May 9, 2018
Hello Skiers, Riders, Summer Adventurers, and Friends:
On April 28th we wrapped up our 54th season as the last guests of Winter 2017/18 left CMH Bugaboos – and what a season it was! The snow kept coming all winter long and provided for unbelievable skiing and riding all the way through the end of April. Several long-time guides told me that this was one of the best winters they had ever seen!
First and foremost, a sincere thank you to all of you, our valued guests. Without you and your continued loyalty, we would not be able to do what we love most – guiding people through life-changing mountain experiences. But I would also like to thank every member of the CMH team for all their hard work, passion and dedication. They all played a critical role in our success.
Insight Into Conditions + Heli Operations
While we enjoyed near-record snowfalls in most of our areas, this season was not without its challenges. Several weak layers in the snowpack persisted through much of the winter, but our guides did a great job managing the hazard and keeping the program safe, while consistently finding excellent skiing. In addition, because we were operating at near 100% occupancy for the majority of the season, we found at times that the weight of the groups was approaching the operable limit of the helicopters. This added another factor for the pilots and guides to manage and ensure we flew everyone safely while providing the best experience possible.
To help alleviate this pressure in the future, we are working on incorporating your bodyweight into the pre-trip booking process so that we can track overall weights on a trip and cut off bookings when we approach the workable limit. Although this will ultimately reduce our capacity and our profits, it will ensure that we are able to continue delivering the safe, exceptional experience you have come to expect from CMH. So, when someone from our team reaches out to you for your weight, you will now know why.
As you may have noticed, each of the past few years our lodges have been filling up faster. Many guests comment that it is back to the “old days” of CMH, where it was nearly impossible to get their preferred dates without reserving over a year in advance during Booking Week. As such, I strongly encourage you to book early for Winter 2019/20 to guarantee your space – trips will be available for sale in October 2018.
Looking Forward to Summer 2018
July 2018 will mark our 40th year of Summer Adventures, and to celebrate, we are opening the Cariboos for the first time in a decade! The terrain and scenery at our summer lodges are absolutely spectacular, but the glaciated high-country of the Cariboos may just be a notch above. I will be hiking there on August 12-15, 2018 with some of my family and I urge anyone who has not been to CMH for a Summer Adventure to join. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
What’s Next for CMH?
I have received many questions about our new ownership group and what being part of the newly formed Alterra Mountain Company means for CMH. It is our full intention to carry on the many traditions that have been part of CMH since its beginning. We will continue to provide the best possible service to you, our guests, with your safety as a top priority at all times. We will preserve the family atmosphere of the lodges and continue to ensure that we do not become “too corporate”.
This is an exciting time for us, as our new owners are keen to invest in CMH and help us further improve the guest experience. As such, I am excited to announce that CMH will be spending over $6.2 million this year on a variety of projects. A few notables include:
- Bobbie Burns – Room Renovation and Guest Wing Expansion (Phase 1)
- This project will be completed in time for Winter 2019/20 and will include renovations to the 31 existing rooms and add an additional 13 rooms to increase single room capacity
- The additional rooms will allow us to host a 4-person 407 private beginning Winter 2019/20
- Note: the majority of construction will occur in Summer 2019, and as a result, the Bobbie Burns will not operate its summer program next year. So if you have been waiting to try the Burns’ legendary via ferratas, this coming summer is the perfect time
- Over $1.5 million will be spent on Run Development where we increase our “safe bad weather” skiing by glading new runs or maintaining existing runs and pickups
- Bar Remodeling at Adamants and Galena to improve your guest experience
Recognizing You, Our Guests
Congratulations to all of our guests that reached a new million foot milestone this season. A special shout out to Andy Epstein who hit 20 million vertical feet this year, an achievement only one other CMH guest has reached thus far.
I would also like to recognize three members of the CMH family that we sadly lost this past year. Ernst Buehler, longtime Area Manager of the Cariboos, Brooks Dodge, who organized the very first group of Heli-Skiers to go into the Bugaboos in 1965, and Roy Ostberg, 18 Million Footer and Summer Alpinist. These men were wonderful people whose passion for the mountains led them to CMH. Their lives were forever intertwined with ours and they will be dearly missed.
Over the past three winters, I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and to even share a few powder turns together. I continue to be inspired by the impact CMH has had on many of your lives and that your trip is something that several of you look forward to all year long; not only the skiing but also the ambiance and the people who work to make your stay enjoyable.
On a personal note, working at CMH these past three years has been the highlight of my career. It is a real privilege to work with so many talented people who truly love their jobs and to host so many interesting guests from all over the world who are passionate about CMH. I am awestruck by what Hans, Leo, and the people of CMH have built and am honored to be a small part of this remarkable company that perpetuates such an incredible legacy.
Again, thank you to all of you for your passion and I hope to see you this summer or next winter at CMH!
President, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures