Mountaintop Apres

In Heli-Ski, Lodge Life

Photo: Spring time apres at CMH

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Words and Photos by Morgan Dinsdale | Posted February 9, 2017

Chris Davenport is running. Fast.  Hands outstretched he dives headfirst into snow, snatching a flying cork out of the air as a bottle of champagne is popped nearby.

At the end of the ski day, standing atop a run known to the Bobbie Burns as Third Base, CMH Trip Ambassador Chris Davenport, guests and staff are celebrating the spring season with flowing glasses of bubbly and a beautiful mountaintop picnic.

The 360° views of the Purcell Mountain Range, green forests carpeting the valley floor and warm temperatures have us all in high spirits.

As the CMH lodge staff fill champagne flutes perched on a bar made entirely of snow, I sample some cheese, crackers and strawberries that have been laid out on platters for our enjoyment.

Now this is how you cap off a week of spring skiing!

Photo: Spring time apres at CMH

Spring evokes a giddy atmosphere filled with a spirited skiing energy, and, along with it, the most variable of ski conditions. In the sunshine, the snowpack softens to the consistency of velvet. Skis grip and carve the mountain, providing perfect arcs and rebounds. When the corn snow is good there’s a flow of movement from turn to turn that’s rare to find during any other time of the season.

What’s contained in this time are long days of skiing on a fat and stable snow base with the return of the light. Sunny days give birth to fresh goggle tans. There’s not enough sunscreen in the world to prevent a goggle tan up here under a cloudless sky.

Warmer weather leaves our heavy coats back at the lodge. We’re geared up in lighter layers and old school ski suits. One of the guests is wearing an American-flag ski suit while another is rocking a CMH one-piece from the early 1980s. The chefs are wearing Hawaiian shirts. It’s really quite the scene.

Photo: Chris Davenport rocking his retro spring finery.

Chris raises his glass,

“To spring skiing at the Burns!”

Raising our champagne flutes we toast to the end of a gorgeous ski day, the end of the season, and the mountains that, in this bluebird sky, seem to stretch endlessly into the distance.

The atmosphere up here is simply infectious.

With music blaring, a dance party has broken out in front of a parked 212 helicopter, cementing this to be the most epic après ski party I’ve ever attended.

Photo: A little champagne apres.

For more information on spring heli-ski and heli-assisted ski touring trips at CMH click here.