What makes a great heli ski run? Topher Donahue grilled Steve Chambers (manager of CMH Revelstoke) for an insiders perspective on the elements that make up a perfect day:
1) Great Snow – CMH Heli Skiing have runs that range in length from 400m to 2,000m and if the snow is perfect it doesn’t really matter if you’re on a short or long run! This is why people come heli skiing in the first place. It’s that infamous, dry, interior British Columbia powder. This is the stuff of legend – you can almost feel your skis on a firm base deep in the snowpack while the lightest, fluffiest snow is blowing up into your chest, over your shoulders and yes, even over your head. Once you ski this, you can never go back!
2) Transitions through Terrain – There is something to be said about the run that begins high in the alpine and makes its way through the sub-alpine and then down below treeline to the valley floor. You know the type of run – we’re talking about the mega-classic, long CMH heli skiing runs that give you all the goods. There’s the high glacier landing and open turns followed by the sparse trees at treeline where you feel the snow getting a little deeper and then the finale into the old growth trees and that deep powder. It’s amazing to see all that type of terrain & snow in one run.
3) Incredible Scenery & Location – Some runs just have a quality about them even before you make a single turn. Take the helicopter flight to another landing and wait for the silence after the machine leaves. Look around and try to imagine another place like this in the mountains anywhere on the planet. There’s something about that untouched blanket of snow in front of you that just makes for great anticipation.
4) The Right Group – Not every run in heli skiing is going to have that perfect powder but with the right crew and the right attitude, it doesn’t even matter. These are the kind of people that can make any situation seem fun and enjoyable regardless of the snow quality. It is only skiing after all and is probably a better alternative to anything else you could be doing…
5) History & Reputation – Every CMH operation has ‘that’ run – the one everyone talks about because of its history, legends attached to it, famous photos attributed to it and so forth. Just getting out at the top of a run like that gives you goose bumps even before you make that 1st turn. These are the quintessential heli ski runs that have many of the above elements and then some.
To put these ingredients into practise visit our Canada CMH Heli Skiing page for more details about the CMH lodges and trips!