This article was produced in partnership with CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures
After months on end of working from home, countless Zoom calls, and nimbly navigating the ever-evolving global pandemic, is there anyone out there who couldn’t use a serious change of scenery? Returning to your favorite vacation destination this summer for a much-deserved reprieve is always a safe bet. A wilder option: shaking things up and experiencing something entirely different—off the beaten path. For anyone enticed by the latter category (you know who you are), there’s no better time to set your adventurous sights on the rugged, remote, and truly magnificent expanses of Western Canada.
Anchored in the vast ranges and sub-ranges of Canada’s Columbia Mountains, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures is exactly where alpine escapists want to be—nestled between British Columbia’s Coast Range and the central spine of the Canadian Rockies. Here, ancient glaciers carve through jaw-dropping landscapes marked by majestic peaks, raging waterfalls, plunging canyons, turquoise tarns, and sprawling meadows speckled with wild blooms.
The team of seasoned adventure pros at CMH are the best in the industry when it comes to planning unforgettable trips of a lifetime. They’ve mastered the art of alpine adventures and extended the summer season long after the snow disappears. In turn, they’re able to introduce their guests to an exciting and exclusive world where heli-hiking and via ferrata climbing become typical ways to spend your days before retiring to luxurious backcountry lodges.
If this sounds exactly like what you need, here are 10 more reasons why CMH truly does Canadian summer mountain adventures like nobody else.
1. Adventure is CMH’s expertise
Lots of companies claim to be pioneers, but when it comes to adventure travel, CMH literally invented an entire niche within the industry. Heli-skiing traces its roots back to 1965, when legendary guide Hans Gmoser brought a group of courageous skiers to the top of a mountain with the help of a Bell 47 “bubble copter.” The crew of snow-seekers carved their way down the slopes through virgin powder, giving birth to the sport of heli-skiing—and the CMH operation along with it.
It’s been more than 50 years since that fateful expedition, and CMH has been leading the pack ever since. Today, the company is revered across the globe for its wilderness experiences, family-style hospitality, and unparalleled dedication to operational safety.
2. You can truly escape the crowds
How many people head to the same well-worn destinations every summer, overrun with hordes of holidaymakers? Sure, these tried-and-true hot spots are famous for a reason. But what people need now more than ever is to break the monotony of their daily routines and venture farther off the beaten path. A vacation should offer more than just stepping beyond the ordinary. It’s a rare opportunity to dive headfirst into the extraordinary.
At CMH, guests are afforded rare heli-access to more than three million acres of untamed paradise just west of the Canadian Rockies. That’s an area roughly one-third the size of Switzerland. If you’re looking to truly escape the crowds, this is exactly where to do it. It’s nearly impossible to encounter another group while exploring the remote, unspoiled mountain regions surrounding the CMH lodges—a range removed from the nearest high-season crowds.
3. There’s no planning necessary
While some travelers relish the chance to orchestrate a perfectly planned getaway, most prefer to have all those logistics figured out by experts. The beauty of booking a CMH summer adventure is that its team of pros are happy to handle all the heavy lifting. Their diverse assortment of elevated itineraries takes the headache and hassle out of planning the trip of a lifetime.
Whether it’s a solo adventure, a romantic retreat, or an unforgettable group getaway, you can rest assured that virtually every element has been considered and taken care of for you. Your only job is to choose the experience that best suits your needs—a good challenge in itself. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter vacations. Each experience is sure to leave you speechless and inspired.
4. You get access to exclusive backcountry luxury
While the wondrous panoramas of the region are hard to compete with, your accommodation options can hold their own against the breathtaking beauty of this alpine paradise. The full CMH portfolio encompasses 12 stunning properties with three of the luxe lodges remaining open throughout the summer for endless exploration: Cariboos, Bugaboos, and Bobbie Burns. These iconic mountain lodges not only provide the perfect basecamp for all your adventures, but they’re also idyllic locations where you can relax and recharge. Each of the unique, inviting properties is staffed with a dedicated team of guides, hosts, and culinary professionals that’ll make your stay unforgettable.
Out here, it’s all about the art of disconnecting. Take full advantage of the resort-style amenities—including hot tubs that boast some of the best mountain views in the world. Pamper yourself with a rejuvenating massage after a day of exploring, curl up on the outdoor deck with a great read, or discover the natural wonders just beyond your door. It’s luxury adventure wherever you turn.
5. Expect top-tier staff and expert guides
The entire CMH team comprises people who are drawn to the mountain lifestyle and have sky-high standards that put you in the best hands. This approach applies to every touchpoint, from the guides and pilots to the hospitality and transportation specialists. They also understand that every guest’s needs are different, and they’re well-versed in ensuring those needs are met.
CMH’s expert guides have earned professional certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides or International Federation of Mountain Guides Association, which typically takes eight years to complete. During their training, they master skills such as navigation, rescue, emergency first aid, backcountry safety, sustainability, weather analysis, wildlife management, and more—plus clocking hundreds of days out in the wilderness. Helicopters are flown by experienced mountain pilots and maintained by a dedicated onsite heli engineer.
6. There’s something for everyone
When people think about outdoor adventures involving helicopters, they tend to envision high-octane scenes straight out of a Vin Diesel flick. That’s a movie-borne misconception. While heli-hiking will definitely get your adrenaline pumping, it’s not restricted to hardcore extremists. CMH guides will ask about your specific goals and abilities, then tailor the experiences accordingly. Whether you’re a well-seasoned thrill-seeker or just getting your feet wet, they’ve got you covered. All you need is a desire to explore.
Prefer to take it slow and steady? They can make it happen. If you want to kick things up a notch and go a bit more extreme, that route is wide open. Even if you just want to sit back and soak in the views, they’ll mold the experience to match your needs. This flexibility also makes it easy for the whole family to enjoy. From short hikes on easy ground to long-haul treks across varied terrain, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy.
7. Embark on limitless adventures
Tucked away in the rugged glacial-clad ranges of British Columbia’s mountains, CMH’s pristine summer playground is over 700,000 acres—and teeming with possibilities. When the snow melts, mountaintop excursions can include heart-pounding options like zip line excursions over jagged peaks, guided heli-access hiking, and via ferrata routes. Looking for a more personalized line-up? Contact CMH’s planning experts to tailor a custom getaway. Whether you’re looking to book an intimate escape or a full lodge buy-out to accommodate a gregarious group, their team can bring your vision to life.
Adventures aren’t limited to all that breathless activity in the great outdoors. Back at the lodge, treat your taste buds to hearty, family-style delights prepared by a world-class culinary team.
8. Enjoy unique experiences
In addition to its curated collection of signature adventures, CMH also offers an impressive range of specialty experiences. Alpine trail running is a fan favorite, combining guided heli-accessed trail excursions with astounding vistas as far as the eye can see. Gourmands can savor Alpine Appétit —a culinary-driven program featuring dishes made with fresh, regional ingredients paired with beverages from an award-winning winery, brewery, and distillery. Or, embark on a quest of the mind during a biomimicry workshop, and let your creativity flow during a plein air painting session surrounded by canvas-worthy panoramas.
9. They’re environmentally and socially conscious
More than ever, travelers are searching for meaningful trips that go beyond simply delivering Instagrammable moments. Yes, we’re actively searching for life-changing experiences, but also seeking out companies committed to making a positive impact. At CMH, founder Hans Gmoser instilled a sense of environmental stewardship from the start, and it remains embedded in the brand’s DNA to this day.
Yes, they fly helicopters, but CMH also works closely with key partners to ensure the astonishing destinations they operate in remain as naturally functioning ecosystems for generations to come. To date, they’ve contributed millions of dollars towards various research projects and the ongoing work of HeliCat Canada Wildlife & Environmental Fund. The investments have aided the growth of the helicat sector in an economically, environmentally, and socially responsible manner while supporting local communities and sustainability efforts.
10. Flexible policies will ease your mind
It’s always tricky scheduling a vacation months in advance, especially during an evolving pandemic. While unforeseen circumstances can arise, CMH has adjusted its trip policies to ensure flexibility—allowing guests to book next summer’s escape with confidence.
CMH’s new “Peace of Mind” policy makes deposits fully refundable up until 90 days prior to the trip start date. It also protects travelers from unanticipated international travel restrictions, such as government-imposed border closures. If you’re unable to travel on your planned departure dates, you’ll have the option to rebook your trip at a later point this season—or even push it to next summer.
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