When I started working for CMH just a short month ago, I was told one thing on my first day that I will not forget for the rest of my life. It was during my tour of the head offices here in Banff. David Barry, CEO of CMH-Alpine, was in the building for a visit from his office in Boulder, Colorado. As he passed in the hall I was introduced and he greeted me with six words... Your life will be forever changed.
Your life will be forever changed -David Barry
Of course my initial reaction to this was that it was strange that the CEO was telling the new marketing intern that his life would be forever changed...Then I thought about what he said, and thought: is there any way that this cliché could be true in this situation? I was after all starting a new job at a company that I had looked up to for years. Although it still seemed slightly far fetched to me that my life would be forever changed...
I was wrong. I can now with confidence say that my life has in fact been forever changed. And I now see how David could say that with such confidence to me on my very first day. Although CMH might be well known for the skiing, lodges, and food, the one remarkable thing CMH truly does is change peoples lives. It doesn't matter if you are a guest, a guide, or a marketing intern. The atmosphere and practices of CMH will change you, and these changes will be something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
Here are just a few of the changes that I have encountered in just a month in CMH:
1. Skiing just isn't the same. From our head office in Banff Alberta I can see the chairlift at Mt. Norquay. We have 3 other major ski resorts within an hour of the office. And yet, yesterday I found myself driving 4 hours to Revelstoke Mountain Resort in search of good snow. After heli skiing, it seems as though all other types of skiing become insufficient. No need to worry though, I still believe that skiing is the greatest sport in the world. And the skiing is very similar to the great food here at CMH... even though you can't have the best every time, you still do need to accept the mediocre stuff in order to survive (and return to the best at CMH!).
2. I appreciate good food. If the amazing meals that were served during my trip out to CMH Kootenay didn't convince me, the constant criticism of my coworkers whenever I show up with food in a take out container sure did. Everyone at CMH loves great food, and they want others to enjoy it just as much!
3. I THINK I know a lot about snow conditions. Snow can be both extremely fun and extremely dangerous. After just three days of being out in the wilderness with our guides, I feel confident enough in my knowledge of snow conditions to bring it up in conversation or share my opinion. However, when it comes to safety I think I will still leave that judgment up to our professional guides.
4. There are some things that just don't happen in "Real Life".
• 7 course meals. I am lucky if I get 7 courses spread out over 3 meals in one day. And generally I am the one making them.
• I am ecstatic when I get a face full of snow. In real life getting a face full of snow generally involves unfortunate positioning in relation to a snowplow or a 12 year old child with an armada of snowballs.
• Bed is appealing at 4pm. You are skiing so much and so hard while out heliskiing that generally by the time you return to your lodge, bed seems to be the most important thing in the world.
• Lunchtime is memorable. Instead of eating a packed lunch at your desk or in the cold lunch room, CMH flies you a gourmet lunch in to the middle of nowhere (see picture) so that you can enjoy hot soup, tea, fresh sandwiches, and all kinds of snacks without even taking your skis off! (It is recommended that you do take your skis off to ensure that you actually stop for lunch) You will never eat in such style in such a remote setting. EVER!
My life has now officially been changed. Are you ready to change yours?