This is a guest post by Kevin Brooker, editor of CMH: The Journal of the World's Greatest Skiing.
Not that you won't acquire new knowledge with every CMH Heli-Skiing visit, but for a number of seasons now we've offered specific teaching programs in areas like learning to powder ski and mastering the steeps. Well, the curriculum just got broader. For 2011-12 we are delighted to introduce five exciting trips under the all-new Powder U syllabus. Let the shreducation begin.
1. Powder 101: The Intro - Girl's School Four-day program, March 8-12, 2012, CMH Revelstoke
With all due respect to our friends with the XY chromosome, it is probably not a bad idea to forego the male presence while learning to rip powder in the Heli-Ski environment. It's been our experience that when it comes to supporting and encouraging one another, a tight group of female adventurers is living, skiing proof that sisterhood is powerful. And that ideal environment for learning is exactly what you'll find when you sign up for this unique program designed for a group of 10 women for whom learning technique is important, but having fun is the overriding mission.
Your first question, of course, should be, "Am I a good enough skier?" And the answer is a resounding yes if you are a strong resort skier who can handle diverse conditions—that is, you can tackle black diamond runs with confidence, if not necessarily style. Once here, the group will have its own dedicated pair of guide/instructors to turn each run into an alpine classroom. Equipped with video cameras, the guides will be recording each participant's progress, then screening the results daily in an aprés-ski setting guaranteed to keep the learning—and the laughter—rolling.
2. Powder 401: Steep Shots and Pillow Drops Five-day program, Feb 18 to 23, 2012 CMH Kootenay & March 26-31, 2012 CMH Revelstoke.
Step aside, 21-year-old daredevils. Thanks to new-generation equipment, you're not the only ones with an appetite for dramatic cascades and big airs. But having the will is only part of it; you need a whole new bag of tricks if you hope to charge like rock stars half your age. Enter the guides from CMH Kootenay and Revelstoke, who have designed a freeride program for advanced skiers who want to ramp up their steep skills, and especially their ability to trampoline from one snow mushroom to the next in total control. If you prefer quality over quantity, this is the course for you.
3. Avi Skills 201: Backcountry Five-day program, Feb. 23-28, 2012 CMH Kootenay
Prior to the advent of modern alpine touring equipment, it was unlikely that CMH Heli-Skiers would feel the need to learn backcountry safety. Times have changed, though, and all kinds of skiers are now hitting their local stashes in between Heli vacations. So why not learn to do it safely in the most glorious classroom available? Led by CMH guide and longtime Canadian Avalanche Association executive Rob Whelan, the course will focus on building a decision-making framework based on the latest in snow and terrain assessment. Graduates will earn their CAA Avalanche Skills Level One, a prerequisite for further professional-calibre training.
4. Powder 203: Big Trees Five-day program, Mar 3-10, 2012 CMH Monashees
Let's face it, few things we do in life are as daring and exhilarating as plunging through forests we've never previously laid eyes upon. But why do some skiers seem so much more relaxed while doing it? With this program, conducted amidst the world's finest old-growth-forest skiing terrain, you'll get hands-on instruction of a set of skills from line selection to turning technique that will have you slaying trees like Paul Bunyan.
5. Powder 215: Film School Five-day program, Mar 22-26, 2012 CMH Gothics
If the recent explosion in the use of GoPro helmet cameras has taught us anything, it is that we have probably reached the aesthetic limit of point-of-view photography. But that's OK, because clever videographers like your professor, Guy Clarkson, will teach you a raft of shooting and editing tricks that will change the reaction of your ski-video audience from Boo to Boo-yeah! Not only is Clarkson an award-winning filmmaker whose action features have rolled everywhere from the BBC to the History Channel, he's also a 28-year veteran CMH guide who knows exactly what skiers want to see and how to capture that through the lens.
To register for any Powder University course at CMH Heli-Skiing, contact CMH Reservations at 1.800.661.0252 or at