The Heli-Ski Blog

Small Group Heli-Skiing? At CMH?

Posted by Jane Carswell on Feb 5, 2010 1:52:00 PM

Ok.  It's time to come clean.  We've been hiding behind fancy names like Powder Max and Revelstoke Private for far too long.  We've even gone so far as to use the term "Small Ship Heli-Skiing". It's time to stop, good people of the heli-ski world, and confess.  It's true.  We've been offering small group heli-skiing for a long time.  And we're not sorry.

Small Group Heli-Skiing with CMH

In the late-90s we recognized that there were some secret stashes of powder within our enormous terrain that were not well-suited to our existing model of 4 groups of 11 skiers with a Bell 212 helicopter.  However, with a smaller machine and a smaller group of skiers, we could spend all week in completely different areas of our ski terrain. And thus, the idea of Revelstoke Private Groups was born.

Knowing a good thing when we skied it, when constructing the Monashee Lodge in 2001/2002 we seized on the opportunity to create enough space in the lodge to house 44 guests who would ski with the 212 PLUS a group of 4 guests with 2 guides and a 2nd pilot and engineer for 'the small ship'.  Et voila.  The first Monashees Private group skied Soard's Creek in the winter of 2002/2003.

Feedback from long time CMH guests reinforced the benefits of the new Small Group program:

  • We love the freedom to ski at our own pace.  Go hard or take it easy.  Even sit out a run in the heli, if you want.
  • The small group format allows us to ski lines that you just can't get to with a larger group.
  • Guest to guide ratio of 2:4 is nice because when you're not skiing close to the other groups for back-up, you need to be self-sufficient.
  • Unlimited vertical!
  • The Bell 407 is like the sports car of helicopters - nimble and fast.

And so, Kootenay Powder Light was born.  We quickly learned that we'd incorrectly named this one and re-tooled this to become Kootenay Powder Max.  (We'd gone with light to imply the small helicopter, then went with Max to convey the 'Powder to the MAX' idea.) At Kootenay we use the 407 to access the tight terrain, but we have 3 or 4 groups of skiers sharing the helicopter.  It's our bread-and-butter model...but it's more like bilini-and-caviar.  This makes for quick lifts and opportunities to ski challenging lines.

Fast-forward to 2010.  Last month we took our Powder Max model to the Bobbie Burns and the Monashees.  Small group heliskiing in the Bobbie Burns?  The skiing in the Burns is already fast and fun because there are only 3 groups of 11 sharing the 212...can you imagine 3 groups of 5 skiers!  It just keeps getting better!  The guests loved it, clearly the demand exists for more. 

What does 2011 hold for heliskiers looking for small group heliskiing with CMH?  Picture this: 6 groups of 5 skiers with two 407 helicopters in the Adamants. Powder Max Squared?  How about Small Group Heli-Skiing with CMH.

One other thing we need to clarify.  Nomads.  Yes, heli-skiers, truth be told, this is also small group heli-skiing except we meander our way through the Monashees, Adamants, Gothics, Revelstoke, Kootenay and Galenaterrain.  We happily pick the best lines where we won't impose upon our other skiers and share the lodge with our friends in the Gothics or cruise down to Halcyon Hot Springs Resort.

Does all this come with a price? In some cases, but not all.  You might be surprised.  Call or e-mail one of our Heli-Ski Experts and they'll walk you through the Small Group Menu.  From private trips to not-so-private, unlimited to guaranteed vertical - we've got it covered.  And we're ready to ski it with you.

Topics: Bobbie Burns Lodge, Adamants Lodge, CMH Revelstoke, CMH Kootenay