The Heli-Ski Blog

The CMH "Inturns" Try to Win Some Free Heliskiing!

Posted by John Entwistle on Mar 5, 2010 4:21:00 PM

I would like to start this week off with an apology. Last week the intern blog was not posted. There is however, a good reason for this lack of posting. You see, last Saturday both myself (John) and Frances were competing in the Canadian National Powder 8 competitions at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

When we signed up, we had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into. All we knew was that we could both ski and the first and second place teams were going heli skiing with CMH. We were told that there were only three teams registered so there was a very high chance of doing well. We were almost guaranteed a spot in the top three! Almost... When we showed up to the day lodge early on Saturday morning, we found out that people who are good at powder 8 competitions generally do not sign up until the last minute. We were then sitting there in the Sitzmark lodge, surrounded by people in matching uniforms and touring boots. Turns out that in the end, there were 13 teams that we would be battling with to claim the top prizes.

Now to say that we were unprepared for this event would be a massive understatement. To give you an idea of just how unprepared we were, I will give you a quick list of the top events of the day:

Frances picked me up at 7:30: I had been up and ready to go since 6:30. This was because she had emailed me after I had gone home on Friday night accepting my suggestion to leave at 7:30 rather than 6:30. I missed the memo on that one...

We arrived at check in: It took us a good 15 minutes to come up with a team name... We finally settled on L'amateur... I later realized we should have had the team name "The Inturns".

We boarded the gondola: This was the first time that we had ever been on any form of ski lift together.

We skied down to the larch chair: This was the first ever "run" that we had skied together. Yes the very first... I am starting to think that wasn't such a good plan.

We boarded the larch chair: It was at this point that Frances asked me what we do for the powder 8 competition. My answer was simple: We ski down and make 8's in the snow. I mean... how hard can it be... We then determined that Frances would lead and I would follow. We are still not sure which the easier position is.

We started hiking: At the top of the larch chair, Frances saw the purple bowl for the first time. This was the large bowl that we would be hiking up for the competition. I thought she was going to hit me for a while.

We hiked: It turns out that sitting on the computer writing blogs and updating social media all day isn't a great workout. Frances was definitely the superior hiker. To be fair though, I did have to carry her water, helmet, and food in my backpack.

We got to the top: This is when the competition actually began. Luckily we were the 12th team to go so we had some time to watch teams and mentally practice. Then we watched the first team go... Turns out that powder 8 competitions were nothing like I had thought. I did not realize you had to be synchronized with your partner... I just thought you went and made 8's in the snow. So Frances asked me what we were supposed to do again and we adjusted our game plan.

We did our first run: Just a reminder that this was the second run we had EVER done together. We started out and it went terribly for the first 4 turns. We then got in to a rhythm and the bottom part was not bad. All things considered... The top 8 teams were moving on to the next round. Which of course meant that you had to hike up the god forsaken purple bowl once again (something that we didn't really want to do)

Of course we qualified: 8th!!! We were 8th... 4 measly points from not having to hike again...

So we hiked again: This hike really sucked. The snow was like sand and it was nearly waist deep. For every step up you went down half a step. And when we got to the top they told us we had to go right away!

We did our second run: Our second run started off well, we then did some synchronized falling half way down, and continued to do some decent turns to the finish. We unfortunately had to compete head to head with the 1st place qualifying team... So clearly, we lost. We had enough points to put us in 6th, but not enough to advance to the next round. We were happy because this meant that we didn't have to hike again!

We went to the after party: The after party consisted of beer, nachos, jagermeister, and the jagerettes...and some stories that might not be safe for the internet. It was quite the party. We then returned home where I slept for 14 hours (woke up just in time to watch Canada win the gold medal game!)

It was a great event and a big thank you must go out to the Lake Louise Ski Resort for hosting as well as CMH and The Skoki Lodge for supplying the amazing prizes!

And as they say in the Olympics... We didn't lose the gold. We won 6th place!


Topics: CMH Intern, CMH, winter mountaineering