Last month I ran into Kevin Christakos here in the CMH Heli-Skiing office in Banff. I had to chuckle at his jumpy-ness and his tendancy to fidget. At the time Kevin, who is the new Area Manager of CMH McBride told me how he was itching to get back on the snow and you could clearly sense his excitement for the upcoming season when he was talking!
We had some time to chat before he rushed back to Golden to take his son out of school for a day on the local ski hill and here's what Kevin had to say:
JC: Kevin, tell me a little bit about skiing at McBride from your perspective.
KC: Up in McBride we have access to CMH's largest terrain but we ski with a maximum of 10 skiers. We fly in only one group with two guides and because the terrain is all ours we can ski the area how we like without impacting other skiers. If our guests are into making big fast turns and riding the terrain features, we can do that and be comfortable in the knowledge that we're not negatively impacting anyone else's experience.
JC: Kevin, you've talked about embracing modern skiing and making use of the new ski technology. Tell me about your passion for modern skiing.
KC: The newer rockered skis really lend themselves to this style of skiing and I must say I love it. It's so much fun rippin' down the mountain making the big 'smear' turns. We've had fat skis for years, with the popularity of 'big mountain skiing' the fat ski entered the common market and the manufactures have really stepped up and are making outrageously fun skis these days.
Some years a go my wife Karen turned me onto snow boarding and whilst I remain a skier at heart it has helped me see the mountain from a slightly different angle; side ways. Who would have ever thought snowboarders would help skiing! (Check out this funny little video from Teton AT about it.)
JC: Tell me a little bit more about McBride and the experience you and Deborah, the Lodge Manager, create for your skiers.
KC: The lodge at McBride is nice and cozy with plenty of room for our skiers to each have private guest rooms and a living room and dining room to enjoy along with the typical CMH outdoor hot tub, massage services and stretch room. Like all the other lodges, we have our own chef and pastry chef that will cater meals to each group of 10. It's a casual atmosphere where friendship and skiing go hand-in-hand.
JC: How does one get to McBride?
KC: Access in and out of McBride is easy from Prince George. We're only 2.5 hrs from the airport there. It is an international airport so private planes do not need to stop elsewhere to clear customs. Those flying on regular scheduled flights can easily get connections from Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary so our guests can get to the skiing quickly.
JC: Skiing in a private group sounds pretty nice. Me and 9 of my pals...
KC: Our guests really love it. They can start their day early or catch up on a little bit of work and fly out a little later in the morning. And out in the mountains, our guests pick whatever pace suits them - hold-on-to-your-toque-fast or slow, ski or snowboard, build jumps, make a little movie - whatever they want!
JC: Sounds great - no wonder you are so anxious to get the season started!
KC: Yeah. Summer was really long - I can't wait to get back on the snow!
How 'bout you? Have you made your first turns of the season yet? Tell us about them here!
If you share Kevin's passion for big-mountain skiing, drop him at note at firstname.lastname@example.org and start planning your private heliski week at CMH McBride.
Photo: Guest enjoys fresh powder on Sandwich at CMH McBride. For more photos of heliskiing in McBride view CMH's online photo gallery.