Powder Highway part 3: Heli-skiing in Revelstoke
I WANT TO LIVE in Revelstoke, British Columbia.
Out of all the places we had planned to hit on the Powder Highway, Revelstoke was the one that people had raved about the most. It definitely lived up to the hype.
After having epic days of skiing in Fernie and Kicking Horse, filmmaker Brian Chu and I came over the frozen and infamous Rogers Pass and dropped down into the awesome little town of Revelstoke. The mountain ranges here are massive and glaciated and, like Golden and Fernie, this town is an outdoor playground all year round.
Revelstoke is probably what Jackson Hole must have felt like in the 60s — a couple of main streets lined with killer little bars and restaurants with a very “old town / wild west” flavor. The people are super friendly and I could just tell that everyone loves living there.
The town is full of incredible mountain athletes, the types who are expert skiers and riders in the winter and equally bad-ass on a mountain bike or granite wall in the warm season. We met transplants from Jackson, Chamonix, and Tahoe.
And you can see why they all choose Revy. Not only is Revelstoke Mountain Resort regarded as one of the sickest ski resorts in the world, this area is also home to numerous heli, cat, and backcountry operators.
After sneaking in a morning of high speed snowmobiling in the backcountry the day we arrived, we were lucky enough to squeeze in a couple days of heli skiing with Canadian Mountain Holidays. I’ve flown with a handful of heli outfits in Nevada and Alaska; I can say with confidence that CMH is the most professional heli operator I’ve ever come across.
First of all, they have all the non-skiing logistics down to a science. From group trainings in snow and avalanche safety to the lodge where you stay, from equipment to 5-star dinners, everything is convenient and you are getting the very best.
CMH has almost a dozen different lodges to choose from in this region of Canada and I would highly recommend getting started in Revy. They fly in a big helicopter called the Bel-214. This thing is a beast; it holds 14 people including the pilot and the guide and can knock you over when it comes in hot if you’re not ready for it. The aircraft alone makes for an exciting day. The guides are also an amazing crew of men and women and their system is such that you ski with and get to know a new guide for every day of skiing.
We did it all in that three days of flying with CMH, from steep tree skiing in the lower valleys to big mountain stuff in the high alpine, each day meeting at mid mountain at a random sunny spot for a delicious pre-made lunch (two sandwiches per person and hot soup). And, yes, you will be hungry! We were racking up almost 40,000 vertical feet per day and skiing untracked powder the entire time.
Brian and I were stoked to be paired up with a rowdy crew of guys from Europe, two of whom founded a company all about finding powder stashes. It was three days of pushing each other on some of the most spectacular terrain I’ve ever seen in 25 years of skiing.
The video above will give you an idea of what it’s like to spend a day with CMH, but I recommend booking at least a week.
[Editor's note: This content was produced in partnership with Kootenay Rockies Tourism.]