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CMH Heliskiing

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

For a college graduation present, my p's were nice enough to buy me a CMH heliskiing week trip at the Bobbie Burns lodge. I am totally psyched about it, but I wanted to ask some questions first:

Has anyone here ever done the CMH trips? What did you like? What didn't you like?

I like skiing very steep terrain, but from the looks of it, it will be more moderately-pitched powder runs (which is still good). Is there a way to get the guides to take you on some steep stuff?

They also provide you with their skis -- either Volkl Explosive 2 or Atomic Powder Plus. If I want to use my new PR's, does anyone know if this is possible?

Your Replies are welcome.

- Adam
post #2 of 12
Has anyone here ever done the CMH trips?

I have never gone with CMH, but I know lots of people that have. Most are pretty happy with them and the Bobbie Burns is considered on of their better lodges. The Monashees has the best terrain.

Is there a way to get the guides to take you on some steep stuff?

Yes, listen to the guides and do what they tell you. Good cohesive groups that don't wander off on there own, make the guides feel more comfortable about taking you to the best terrain suitable for your group.

If I want to use my new PR's, does anyone know if this is possible?

Yes, you can use your own skis.
post #3 of 12
I have skied the Gothics and the Monashees with CMH. I also have a good friend that did the Bobbie Burns last year. No problem taking your own equipment, but I would recommend not going through the hassle of flying with your own skis. The skis get thrown in a basket on the chopper and then a pile in the snow with 12 other pairs every run, so they take a beating. Use the Explosivs they have up there. They are the best skis for the snow.

As far as what type of skiing you will be doing, it is all dependant on the weather and avalanche conditions. If it is clear you will do the glaciers and open stuff above tree line (like in all the posters), and if it is storming or foggy you will be down in the trees. Most of the "runs" have a high and low drop off on top, and a high and low pick up on the bottom. The length of your runs will be dependant on the snow and weather. If everything is good 5,000+ vertical runs are possible. It is unlikely that you will be able to influence the guide as to where you will ski because of all the considerations they have to work with, but if you have a strong group it is more likely that they will take you to steeper stuff if it is safe. If someone is floundering they will try and move them to a slower group. Keep in mind that you initially pay for 100,000 verts for the week, but if the weather is good you could ski (and pay for) twice that much if you have the legs for it. They make their money on extra vertical so they want to get you skiing as much as possible, but anyone can quit early or skip a day if they want. While you are racking up verts think about Dominque Perot who holds the world record of over 353,000 in 14 hours.
post #4 of 12
As mentioned above the guide getting you on better terrain has lots to do with you showing competence to handle it and the ability to follow instructions carefully at all times. It is a controlled risk being up there and if the skiers increase that risk through poor response to instruction then terrain has to be made easier. Unfortunately it's not just you but the weakest in your group of 11. Scope out the other groups and if you see a fit with a strong cohesive group let them know your interest and maybe they'd be willing to let you in on their chopper.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I certainly am NOT going to piss the guides off and try to ski off on my own. I was wondering, rather, how open they are to requesting terrain.

The comments make sense though -- obviously the guides cannot take people on terrain with which they are not comfortable. I will try to get into a group with a similar level of skiing ability.

Thanks for the comments about the skis being beat to hell! I will use the Explosives.
post #6 of 12
Besides the saftey concerns of weather and avalanche conditions, they may also need to "farm the snow." If it has not snowed for awhile, or only part of the terrain is skiable, they may be saving some of the good stuff for the next week's guests. If they only have a limited amount of good steep skiing they probably will not be taking you there every run, even though it may be the best skiing.
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by mudfoot
While you are racking up verts think about Dominque Perot who holds the world record of over 353,000 in 14 hours.
Which he did at Mike Wiegele's helicopter skiing.........
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by agustaf2
I certainly am NOT going to piss the guides off and try to ski off on my own. I was wondering, rather, how open they are to requesting terrain.
Not meaning to imply you would just emphasizing that the more you show an ability to listen and act consciencetiously the more confidence the guide will have pushing the terrain. Again though it isn't really you but the weakest in the group. A good group will tune in anyone being a knob. Getting in with a solid group that doesn't have all the seats full will work best.

The requests will not be ignored as guides recognize who the boss is and who's paying a load of money. They will try but have parameters to work within. (survival) It depends on the guides as well. The choppers fly more than one group and that often dictates terrain as well.

CMH tends to employ some pretty serious euro guides that work by the book. Even at that we had the pipe smoking full euro one time and had a crap morning skiing mediocre terrain, ankle deep and crowding out tracks (farming). Come afternoon all the other groups flew out and we flew to a spot that the heli could only hover with one skid down while we jumped out into waist deep. The slope started steep and then rolled away and disappeared. The day got pretty good from there. Point is even the crankiest guys will give the client what they want whenever they are able to.
post #9 of 12
Been to the Bobbie Burns several years ago---A superb experience...Food is excellent--accomodations are excellent..A very eclectic group of good skiers from all over the world...Use their skis---the best for their conditions.....a drying room for all of your clothing, you won`t have to worry about requesting other terrain---you don`t know what to request---these guys know the group and the conditions---they test for avalanches when applicable---that is what you have to worry about and tree holes...You WILL ski with a partner--- A totally marvelous experience....after the first day of training on SKADI transmitters and--they supply---your skiing your group will be homogenized and should be compatible-------enjoy----larry C
post #10 of 12

Make sure you are ready for ANY snow conditions. I've skied the Bobbie Burns twice with CMH and we saw everything. Powder to die for down to windcrust slabs that would cut you if they hit exposed skin. If you think you are physically ready-get twice as fit, work on explosive strength, aerobics-the whole package.

I'll concur with others-use their equipment. I once lost a ski on a glacier with them and the guides got me a spare from the chopper. They won't waste a lot of time searching. They'll get it in spring.

Usually you'll ski with your group in the morning and they'll consolidate later in the day as some folks take the ride back to the lodge. I wouldn't worry about the group-the guides usually do a great job of grouping people. A few groups wants to blast all day and some are a bit more leisurely but the guides keep the chopper rotations pretty balanced.

Enjoy the phenomenal scenery!!!
post #11 of 12
One of the advantages of small group heli ski operators is you are more likely to be skiing with skiers of similar skill and interest.  Small group heli operators using A-Stars fly with 4 or 5 skiers per heli instead of 11.  It's easier to match the interests, skills and preference of 4 skiers than 11 making it more practical for guides/pilots to adapt to requests.

Check out Bella Coola Heli Sports for a great small group operation with huge terrain.  www.bellacoolahelisports.de 
post #12 of 12

re:  CMH

Bobbie Burns and Monashees cater to more aggressive skiers.  Known for steep tree runs.  The CMH staff try to channel first-timers to the other lodges.  I concur on mixed conditions, especially wrt Monashees - when it's good it's great, but you can get unlucky.


BTW, CMH is offering some small groups this season (3 groups of 5 per machine), including Monashees, Adamants and Kootenay.   I did a week at CMH Adamants last year in small groups, and we really racked up the vertical.   Awesome lodge.  Hot tub on the deck, far right.  Only accessible by chopper.

Adamants Lodge.JPG


Lots of small group operators in BC, including Great Canadian, Northern Escape, Snowwater, Wiegele, Skeena Heliskiing, Last Frontier, Mica, Eagle Pass, and three at Whistler. 



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