First-time heli-hikers: What you need to know

In Summer

Photo: Taylor Burk | CMH Bugaboos

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WORDS BY ALISON JONES | APRIL 24, 2018

Interested in heli-hiking but not sure what to expect?

Preparing for the trip of a lifetime can be a little daunting. But rest assured that summer trips at CMH are crafted in a way that ensures you have a memorable experience, for all the right reasons.

Here are a few things you need to know before coming.

1/ Don’t worry about pace.
We want you to enjoy your trip. So whether you want to step-it-out and conquer a peak or amble at a gentle speed, we split groups based on fitness, experience, and age. This means you can enjoy a pace that best suits you.

hiking in British Columbia
Photo: John Evely | CMH Cariboos

2/ We also won’t force you to hike!
If you prefer to kick back on a lawn chair with a cold margarita in a chilled glass, well, you can do exactly that. This is your vacation, and we want you to do what makes you happy. Hike every day or pick and choose as your legs see fit.

hiking in British Columbia
Photo: John Evely | CMH Bugaboos

3/ ‘Remote’ doesn’t mean ‘extreme’.
We talk a lot about ‘remote’ hiking locations and, for some, this can conjure up the image of an extreme expedition into the back of the great beyond! In truth, it means something much more special.

All of the summer lodges are only accessible via helicopter, thus making them ‘remote’. You’re flown in on the first day of your trip, giving you a taste for the scenery to come.

Each morning after breakfast, you’ll fly into the surrounding untamed beauty to various hiking locations (or via ferrata routes) depending on your preference or fitness. Just because the trails are miles from anywhere doesn’t make them extreme; they’re just hard to get to, which is why you have a heli to get you there! We’ll guide you through lush alpine valleys or to the top of summits with like-minded others! Take a look at what’s involved in a typical day of heli-hiking.

hiking in British Columbia
Photo: John Evely | CMH Cariboos

4/ You don’t need to spend a fortune on hiking gear.
Yes, you need to be prepared for mountain conditions, but you don’t need to fork-out fortune on clothing and gear.

In fact, we supply all of the equipment for you. Included in your trip are hiking boots, waterproof jackets, rain pants, a day pack, walking poles and water bottles. These are your high-quality essentials needed for any day trip to the mountains, and often the more expensive items to buy. But of course, you’re absolutely welcome to bring your own gear as well.

What we do recommend bringing are different layers of clothes suitable for everything from 25C / 77F  to light snow. A sun hat and a pair of gloves never go amiss either.

hiking in British Columbia
Photo: Tammy Hanratty | CMH Bobbie Burns

5/ You’ll have almost everything that you need at the lodge.

  • Outdoor hot tub
  • Fully stocked bar
  • Sauna
  • Massage therapist
  • Climbing wall
  • Gourmet meals
  • Pillow-top mattresses
  • Games room
  • Retail store
  • Swimming ponds
  • Comfortable lounges
  • Guitars, pianos, and even a traditional Swiss Alphorn. (Don’t worry, we can teach you how to play it)
hiking in British Columbia
Photo: breeannyy | CMH Bobbie Burns

6/ There’s no cell service.
While there’s Wi-Fi at the lodges (and phones if you need them), there’s zero cell service out here. Meaning true disconnect time when you want it.

hiking in British Columbia
Photo: John Evely | CMH Cariboos

7/ You’re in very good hands.
All of our guides are certified. They are dedicated professionals who are fully trained and regularly re-trained in first aid, wilderness rescue, emergency procedures, and prevention.

Many are fully certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) – which, on average, is a 10-year process to achieve. The others are Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certified, which also upholds rigorous standards of testing. This means that when you’re out in the field, you’re led by the best in the business. They also tend to have a few excellent jokes too.

 

Still have questions about a Summer Adventure trip? See what summer’s all about.