June 9, 2022
Hello skiers, riders, mountain adventurers and friends,
As the spring melt descends from the mountains and we look ahead to the start of our summer heli-hiking operations, let’s take a moment to reflect on the 2021/22 winter season.
A million moments
It was so wonderful to be able to share our mountain world with you again. I spent some time travelling to each of our 12 heli-skiing destinations, and after each visit, I left feeling inspired by the collective passion, energy, and excitement we all felt to once again be together, enjoying incredible skiing and riding. Because of everything the world experienced during COVID, the camaraderie that comes from reliving the day’s adventures in the comfort of the lodge felt even more meaningful this year.
It was awesome to see you back, whether you were new to CMH or a seasoned Million-Footer reaching your next milestone.
By the way, congratulations to all those who reached a Million-Foot achievement this season. We had seven guests who hit milestones of 10 million vertical feet and beyond!
It wasn’t an easy season. I would like to thank the entire CMH team for going far above and beyond to tackle the seemingly endless challenges the various COVID waves threw at us.
And I would like to thank all of you, our guests and friends, for sticking with us through the past two years of the pandemic. Your determination to come heli-skiing despite the challenges of travel restrictions and health protocols was amazing. Thank you!
For those of you who were not able travel this past season, we look forward to seeing you next year. A special thanks for your patience this year during our booking week — I know it was difficult to get through to us. If you don’t have your space booked yet, don’t delay. Based on the interest we’ve seen so far, the remaining opportunities will disappear quickly.
During the past two years, several members of our team stepped into new leadership roles. I was in awe of the energy and can-do attitude you brought to your positions, often having to figure things out on the fly without a copy of the ‘How to Operate a Heli-Skiing Business Through a Pandemic’ manual. Thank you!
And there are more changes ahead. Erich Unterberger, Manager of Guiding Operations since 2010, will step back from this very demanding role to focus on his passion for guiding our guests safely through the mountains. Erich was hired by CMH founder Hans Gmoser as a guide in 1987 and went on to manage CMH Adamants before becoming Manager of Guiding Operations.
Paul Vidalin, after 25 years with CMH —16 of which were as the Manager of CMH Monashees — has decided to leave that role but will continue with us as a guide and mentor.
I would like to thank both Erich and Paul for their tremendous dedication and hard work over many decades. You both exemplify the spirit and passion that is the heart of CMH.
New for next season
Other exciting developments include the introduction of two Airbus B3e’s to the Alpine helicopter fleet that will service the Small Group Heli-Skiing program in the Adamants. These agile machines will allow us to reach the furthest corners of the area’s vast terrain.
We’re also making some major capital investments to support upgrades to critical infrastructure in our lodges — for example, an upgraded fuel storage system at the Bugaboos, the original CMH lodge.
We also have a brand-new winter website for you to explore.
Ready for summer
If you haven’t yet experienced the grandeur of our mountains in summer, I encourage you to check it out. It’s really something special. Our summer lodges feature heli-hiking and Via Ferrata adventures, as well as specialty trips such as Alpine Appétit for lovers of tasty food and drink, or Alpine Trail Running.
I know many popular Canadian destinations are now near impossible to book, but we still have trips available this summer, free from the crowds. Bring your family, pair up with a friend, or come solo; whether you’re seeking a rejuvenating hike or an adrenaline rush, we have something for mountain enthusiasts of every age and ability.
I would like to finish with a few words about members of the CMH family who passed this year.
We are mourning the recent loss of legendary and beloved CMH guide, Gery Unterasinger, due to a sudden medical emergency. Gery came to CMH from Austria in 1994 and most recently guided in the Adamants. Known for his boundless energy and razor-sharp wit, his devotion to creating the best possible experience for our guests and his 110% commitment to living every day to the fullest, he was an inspiration to every one of us.
We also said goodbye to Ted Ritota, who passed in April. Ted was a beloved guest, a group organizer, and in more recent years, part of our North American Sales Team. There was no one more passionate about CMH than Ted. Lastly, in February, we lost a friend and longtime guest, Natman Schaye, in a skiing accident.
On behalf of everyone at CMH, our deepest condolences to the family and many friends of Gery, Ted and Natman. Their passion for CMH and for mountain adventure will be deeply missed.
Don’t wait to live your dreams. I hope to see you in the mountains soon.
CMH President & COO