As off piste skiing and heli skiing specialists, we have a keen sense of adventure and love our outdoor pursuits, even if they don’t always involve snow, skis and après ski ‘activities’! Therefore it seemed only fitting to put together a list of the best hikes for those of us who aren’t heading down to the Southern Hemisphere chasing the snow for summer skiing.
Haute Route in France & Switzerland
The Haute Route that runs from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the most famous mountain trails in Europe. It can be completed in the spring as an off piste skiing adventure, on skis with skins and long powdery runs, or in summer as a flower-ridden, 125 mile long hiking route. The hiking is not too demanding, and most of the trail is doable without a guide. Hikers cross glaciers, high cliff paths and witness one of the most stunning areas in the Alps at a quieter and more intimate time of year. Nights are spent in rustic, mountain-top cabins where amazing meals and delicious wines are served upon your arrival.
(If the summer version is not your cup of tea, here’s a bit more info about the skiing version in winter for keen off piste skiers)
Everest Base Camp in Nepal
Contrary to popular belief, going hiking in Nepal doesn’t necessitate climbing Mt Everest (although you can if you really want to). Hiking in Nepal can in fact be as laid back as you desire. There are boundless combinations of where to go and what routes to follow, and you can hike from cabin to cabin, some of which are relatively comfortable and some that are more rustic. Though the Everest Base Camp Trek is surely one of the most popular adventures, there is a huge expanse of Himalayan terrain to discover and you will never be short on scenery. Staying at the local places also allows travellers to soak up some of the amazing Nepalese mountain culture.
The Three Lochs Way, Scotland
With all these exotic and faraway places to choose from and travel to, it can be easy to forget the beautiful areas just a train-ride away up in Scotland. The Scottish countryside and Highlands have a huge variety on offer for all different kinds of hiking style, from climbing and hiking to far off peaks, to leisurely walks through gentle, rolling hills. The Three Lochs Way is one such trail, that goes through various small towns bordering Scotland’s first national park. It benefits from the stunning scenery of Loch Lomond, the Gareloch and Loch Long for the duration of the 3 to 4 day hike. It can be broken up further for shorter day hikes or done in less time, and doesn’t get higher than 250 metres so is perfect for a relaxed, meandering trek. There is lots of accommodation on offer, including B & B’s, hotels and full cottages to rent.
CMH’s Via Ferrata(s) in British Columbia, Canada
Guests who heli hike with CMH have the opportunity of a lifetime to try out North America’s longest via ferrata route. Starting from the Bobbie Burns lodge, the climb takes you up Mt. Nimbus and along a trail where you climb up rock faces with set rungs in them, hike along ridges and cross the high, swaying suspension bridge (all while harnessed in of course). As of 2011, there is now a via ferrata at the Bugaboos as well; the aptly named Skyladder. Via ferrata’s aside, CMH offers hiking, walking and activities for all ages and abilities. Walks near the lodge, children’s nature adventures and via ferrata scalers are all looked after and entertained by the CMH guides.
Do let us know about your favorite hikes in the comments box below. And if you are keen to experience CMH’s heli hiking Summer Adventures, contact the off piste and heli skiing experts at Pure Powder!