The Adventure

CMH Announces Guest Speaker Lineup for Summer Trips

Posted by Sarah Pearson on Fri, Mar 08, 2013

CMH is pleased to announce an outstanding lineup of guest speakers, including renowned anthropologists, ornithologists, botanists, chefs and photographers, to host CMH Summer Adventure trips at both the Bugaboo and Bobbie Burns Lodges this summer. 

The exciting roster of guest speakers scheduled for July and August 2013 will include:

Wade DavisWade Davis – National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and R.C.G.S. Fellow (July 21–24, 2013 at the Bugaboo Lodge) Davis, an anthropologist, botanist, photographer, author and poet and a “passionate defender of all life’s diversity,” is a wonderful storyteller and will pique CMH guests’ curiosity as they ramble amid the majestic Rockies.  Back at the Bugaboo Lodge, Davis will entertain guests with his acclaimed Massey Lectures presentation, “The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World.”

Peter Potterfield – Outdoor Adventure Journalist and Photographer (August 11–17, 2013 at the Bobbie Burns and Bugaboo Lodges (Lodge-to-Lodge) A contributor to magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler and Outside, Potterfield may be even more well-known as the author of In the Zone, Himalayan Quest, and Classic Hikes of the World.  In August of 2012, he released his newest book, Classic Hikes of North America.  Potterfield leads guests on a Lodge-to-Lodge adventure between the Bobbie Burns and Bugaboo lodges.  Each evening, he will share stories and photos from his journeys around the world.

John Ash – Chef and Father of Wine Country Cuisine (August 26–29, 2013 at the Bugaboo Lodge) John Ash & Company in Santa Rosa, CA was the first restaurant in Northern California wine country to focus on local, seasonal ingredients that complemented the wines being made in the region – earning him the moniker of the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine.”  Today, Chef Ash travels the world teaching cooking classes to home cooks and professionals and is passionate about sustainable and ethical food issues, which he will discuss, along with his latest cookbook, Culinary Birds.

 Cam Gillies – Ornithologist and Photographer (July 12–15, 2013 at the Bugaboo Lodge) A new addition to the CMH Speaker Series, Dr. Gillies is a keen birder and photographer and is excited to share his passion and entertaining stories with others.  Over the years, he has traveled and birded his way through Jamaica, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and, now, the remote wilderness areas of eastern British Columbia with CMH Summer Adventures.

Brian Keating – Adventurer, Explorer and Global Environmentalist (July 21–24, 2013 at the Bobbie Burns Lodge - Family Adventure) Adventurer and world traveler Brian Keating has led some 80 expeditions to the planet’s most wildlife-rich corners.  The host of the Discovery Channel’s Going Wild with Brian Keating joins his wife Dee to lead an entertaining (and sometimes hilarious) Family Adventure out of the Bobbie Burns Lodge for kids of all ages.  Brian and Dee are superb storytellers -- and their tall, but true, tales and evening video presentations are perennial CMH highlights. 

For more than 35 years, CMH Summer Adventures has been guiding guests on extraordinary lodge-based mountain holidays – offering unique summer vacations for individuals of all ages, abilities and interests.  Together with these brilliant speakers, guests spend each day walking, hiking and exploring the peaks of some of North America’s most spectacular mountains. Each evening, guests return to the comforts of the lodge where they will settle back and to listen to powerful, intimate presentations.

To book your space on one of these exclusive trips hosted by these amazing Speakers, call us today at 1-800-661-0252 or email


Tags: Adventure Travel, Bobbie Burns Lodge, Canadian Rockies, Speaker Series, CMH Summer Adventures, Bugaboo Lodge, Announcements, Educational Travel

CMH Glacier Treks - Join the new exploration

Posted by Topher Donahue on Thu, May 31, 2012

glacier trek bugaboosIn the most spectacular adventure travel destinations, sometimes the obvious hides behind the scenery.  This year, the CMH Bugaboos guides realized they were missing out on what is perhaps the most obvious, unique and valuable adventure in the Bugaboos: heli-supported glacier treks around, under, and among the world-famous Bugaboo Spires.

For decades now, the Bugaboos guides have been hiking around the edges of the Bugaboos spectacular glaciers while leading CMH Summer Adventures, climbing on the spires, and even unofficially tracking the recession of Vowell Glacier by placing cairns at the edge of the ice each season, but the CMH Glacier Trek in the Bugaboos is an entirely new exploration.

The guides’ decision to begin offering what could be the coolest adventure at CMH was in part due to their own desire to spend more time on the glaciers and among the massive spires - and in part due to changes in the world of adventure travel. 

“People are looking to do something a little bit different.” said Peter Macpherson, the CMH Bugaboos assistant manager.  The success of the via ferrata programs in both the Bugaboos and the Bobbie Burns shows how much people enjoy unique adventures in nature’s wildest environments, but the airy exposure of the via ferrata and the technical demands of alpine climbing are not for everyone. 

Glacier Treks add a thrilling, explorative, but technically easy element to CMH Summer Adventures in the from of a stunning all-day adventure that isn’t possible anywhere else in the world. 

When I spoke with Dave Cochrane, CMH Bugaboos area manager, about the new program, the excitement was obvious in his voice.  “You don’t need technical skills at all, but we’ll use ropes for parts of it to walk around crevasses and exposed places. It’s truly an adventure!” he said.  (Some routes will include easy rappels, controlled by the guides, to descend from one glacier to another.)

Depending on conditions, Glacier Trekkers may use crampons on their boots to give them better footing on the ice, and ice axes as walking sticks, but there will be no technical climbing involved. While you explore the heart of the Bugaboos, your guides will share their knowledge of the range's fascinating glaciology and geomorphology as well as the area's colourful human and climbing history.

Hiking through the Bugaboos Spires is something that has traditionally been the elite realm of technical rock climbers, but with CMH Glacier Treks, anyone with enough fitness for an all-day hike will be able to participate in the incredible experience of walking under kilometre-high pillars of vertical granite (like in the above photo with Pigeon Spire near the top of the Vowell Glacier), looking down into the mouths of ancient crevasses - and then returning by helicopter to the comforts of the Bugaboo Lodge for a massage, a spa, and an intimate gourmet dinner.

glacier treks equipment

The Bugaboo Provincial Park prohibits helicopters within the boundary of the park, so Glacier Trekkers will be lifted by helicopter from the Bugaboo Lodge to a starting point along the border of the Park, traverse various glacier systems lacing the spires within the Park during a full day adventure - including Vowell Glacier, Crescent Glacier, Cobalt Glacier, Bugaboo Glacier or Howser Glacier - and then finish with a helicopter pickup at a different location at the park boundary. This will make CMH Glacier Treks, while not technical, committing in terms of all-day endurance. Glacier Trekkers will need to be fit enough for the full day’s adventure without an early helicopter pick up as has been available for tired hikers while heli-hiking.

“Walking through the Bugaboo Spires,” mused Dave, “It’s pretty exciting to think about - there is nowhere else in the world you can do that!”

Photos by Topher Donahue

Summer 2012 is the inaugural season for CMH Glacier Treks. For more questions about the most exciting adventure at CMH, visit our website or contact CMH Reservations at 1-(800) 661-0252.

Tags: Adventure Travel, heli-hiking, Bugaboos, CMH Summer Adventures, Via Ferrata, Announcements, Guides

Partners in Conservation: CMH Summer Adventures & NCC

Posted by Jane Carswell on Wed, Nov 02, 2011

By Dave Butler, Director of Sustainability

We crawled up the last few meters to the crest of a shale ridge, and peered over the steep edge through binoculars down into Moon valley. Below us, 24 mountain goats – some of them nannies with rambunctious kids – grazed amidst the mid-summer wildflowers. Others cooled themselves by lying on lingering snow-patches. What a great way to share some time with our friends from Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

Heli Hiking partners in Conservation  CMH   NCC by D ButlerThis was the second year in a row where we celebrated our unique partnership with the NCC through a special summer adventure. And once again, our special guest was grizzly bear biologist, Dr. Michael Proctor.

Proctor, who is part scientist and part stand-up comedian, shared with guests and staff his unique perspective on grizzly bears and land conservation. He joined us out on the trails, and talked about the special role these magnificent animals play in our mountain ecosystem. Whether it was rooting around in an alpine excavation where a bear had been digging for marmots, or hooting and hollering in a patch of tall cow parsnip on an avalanche slope so we didn’t make a bear’s acquaintance unexpectedly, Proctor answered every question with ease and humour. In an evening presentation, Proctor shared his experiences with grizzly bears in BC, the US and as far afield as Russia. His images had us spell-bound. Yet Proctor also explained how his work with the NCC is translating into the identification and protection of parcels of private land (through purchases and conservation easements) that will allow bears safe movement between their seasonal habitats in the Selkirk, Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges.

Also joining us on the trip were the NCC’s Regional Vice-President, Linda Hannah and some special NCC supporters such as Barry and Lynda Curran from Victoria, BC. We were also pleased to share the trails, the via ferrata, zip-lines and some really wonderful white wines, with Tony Stewart from Quails’ Gate Winery in BC’s Okanagan Valley. Not unlike the leadership position CMH has taken in our industry, Quails’ Gate was the first winery in Canada to form a partnership with the NCC.

We are excited to announce that this partnership will continue into 2012 and we will be featuring our Third Annual CMH & NCC Heli-Hiking Adventure with Michael Proctor in September of 2012.  We hope you will join us!

Learn More: CMH & NCC Team Up for Nature.

Tags: Adventure Travel, CMH Bobbie Burns, Announcements

CMH Summer Adventures gets ready to rock San Francisco!

Posted by Jane Carswell on Tue, Apr 26, 2011

CMH Summer Adventures in BC, CanadaFor any readers of The Adventure in the San Francisco area, this is just a short reminder that we're headed your way!

CMH Summer Adventures has two events planned this week in San Francisco:

1) Sports Club LA/ San Francisco: Join CMH Hiking Guide JF Lacombe for "Mountain Madness" at 747 Market Street on April 27, next to the Four Seasons Hotel.  The evening will feature fitness tips by Sports Club LA fitness trainers, a live presentation by CMH Summer Adventures, food and drink and a chance to win a CMH Summer Adventure. 


2) Alberta is for Travelers:  CMH Summer Adventures has partnered with Travel Alberta and Lombardi Sports of San Francisco to host a fun-filled evening at the store on April 28.  JF Lacombe will be on hand to walk you through a heli-hiking adventure with CMH and Travel Alberta will be speaking about the goosebump moments to be had in and around Alberta.  The evening will culminate with a fabulous prize draw that includes a 7 week trip for 2 to Alberta (including 3 days with CMH Summer Adventures).

Have you RSVP'ed yet?  See you soon!

Tags: CMH Summer Adventures, Announcements

The Skyladder Via Ferrata: Bugaboos Via Ferrata Christened

Posted by Topher Donahue on Thu, Mar 24, 2011

There is something challenging about naming a climb. It’s a bit like naming a boat; the thing needs to reveal a bit of its personality before it gets an official name. To sailors and climbers, christening a climb or boat prematurely just doesn’t quite feel right, and if you’re the superstitious sort it could bring downright bad luck.

At first, naming the newest CMH Summer Adventure, a Via Ferrata built by the Bugaboo guides, was elusive.  It was referred to as the Bugaboos Via Ferrata but, while nearby, it really isn’t even in the Bugaboos. Then we started out calling it Trundle Ridge, the name of the angular rock formation where the Skyladder is installed, but that wasn’t quite right either as the route climbs a glassy-smooth, near-vertical face rather than a ridge.

This winter, the guides had enough time to dwell on their new Via Ferrata and to give it an official name: The Skyladder Via Ferrata.

Upon hearing about the official name, I looked back through my photos from last summer and realized the name Skyladder fits perfectly. It is indeed a ladder in the sky:

skyladder via ferrata bugaboos

Do you have questions about the CMH Summer Adventures that include Via Ferratas, alpine hiking past glaciers, zip lines above raging whitewater or adventure trails through old growth forests? Give us a call at (800) 661 0252. We love talking about adventure.  Or, if you know you want it, book online.

Tags: Adventure Travel, CMH Guides, Via Ferrata, Announcements, CMH

My Favourite Adventure Photo Chosen For Banff Festival

Posted by Topher Donahue on Tue, Aug 03, 2010

JARED JUMPINGIn this era of ever-finer specialization in mountain sports, the Banff Mountain Festival remains a refreshing celebration of all things mountain.  The annual event, held every fall at the spectacular Banff Centre overlooking Banff, Alberta, has become the world’s gold standard for adventure festivals. 

This image, a 35mm slide I snapped in Argentine Patagonia, has been chosen as the Signature Image for the 2010 Banff Mountain Festival

The image was captured during an outrageous trip that included climbing three first ascents, surviving a 100-year storm in Patagonia, and watching Argentina's economy collapse from a Buenos Aires hotel window.  A story I wrote about the expedition was selected for publication in the anthology Adrenaline 2002, The Year's Best Stories of Adventure and Survival.

To get the shot, I jumped across first and crouched on the icy floor of the shallow crevasse.  This gave me a terrifying angle on my partner, Jared Ogden, making the leap.  Like many adventure photos, the reality of the situation was not as bad as it appears.  The crevasse is only a couple of metres deep, and fall would likely have resulted in little worse than a sprained ankle.  However, with the granite wall above, the cloud patterns and peak in the distance, the textured walls of ice, and the un-posed action of the climber, this is the photo I have taken that best captures the electric emotion of adventure.  

It is an honor to have the image selected to represent such an iconic celebration of the mountains.  This honor follows my first book, Bugaboo Dreams - a story about Canadian Mountain Holidays, mountain guiding in North America, and the invention of heli-skiing and heli-hiking - which was a finalist in the 2008 Banff Mountain Festival.

The Banff Mountain Festival is an extraordinary event.  Located in the heart of Banff National Park, surrounded by vast tracts of wilderness and the summits of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff Centre is a world leader in collaboration and research in the arts and culture, whose mission is “Inspiring Creativity”.  The Festival highlights the best speakers, books and films telling stories of philanthropy and intercultural problem solving, hair-raising tales from the cutting edge of adventure sport, and the often beautiful and sometimes violent human interaction with the natural world. 

The 2010 Banff Mountain Festival will run from October 30th to November 7th, and will attract 10,000 people from all over the globe.  As in past years, attendees will be able to choose from over 30 events, including the year’s best adventure films, readings from legendary adventure authors, presentations by prominent adventure personalities, shopping in an unsurpassed adventure book collection, and a trade show featuring the latest and greatest adventure products.

If you cannot make it to the event, check out the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.

Photo by Topher Donahue and represented by Aurora Photos.

Tags: Adventure Travel, Announcements