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.
Even with the prevalence of digital capture, it is only every once in a while that we see something entirely unprecedented.
Growing up in the mountains, I always felt like geologic change was real, but not the kind of thing that happened in human time. I was in awe of how glaciers grew and receded, carving the mountains into the seductive shapes that inspires us to learn to ski and climb; but I always believed that I wouldn’t live long enough to really see the changes.
How wrong I was! Just a decade of working with CMH Heli-Skiing has been enough to see dramatic changes in the glaciers of the Canadian Rockies. During the same time, geologic change seems to be accelerating in many parts of the world, and with the phenomenon reaching beyond the niche circles of skiers and mountaineers, people are aiming cameras and instruments at our planet in new ways.
Perhaps the most dramatic example of this change being captured "on film" is the Chasing Ice project. By using time-lapse methods the team, led by photographer James Balog, set out to capture geologic change in a human time frame.
The results, starting with a National Geographic Magazine assignment in 2005, have received global attention. The project has continued, and with cameras trained on galciers all over the globe, perhaps it is not suprising that something extraordinary would be revealed. Recently, a team of photographers in Greenland captured something that defies all our previous assumptions about geologic change.
While shooting a tongue of glacier that has receded as much in the past ten years as in the previous 100, they stumbled into filming the largest glacier calving that has ever been captured on film. This is not a time-lapse, but instead a city-sized section of glacier falling into the sea in little over an hour:
This video clip is perhaps the most stunning thing I’ve ever seen on film. It is part of the film “Chasing Ice” which is showing in North America and the UK during 2013.
Thankfully, here at CMH Heli-Skiing, we still have a vast wonderland of safe and skiable glaciers positioned right next to epic tree skiing; but I gotta wonder; will my grandkids be able to ski these glaciers too?
I must first start with an apology. Last week, we missed photo of the week... because I was out at CMH K2 and The Gothics taking the photo of the week! So, this week we will have two photos, from the last two weeks.
"Andy rockin' with the rocks"
Photo: John Entwistle
Skier: Andy Mahre
Date: January 11th, 2013
Area: CMH K2
Camera: Canon 6D
"A unique view of the Gothics"
Photo: John Entwistle
Skier: Seth Morrison
Date: January 14th, 2013
Area: CMH Gothics
Run: Old Camp
Camera: Canon 6D
Don't forget to subscribe in the top right corner of your screen to get our "Photo of the week" in your inbox every monday!
"Jumping in to the Sun"
Photo: Michael Welch
Date: January 4th, 2013
Area: CMH Galena
Run: Cocoon High
Camera: Nikon D3S
High Resolution Version: Here
Want more of the "Photo of the Week"? Subscribe to the Blog on the right of your screen!