This January, CMH Heli-Skiing is placing a 7-day Signature Heli-Ski trip (2013 season) up for online auction in support of ALS and our amazing friend & colleague Fred Noble.
Over 38 years ago, Fred Noble began his career with CMH Heli-Skiing as the original North American Sales Rep. He joined the CMH team solely because of his passion for the sport and his personal drive to share this amazing experience with as many friends as possible. Fred has heli-skied throughout all of CMH's areas, dug snow pits with the guides, loaded luggage into the helicopter, helped out in the kitchen, and skied amazing amounts of vertical with his friends and family. More importantly, Fred has made literally thousands of friends from around the globe and inspired even more with his tenacious view of the world and his ability to overcome any obstacle thrown his way.
On December 12, 2010, Fred was given the diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Upon this diagnosis, he was introduced to The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter. The chapter's amazing team of experts have come on board to offer both Fred and his family support in dealing with the myriad of issues that arise when dealing and learning to live with ALS.
Fred Noble is an important part of the colourful fabric that makes up CMH. Since his diagnosis he has embraced his life even more fully, travelling to Turkey last May and South America in August. This coming March he will be celebrating his 75th birthday with a lodge full of friends and family in the Bugaboos.
Recently, Fred has worked hard to organize a fundraising campaign with The Ski To Defeat ALS, an event taking place at Mount Hood Meadows in April, in honour of The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter and its vital mission. CMH is pleased to support this initiative by placing a 7-day Signature trip up for online auction with all funds raised going directly to this campaign.
PLACE YOUR BID, between Jan 1 - 13, 2012 and help further the mission of fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease! All proceeds will be donated directly to The Ski to Defeat ALS in honour of Fred Noble and CMH's partnership with The ALS Association.
This trip is valued at $10,770 CAD - and can be used to book any 7-day Signature Heli-Ski space for one person during the 2013 season (subject to availability).
Auction Opens: Sunday, January 1, 2012 @ 10:00 MST
Auction Closes: Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 10:00 MST
To PLACE A BID go to http://cmh.auctionanything.com
Need help placing a bid? Just contact us at CMH and we can help. 1-800-661-0252 or email email@example.com Please be generous - all proceeds support the fight against ALS!
*Update, January 13: The auction is now closed and we are excited to announce that the winning bid was $11,000 for ALS. Thank you to all of you who bid on the space and shared word of the auction. Thanks for showing your support for Fred Noble and the Fight Against ALS.
In September we released CMH: The Journal of the World's Greatest Skiing. The Journal is an annual publication made up of stories that highlight who we are. It is a celebration of skiing, mountains and the characters who make up this crazy adventure called Heli-Skiing.
The Journal is now on-line and available for use on the iPad as well as your computer. In addition to all the stories in the printed version, there is access to additional content to take the reader a little deeper into the story. Check it out, share it with your friends, let us know what you think.
If computers aren't your thing, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a printed copy in the mail.
You love skiing. You live for the days you spend skiing at your local resort, for ski vacations or for ripping up the backcountry with your friends every weekend. Sitting at your office, or in your car dealing with traffic everyday, you find your mind drifting to your last ski day or that ski movie you watched recently.
Face it. You're dealing with an addiction.
There is no cure. You simply need more skiing. But not just any skiing. You need Heli-Skiing. Get yourself deep into the heart of the Columbia Mountain Range for some Heli-Skiing in BC, Canada!
Think you can't handle it? You're not alone. Heli-Skiing has this mystical aura surrounding it and sadly many capable skiers discount the idea based on these myths. So I've pulled together a few resources to help you see why more skiers should consider heliskiing:
Convinced that heliskiers only ski near-vertical terrain and huck themselves off cliffs? Read What's the terrain like.
Concerned about safety? Read The CMH Safety Net: A firsthand experience.
Concerned that you are not a good enough skier? Read Are You a Good Enough Skier to Enjoy Heli-Skiing?
Are you a female skier intimidated by the thought that you'll be the only gal in the helicopter? Read Ski Diva's Take Note: Chicks in the Chopper Filling Up and Heli-Skiing: Where Are the Women?
Overwhelmed by the myraid of Heli-Skiing options out there and not sure which would suit you best? Read 15 Things to Consider Before Booking a Heli-Ski Trip.
Not sure where to go? Alaska? Chile? Canada? Read The World's Greatest Skiing Happens in Revelstoke, BC.
Still have questions? Don't be shy. CMH's team of Heli-Ski experts can talk to you about the realities of heli-skiing and help you decide if you are ready to experience skiing nirvana. Contact us at 1.800.661.0252 and subscribe to The Heli-Ski Blog for more information.
Photo of what Tyler Ceccanti describes as "The best ski runs I've ever had in my life" by Mike Welch.
CMH Heli-Skiing opens the books on the 2013 Heli-Ski season at 8:30am MST on November 17, 2011.
Doesn't that seem a little early? Well, yes and no. Here are four reasons to set your speed dial to 1.800.661.0252 first thing on Thursday morning:
1) Lock down enough heli seats for your entire family on CMH Family Heli-Ski Christmas Weeks
These trips fill up quickly and we're disheartened when you call us in July for six spaces and we only have two left. Avoid disappointment; book early!
2) Get your first pick for prime weeks.
While it's now common knowledge that you can book some Heli-Ski trips within two or three months of departure, you certainly can't book them all in those sorts of timelines. Gone are the days when we turned on the phones at 8:30 on booking day and were 60% full for the next season by noon, but there are still those sought-after dates that disappear fast. Get them while you can!
3) Score Single Rooms.
Need I say more?
And one bonus tip:
4) Heli-Assisted Ski Touring Weeks and Next Generation.
These trips have proven to be very popular for many reasons and they sell out quickly. Call us Thursday and chances are good that you'll set yourself up for 2013.
And don't forget: Book your 2013 trip by April 30, 2012 and pay 2010 rates. (No, that's not a typo.)
Talk to you Thursday!
Last Friday, November 4, 2011, CMH Heli-Skiing guides Mike Aucoin, Lili Lambert and Matt Dellow spent the afternoon heliskiing just outside of Revelstoke, BC. The team, which also included Manager of Guiding Operations, Erich Unterberger, estimated that snow quality was fair in the alpine, good at treeline and deteriorated below treeline due to decreasing coverage. They measured 80-100cm of skier supporting snowpack at treeline.
For early November, this is good news. And with more snow in the Revelstoke Forecast for the upcoming days, the snowpack should be setting up quite nicely for the Revelstoke guiding crew to receive their first guests in just less than a month from today.
Assistant Area Manager, Mike Aucoin sent in the following photos of the groups first turns of the season:
As we continue our snow dance here in western Canada we will post updates from our guides in the field. Be sure to check out CMH Heli-Skiing on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates too! Three other pages to bookmark would be the CMH Snow Reports, our webcam from the Monashee Lodge and our CMH Pre-Season Photo Gallery online.
Have you been out skiing yet? Tell us about your first turns here and brag about them on twitter too, using the hashtag #SkiFotos.
UPDATE NOV 24, 2011: A few of our guides have been out ski touring in Roger's Pass, just east of Revelstoke and are reporting great conditions. Recent snowfall is setting up the snowpack well, conditions are stable and the skiing and riding is awesome! Guide's training starts Nov 25 in the Monashees and we'll have updates and new photos.
The CMH Heli-Skiing team has been whipping up a ski frenzy on the annual CMH Fall Roadshow across Canada and the US and in many places in Europe. The excitement continues throughout November and even into December. That's right, we'll still be hosting cocktail receptions and showing our new ski movie even after the Heli-Ski season begins in a few of our areas. No rest for the devoted...
So, what's it all about, this CMH Roadshow? Well, hearkening back to our earliest days when Hans Gmoser travelled across North America in a beat-up VW with silent films of ski adventures that he narrated live for each audience, we continue the tradition with a 21st Century feel. These days we send out a few of our guides to some sweet spots across the nations with our highly polished movies in hand - complete with soundtracks and storytelling. The evening typically does include a live-narrated slideshow with plenty of time for mingling with past guests, old friends, new friends and noshing on some great finger foods and tasting some local brews and vintages.
I checked in with Steve Chambers, CMH Revelstoke Area Manager who is at home for a mid-tour break to get a feel for what is happening out there this fall.
JC: Steve, you’ve been on the road quite a bit this fall with the CMH Roadshow. Can you tell me a bit about these events?
SC: It's been a really great Fall program so far this year. I've been lucky enough to add an international component to the events I've already done with 5 days in Mexico and events in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey. These were small, intimate gatherings with a very enthusiastic group of skiers and boarders who spend a lot of time skiing every winter. There were some great people who have already been exposed to the 'CMH experience' and they were thrilled to share it with friends who would be new guests this winter. In contrast to these smaller events, we just had an event here in Denver last week with over 300 people attending. It coincided with the first snowfall of the season and you could tell people were amped to get out into the mountains and make some tracks. The energy at Battery 621, where we held the event, was amazing and it certainly cranked up my excitement level to get the season started. These folks love their winter activities!
JC: Tell me more about the ski movies!
SC: This year we're opening up the shows with a quick little 'teaser' film that definitely gets your attention. Every time I see it I get the chills - I just want to get on the skis so much and then you hear the crowds reaction - it's great. We've also put together a cool slideshow that gives a really great perspective of what we do that includes our humble beginnings and the creation of an industry, the safety program at CMH, our connection with Alpine Helicopters and their amazing crew of pilots & engineers, life at the lodge and an introduction to a host of current trips and new offerings for the 2011/2012 season. To wrap it up we show 'Spectrum' which is this years film showing a cross section of the type of programs we offer from 'Powder 101' to 'Next Generation' to cutting edge skiing with the crew from last years Warren Miller / K2 Ski Testing week in the Monashees under absolutely epic conditions. If you don't leave the room absolutely stoked to start the ski & snowboard season, you might not have a pulse...
JC: I saw Spectrum last month and agree - it's pretty great! What are some of the common questions you get from the audience?
SC: Without a doubt, people typically want to know when is the best time to come and at which lodge. They might be the hardest questions to answer definitively but I always ask people if they want to come ski big, old growth forests in deep powder or do you want to come ski the big, open Alpine-type terrain and hit the glaciers. One experience is typically early-season when it's really snowing a lot and the other is the latter half of our winter when we tend to get more settled weather and can get up high into the big country. After that, the next most popular question is how do they get my job as a guide with the company!
JC: Where next?
SC: The show must go on - I'm off to the LA area next week to do a show in Santa Monica on the 8th and then San Francisco on the 10th. My counterparts are on the road as well and we're about to start a huge 3 week tour in Europe, so it's a busy time for all of us. Mother nature is cooperating in the Interior of British Columbia with snow in the mountains and more on the way. Another predicted La Nina season has me more excited than ever for this upcoming Heli-Ski season!
Thanks Steve! Have fun in California!
To see if CMH Heli-Skiing is coming to your town, check out our online schedule for the CMH Roadshow.
Photo: 300 or so passionate Heli-Skiers braved an October snowstorm and gathered at Battery 621 in Denver. One lucky participant left with a voucher for a free CMH Heli-Skiing trip!
by Kevin Brooker
So much fun goes down in a CMH Heli-Skiing season. Recently we got to thinking, "Why don't we write some of this stuff down?" So we did. Behold, Volume I of a new publication devoted to our myriad adventures—one that's coming out, free of charge, in six different language versions. Consider it a yearbook of sorts, a colourful way to celebrate the season past and get revved up for the one to come. This year's edition, edited by Calgary-based ski journalist Kevin Brooker, is packed with words and images. Colorado's Topher Donahue, who wrote the history of CMH in the book Bugaboo Dreams: A Story of Skiers, Mountains and Helicopters, explains how European and Canadian guiding traditions—plus a decidedly international workforce—have contributed to CMH's unique culture. Vancouver journalist Steven Threndyle drops into a busy Monashees Week 13 to hang out with both the Warren Miller film crew and the K2 Skis product development squad, while Pemberton's Lisa Richardson explores the joys and challenges of Heli-Skiing from a female perspective. There are tales of history, gastronomy and technology, the story behind our beloved million-foot awards, plus a whole lot of smiling faces on both guests and employees as they pursue their passion throughout our 11 magnificent tenures.
To order your own free copy—in your choice of English, German, French, Italian, Japanese or Spanish—simply shoot us your mailing address at email@example.com with CMH Journal written in the subject line. Meanwhile, you too can play journalist. Got a question about why something is the way it is? Know someone worthy of a profile? We're all ears. Just drop your CMH Journal tip into an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a guest post by Kevin Brooker, editor of CMH: The Journal of the World's Greatest Skiing.
Not that you won't acquire new knowledge with every CMH Heli-Skiing visit, but for a number of seasons now we've offered specific teaching programs in areas like learning to powder ski and mastering the steeps. Well, the curriculum just got broader. For 2011-12 we are delighted to introduce five exciting trips under the all-new Powder U syllabus. Let the shreducation begin.
1. Powder 101: The Intro - Girl's School Four-day program, March 8-12, 2012, CMH Revelstoke
With all due respect to our friends with the XY chromosome, it is probably not a bad idea to forego the male presence while learning to rip powder in the Heli-Ski environment. It's been our experience that when it comes to supporting and encouraging one another, a tight group of female adventurers is living, skiing proof that sisterhood is powerful. And that ideal environment for learning is exactly what you'll find when you sign up for this unique program designed for a group of 10 women for whom learning technique is important, but having fun is the overriding mission.
Your first question, of course, should be, "Am I a good enough skier?" And the answer is a resounding yes if you are a strong resort skier who can handle diverse conditions—that is, you can tackle black diamond runs with confidence, if not necessarily style. Once here, the group will have its own dedicated pair of guide/instructors to turn each run into an alpine classroom. Equipped with video cameras, the guides will be recording each participant's progress, then screening the results daily in an aprés-ski setting guaranteed to keep the learning—and the laughter—rolling.
2. Powder 401: Steep Shots and Pillow Drops Five-day program, Feb 18 to 23, 2012 CMH Kootenay & March 26-31, 2012 CMH Revelstoke.
Step aside, 21-year-old daredevils. Thanks to new-generation equipment, you're not the only ones with an appetite for dramatic cascades and big airs. But having the will is only part of it; you need a whole new bag of tricks if you hope to charge like rock stars half your age. Enter the guides from CMH Kootenay and Revelstoke, who have designed a freeride program for advanced skiers who want to ramp up their steep skills, and especially their ability to trampoline from one snow mushroom to the next in total control. If you prefer quality over quantity, this is the course for you.
3. Avi Skills 201: Backcountry Five-day program, Feb. 23-28, 2012 CMH Kootenay
Prior to the advent of modern alpine touring equipment, it was unlikely that CMH Heli-Skiers would feel the need to learn backcountry safety. Times have changed, though, and all kinds of skiers are now hitting their local stashes in between Heli vacations. So why not learn to do it safely in the most glorious classroom available? Led by CMH guide and longtime Canadian Avalanche Association executive Rob Whelan, the course will focus on building a decision-making framework based on the latest in snow and terrain assessment. Graduates will earn their CAA Avalanche Skills Level One, a prerequisite for further professional-calibre training.
4. Powder 203: Big Trees Five-day program, Mar 3-10, 2012 CMH Monashees
Let's face it, few things we do in life are as daring and exhilarating as plunging through forests we've never previously laid eyes upon. But why do some skiers seem so much more relaxed while doing it? With this program, conducted amidst the world's finest old-growth-forest skiing terrain, you'll get hands-on instruction of a set of skills from line selection to turning technique that will have you slaying trees like Paul Bunyan.
5. Powder 215: Film School Five-day program, Mar 22-26, 2012 CMH Gothics
If the recent explosion in the use of GoPro helmet cameras has taught us anything, it is that we have probably reached the aesthetic limit of point-of-view photography. But that's OK, because clever videographers like your professor, Guy Clarkson, will teach you a raft of shooting and editing tricks that will change the reaction of your ski-video audience from Boo to Boo-yeah! Not only is Clarkson an award-winning filmmaker whose action features have rolled everywhere from the BBC to the History Channel, he's also a 28-year veteran CMH guide who knows exactly what skiers want to see and how to capture that through the lens.
To register for any Powder University course at CMH Heli-Skiing, contact CMH Reservations at 1.800.661.0252 or at email@example.com.
In the spring of 2007 I attended the CMH Agents Meeting in the CMH Gothics. I was working on Bugaboo Dreams, the book that chronicles the history of CMH and the invention of heliskiing. Before arriving, I wondered if the agents would be travel agents who happened to sell skiing, or skiers who happened to be travel agents.
I needn’t have wondered; the grandfather of Miguel Arias, the Spanish agent for CMH Heliskiing, took people skiing in the mountains above Madrid using a donkey for the ski lift and helped introduce skiing to Spain a century ago. Two generations later, his grandson is selling heli-skiing in Canada using a helicopter rather than a donkey. The CMH heliski agents are ski fanatics.
My notes from Bugaboo Dreams read:
The potential of international CMH agents was realized in 1976 when a group of 44 Germans descended upon the Cariboos. It was the entrepreneurial effort of a man named Pepi Erben who owned of a travel agency called Aeroski that specialized in packaged ski tours to the best ski areas. To try out this heli-skiing concept, Aeroski booked the largest group of Europeans to yet go heli-skiing together in the Columbias. Pepi and his son Viet (Pictured here with Grandson Thor in the Bugaboos in 2008) accompanied the group. As Viet explained with a grin, “We didn’t want to sell things we didn’t know about ourselves.”
Pepi said, “The Cariboos exceeded our expectations by quite a bit!” His group also introduced the Canadian ski guides to the “Arlberg Design” of spooning one track against the other for a visually pleasing and yet somehow homogenous pattern in the snow. Discussions with Hans followed, and on a handshake Aeroski became the German agent for CMH Heli-skiing. Other countries followed a similar model with passionate individuals visiting CMH and starting a conversation with either Hans Gmoser or later CMH President Mark Kingsbury, about bringing groups to go heli-skiing.
The relationship has been flourishing for so long, that now a number of agents have now passed on the job to their children. Martin Gallati, the Swiss agent, explained that the European skier's perception of heliskiing is partly due to the European CMH agent’s sustained efforts. “In Europe, CMH and Western Canada is known as the place for heli-skiing.” he said.
Freddy Weis, the original Austrian agent for CMH Heliskiing, was instrumental in convincing Austrians to give heli-skiing a try. Like many agents, Freddy’s first experience was as a guest. Interestingly, it wasn’t the skiing that first hooked Freddy on the experience, but the camaraderie of the lodge. “My first time heli-skiing I came in, sat down at dinner and said, ‘Hello, my name is Freddy.’ Five minutes later we were all friends!”
Weis started the role of an agent, as he says: “As friends, for fun, and for no money. We wanted to come skiing! We just quit racing and we wanted a new challenge.”
In the face of modern business, the role of the CMH agents is utterly unique. They work together, trading spaces on the helicopter to make it work better for the guests, doing promotions together, and established agents help newcomers learn to work most efficiently. Competition is real, because there are a limited number of seats, and yet everyone works with the philosophy that what is good for one is good for all. CMH Heliskiing is now represented in 21 different countries.
The family of agencies globally representing CMH Heliskiing continues to grow globally and both new and veteran peddlers of heliskiing in Canada are fiercely proud of their service connecting people to the world's greatest skiing. The annual CMH agent’s meeting, often held at one of CMH's remote heliskiing lodges, is as much of a family reunion as a business meeting - yet the agents account for nearly half of CMH business. At the meeting, pranks are rampant, the party ends only for the skiing, and even those who are retired sometimes come back for the annual meeting.
CMH’s relationship with its agents is a direct result of Hans and Mark’s way of doing business through interpersonal trust and commitment, more like a climbing or skiing partner than a cold, hard business deal. Their vision is alive and well today. By welcoming others to be part of their project, the agents return to their home countries and sell heli-skiing as if they own the company.
Skiers interested in heliskiing in Canada can call an agent who speaks their own language, in their own time zone, and with an understanding of their own ski culture. Thanks to the CMH agents, booking heliskiing in Canada from anywhere in the world has never been easier - or more personal.