CMH Resorts, British Columbia

Best place for beginners

Beginning heliskiing

Taking his first turns     Photo: Canadian Mountain Holidays

Back in 1965 an Austrian immigrant to Canada, Hans Gmoser, thought it might be kind of cool to use helicopters to take skiers into the backcountry of the Bugaboos. The rest is history—heliskiing was born—and since then Canadian Mountain Holidays has become the largest player in the field. And while that might be off-putting to those looking for a more, um, boutique experience, there’s no doubt the company has what you’re looking for. With no fewer than 11 lodges scattered across British Columbia, CMH has a huge selection of terrain (about a third of Switzerland) to offer its guests. If you’ve never skied bottomless pow before, CMH holds a Powder 101 course at six of its lodges (Adamants, Bugaboos, Cariboos, Gothics, Kootenay, and Revelstoke) designed to help you get the feel of skiing in 3D. Stick with it and, who knows, maybe soon you’ll graduate into the Powder 401 lesson at the Kootenay or Revelstoke lodge. That’s a new freeriding program where you’ll learn to tackle the steeps and drop a few pillow lines. Bring your helmet. It’s mandatory attire when school’s in session. (Powder 101, from $7,590 for seven days; Powder 505, the steeps, $9,990 for seven days; Canadian Mountain Holidays, 403-762-7100;

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