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CMH Heli-Skiing: Alpine Luxury Defined

  
  
  

In an article in Expressions, the luxury magazine of Acura Canada, I wrote: “If you compare snow sport to the two gold standards of fine living, wine and golf, Heli-Skiing with Canadian Mountain Holidays would be the Domaine Romanée-Conti or the St. Andrews.”

Even though I wrote those very words, I can’t help but feel that the kind of luxury you find at CMH Heli-Skiing is another flavor and experience entirely from the classical definition of luxury. The remoteness. The intimacy. The wilderness. The adventure. The camaraderie. The cozy comfort. The friendship. These are not concepts that first come to mind when you think of luxury. But luxury is not something typically experienced deep in some of the world’s snowiest mountains.

Sure, CMH Heli-Skiing has been providing the ultimate mountain experience since 1965, but in the early years “luxury” was not a word that would have been used to describe the Heli-Ski experience. The first Heli-Ski trips were based out of a rugged sawmill camp without indoor plumbing or running water. Since then, however, CMH Heli-Skiing refined the experience to meet the desires of our guests, guests accustomed to the best the world had to offer. After nearly half a century of refining, the modern world of CMH is the very definition of mountain luxury.

From the Snow Bar at CMH Valemount, where hospitality and the après ski party are delivered in the fluffy white stuff we travel so far to play in:

Valemont bar

To the well-stocked wine cellars at each lodge:

ski lodge wine cellar

To the ski- and snowboard-savvy massage therapists who know just how to treat your body after a thousand face-shots:

ski massage

To the sauna and spa facilities that are just the right combination of intimate and modern:

ski lodge sauna

To the living areas that blend ski tradition and cozy warmth:

ski lodge fireplace

To the way the lodges are designed to enhance the view of the heavy snowfall outside, promising another day of the world’s greatest skiing:

luxury heliski lodge

To the staff, trained to deliver surprising hospitality against the stunning backdrop of the mountains of Interior British Columbia:

heliski hospitality

To the widest variety of Heli-Ski experiences anywhere on earth ranging from small group, “boutique Heli-Skiing” with small helicopters, to our signature Heli-Ski trips that are the industry standard for fun and value:

botique heliskiing

To the experiences you’ll find nowhere else on earth, like champagne served on a helicopter’s ski and snowboard basket:

heli ski champagne

CMH Heli-Skiing is the kind of luxury that a twenty-something ripper can tweet as beyond rad, while a sixty-something connoisseur of life’s finest can describe as one of the best experiences ever. And while these images are a glimpse into the mountain luxury of CMH Heli-Skiing, it’s also the kind of luxury that can’t truly be explained in word or image – you just have to experience it yourself.

Are you a good enough skier to Heli-Ski? YOU BET!

  
  
  

Did you know that Heli-Skiing is not just for expert skiers? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to confirm you are an ideal candidate to become a Heli-Skier.

Helicopter and Skiers: Powder 101 with CMH Heli-SkiingAre you a strong intermediate skier?

You should be able to master blue runs at a resort ski hill. You would want your quads to be fit enough to spend consecutive days out on the hill and that you feel comfortable going on the occasional black diamonds. You don’t have to be the most graceful or aggressive skier at the hill to become a Heli-Skier but with these skills, you will get the most out of your Heli-Skiing experience.

Do you like to soak up the little powder on the side of a run?

I know I always try to, but it is very difficult to learn how to ski powder at a resort because there is just never enough of it! It doesn’t matter how early you make it to the hill in the morning, the snow is carved up fast. Powder turns must be learnt in powder. If it is your first time in CMH Powder, the initial turns may not be you’re most elegant, but it won’t be long till you begin to feel the perfect fluidity of your skis in all of that legendary snow.

Would you fit in?

Guests at CMH range in ages from teenagers to fit 70 and 80 years old and there is a wide range of experience and abilities.

A first time Heli-Skier just came out of from Bobbie Burns last Saturday and remarked.

“I was so nervous heading out on the first day; I really did not want to hold anyone else up. But the guides and the entire group were incredible that I felt comfortable right away. AND THE SKIING! That was the best skiing ever, I never even imagined that it would be that good!!”

Still have concerns that you are not an expert? Call us, and chat to one of our honest agents and they will let you know how you can rate your ability and help you choose a trip that it is appropriate for you. CMH Powder University offers Powder 101 courses for first timers (see video here) and Powder 707 for Masters. You could also book a private group or a family ski trip of a lifetime. Our agents can help you decide on the length of stay for your Heli-Skiing trip and to understand the logistics of arriving to the finest destination of Heli-Skiing in the world.

CMH terrain has been treated very well this season with a record load of snow in the Columbia Mountains (see our online photo gallery here!). Over 23 feet of fresh beautiful powder has already fallen this winter and there is no better experience than to leave your trailing mark on the mountain. Don’t delay any longer in booking one of these great trips that are still on offer for 2013.

CMH K2 Small Group – 3 groups of 5 - capacity 15 skiers
Availability: Feb 4- five days/Feb 14 – four days/Feb 28 – four days

Gothics Lodge: 3 groups of 11 skiers - lodge capacity 33 skiers/boarders
Availabilty: Feb 9- four days

Adamant Lodge – 3 groups of 5 in two helicopters – lodge capacity 30 skiers/boarders
Availability: March 16/March 23/March 30/ April 6/ April 13
 
Monashee Lodge Small Group – 2 groups of 5 and 3 groups of 5 in the Small Heli – capacity 25 skiers/boarders
Availability :  March 16

Galena Next Generation – 4 groups of 11 – lodge capacity 44 skiers/boarders
Availability: March 30 - seven days.  (Skiers under 25 ski for HALF PRICE) 
    

Gothics Powder 101 - Girls School- 1 group of 10 female skiers – lodge capacity 33 skiers/boarders
Availability: April 9 - four days                       

Private trips have availability!  You don’t need to be hucking cliffs or an expert to ski a private area, you just need to get a group together and go!  Private trips are available for 4–10 skiers at various areas including Nomads North and Nomads South.

Now that you have realized your potential, it is just a matter of making those sweet goals come true. Call us today and we'll see you in the Heli before the end of the season.

Photo: Powder Intro with CMH Heli-Skiing in the Bugaboos, by Brad White.

Short heli trips and free K2 skis - the new rage for an epic season

  
  
  

The quality of the skiing right now at CMH Heli-Skiing is the kind that makes a single run worth an entire trip - or for that matter, an entire lifetime of skiing.

Here’s the latest first hand report:

“Today was more than Epic... not sure if there is a word for it!!!! The snow was unbelievable. Everything we skied yesterday was covered with new snow as if no one had been there  before. It  was one face shot after another, run after run. We had a chance to ski in the alpine this morning, but the snow was wind blown so we headed back to the trees which was SICK!!! Definitely the best skiing I have experienced in my entire life!”
-Marie T.

short heliskiing trips

Which brings up the point that you don’t have to book seven days to experience CMH Heli-Skiing during this exceptional winter. I just got off the phone with Katie Coccimiglio, with CMH Heli-Skiing reservations, who told me that they have opened up two more short programs to meet the high demand for shorter four-day trips.

These trips provide three and a half days of skiing, which in these conditions is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; and a short trip is easier on the legs than a full seven-day bonanza with CMH Heli-Skiing. Recently in the Bobbie Burns they have been skiing double the guaranteed vertical in a seven day trip, meaning 60,000 metres or nearly 10,000 metres each day.

Here's the inside soop on shorter trips with CMH Heli-Skiing:

  • For skiers and snowboarders wanting to jump on the conditions as soon as possible, book the January 26 - 30 at the Gothics.
  • For those who need a little more time to plan, book February 9-13 in the Gothics.
  • For those who have limited flexibility but want to be part of the CMH powderfest 2013, there is also limited space scattered throughout the 11 CMH Heli-Skiing areas for both four-day trips as well as CMH Heli-Skiing's Signature seven-day trips
  • At CMH K2, skiers booking both four day and seven day trips also get a free pair of K2 powder skis to keep. (You read that right - you get a free pair of K2 skis!)  At CMH K2, there are two options: three groups of ten serviced by a Bell 212 helicopter, and three groups of five serviced by a Bell 407. Also, a number of K2 athletes are joining regular CMH Heli-Skiing groups at CMH K2 for maximum inspiration.

One thing to consider when debating which length of Heli-Ski trip is best for you, remember that every reputable Heli-Ski operator will take the time to train you in avalanche and helicopter safety. This means that one day trips are often not the best value because the training will cut into your day.  It is for this reason that CMH Heli-Skiing doesn't offer one day trips.

That said, the important thing right now is that snow riders get to BC and get some. The best I can tell from research and talking to the old timers, the last season that was like this was the winter of 1971-1972.

The ski resorts in British Columbia and Alberta are going off too. Book a short trip with CMH Heli-Skiing, and tack on a few days anywhere on the Powder Highway - a string of ski resorts that is really living up to it’s name this winter.

If you've ever considered a Heli-Ski trip, this is the season to do it. Call Katie, or anyone else at CMH Reservations at 1 (800) 661-0252 and get your slice of this epic season.

Photo from CMH K2, January, 2013.

CMH Heli-Skiing 2.0 launches tomorrow!

  
  
  

Today, CMH Guide Training is fully underway at CMH K2, preparing our team for the season and getting everyone in tune with the latest developments in safety, technology and method.

Tomorrow, the first CMH Heli-Skiing trip of the season takes flight from CMH Valemount into the Cariboo Mountains where two metres of snow have already accumulated at treeline.

Last week, the run checks in Revelstoke and CMH K2 revealed fluff enough. The Revelstoke guides shot this video of the team having a bit of fun between the full-throttle preparations it takes to open 11 areas and 15,000 square kilometres of ski terrain.

In other words: CMH Heli-Ski Season is on!

In many ways it seems the same as it ever was; the generous storm machine of Interior BC is pounding the Columbia Mountains with incessant storms, CMH Heli-Ski lodges are being stocked for a winter of hosting skiers and snowboarders in powder paradise, and snow riders the world over are either planning a trip to the powder epicentre of Revelstoke - or they’re wising they were.

But in other ways this winter is different. Very different. CMH Heli-Skiing has rewritten our own playbook; this is quite a feat considering that we’ve been playing the game for almost half a century.

While regrouping on an old-growth tree run, or sitting around the fire aprés ski, you and our other guests have been telling us you’d like to see some changes. So we listened. Here’s what we heard:

  • You want more small group Heli-Skiing options, so we’ve made the Adamants a small group program where groups of 5 skiers are supported by Bell 407 helicopters.
  • You want more new school Heli-Skiing options, so we joined forces with K2 Skis and this season will be the inaugural winter for CMH K2 and the CMH K2 Rotor Lodge in Nakusp where K2 athletes will be joining CMH Heli-Skiing groups for the Southern Selkirks pillows and powder harvest.
  • You want to experience Private Heliskiing, so we’ve opened McBride to individual bookings so you don’t need to put together an entire group to indulge in the ultimate Heli-Skiing - one group of experienced skiers and the biggest tenure in CMH.
  • You want to help make your own heli-ski plan each day, so we opened two Nomads programs, one in the north, based out of the Gothics Lodge with access to the Monashees, Adamants and Gothics areas, and one in the South, based out of the lakefront Hot Springs Resort and private chalets of Halcyon with access to Revelstoke, Galena, CMH K2 and the Bugaboos.

So next time we’re standing around in the old growth forest, up to our waists in BC pow, catching our breath and talking, be careful what you ask for - you just might get it!

revelstoke powder early season

If you have further questions about what is the right Heli-Ski trip for you, be it a Powder Intro with custom powder skiing instruction, or Steep Shots and Pillow Drops with a K2 athlete, give us a call at 1 (800) 661-0252 to speak with one of our knowledgable reservations agents. After all, the definition of the world’s greatest skiing is not the same for everyone, so we’ve made sure your Heli-Ski vacation is The World’s Greatest Skiing - for you!

Photo and video courtesy of CMH Revelstoke guides, November 22, 2012.

Small Group Heli-Skiing at CMH Adamants

  
  
  

For the upcoming 2011/12 Heli-Ski Season at CMH we have mixed things up a little bit in the Adamants.  We tested a few weeks last year where the capacity of the lodge was reduced from 44 skiers to 30 and traded in the Bell 212 for two small ships - the Bell 407.

Small Group Heli-Skiing at CMH AdamantsThe Small Group Heli-Ski program in the Adamants calls for 3 groups of five skiers (each with their own guide) to share a Bell 407.  The size of the Adamant lodge and the surrounding heli-ski terrain allows for 6 groups and two helicopters.

I talked with CMH Adamant Lodge Area Manager, Konrad Sheiber about the trial runs they did in 2010/11 with the program, guest feedback and what the future holds.

 

JC: Konrad, this past season you experiemented with some Small Group Heli-Skiing in the Adamants.  Obviously the trips went well as you will be moving to Small Group Heli-Skiing for the entire 2011/12 season.  Can you explain how the program works?

KS: Ya, it is very exciting to have the opportunity to try something new!  It is a very different heli-ski program than the Signature Heli-Ski experience at CMH.  It feels almost like skiing in a private group.  With the two helciopters working with 3 groups of five skiers each the pace is a bit faster and runs very smoothly.  Skiing in smaller groups allows stronger, faster skiers to ski tighter lines.

JC: How did the guests react to the new program - were they enthusiastic about the advantages?

KS: The guests really liked the small groups.  It's a very individual experience and to some of our guests size really does matter!

JC: Can you explain for our readers how the smaller helicopter allows us to ski terrain that we normally can't ski with the Bell 212 and 11 skiers?

KS: It's not so much about the helicopter we use although yes, the 407 is able to pick up a group out of a tighter spot.  But the big difference is the number of people in the group.  With 5 guests instead of 11, we can ski different terrain features.  And for guests that want to ski with their friends, sometimes it is easier to find 4 friends than it is to find 10!

JC: By all accounts, the winter of 2010/11 was one of the best on record.  Can you give me a personal highlight of the season?

KS: Last winter was certainly a very good winter.  The highlight was to experience the difference the small group program makes.  With the combination of the awesome ski conditions and the small group format, we were able to ski runs we haven't skied in previous winter and to get out to the far reaches of the Adamant terrain.

JC: Looking forward to next winter, what advice would you have for a heliskier looking for a visit to the Adamants?

KS: Come prepared to ski a lot of vertical!

A big congratulations to Konrad from all of us here at CMH on your recent marriage!  Wishing you and your new bride years of happiness and some awesome skiing!

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.

Skiing Magazine Article Talks Trash About CMH

  
  
  

Skiing Magazine published an article recently, called “Trouble in Paradise”, in which the author gets a free trip with a small, new heliski company, and in return spreads a few myths about the big, established heliski companies - especially CMH Heli-Skiing.   Among other things, the article provides a perfect template for clearing up a few misconceptions about heliskiing with CMH.  Here are a few quotes from the brown-nosing article, and a glimpse of what really happens while heliskiing and snowboarding at CMH.

“Unlike traditional heli trips, where tame terrain is the rule, ours had a guide who charged steep tree shots at a speed well beyond the normal commercial limit.”

We’re unaware of any commercial speed limit, and every CMH ski guide I've ever skied with descends each given line at the speed that is best for the conditions and terrain at hand.  It is often safest for a guide to ski the line quickly and wait for his or her group at a place where they are visible and out of any potential avalanche zone. 

The only rule we have for terrain is to avoid slopes that could avalanche on us.  Ski with CMH during poor snow stability, and we’ll ski a lot of really fun, safe and “tame” terrain.  Show up when the stability is good and we’ll safely blow your mind.  Do you think “Hanging Gardens” in CMH Galena got the name for being tame?

“Heli-skiing was synonymous with sushi buffets, tight turns, and massive tenures in the BC Interior.”
describe the imageThe author got part of this one right – CMH has massive tenures in the BC Interior, and the occasional sushi buffet, but the diameter of your turn is your choice.  Some groups like to lay down a symmetrical pattern of tight turns, while others prefer big GS arcs, and still others prefer to let each individual skier do their own thing within the limitations of the mountain conditions on a given day.  

I’m not sure what the author finds so unappealing about massive tenures in the BC Interior – the snowiest weather station in Canada is on Mt. Fidelity near Revelstoke, where 12 metres, or 40 feet, of snow fall annually.  With 11 big CMH heliski playgrounds in this region, our skiers seem pretty happy with massive tenures in the BC Interior.  We’d even venture so far as to guess this is part of the reason 70% of our guests have skied with us before – and ski with us again and again and again. 

“The new operators recognized these customers’ needs and began offering smaller groups and more aggressive line selection.”

The smallest group we ever ski with at CMH is one guide and one guest.  It doesn’t really get any smaller than that, unless we let a single skier go it alone – which we don’t.  Our biggest group is 11 skiers supported by a Bell 212 helicopter.  Our Small Group Heliskiing Trips use the Bell 407 helicopter to support groups of five skiers. 

As far as line selection, that’s a factor of conditions and landing options for the helicopter, not the size of the business.  With groups of strong riders in stable conditions, CMH goes as steep and big as any commercial ski guide service on the planet.  We even offer Steep Weeks in the springtime for aggressive skiers and snowboarders who want to take the extra time to access and rip the steepest lines one rider at a time.

The author concludes the article by poking fun at “German tourists” and suggesting steep terrain is not for them.  The author obviously didn’t do his research here either - some of the best skiers I’ve encountered while skiing in Canada, the US, and Europe are Germans.

CMH guests include skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, former Olympians, freeride superstars, young jibbers who go inverted every chance they get, old-timers hoping to milk one more season out of their knees, and thousands of everyday people who come to the oldest, most experienced, biggest and best heli-ski company in the world for these very reasons.

Photo taken by Topher Donahue at CMH Adamants, without speed limits or turn radius rules, just before the sushi buffet.

CMH Nomads...Rovers Revisited

  
  
  

CMH Nomads, CMH Heli-SkiingA few years ago CMH Heli-Skiing introduced a  roaming ski program called CMH Nomads. Our guests would have exclusive use of a Bell 407 helicopter and would fly and ski in a group of 4 skiers and 2 guides. They would roam from the Monashees through Adamants and Gothics terrain, skip through some Revelstoke terrain and down to Galena...following a nomadic life style in search of the best possible ski conditions. Sounds like a pretty good life.

I chatted with CMH guide Jeff Bodnarchuk earlier this week to learn more about CMH Nomads.

Jane: You’ve been a guide with CMH for many years now…can you tell me how you landed here?

Jeff: I have been with CMH for 13 Heli-Ski seasons. Before that I was with the avalanche control team in Roger's Pass. The government offered me an opportunity to take a guide course as part of career development. I passed the first exams and CMH phoned and invited me to guides training the next fall. Walter Bruns eventually offered me some work guiding, and the rest is history.

JC: Jeff, CMH Nomads is a unique ski program you help manage. Can you tell me a little bit about the history of Nomads and how it came to be?

JB:The Nomads concept has been around for quite a few years. CMH used to call the program Rover's Weeks. This would have been around 20 years ago, with guides like Dave Cochrane and George Field leading the trips. They would ski various tenures after the areas had closed. Recently, I had a telephone call from a guest that had been on no less than 5 Rovers weeks in his heliski career and he was stoked that the program was back. I guess the big difference now is that we offer trips all winter long.  The creation of the current programs, and how to make it all work has fallen on my shoulders. It is quite a challenge, but so far so good. Great skiing, lots of positive energy from everyone involved. The Nomad guides and pilots love it, and the groups are keeners!    

JC: Can you tell me a little bit about the guests that have signed up for Nomads so far and what sort of experiences have they had?  


JB: We have had all types of groups, from first time heli skiers to long time CMH guests looking for some new adventures. It has been great. The best days are the multi-area days. This season on the south program we really opened it up and had day trips starting in Kootenay, skiing through Galena and into the Bugaboos.  

JC: Nomads started out as 1 program that roved from north to south and it’s now evolved into 3 programs: Nomads North, Nomads South and Classic Nomads. What does the future hold for the program?

JB: Future plans? Hmmmm, I don't see the format for the three programs changing too much, but of course, the possibilities for skiing are endless. We have approximatly 1600 runs to choose from, in the right conditions we can do anything you could imagine. Nomads 2011 should be the best yet!!

JC: Thanks Jeff!
JB: Thank you. It's a cool thing to be a part of. A new chapter in CMH Heli-Skiing history of sorts.

Have you booked your 2011 Heli-Ski trip yet with CMH?  Significant savings available to those who book by May 1, 2010.  Tell your friends!

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