For the upcoming 2011/12 Heli-Ski Season at CMH we have mixed things up a little bit in the Adamants. We tested a few weeks last year where the capacity of the lodge was reduced from 44 skiers to 30 and traded in the Bell 212 for two small ships - the Bell 407.
The Small Group Heli-Ski program in the Adamants calls for 3 groups of five skiers (each with their own guide) to share a Bell 407. The size of the Adamant lodge and the surrounding heli-ski terrain allows for 6 groups and two helicopters.
I talked with CMH Adamant Lodge Area Manager, Konrad Sheiber about the trial runs they did in 2010/11 with the program, guest feedback and what the future holds.
JC: Konrad, this past season you experiemented with some Small Group Heli-Skiing in the Adamants. Obviously the trips went well as you will be moving to Small Group Heli-Skiing for the entire 2011/12 season. Can you explain how the program works?
KS: Ya, it is very exciting to have the opportunity to try something new! It is a very different heli-ski program than the Signature Heli-Ski experience at CMH. It feels almost like skiing in a private group. With the two helciopters working with 3 groups of five skiers each the pace is a bit faster and runs very smoothly. Skiing in smaller groups allows stronger, faster skiers to ski tighter lines.
JC: How did the guests react to the new program - were they enthusiastic about the advantages?
KS: The guests really liked the small groups. It's a very individual experience and to some of our guests size really does matter!
JC: Can you explain for our readers how the smaller helicopter allows us to ski terrain that we normally can't ski with the Bell 212 and 11 skiers?
KS: It's not so much about the helicopter we use although yes, the 407 is able to pick up a group out of a tighter spot. But the big difference is the number of people in the group. With 5 guests instead of 11, we can ski different terrain features. And for guests that want to ski with their friends, sometimes it is easier to find 4 friends than it is to find 10!
JC: By all accounts, the winter of 2010/11 was one of the best on record. Can you give me a personal highlight of the season?
KS: Last winter was certainly a very good winter. The highlight was to experience the difference the small group program makes. With the combination of the awesome ski conditions and the small group format, we were able to ski runs we haven't skied in previous winter and to get out to the far reaches of the Adamant terrain.
JC: Looking forward to next winter, what advice would you have for a heliskier looking for a visit to the Adamants?
KS: Come prepared to ski a lot of vertical!
A big congratulations to Konrad from all of us here at CMH on your recent marriage! Wishing you and your new bride years of happiness and some awesome skiing!