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CMH Heli-Skiing Launches Powder U @ CMH


Powder U at CMH Heli-Skiing LogoCMH Heli-Skiing is taking skiers “back to school” with the launch of Powder U @ CMH for the 2011-2012 ski season. Led by “Dean” Roko Koell, UIAGM and Professor of Powder, the curriculum at Powder U includes the courses skiers dream of:

Powder 101 - The Intro: These trips teach skiers everything they need to know to become a comfortable powder and wilderness skier. Each Powder 101 trip will include 10 skiers and 2 guides.  This allows us to maximize instruction time and help move you into the type of deep snow skier that makes for a returning CMH guest! The only pre-requisite is that participants should be strong intermediate skiers on hard pack snow.

Powder 505 - The Steeps: Designed for skiers and snowboarders looking for a challenge on seriously steep terrain. Powder 505 trips will run in late April 2012 in the Cariboos, when snow conditions are most stable and days are longer, offering better access to challenging terrain. Seeking the most challenging terrain available on any given day, CMH's guides offer expert coaching, finding lines that allow you to develop your skills without compromising safety.

Prerequisite: Participants must be strong, confident skiers or riders – comfortable on double black diamond runs at resorts like Whistler and Jackson Hole and able to cope with tighter terrain (i.e. couloirs). Powder 505 – The Steeps weeks are limited to nine skiers/riders (which will be split into two groups), with three guides and a Bell 407 helicopter.

Powder 707 - The Masters: Powder 707 has been designed to keep guests on the slopes for as long as the spirit is willing. While the passion for Heli-Skiing never fades, veteran skiers’ knees, backs and other bio-mechanical hot-spots do show signs of wear! These trips emphasize quality over quantity of skiing. Two guides and a maximum of 10 guests per group ensure a high level of personal attention. Powder 707 weeks will be offered throughout the season.

Prerequisite: A willing mind, even if the body is less so.

Med School: For those who have already been granted their M.D. or D.D.S., CMH’s Med School is open to all health-care providers and other professionals looking to aquire their Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits in health-related issues. CMH will offer seven first-class medical symposia throughout the 2011-2012 season.

Are you ready to go back to school? CMH Reservations can help you select the best courses to set you on the path to becoming a Powder U grad!

6 Stonking Ski Photos: Why Spring Heliskiing is More Fun


Yeah, statistically there are more days of deep powder skiing in the middle of winter, but statistics don’t measure fun.  If you ask me, the most FUN time of the year to go heliskiing with CMH is in the spring.

Why is that?  Let my camera count the ways:

deep spring powder bugaboos
1. Surprise dumps from convective showers make the sweetest powder days.  Even at times when the storm cycles are not hitting the CMH areas, the convective showers that are caused by daytime heating pumping moisture into the atmosphere will frequently dump 20 to 50 cm of snow.  The above shot shows what convective showers can do for snowboarding with CMH in April.

party bugaboos spring skiing

2. Lunchtime in the spring is pure PLEASURE.  In the middle of winter, lunchtime is about seeing how well you can eat a sandwich with your gloves on, and finding that delicate balance of drinking enough hot tea to keep your toes warm without spending the afternoon relieving yourself in the woods on every run.  In the springtime, lunches with CMH are casual affairs with amazing people in the most spectacular places.  

powder gothics spring

3. The light on the snow.  Of course for some skiers, heliskiing with CMH is all about tree skiing in the darkest, deepest forests in Western Canada.  And while such tree skiing is indeed epic, the light in the alpine in the springtime is a phenomenon to behold.  These north facing moraines in the above photo see no sun until late March, when they light up with an almost inner glow.  Add 50 cm of convective fluff to the equation and the experience is incomparable.

spring heli snowboarding bugaboos

4.  Speed.  Yup, you can ride faster in the spring.  Friendly snow, big alpine features, and generous runouts allow skiers and snowboarders to pull out all the stops.  While the winter snow can give the sensation of speed, it doesn’t hold a candle to high speed riding in the springtime when you can open the throttle all the way and rip past some of the most scenic mountain terrain on the planet.

boobie burns spring views heliskiing
5. You can ride ALL of our terrain.  In the winter, you are often limited to the trees, while in the spring you can frequently ski from the summits, down the big alpine, and finish the run with a long tree shot to the valley bottom.

smiles apres ski bugaboos

6. Aprés ski looks better in the spring.  In the winter, you enjoy the aprés ski wearing your long underwear in front of the fireplace.  In the spring, you can roll up your short sleeves and step outside.  The generous decks around the CMH lodges transform from chilly places where only the smokers hang out, to the most scenic, friendly, and intimate après ski venue the ski world has to offer.

April 30 is the last day of the CMH Early Booking Incentive!  Book next year’s trip today and save up to $700.

Heli-assisted Ski Touring: The New Frontier?


Last week I pointed my camera at the CMH Adamants during a CMH Heli-Assisted Ski Touring week for an article that will appear in Skiing Magazine next fall.  It is truly painful not to be able to share the photos with you right now – Skiing gets first choice – but the trip opened my eyes to a kind skiing that few people have ever seen, and may be a glimpse into the future of skiing.

adamants ski touring view

When Hans Gmoser and Leo Grillmair invented heliskiing almost half a century ago, they had no idea just how captivating the sport of heliskiing would become.  There was a similar sentiment in the air in the Adamants last week. 

I overheard one experienced heliskiing guest say something that reveals that the new Heli-assisted Ski Touring program is more powerful than even the guides who envisioned it in the first place could have imagined:

“I’m never going heliskiing again.  Just heli-ski touring.”

I don’t think CMH meant to turn heli-skiers into ski tourers when they created the Heli-assisted Ski Touring program three years ago, but they can’t stop now - the guests like it too much, and some skiers have come back to tour each of the last three seasons.

One ski guide said on the last day, “That was the best day of skiing all year!”

Another guide said, “ I guided 16 weeks this year, in some of the most epic powder, and this is definitely one of the best.” 

It’s not hard to see why the program is exploding in popularity.  Just imagine a day like this:

  • 7:15 – Skiing specific stretch class.
  • 8:00 – Deluxe buffet breakfast (think fruit bowls, eggs benedict, and espresso)
  • 9:05 – Step into the skis for a casual, photo-friendly lap down the best downhill run the ski guides can find (think 1300 meters of whipped cream).
  • 10:00 – Put on your skins and find the perfect aerobic output (not too hard and not too easy) while touring through old growth forests, along the edge of deep-blue glaciers and up serpentine ridges.
  • 11:30 – Buckle your skis on your pack to bootpack the final few metres onto a rime-frosted summit (makes you feel like you’re starring in your own ski film).
  • 12:00 – Eat lunch on the summit overlooking the kind of view only Everest summiteers and parachutists ever see (maybe don’t walk to the edge to pee).
  • 12:45 – Lock your skis into downhill mode (without accidentally kicking one over the edge) and rip turns right off the summit.
  • Repeat until you are ready for a 4-course gourmet meal CMH style and catch a lift back to the hot tub, sauna, massage therapist, and bar with a view of Mt. Downie, the Matterhorn of the Columbias.

Heli-assisted Ski-Touring with CMH feels a bit surreal, much like the first heliskiers must have felt as everyone on the team realized the potential of the program.  I don’t know if CMH realized just how much appeal there would be in cherry-picking the ideal conditions and sweetest lines in the heli-ski capital of the world with local heliski guides - at a price that is affordable for the average skier

Heli-assisted Ski Touring may be the best value in skiing right now, but for heli-skiers looking to save up to $700 on a regular heliskiing trip, book next year’s trip before our Early Booking Incentive expires on April 30!

The CMH Shop Tech: Pimpin' Your Ride


One of the amazing things about the CMH Heliskiing experience is that you can show up at the airport with your ski or snowboard boots, and CMH takes care of all the other snow riding details. 

Temperature changes making your skis too slow?  Get an overnight wax job.  Want to move your snowboard binding position for riding in the deepest snow?  Just drop them off at the shop.  It will all be better in the morning. 

To get a perspective on how the CMH shop techs contribute to the CMH heliskiing experience I talked with Kim Shaw, a 24-year-old ripper from Rossland, British Columbia, and shop tech in the CMH Cariboos:

cariboos heliski shop 
TD: How does being a shop tech influence the skier's heliskiing experience?

KS: I meet them the minute they walk in the door, figure out their needs for skis and snowboards or just find the right jacket or layering piece. If any of their gear is not working for them, I try my best to problem solve and make the best out of what we have available. Having product knowledge first hand on what equipment you should be using for the type of conditions at the time helps a great deal.

TD: How are the different ski shapes changing your job?

KS: With the variety of skis we carry this year, from the Rossi S7's , K2 Darkside and Pontoons people sure are trying everything! It is good for us to get positive and negative feedback on what ski really works, and what doesn't. We can take this information and try to provide the best ski for the conditions.  

TD: What do you do for skiers to maximize their heliskiing experience?

KS: Anything that I can! Knowing what ski works well with the conditions at the moment will help the skier with making the decision of what to ski on. With different options a skier can go from a K2 Coomback with rocker in the tip, to a Rossi S7 with rocker in tip and tail. This year the new selection of skis gives people more options.  If a ski is not working out, they can try another.  

TD:  Sounds like the ultimate powder demo program.  What do you do for snowboarders to maximize their heli snowboarding experience?  

KS: What goes for skiers, goes for snowboarders! Knowing the depth of snow, conditions, and what to ride on helps them make choices. Working closely with the rider to find the perfect stance to help them feel comfortable riding in any situation is huge. We are currently looking at some different options for snowboarders and it looks like next year we will have something new and exciting out in the field!

TD: What is the standard level of training for a CMH shop tech?

KS: Most people have experience in the ski industry prior to CMH. Some have a working or racing background, and we all love the mountains! We have meetings at the beginning of the season and talk about what new products we are bringing into the CMH world.

TD: Anything else you'd like to add?

KS: CMH is an amazing place to play and work!

Curious about what else is included in a CMH heliski trip?  

Photo of Kim Shaw and the fruits of her labours in the CMH Cariboos by Topher Donahue.

Special Pricing for the Next Generation at CMH Heli-Skiing


Over the last few days we have been sharing some exciting information on The Heli-Ski Blog about the 2012 season at CMH Heli-Skiing.  In this final installment we offer you an easy way to encourage your kids to join you next year to share your passion for the powder.

NEXT GENERATION WEEK  Have your kids made the grade?

CMH Heli Skiing, Next Generation trip in the BugaboosMark April 7-14, 2012 on your calendar because your kids will have it on theirs! This week of heli-skiing in the Bugaboos is open to any skier but if you have someone between the ages of 12-25 who wants to join you on your trip, they get to come up for ½ price, for ½ of the guarantee.

Price: $6600 for 7 days and 30,500 metres of skiing

Price for 25 and under: $3300 for 7 days and 15,250 metres of skiing.

Extra skiing will be charged at the normal rate of $110 per 1000 metres.

NEW DATES ANNOUNCED: The Next Generation Trip in the Bugaboos sold out in days!  We have expanded the program into the Adamants and will offer Next Generation - Adamants on April 7-14, 2012. 

Parents of children between 12 and 19 (19 is the legal age of majority in BC) are expected to ski with their children. As with all CMH Family Heli-Skiing Weeks this will be at the discretion of the guiding team.

Curious to learn more about Heli-Skiing with CMH? Contact the Heli-Skiing Experts at CMH Reservations: 1.800.661.0252.

And don't forget: Book your 2012 Heli-Skiing space by April 30 to qualify for CMH Heli-Skiing's Early Booking Incentive.

Are you a Powder Cowboy looking for no frills Heli-Skiing?


Over the last few days here on The Heli-Ski Blog, we've been sharing  news of some exciting new trip options that we have for 2012 at CMH Heli-Skiing.  In today's installment, CMH Kootenay.

CMH KOOTENAY  Save time, save money, and still ski the goods.

CMH Kootenay   No Frills Heli SkiingOkay, so CMH Kootenay is the southernmost of the 11 CMH tenures.  What does that mean to you?  Simple; it's probably the quickest commute for U.S. heliskiers who can fly easily and cheaply into Spokane.  Toss your buddies in a rental rig, then road trip and rally up the Arrow Lakes to Nakusp in just a few hours, with no gnarly mountain passes along the scenic route. Meanwhile, Kootenay heliskiing flat-out rocks. And the Kuskanax Lodge offers up great accommodations and great food in a funky small-town environment. We keep this program simple — no fancy frills, no turn down service, just rocking good skiing, great food and a young, party atmosphere with folks who love to ski.

And with plenty of Short Heli-Ski Trips (4 and 5 day) and Small Group Heli-Skiing trips to choose from all season long, it's hard to find an excuse not to ski Kootenay.

Kootenay 2012…holding the costs down so that you can get maximum shred for minimum bread!

Curious to learn more about Heli-Skiing in Kootenay? Contact the Heli-Skiing Experts at CMH Reservations: 1.800.661.0252.

And don't forget: Book your 2012 Heli-Skiing space by April 30 to qualify for CMH Heli-Skiing's Early Booking Incentive

Photo: CMH Kootenay, February 2011.

CMH Nomads: Do you dig skiing multiple awesome mountain ranges?


CMH Nomads, small group, roving heliskiingRecently here on The Heli-Ski Blog we have been spreading the news about some changes we've made to our heli-ski trip offerings for the 2011/12 season.  There's still more to come with today's post covering the CMH Nomads trips.

CMH NOMADS  Apparently skiers dig skiing multiple awesome mountain ranges in one trip. Who knew?

Only CMH Heli-Skiing can offer you the chance to ski through multiple heli-ski areas and across both the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges in search of the most stellar skiing available on any given day. These trips are the very essence of Heli-Skiing – exploring the remote reaches of huge mountain ranges and finding the best snow, just you and a few close friends and two very experienced guides. Everybody who tries it knows how ridiculously fun “Nomads” can be! Thus, in 2012 we will offer more Nomads departures than ever before

Nomads North: Based in the Gothics Lodge you will have your own 407, 4 skiers and 2 dedicated senior guides. In 2011 the average amount skied by all Nomads North skiers was an astounding 52,000 vertical metres with many going well past 60,000 vertical metres on a 7 day trip! You can join Nomads North for 4, 5, or 7 days, explore the far flung reaches of the Gothics, the Monashees and the Adamants, and ski as much as you want!

Nomads South: If you want choice, flexibility and luxury, look no further than Nomads South. Your home base is the beautiful lakefront property of Halcyon Hot Springs Resort. From here you can choose to ski with a Bell 407 with 4 or fewer skiers, or choose a Bell 212 for 5-9 skiers. Each group is led by two senior CMH guides. You can then decide if you want a ski program with unlimited metres or a trip with a guaranteed number of metres. And then there is the skiing! On top of all of that choice, your group has a wonderland of skiing options; from Galena to Kootenay to Revelstoke to the Bugaboos…always depending upon where the best skiing can be found.

Curious? To learn more, contact the Heli-Skiing Experts at CMH Reservations: 1.800.661.0252. Once word gets out, spaces won't last long.

And don't forget: Book your 2012 Heli-Skiing space by April 30 to qualify for CMH Heli-Skiing's Early Booking Incentive

Short on Time but Still Craving Big Powder Skiing?


Yesterday on The Heli-Ski Blog we started to roll out some big-time changes coming for the 2012 Heli-Ski Season here at CMH.  In today's installment we look at options for skiing less than the typical 7 days.

NEW SHORT TRIPS  Because, sad as it sounds, not everyone has seven days to go skiing.

Short Heli Ski trips with CMH Heli SkiingYou may be pressed for time but that doesn't mean you should have to live without your heli-ski fix! We have a four- or five-day session available for each week of the season in 2012 in at least one area.  This includes shorter stays on our new small-group heli-skiing trips in the Adamants, as well as five-day Powder Masters and Powder Intro trips in the Bugaboos and Signature trips in the Cariboos and Galena. And don't forget Kootenay, still plenty of four-and five-day options there.



Now that the time excuse is gone, satisfying that powder craving is easier than ever.

Prices start at $3450 for 4 days and $4250 for 5 days.

Curious? To learn more, contact the Heli-Skiing Experts at CMH Reservations: 1.800.661.0252.

And don't forget: Book your 2012 Heli-Skiing space by April 30 to qualify for CMH Heli-Skiing's Early Booking Incentive

Photo: Don't miss out on this just because you're short on time! CMH Bobbie Burns, February 18, 2011.

Small Group Heli-Skiing at CMH Adamant & Monashee Lodges


You may have heard the rumour. We're sweetening our 2012 offerings here at CMH Heli-Skiing. This post is one in a series of five over the next few days announcing some changes to the trips that we'll be offering in 2012.

First up: More Small-Group Heli-Skiing options for you to choose from.

ADAMANT LODGE  Just you and a few close, personal friends.

Small Group Heli-Skiing at CMH Adamants by Craig McGeeIt's been over 20 years since we hosted our first small-group heli-skiing program at CMH Valemount. Back then it was viewed as supreme luxury. This was the heli-skier's version of tooling around in a chauffeur-driven limousine. Our small-group trips have continued to grow in popularity, and nowadays you can enjoy them at Valemount, McBride, Monashees, Revelstoke and via the Nomads multi-area program.

But it's getting better!

We're delighted to announce the first CMH area devoted exclusively to small-group, small-helicopter skiing. For the entire 2011-12 season, CMH Adamant Lodge will be small group, powder paradise. We'll use two Bell 407s, each will handle three groups of five skiers plus your guide. The nimble little 407 offers supreme flexibility, and can easily handle the pace of the hardest-charging heli-skiers and heli-boarders. Meanwhile, if you don't have four friends who are as powder hungry as you, no sweat.  Join soon-to-be best buddies as a single or couple.  With two helicopters, six groups and six guides, Konrad and the other heliskiing guides at the Adamants will be able to offer a terrific range of terrain choices and group types – enough to suit any Heli-Skier on the planet!

2012 Trips = 2010 prices! Believe it or not, 2012 Adamant small-group parties will pay the same high-season pricing as 2010 — enjoy private nirvana starting at $8750 for 7 days!


MONASHEE LODGE Late season means more room to move and smaller groups, too!

Small group heli skiing at CMH Monashees by Fred HuserThose of you serious about powder skiing already know about the legendary reputation of CMH Monashees. It is, quite simply, the planet's finest location for skiing steep, 1500 vertical-metre runs in bottomless snow, through towering trees.

At the Monashees we typically offer our Signature Heli-Skiing model: four groups per Bell 212. And that works fine when the bulk of our skiing is very close to the lodge, allowing for an average of well over 46,000 metres of skiing per week for each guest. But as the season progresses and the days get longer, we are able to wander the vast tenure, skiing superb drainages that are further from the lodge. Therefore, to make the skiing program work at maximum effectiveness and flexibility, as of February 18, 2012, we will reduce regular groups to 33 skiers and add two groups of five skiers/ riders for small-group skiing in a Bell 407. The net result: you ski big days on big slopes.

Prices start at $10,990 per person for small group skiing and $7820 in the regular groups.

Curious? To learn more, contact the Heli-Skiing Experts at CMH Reservations: 1.800.661.0252. Once word gets out, spaces won't last long.

And don't forget: Book your 2012 Heli-Skiing space by April 30 to qualify for CMH Heli-Skiing's Early Booking Incentive

Photos: Small Group Heli-Skiing in the Adamants by Craig McGee / Heli-Skiing in the Monashees by Fred Huser.

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