I’ll preface with this: I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.
On Thursday night, upwards of 600 die-hard Heli-Ski fans descended on Battery 621 to attend the blowout CMH Heli-Skiing 2012 promotional tour.
When I arrived, the Red Bull truck was projecting ski footage on the wall of Battery 621, caterers were passing out champagne, stuffed mushrooms, crispy shrimp and Canadian beers, CMH guides and staff were regaling skiers and snowboarders with tales of epic storm cycles and enormous snow pillows. Through it all, there was a taller-than-I-ever-imagined Sasquatch roaming around causing trouble and pilfering entire trays of food from the caterers.
The event began with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock taking the stage to recognize how skiing is such a core element of Colorado’s culture - and upon finishing received a huge bear hug from Sasquatch. Yup, Sasquatch hugged the Mayor of Denver! If that doesn't show you just how cool skiing is, then I don't know what does.
After the Mayor, Joel Gratz, the now famous ski-bum-turned-meteorologist and founder of the powder forecasting website, Opensnow, gave a presentation on how to predict powder events - including a humorous tutorial on El Niño, La Niña and the lesser-known, but frequently experienced, La Nada (When nobody has a clue what the weather is gonna do).
After Joel shared his secrets, CMH Revelstoke area manager and recent Colorado resident Steve Chambers took the stage and took the audience through a visual tour of the world of CMH Heli-Skiing, from the origins of the sport of Heli-Skiing, to Powder 101, to the modern high-speed powder bonanza on K2’s cutting-edge skis.
When Steve finished sharing a few secrets of his own, which I won’t give away here for those of you who are planning to attend a CMH Heli-Skiing promo, they played the latest CMH video, titled Ascension, which features Andy Mahre and Johnny Mosley pushing their considerable limits in choker CMH pow - as well as some incredible skiing and snowboarding footage that us mortals can aspire to.
Then came the event everyone was waiting for. A drawing for K2 skis and the ultimate prize - a free CMH Heli-Ski trip.
Afterwards, everyone walked out into a warm Denver evening, with visions of deep British Columbian powder dancing in their heads.
One lady walked up to me as she was leaving and said, “I moved to Colorado to ski and I’ve done it all. I’ve jumped cornices, skied sick deep pow, and all that, but what I haven't done is pillows. Are there good pillows up there?”
Are there good pillows...I think she came to the right place.