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Anatomy of a CMH Heli-Ski day – a photo essay

  
  
  

The early birds at CMH Heli-Skiing are the ski guides, who awake while the lodge is still quiet and dark to make plans for the day; checking weather reports, avalanche conditions, and determining the safest and best Heli-Skiing possible on that particular day.
1 ski guide morning
For the guests, the ultimate ski vacation begins as it should – by getting you ready to ski. A bell rings and anyone who wants to feel good on the first run meets for a ski and snowboard specific stretch class in the exercise room.2 heliski warmup
Next, a buffet breakfast with everything from cereal and fruit to bacon and eggs gives everyone a chance to fuel up in the way they feel suits them best.3 heliski breakfast
After breakfast, it is time to gear up, and the CMH boot rooms, equpped with boot and glove dryers, as well as plenty of space for everyone's equipment, make getting ready easy and efficient.4 CMH drying room

On the first day, everyone participates in the safety practice, where the guides teach everyone how to use the radios, avalanche safety equipment, and the ins and outs of how to stay safe while skiing deep powder in the mountains. After the first day, everyone is up to speed with the safety techniques, and we just get straight in the helicopter after breakfast and go skiing.4 z heliski safety
We meet at the heli-pad near the lodge. We stack our skis so the guide can easily load them, and when the helicopter lands we step aboard and fasten our seatbelts while the guide loads the skis in a ski basket attached to the outside of the helicopter. 5 heli pad
Then we lift off for ski paradise.5 z heliski pilot
The helicopter lands on a flagged landing area atop the first run, and we all get out while the guide unloads the skis. After the helicopter leaves, we put on our skis, and listen to the guides instructions for the first run. Then we ski our brains out.6 heli ski friends
After each run, we meet the helicopter at a landing area the bottom of the run and repeat again and again and again until lunch. Most days, lunch consists of sandwiches, tea, soup, cookies and other snacks delivered by a small helicopter, but on special occasions during good weather, mountaintop barbeques have been known to happen in the most spectacular locations imaginable.7 CMH Barbeque
After a fairly quick lunch, so we don’t get cold and stiff, we dig into more powder runs. Skiers and snowboarders who are tired after the morning usually have a chance to return to the lodge at lunch, as well as other times during the day. The logistics of some of the areas require that you stay out all day, but the guides will let you know this before the day begins. The lodges with the more aggressive riders and terrain are the most likely to have the fewest chances to return to the lodge, including the Bobbie Burns, Revelstoke, Galena, CMH/K2 and the Monashees.8 heli snowboarding
When we’ve schralped so much pow that it’s hard to remember all the great runs, face shots, cushy airs, and fresh turns, we return for CMH après ski – an experience no snowrider should miss.9 heliski apres ski
Then we gather in the dining room for a fine family-style dinner and many generous toasts to an unforgettable day of skiing and snowboarding.10 heliski dinner
Finally, we retire to our rooms - ranging from comfortable double rooms, to spacious single rooms, to deluxe chalets - for a well-earned sleep, dreaming of deep powder and endless freshies. deluxe heli ski room
The best part? We wake up the next day and do it all over again!

Photos by Topher Donahue.

Comments

Why are we sending out a written itinerary to guests when we should be sending them this amazing visual?
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 11:26 AM by Becky CMH Reservations
all true to form except the grill for lunch.
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 1:55 PM by andy epstein
Andy,  
It sounds like you need to squeeze the Bugaboos into your legendary Heli-Skiing schedule and get in on some of their famous grill sessions!
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 5:39 PM by Topher Donahue
You left off the tea goodie! Always a highlight for me ...
Posted @ Monday, July 01, 2013 5:22 AM by Sam Williamson
Comments have been closed for this article.