The only thing better than heliskiing with CMH would have to be heliskiing with CMH with an all-women ski group. From March 29 to April 3, 2012 CMH is going to do just that; a group of women will take over the CMH Gothics Lodge for Chicks in the Chopper, a week of deep powder skiing and unbridled fun.
The event was inspired by Victoria Reynolds who felt that women have so much fun heliskiing together that they deserve their own helicopter, guide, and slice of ski paradise. I tracked down Victoria to learn a little more about what it takes to join Chicks in the Chopper – besides the obvious.
TD: What kind of fitness is needed to join you for Chicks in the Chopper? For example, would you need to be able to ski all the way down a long black diamond run without stopping?
VR: A first time heli trip can be a bit intimidating for women, and men for that matter, but women tend to underestimate their ability where men tend to be over confident. No, you don’t need to be able to ski black diamond terrain without stopping. The guides re-group on every run so there is plenty of time to catch your breath.
TD: What kind of ski ability is needed? Do you need to be able to keep up with the fast skiers at a resort to keep up with Chicks in the Chopper?
VR: If you are an intermediate skier and can handle the back bowls of Vail, or similar moderate ski resort terrain, you are good to go. In March, CMH held a Women's Ski Day at Vail with one of the CMH ski guides, which was great fun. The skiers were varying abilities, some were past racers and other just recreational skiers, but they all were down at the bottom of the run together. Also, surprisingly, gravity and powder snow is a great equalizer, and even weaker skiers usually keep up better while heliskiing than at the resort where hardpacked terrain is conducive to strong skiers going extremely fast.
TD: What kind of connectivity is available at the lodges to stay in touch with family and work during the week?
VR: The Gothic's Lodge has wireless internet and also land line telephones to stay in touch. Because the lodge is so fantastically remote, cell phones will not pick up a signal – now that’s a vacation!
TD: What if someone doesn't want to ski all day every day? What else is there to do besides ski?
VR: No worries if you need some down time on the trip. You have opportunities to return to the lodge before lunch and the staff will have a great lunch prepared and you may have a nice glass of wine too. Though if you indulge you can't go back out and ski! You can curl up after lunch with a good book fireside or maybe indulge in a massage and a hot tub and spa session would relax the sore muscles. Cross-country skis and exercise room are always available as well.
TD: What about really good skiers? Will they be challenged?
VR: Confident and strong skiers can ski different lines with the guidance of the ski guide. We will have two groups so the guides can adjust the groups accordingly, and even within the same group the terrain is so diverse that there is ample opportunity to ski both mellow and challenging lines.
There are only a few spaces left on this one-of-a-kind women's heli-ski ski trip, so if you’re considering it, and have questions, check out our women specific FAQs or even better give us a call at (800) 661-0252.
Update (October 14, 2011): Chicks in the Chopper is currently sold out but we have just announced a Powder 101- The Intro for women only called "Girl's School". Call 1.800.661.0252 for details on this trip and other women's heli-ski trips with CMH.