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Heli skiing and resort skiing adventure in British Columbia with K2 Athletes

CMH Heli skiing at k2 Rotor lodge

With wipers on full speed, snow-flakes pounding the windscreen and beautiful fresh snow draping everything around us, we knew we were in for a treat.  It’s a perfect start for any powder skiing adventure and it was the backdrop for our drive along the ‘powder highway’ from Calgary to Kicking Horse.  We could feel it was going to be an epic trip!

I was ‘testing out’ a new Pure Powder Heli Skiing & Resort Skiing trip of ours – 3 days of resort skiing in Kicking Horse followed by 4 days of CMH Heli Skiing’s new K2 Rotor Lodge.  It’s a trip designed to maximise off piste skiing whilst keeping the price tag manageable.

The heli skiing ‘warm-up’ at Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse resort

I had billed the first 3 days of our trip as a great way to warm-up those ski legs, get over the jet lag and generally get ready for the heli skiing to come.  But when you’re faced with 70cm of new snow in 48hrs you have to get busy!  And so it was, within a few hours we were heading-up the Highway to Heaven chair and deciding which couloir we would drop into!

Skiing with Steve in Kicking Horse

By this stage we’d been joined by Steve Fisk who is one of the most experienced instructors at Kicking Horse. Steve has an insatiable energy for skiing which you can’t help but draw on and he proudly showed us the huge variety of terrain on offer.   Whilst negotiating Redemption Ridge, we found a spot where we could each enter into the couloir off our own little shelf and enjoy some deep, fresh tracks.  We circled around a few times, each pass taking a different route and then ended the day skiing waist deep powder through Heaven’s Door.  Wow!

Backcountry skiing with Scott in Kicking Horse

To make the most of the fantastic snow conditions we took a guide on day 2 – Scott from Adrenalin Descents – who was previously a heli ski guide and has vast experience of the area.  We had to work a little harder, but an hour of boot-packing up and along the Terminator Ridge earned us an incredible 3,000 vertical feet of un-tracked powder in gorgeous blue skies.  We finished off the day skinning up the back of Blue Heaven, past the imposing Whitewall, until we found an impressive deep powder stash guarded by a steep walled couloir.  More fresh tracks and more great powder skiing.

Heli Skiing at CMH K2

After a rest day we then took a 2.5 hour scenic drive west, across the Arrow Lake and arrived at the town of Nakusp for phase two of our powder skiing adventure… 4 days of heli skiing with CMH at their new K2 Rotor Lodge!

Heli Skiing at CMH K2 in Nakusp

And what a 4 days it was…  Steep tree skiing on the aptly named ‘Pleasure Centre’ mixed in with some glorious alpine runs on Tina’s to name just a few highlights.  With 1,155 square kilometres of exclusive terrain we barely even touched the surface of what heli skiing they have available.  There was tons of snow about and with the ski penetration not being too hugely deep it meant fast and furious heli skiing staying on top of our skis!  The snow might have been fast but it was still pretty tricky to keep up with K2 Athlete Reggie Crist who had joined us.

Heli skiing with Reggie Crist, K2 Athlete

One of the benefits of the CMH & K2 hook-up is that on many of the trips there is a K2 athlete thrown in so you can have a good laugh with them and see how you shape up against the pros.  The conclusion of my skiing? Apparently slow, after I grabbed Reggie as my ‘tree buddy’ for one run and he snaked through the trees in effortless style – he probably felt like he was going backwards but to me we were flying…

Nice heli skiing powder

We packed a lot of skiing into our 4 days.  Breakfast starts at 7am (preceded by stretching at 6.30am) and we were off skiing by 8am!  But these early starts are worth it as every heli ski day we skied just shy of 6,000 vertical metres – which was around 10 helicopter drops.  With only 3 groups of skiers to our Bell 212 we had precious little time between runs and certainly got our heli ski fix in during the 4 days.

Out on the slopes at CMH K2

Throw into the mix the superb food (think tempura prawns, hearty soups and delicious home-made desserts) and the natural hot-springs to relax in every evening and we had ourselves a cracking trip! Returning to the K2 themed bar in the evening to kick back with a Kokanee beer and discuss the day’s adrenalin-fuelled events.

hanging at the rotor bar

Fancy following in my footsteps? Pure Powder’s heli/resort combo trips start at just £3,200 including your accommodation, transport (except international flights), breakfasts, ski pass and 3 days heli skiing with full board. You will even receive a free pair of 2013/14 K2 skis on your return home! Contact us for heli skiing and resort skiing as we can design the trip to suit you.


Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm. Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
to the drop zone, the deep, dry snow you get to ride… all of […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank