Pure Powder's Ski Blog

Call +44 (0)20 7736 8191

Looking for fast paced heli skiing? Try CMH Gothics in Canada!

There are many perks to working for Pure Powder – the largest heli skiing company in the UK – but obviously the main one is ‘sampling the product’. I know this argument sounds weak when I’m out of the office heli skiing for work but when you consider we have over 100 variations on trips to swot up on this skiing is necessary!

I’ve just returned from another stunning week courtesy of CMH Heli Skiing in British Columbia. Looking for fast-paced heli skiing in Canada? We’ve found it at the CMH Heli Skiing’s Gothics Lodge. Having now sampled over 7 of CMH’s heli ski tenures, I can report that the CMH Gothics was one of my favourite trips to date and here are some of the reasons why:

>Fast pace of skiing: CMH have a few 3 group areas which are really popular for those looking for a fast pace and quick lifts – 3 groups of 11 skiers all share a Bell 212 helicopter and will rotate to pick you up one group at a time. You all get your share of being #1 group as well as you rotate to either be the first, second or last group out of the lodge each day.

Insider info: I was amazed by how much quicker this was than the regular programme. We never once waited for our next lift and the helicopter was always waiting for us so it felt like a private service just for us! One day we managed to ski the same vertical as Everest so there is plenty of skiing to be done.

> Variety of terrain: The Gothics has 60% tree skiing with 40% in the alpine so there’s lots of different terrains to ski. Located 100km north of Revelstoke in the Northern Selkirk and Monashees mountain ranges means there is lots of snow both early and late Season.

Insider info: CMH Gothics are known for their lack of down days (typically 3-5%) but I’ve never experienced a down day in all of my trips with CMH so you’d be pretty unlucky to spend a day in the lodge

Fantastic lodge atmosphere: Skiing is key but the lodge is important too – you’re 2.5 hours drive from the nearest town so you need to feel comfortable! You benefit at the Gothics from having your own single room to yourself. With a spa, exercise room, Jacuzzi and pool table plus a healthily stocked bar you don’t want for anything.

Insider info: You share a bathroom with the room next door but I didn’t meet my bathroom buddy so I can only confirm that this doesn’t affect your stay in the slightest. Food highlights included miso cod with pak choi and rice the week I was there. Pretty impressive!
> Mixture of trips: Even though the Gothics is only suitable for physically fit, experienced skiers and boarders they welcome new heli skiers with open arms as long as they are capable of skiing fast and are super fit! This means that a whole host of programmes run in the Gothics. A little overview includes;

* Next Generation – children aged 12-25 go half price with their parents for ½ the guaranteed vertical. Prices start from £3,000 per child including 15,250 vertical metres of skiing

* Nomad North – a private trip for up to 4 skiers with 2 guides and a 407 helicopter. Customise your trip as you want it with private access to 3 of CMH’s ski terrains costing £12,250 per person (based on a group of 4)

* Pay as you Play – a great option for the budget conscious as you only pay for the skiing you want to do (£1,460 for 5 days all-inclusive with skiing costing C$160 per 1,000 metres).

Insider info: We’ve done our sums and you could heli ski for 5 days for £4,660 under the Pay as you Play programme skiing a lot of vertical – the only thing you need to get is your flight!

Overview: As the Gothics is a lodge you can drive to this cuts costs and therefore trip prices. In High Season, a 7 day trip is going to cost £7,000 but this includes everything except flights. Plus with new variations of trips emerging your trip options are pretty endless.

I was blown away by the staff and the guides at the Gothics lodge – they create an incredible atmosphere here so it’s great to come alone or with a group of friends or family. Huge thanks as well to my fantastic ski group made up of Aussies, Americans and Swiss. Congratulations to my tree buddy Doug for skiing the miletsone million vertical feet with CMH! Until next year…

And here’s a little something to leave you with…this is the kind of stuff the Gothics got up on our week!

Can’t wait? There are still some spaces in the Gothics this year and conditions are still reported as ‘excellent’. Ski in the Gothics Pay as you Play programme from 9th April 2013 for 4 days for £3,000 and pay for the vertical that you choose to ski. Contact us for more details for help planning your fast week of Gothics heli skiing.

Posted by: Suzy Small

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