Summer at CMH – Lodge to Lodge Programme

Last summer, I had a trip of a lifetime with CMH (usually famous for its heli-skiing trips) – I went on one of their epic summer programmes, hiking and climbing at The Bobbie Burns & Bugaboos lodges – and got a real taste of Canada in the Summer.

CMH operates their Heli Hiking Summer programme in July & August, out of three of their lodges – the Bugaboos, Bobbie Burns & Cariboos. Last year, I joined one of their lodge-to-lodge, 6-day trips, starting off with 3 days in the Bobbie Burns, followed by 3 days at the Bugaboos lodge.  Each day brought new challenges and experiences, whilst staying at two incredible remote lodges.

The lodge-to-lodge programme begins at The Bobbie Burns where you have the opportunity to do two days of climbing Via Ferrata’s – the Mt Nimbus Via Ferrata & the Conrad Glacier Via Ferrata. Mt Nimbus is a must for all thrill seekers, as it involves vertical ascents, climbing over two peaks, a 600-metre high suspension bridge, and a rappel down at the end – it is also the longest Via Ferrata’s in North America! After the first day, where you do not think anything can top it, you then take on the Conrad Glacier Via Ferrata, on your second day. The Conrad Glacier Via Ferrata offers a different dimension to climbing as you’re walking on Burma bridges over waterfalls and climbing near the Glacier.

I had only ever climbed a via Ferrata at the Cariboos once before – so I did not have much experience in this, but the guides are brilliant, and even if you have never had any previous experience, CMH make it accessible to anyone who wants to have a try. Climbing these two Via Ferratas’ has to be one of the most challenging things I have done, but also one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences too.

After our stay at the Bobbie Burns, we then moved to the Bugaboos Lodge, where you get to hike along the Grizzly Ridge, arguably one of the main highlights from the Lodge-to-Lodge trip. After breakfast in the Bugaboos, you take a helicopter ride to the top of the ridge line to begin your hike. At the top, the views are incredible, with mountain peaks surrounding you in every direction (it was quite an emotional experience!). The hike along the grizzly ridge, which is around 16-18km long, gets better as the day goes on because the view only gets better – highlights along the way are the French connection trail, the game trail and a swim in Tamarack Lake.

The Bugaboos lodge is famous for its long history, being the first heli skiing lodge with CMH, so you can understand why it may have one of the best views at CMH. The view of the Houndstooth, and Bugaboo Spire is incredible – pictures do not do it justice, and you feel like the mountains are only just reaching distance away, they feel so close, and it is a huge selling point of the Bugaboos lodge.

At the Bugaboos, the focus is much more on hiking, and is adaptable for all hiking paces. On our last two days, we had a full day of hiking, exploring the Bugaboo tenure, and lots of swimming in lakes. On your last day, you have half a day of climbing the Skyladder Via Ferrata, which felt a little bit more technical than the other Via Ferratas, followed by a big hike in the afternoon. There is so much to explore around the Bugaboos area, and has highlights of lots of wildlife, wildflowers, hiking along ridge paths, and down towards glacial lakes.

If you’re looking for a holiday that is adventure-filled, active, and off the beaten path, but also one where you can relax and feel a sense of accomplishment, then check out CMH’s Summer adventures. I am now lucky enough to say I have been able to experience all three of CMH’s Summer programmes and areas, and I could not recommend these trips enough!

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