A 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.