May 23, 2019
Hello Skiers, Riders, Summer Adventurers, and Friends:
On April 27th we celebrated the close of our 55th winter as our last guests departed CMH Bugaboos. First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you, our valued guests. It is only through your continued loyalty that we are able to fulfill our mission of guiding people through life-changing mountain experiences. I would also like to personally thank each member of the CMH team for their passion, diligence, and dedication – it is without question that the quality of service they provide to you is what sets us apart.
While this was not a record year in terms of snowfall, our guides did an excellent job delivering guests to the best snow possible. The sheer size of our tenures serves us well during times of challenging and erratic weather, as we experienced at times this season. On those blue sky days we were able to explore seldom skied terrain and experience the full vastness of the mountain wilderness that we are so fortunate to call home. We are grateful to have been able to share this with you.
Trip Availability / Securing Your Space
Our lodges have been filling up faster and faster each year, reminiscent of the “old days” at CMH, where you had to book over a year in advance (during Booking Week) in order to get your preferred dates. For example, in October 2018, when we opened bookings for Winter 2019/2020, over 65% of our trips were spoken for within the first 7 days. We anticipate that this trend will continue. As such, I strongly encourage you to book as early as possible in order to guarantee your space for Winter 2020/2021, which will be available for sale in October 2019.
Impact of Weight Limits
Another contributing factor that limits space in our programs is the maximum operable weight of our helicopters. You may have heard that we are now tracking guest weights and cutting off bookings on trips when the total group weight approaches our workable limit. These “weight holds” resulted in 237 spaces that we were not able to sell this past season. While this has reduced our capacity and profitability, these “weight holds” ensure that we are able to continue delivering the safe, exceptional experience you have come to expect from CMH.
The Cariboos will enter its second year of summer operations after a decade-long hiatus. As if heli-accessed hiking in some of the most incredible glaciated landscapes in the world wasn’t enough, this spring we will finish building an impressive via ferrata in the Zillmer Canyon that our Head of Operations, Rob Rohn, says will rival any of the spectacular via ferrata experiences at the Bobbie Burns. I will be on the August 8-11, 2019 trip at the Cariboos with my family, and I encourage anyone who has not been on a CMH Summer Adventure to join us. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
At CMH we work tirelessly to enhance the guest experience and I am thrilled that this year we will be investing $15.7 million across our lodges and land tenures:
- $8.4 million renovation of the Bobbie Burns lodge. Upgrading and modernizing the existing guest rooms and creating an entirely new guest wing, which will allow us to offer more single rooms and host a new 4-person private Heli-Skiing program, launching December 2019
- $1.2 million will be spent on enhancing your ski experience through tree glading and spacing runs, and improving pick-ups and landings
- We’ll invest the remaining $6.1 million in a diverse range of projects, many of which you may never actually see, but all of which help to deliver a better experience for you:
- Planning and permitting for faster internet at Monashees, Adamants, and Gothics
- Phase 2 of the Zillmer Canyon Via Ferrata at the Cariboos
- Upgrades and repairs to our lodges
- New equipment for winter and summer (skis and hiking packs)
- Improvements to our fuel systems
Area Manager Changes
As legendary a host as he is a guide, Dave Cochrane has dedicated his life to CMH, delighting guests in both the winter and summer for the last 40 years. Dave decided to make this season his last as the Area Manager at CMH Bugaboos. We are grateful that Dave will continue to guide for CMH and we look forward to many more years of skiing and hiking with him. Dani Loewenstein will succeed Dave and we are confident that he will forge his own path in continuing to uphold the exceptional experience that the Bugaboos is known for.
At the Adamants, Konrad Scheiber has stepped down as Area Manager. I would like to thank Konrad for creating such an exceptional ski experience for our guests and for his dedication to CMH. Craig McGee will be returning to CMH Adamants as the new Area Manager. Craig is the ideal person to lead the Adamants into the future, having guided many years in the area prior to managing CMH Nomads and our guide development program.
With Craig transitioning to the Adamants, Jesse Seguin will now move from his role as the interim Assistant Area Manager in the Bugaboos to Area Manager of CMH Nomads. With Jesse’s extensive background guiding heli-skiing and ski instructing, he and Becky Miller will make an amazing team, creating an unparalleled experience for our Nomads guests.
Recognizing You, Our Guests
Congratulations to all of our guests that reached a new Million Foot milestone. A special shout out to Caroline Kahn, who skied over 1.3 million feet with us this season. Caroline is also known for reaching her first million feet faster than any other woman in CMH history.
We are fortunate to host so many interesting guests from all over the world. This season I was amazed by 95-year old heli-skier, Gordon Precious, who is nearly 4 years older than the current Guinness World Record holder for the oldest person to heli-ski. Roko Koell, a 30-year CMH Guide, filmed parts of Gordon’s trip at the Cariboos and it was absolutely heart-warming watching him ski with his grandson.
I would also like to recognize two members of the CMH family that sadly we lost this year. Bob Calvert skied with CMH for over 40 years, accumulating nearly 6 million feet and was a regular at the Monashees. David Andreas, another 40+ year veteran, skied at a wide variety of CMH’s lodges, racking up almost 13 million feet. Both Bob and David were wonderful people who will be dearly missed.
I have worked at several different companies during my career and CMH is the one truly unique organization that never ceases to amaze me. We stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us and built this great company – Hans Gmoser, Leo Grillmair, and so many others, including Kobi Wyss who recently celebrated his 45th year guiding for us.
CMH is such an improbable business – it is cyclical, seasonal, weather dependent (the bulk of profit is made in ~90 days), capital intensive, and logistically complex. The two constants that have helped CMH survive and thrive for the last 55 years is the unwavering loyalty of our guests and the tireless dedication of our staff. For that, I am truly grateful and feel the burden to ensure that we perpetuate this incredible legacy that has been entrusted to us.
From my family to you and yours, thank you and I hope to see you this summer or next winter at CMH!
President, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures