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.