Tucked away in the Purcells and Selkirks mountain range is the Bobbie Burns lodge, one of the two Canadian Mountain Holidays lodges that cater to summer adventures. Though, that isn’t exactly what makes them world famous, it’s how CMH does their adventures, which is by helicopter.
Up until a few weeks ago, I only thought Heli Skiing was something the X-Games and Red Bull athletes did. And I had no idea Heli Hiking even existed. This quickly changed after the first of many helicopter pickups at the Bobbie Burns lodge.
Sound interesting? Indulge in my 5 fast facts about CMH Bobbie Burns Summer Adventures below:
1. Helicopter Everywhere
Expect to read comments like, “you’re like James Bond,” whenever you share photos from your Bobbie Burns experience.
The whole concept of Heli Hiking is pretty surreal. Imagine for a moment you’re out hiking trails created not by humans, but goats, and have only been walked on by a few hundred people. At the same time you’re surrounded by some of the most breathtaking views you have ever seen. As you finally get to your destination – a small 10-foot by 10-foot patch of grass – your guide calls in the helicopter for pickup. How cool is that?
Here’s a video I shot of my group being picked up after a long day’s hike.
See what I mean?
2. Hiking or High Flying Adventure Type
Which are you?
The first day you arrive at the Bobbie Burns lodge, you’re immediately weighed, geared up and helicoptered to a location for a little Heli Hiking. This excursion is how the guides decide what group you should be in (fast or slow) and can really gauge both your interest and ability for the adventures that await.
CMH Heli Hiking Trips
This is the ideal option for those who want to take in the sights of some of the world’s most magnificent mountain terrains. Your guide will set up hiking and walking excursions through areas barely seen by humans, at a pace that works best for you and your abilities.
CMH High Flying Adventures
Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe what CMH’s High Flying Adventures are all about. Think zip lining across rivers, belaying down a mountainside, and walking across the famous Mount Nimbus Via Ferrata bridge.
3. You Never Go Hungry
Just when you think you don’t need anything else to eat, there’s fresh cookies placed in front of you. Don’t mind if I do!
Each morning, the breakfast bell rings at 8am, signaling to everyone the day has officially started. Assuming of course you didn’t wake up from the morning stretch bell that goes off 30-minutes prior, lead by Bobbie Burns’ masseuse. In the middle of the dining room is a breakfast spread sure to fill you up before the day’s activities kick-off.
While you’re finishing up breakfast, the CMH cooking staff begins putting out all the food options for your day’s excursion. There’s multiple sandwich options (even for vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions), cut up veggies, trail mix, candy bars, etc. Grab all that you think you’ll need and pack it in the plastic to-go container they set out.
Most groups get back from their hike or climbing adventures around 4pm, which is when the Tea Goodie is. Every day, the CMH cooking staff sets out delicious treats to munch on while you chit chat with the other guests about your day. This usually happens by the fire in the lodge or in the hot tub, where I spent majority of my time.
Lastly, is dinner. Similar to breakfast, a dinner bell is rung each day at 7pm to let guests know it’s time to eat. Everyone joins in the main dining room for a three course meal. The Bobbie Burns bartender will bring over the bottle of wine or drink you previously ordered.
If for some reason your hunger gets the best of you and this simply isn’t enough food, the CMH staff are more than happy to feed you. There’s almost always leftovers in case anyone wants extras. Just ask!
4. The Bobbie Burns Lodge
The Bobbie Burns’ main room has a fire going almost always. It’s a great place to meet and chat about your day or what’s to come. This room also features the bar, where the tea goodie is held daily, and various sitting areas with games to play. Here are some of the other offerings Bobbie Burns Lodge has to offer.
After each day of hiking and climbing, most of the guests would hangout in the hot tub to decompress and heal the muscles we didn’t know we had. Yet another place to meet and chat about your day. There’s also a sauna in the same area of the spa if you’re into that sort of thing. And of course, a masseuse, who I can personally say is fantastic.
The Bar, Massage, and Shop Cost Extra
Something good to note is that there are a few additional costs during your stay at Bobbie Burns: bar tab, massages, and CMH shop. However, if I’m to be honest, everything was fairly priced. If you’re a boozehound like myself, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the cost of their bar menu. Same goes for the massage and shop prices. In fact, they may have been the cheapest I’ve seen abroad.
Games Room and Fitness Room
It’s impossible to get bored at the lodge. The games room features a pool table, dart board, and a foosball table. If you feel like working out, there’s a great fitness room that features free weights, machines and a climbing wall. This is also the room where the daily 30-minute stretch is held.
5. Everything is Picturesque (duh!)
This may be stating the obvious, but you can never be too prepared. As someone who considers them as a fairly good photographer–see my Instagram–I tend to bring my camera equipment wherever I go. Unfortunately, when you’re scaling the peaks of Mount Nimbus or traversing around the Conrad Glacier, you probably won’t want the telephoto lens I had with me.
One of the guides leading the group behind us had a little point and shoot that shot some amazing shots. I recommend bringing one like his or a GoPro. They’re small enough that they fit in your pocket comfortably and won’t weigh you down, and best of all, you won’t be devastated if you lose it.
Here are a few shots taken from my iPhone.
Conclusion: Your Friends Will Hate You
Trust me, I know this all too well. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, my feeds were filled with epic shots of everything CMH and Bobbie Burns had to offer, and my followers were oozing with jealousy. It’s one of those trips that is too good not to share. Just make sure you tag CMH on social using #CMHheli.
Learn more about Canadian Mountain Holidays and their other lodgings by visiting their site.