so saturated with visual stimulation that footage of the world’s best skiers ripping the world’s most demanding lies is little-more impactful than a stop-motion project shot with plastic toys in the garage?
Or perhaps I was taking it all a bit too seriously, so I showed it to my 6-year-old daughter to get her perspective on Lego Skiing.
She had one word to describe it: “Funny.”
But she didn’t get all the innuendo poking fun at the snowsport movie industry like I did.
Then I showed it to her twin brother.
His response was disturbingly in line with mine: "He's pretty good at skiing. For a Lego."
Hmm. That didn't help my dilemma.
I haven't come to grips with some backroom artist making a video with a toy that compares favorably with some of today's most popular ski videos, but the inspiring thing about it is what it means for the future of ski and snowboard cinematography. If Devon can do that with a toy, just think of what photographers, videographers and editors will do in future projects – once we learn to balance the eye candy with the deeper human story.
Think about it. Today’s ski and snowboard athletes are amassing an incredible visual record of their careers. Not just the money shots of them winning Olympic gold, or ripping the radest lines and throwing down the sickest tricks while being filmed with the cameras that cost as much as a new car, but the camera-phone footage of them learning to ski or snowboard with their families, throwing tantrums after crashing in the terrain park at 10 years old, and growing up on the snow.
We now have digital records that have the potential to capture entire lifetimes in a visually entertaining format, and when outdoor sports filmmaking culture moves beyond the eye candy, which many producers are already beginning to do, ski and snowboard movies are going to get entertaining indeed.
Then someone will make a spoof of Barbie growing up to be an Olympic downhill racer and going on to date the world's best golfer. Oh well.
In 2005 I received an assignment from Powder Magazine to document a Heli-Ski party in the Bugaboos to celebrate 40 years of Heli-Skiing. The story was far more than a magazine article, and from the magazine assignment the project transformed into a 293-page book called Bugaboo Dreams: A Story of Skiers, Helicopters and Mountains.
For two years I interviewed the characters involved in those 40 years of innovation and adventure, and in the process came across some wild stories. In the early days of Heli-Skiing, there were no radios, no avalanche transceivers, no mountain weather forecasts, no collaborative safety program between guides - and a bottle of wine was shared at lunch time.
Of all the stories I heard, this is one of the wildest; told by Bob Geber, a guide who retired from guiding just two years ago:
“The pilot had a southern accent and no mountain flying experience. As we were landing I looked down to enter flight time in my book – when I looked up all I could see was snow.”
The pilot reacted at the last second and pulled up just before hitting the slope so the helicopter crashed with much of the force on its skids. As the machine rolled backwards, a skid stuck in the snow crust, preventing a probably fatal tumble. When things stopped moving, Geber had one thought: “!#&$, I’m still alive!”
During the crash, he slammed his head into something in the fuselage, and blood from the wound pooled in his eyes. His second thought was: “!#&$, I’m blind!”
He could smell fuel, so he kicked down the door and started running away. After a few steps he had a third thought: “!#&$, I’m the guide!”
Wiping the blood out of his eyes was a relief, as he realized he still could see. He turned around and helped everyone else out of the helicopter. No one was hurt, and there was wine in the lunch, so they grabbed the lunch and moved away from the helicopter to wait for a rescue. There was no long-range radio in those days, so Geber hoped someone would realize the helicopter hadn’t returned and send out a second ship.
They drank the wine and ate the lunch, and still no rescue was forthcoming. The short winter day was half over, so Geber decided they’d better try to get out under their own power before darkness fell. While the helicopter was bent, with pieces scattered everywhere, the basket miraculously protected the skis during the crash. Everyone grabbed their skis and did what they knew how to do – ski. The only problem was the pilot. He had no skis and wouldn’t have known what to do with them if he did.
The snow was too soft to walk without debilitating effort, so Geber had the idea to make a sled using a disk-like cover that fits around the base of the helicopter’s rotor assembly on the very top of the fuselage. There was enough room for the pilot to sit in it, like a child on a saucer, and the disk slid easily on the downhill. They left the wreck and headed down the mountain, eleven skiers easily cruising along, and the pilot sledding behind on a piece of his mangled helicopter. When the terrain was less steep, they attached a rope to the makeshift sled and pulled the pilot along, but when they hit a flat section, with deep, soft snow, it became impossible to pull. He tried to walk, but ended up wallowing.
To make forward progress, Geber and one of the stronger skiers each gave up one ski so the pilot, with zero ski experience, could use two. Gently rolling terrain was perfect for the new system and they made good time, the pilot even started enjoying the idea of skiing with the exhilaration of sliding easily down a few small hills. Soon they crested a bigger hill, and Geber was ready to change back to the sledding system, but the pilot asked, “Hey Bob, do you think I could ski by myself down this one?”
Geber thought there wasn’t much of a hill, so he let the pilot go ahead. Geber remembers, shaking his head, “He went about 50 feet, fell over, and started squealing like a pig. We couldn’t figure out what he could have done to himself in such a short distance and insignificant fall, but I skied up to him and he was holding his leg. Immediately I could see he had somehow gotten a compound fracture. The bone was obvious sticking out against his pants.”
By now the day was well the way to a guide’s worst nightmare, in fact nightmare on top of nightmare. With a crashed helicopter and a pilot with a broken leg, Geber was in no mood to listen to the pilot’s screaming. “I shoved 200mg of Demoral up his #$$, and pretty soon he was grinning stupidly, happy as a baby.”
By this point a rescue helicopter found the beleaguered skiers. The other guide was so happy to see the entire team alive and well, he got out of the helicopter and started running towards Geber – directly into the path of the rotor. To end the day, Geber ran at his fellow guide and dove at his legs with a football tackle, effectively knocking the other guide over before he decapitated himself on the blade.
Yup, more than a few things have changed in Heli-Skiing.
Photo courtesy CMH Archives.
The early birds at CMH Heli-Skiing are the ski guides, who awake while the lodge is still quiet and dark to make plans for the day; checking weather reports, avalanche conditions, and determining the safest and best Heli-Skiing possible on that particular day.
For the guests, the ultimate ski vacation begins as it should – by getting you ready to ski. A bell rings and anyone who wants to feel good on the first run meets for a ski and snowboard specific stretch class in the exercise room.
Next, a buffet breakfast with everything from cereal and fruit to bacon and eggs gives everyone a chance to fuel up in the way they feel suits them best.
After breakfast, it is time to gear up, and the CMH boot rooms, equpped with boot and glove dryers, as well as plenty of space for everyone's equipment, make getting ready easy and efficient.
On the first day, everyone participates in the safety practice, where the guides teach everyone how to use the radios, avalanche safety equipment, and the ins and outs of how to stay safe while skiing deep powder in the mountains. After the first day, everyone is up to speed with the safety techniques, and we just get straight in the helicopter after breakfast and go skiing.
We meet at the heli-pad near the lodge. We stack our skis so the guide can easily load them, and when the helicopter lands we step aboard and fasten our seatbelts while the guide loads the skis in a ski basket attached to the outside of the helicopter.
Then we lift off for ski paradise.
The helicopter lands on a flagged landing area atop the first run, and we all get out while the guide unloads the skis. After the helicopter leaves, we put on our skis, and listen to the guides instructions for the first run. Then we ski our brains out.
After each run, we meet the helicopter at a landing area the bottom of the run and repeat again and again and again until lunch. Most days, lunch consists of sandwiches, tea, soup, cookies and other snacks delivered by a small helicopter, but on special occasions during good weather, mountaintop barbeques have been known to happen in the most spectacular locations imaginable.
After a fairly quick lunch, so we don’t get cold and stiff, we dig into more powder runs. Skiers and snowboarders who are tired after the morning usually have a chance to return to the lodge at lunch, as well as other times during the day. The logistics of some of the areas require that you stay out all day, but the guides will let you know this before the day begins. The lodges with the more aggressive riders and terrain are the most likely to have the fewest chances to return to the lodge, including the Bobbie Burns, Revelstoke, Galena, CMH/K2 and the Monashees.
When we’ve schralped so much pow that it’s hard to remember all the great runs, face shots, cushy airs, and fresh turns, we return for CMH après ski – an experience no snowrider should miss.
Then we gather in the dining room for a fine family-style dinner and many generous toasts to an unforgettable day of skiing and snowboarding.
Finally, we retire to our rooms - ranging from comfortable double rooms, to spacious single rooms, to deluxe chalets - for a well-earned sleep, dreaming of deep powder and endless freshies.
The best part? We wake up the next day and do it all over again!
Photos by Topher Donahue.
For decades, the CMH Heli-Skiing tagline has been the world’s greatest skiing. Of course such a statement begs to be refuted, but once people have skied with CMH, they quite often tend to agree.
One thing, however, that nobody argues with, is that CMH Lodges throw down the world’s greatest après ski!
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why; indeed, the perfect après ski is a little different for each person. But somehow, CMH gets it just right for virtually everyone.
Perhaps it is the number of fellow powder hounds – enough to have diversity but few enough to have intimacy.
Perhaps it is CMH Heli-Skiing’s special flavor of hüttenzauber, or alpine hut magic, that has remained a part of the CMH experience for nearly 50 years.
Perhaps it is the combination of remote locations and exquisite comfort.
Or perhaps it is the snow riding that makes the CMH après ski so enjoyable.
Most likely it is a combination of all of the above, distilled photographically into the following five photos.
Springtime in the Bugaboos, with après ski on the deck overlooking in the Bugaboo Spires:
A mid-winter dirty martini sitting atop the 3-D ski area table of the Adamants in the commons area of the Adamants Lodge:
Après ski with the Nomads South at the Halcyon Hot Springs pools overlooking the Arrow Lake after a world-class day of riding both Galena and Revelstoke terrain:
Getting the giggle on after hitting the shot ski – anywhere CMH:
Digging into a sushi après ski served up on a Burton snowboard. I doubt Jake ever dreamed we’d be eating sushi off his invention in a Heli-Ski lodge deep in Interior British Columbia:
Any of you million-footers out there have any great memories of CMH aprés ski that you'd like to share?
Last year I wrote a post for the Heli-Ski blog, musing about the potential of snowboarding and skiing on the dry ice snow that falls on Mars. I had fun writing the post, but I must admit I felt a bit like the ski bum who’d had a few too many talking about some absurd snow-riding mission. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)
Then, when Jason Semenek at CMH Heli-Skiing sent me a link from the NASA website with a clip of Serina Diniega, a Systems Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, having similar ideas, complete with animation of an astronaut snowboarding on the Marian dunes, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t so far out after all. She concluded:
“I’m looking forward to the day when astronauts can engage in a whole new era of extreme sports – when they can snowboard down a carbon dioxide-covered dune on a cushion of carbon dioxide and just shoot right down those slopes. It would be amazing.”
Of course Ms. Diniega has a lot better science to back up her musings.
While I imagined riding the dry ice snow that falls on the Martian poles during the winter, Ms. Diniega was explaining the mysterious, snowboard-like tracks seen on the slopes of Martian sand dunes:
To test a theory that the tracks were caused by the motion of dry ice blocks melting from the ridges of the dunes, a group of scientists took blocks of water ice, dry ice, and wood to a sand dune on Earth. What they found was surprising, but backed up the theory of dry ice causing the tracks on Mars.
Unsurprisingly, the wood block, acting as a control group, slid until sand built up in front of it, and then stopped. The water ice acted much the same, stopping after only a few feet of travel. The dry ice block, surprisingly, slid smoothly and quickly all the way to the bottom of the dune.
On the steepest dunes – 33 degrees, the steepest angle sand can sit on in repose – the results were surprising. When they repeated the experiment on dunes as low angle as 6 degrees, the dry ice still slid all the way to the bottom of the dune. So what was happening?
According to the JPL scientists, what happens is that the sand was warmer than the dry ice, so it causes melting on the bottom of the solid ice. This forms a cushion of gas that allows the dry ice to slide along on an air cushion, thus travelling along the sandy surface with much reduced friction.
I must admit, it got me musing again. Not so much about snowboarding on Mars this time, but about riding sand dunes here on earth with a snowboard tuned, not with P-Tex and wax, but with dry ice. Ripping sand dunes on a board riding a cushion of air? Now we’re talkin’. Besides, the lift ticket would be a lot cheaper than riding on Mars…
Screenshot of dry ice tracks and video from NASA's multimedia gallery.
Be a Hero - or so says the tagline for GoPro’s wildly successful camera. The little cameras have forever changed the world of adventure filmmaking, and added one more must-have item to the list for adventure traveller video buffs.
At CMH Heli-Skiing, we see the numbers of our guests using GoPros growing exponentially every year. It’s fantastic to see skiers and snowboarders leaving with their own footage of their Heli-Ski dream trip. Some CMH Ski Guides are also using GoPros, and a few have gotten really good at it. The CMH Revelstoke crew has been capturing GoPro footage and editing it into some fun clips (like the one below). So for a few tips on how to integrate the GoPro into your Heli-Ski trip, I tracked down ski guides Steve Chambers and Jeff Bellis from CMH Revelstoke.
Big Friday from Global Powder Guides on Vimeo.
Steve’s GoPro tips:
- Consider your final product/video when shooting. Have a 'shot list' in your mind as to what you want to capture and how you can use these clips to compose your video. Think of it as a story you want to tell versus random footage you cram together in a lengthy piece. Which brings me to my next point...
- Keep it short. Think of short segments linked together that might make a great 2-3 minute long film. Any longer than that and you'll lose your audience.
- Mix up your POV. If all you shoot is footage from a helmet or chest harness perspective, it will get 'old' quick. Get shots from all kinds of angles and vantage points. Consider having your subjects ski by you as opposed to only having moving footage of yourself. The pole cam angle is a great one to mix into your repertoire.
- Keep your subjects close. With the wide angle nature of GoPro shots, if your subject is not right there with you (front, side, back) or coming right at you, they'll just be a dark spot moving through the frame. I tell people to come right at me close (carefully of course!) to get the best shot.
- Brighter is better! If your subjects are dressed in darker colors, forget about it - you might as well not shoot at all. The brighter the clothing the better considering the various POV's and wide angle nature of most of the cameras on the market today. Reds, yellows, oranges and light blues are great.
- Consider the music you might use with your final video. Putting your footage together with a great soundtrack will make a world of difference. I've always had some piece of music in mind when I've started every short project.
- Happy film making!
Jeff’s GoPro tips:
- Be creative: You can put a GoPro just about anywhere. Try out any crazy idea you have for a shot, you never know how its going to work out.
- Keep the GoPro easily accessible: I have often just captured a really cool shot because my GoPro is always ready.
- Try to capture video other than skiing: Flying, scenery, lodge life, and travel to CMH all make great footage to mix in to a short video.
- Take short clips: Don't leave your GoPro running for an entire run. It will be horribly boring to watch, it will take forever to download onto your computer, and it will drain your battery quickly. Try to look at the terrain ahead in the run and figure out if there is anything worth shooting. Not all ski runs look good on video.
- Share your footage: A typical heli ski group in Revelstoke will have at least 5 GoPros (The Dutch Air Squad who shot the video below had over 20 in their group this year). If you are taking short clips its easy to share your footage with others in the group. Everyone appreciates some video of themselves and more footage makes it easier for you to get different shots into your video.
- Know your GoPro before you go: Every week it seems I am giving a GoPro 101 class. You will get more cool footage if you learn how to use your camera before you get to CMH.
- Change speeds: When you are editing your video mix up the speeds of the footage. If you have a really great sequence that is a little long, speed it up. If you have captured an amazing face shot, slow it down.
- Don't focus on your GoPro all day: If you are on a CMH ski trip you are here to ski. Don't spend your entire trip fussing with your GoPro. Shoot when it’s going to look good or your friends are into it.
- Charge the Battery! Every Night!
Ski Paradise from Jan Willem Metz on Vimeo.
Last but not least, the most important GoPro tip comes from the mountains themselves. The tagline “Be a Hero” only applies to the camera’s capabilities – not your own behaviour in the mountains. This most important of all GoPro tips for skiing and snowboarding has been an integral part of mountain wisdom for decades before GoPros were ever invented, still holds true today, and is ironically: Don’t be a hero.
Videos courtesy CMH Revelstoke and Johnny GoPro of the Dutch Air Squad. Still photo from CMH Cariboos by Topher Donahue.
A staggering amount of the 15,000 square kilometres that makes up CMH Heli-Skiing is ski and snowboard terrain. However, thick forests, massive cliffs, broken icefalls, and summits guarded by all forms of alpine barriers keep us from carving turns down some of it.
But every millimetre of those 15,000 square kilometres makes for a great view. For me, as a photographer, the incredible visuals provided by the CMH terrain are as fascinating, thrilling, and memorable as the deep powder itself.
Surprisingly, however, it is hard to capture that vastness and diversity of terrain with a photograph. Only a few photos manage to bring home a little taste of that crisp alpine air, those deep valleys, the tenacious clouds, and the enormous snow riding potential and limitless beauty of CMH terrain.
These photos are five of my best efforts at turning this wilderness the size of a small country into a postcard-sized matrix of pixels.
CMH Adamants is named after this collection of summits; summits so rugged and remote that mountaineers have only recently begun to explore the steepest faces. Even fewer professional skiers have visited the areas steep couloirs and plunging faces:
The Bugaboos was the first, and is the most famous of the CMH Heli-Skiing areas, yet it remains one of the least-known of North America’s natural wonders. Here, the prisitine wilderness of East Ereek dances with mists during a CMH Summer Adventure:
Many people have said that the Cariboos are made for skiing, and metre by metre, the Cariboos may be the most versatile ski mountains in North America. In this photo, the steep couloirs that lace the range’s biggest peaks are begging to be ripped:
Even ski guides call the Monashees, when conditions are right, the best skiing in the universe. Thousand-metre slots through the trees can be found by the hundreds dropping into the range’s deep valleys and many of the area’s hard-core Heli-Ski fans have decide there is nowhere else they’d rather ride:
The Gothics, just north of the now famous powder epicenter of Revelstoke, is one of those areas where you can ride 2000-metre alpine runs one day, and steep trees the next. The views into the Monashee and Selkirk mountains are stunning enough to give pause to even the most agro powder hounds:
When I realized I was going to be a father, one of the first things I dreamed about was skiing with my kid. When I realized I was going to have twins, the idea of going skiing with them became daunting, and thrilling, indeed.
Just getting out the door with all the gear almost gave me a brain freeze, but in five seasons of skiing with my kids, the only thing I’ve ever forgotten was the my own gloves - albeit on multiple occasions. Luckily, I leave a pair of gloves in the car for mid-winter flat tires and such.
Then I realized I couldn’t carry three pairs of skis, and hold the hands of two little kids staggering along in ski boots, for even the 50 metres from the parking lot to the bunny hill. A backpack designed for backcountry snowboarding with a large strap system that would accommodate a snowboard, or in my case three pairs of skis, was the solution.
Next was the dilemma of what approach to take to teaching them to ski. First, inadvertently, I took them cross-country skiing, or what they called “ski hiking”. This turned out to be their first breakthrough, and gave them a huge advantage. Without rigid downhill boots, they learned to stand up in the middle of the skis rather than leaning on their boots. Also, when we locked them into downhill gear, they already knew how to maneuver around without crossing their tips, how to side step, etc.
But then it was time to hit the slopes.
Lessons? Good option, but we ski several days a week and I wanted to ski with my kids more than I wanted them to spend the day with an instructor. Selfish, I know, but such is parenting (and powder skiing). This year, they did spend a couple of days with and instructor during a school ski trip, and it did give them a boost.
Edgy-wedgy? The little rubber strap used to keep them from crossing or spilling their tips? Might avoid some painful wipeouts, but would also encourage reliance on the snowplow rather than parallel skiing.
Handles on their backs? I’d seen parents with chest harnesses and handles on their kids for skiing, and even ski suits with handles built in, but I was reluctant to give my kids the idea that somebody would hold them up while they skied – besides, I wanted to ski instead of sliding along hunched over while holding my kid upright.
We tried a few things. Holding a ski pole so the kid could hold onto the handle end. We saw other parents using a hula-hoop the same way. But to me it always seemed best to me to just stay on the super low-angle terrain and let them ski along slowly unassisted.
The next downhill breakthrough came in the form of a trick that Bruce Howatt, the heli-ski guru and manager of CMH Bobbie Burns
, used to teach his son to ski. He put a short cord around each of the kid’s boots, and then when it was time to go downhill, he clipped a leash to the cord. This allows the parent to control the kid’s speed, without giving them any assistance in staying upright – so when the terrain steepens the kid naturally leans forward (into a perfect stance) rather than bing pulled backwards (into the dreaded backseat).
Within days of using Bruce’s trick, they were making cute little parallel turns, and in many ways, the rest is history.
But my next concern was how to teach them to ski powder. I needn’t have worried. When fresh snow was found along the edges of the groomer tracks on the bunny hill, they sought it out as naturally as a dog chasing squirrels. “Papa, I’m getting powder turns!” my daughter yelled excitedly the first day she really felt the powder and the turn at the same time.
Like so many things in parenting - and skiing - it was time to stop trying to control everything and just let it rip. This season, after they got out of their morning kindergarten class, they were leading me on legitimate seek-and-destroy powder missions all over the mountain, preferring complicated tight tree runs to the more open, faster runs. Maybe I’m the one who needs the ski lesson in order to keep up with my kids…
In the end, I realized that maybe it doesn’t matter what method you use to teach your kids to ski powder, as long as you strictly follow one essential rule: keep it fun!
Photo of the author’s 6-year-old daughter ripping her first backcountry powder turns after the ski area closed in the spring.
The wintertime snow riding is often called the world’s greatest skiing, and the award-winning summertime adventures are the kind of experiences that imprint a person’s heart and soul with beauty, so it’s easy for the lodges of CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures to blend in with the scenery.
However, the location and the alpine hospitality delivered at the CMH lodges are so authentic and spectacular, that sometimes I wonder if CMH would become even more famous if the lodges were marketed as remote lodging destinations rather than base areas for world-class mountain experiences as they are today.
For those of us who enjoy the warm personality and dream-like mountain environment of the CMH experience, the lodge is just one aspect the comfortable outdoor immersion that the CMH winter and summer programs provide. Yet we all know that the charismatic lodges of CMH are a huge part of what makes a vacation at CMH so refreshing, memorable and enjoyable.
Looking back at my photo collection from a decade of pointing my cameras at CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures, the following 5 photos stand out as capturing the personality of the CMH Lodges.
Galena Lodge in January. 5cm/hour snowfall:
Bugaboo Lodge in August. The view from the helicopter on the way to dreamland:
Cariboo Lodge in February. The only civilization for farther than the eye can see – even from the summits of the biggest peaks:
Bobbie Burns Lodge in July. The most diverse and accessible smorgasbord of remote adventure options on planet earth:
Gothics Lodge in March. The Germans call it hüttenzauber or, loosely translated, “alpine hut magic”:
These are lodges where world-class ski and snowboard athletes celebrate some of the most fun adventures they’ve ever had in the mountains; lodges where 90-year-old great-grandparents breathe the fresh alpine air and hike in the tundra; lodges where adventure travellers live their most memorable experiences; lodges where thousands of people from all over the world have spent the kind of days that make them feel most alive.
Photos by Topher Donahue.