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Pure Powder’s Guide to Different Types of Skiing

People often ask what are the different types of skiing, so we put together a handy guide to explain everything you need to know. Downhill skiing (or alpine skiing) is definitely our preferred snow sport, whether it takes the form of heli skiing, off piste skiing or simply resort skiing. However it is not the only type of skiing out there. In a similar style to downhill (as in with the purpose of continuously going down slopes and not up) you can find monoboarding and telemarking. Next comes ski touring, which also has some familiarity as skiers are often venturing far off piste to find powder and untracked descents. Lastly there is cross country skiing, which shares some equipment similarities with touring and telemarking, but nothing with downhill skiing.

Monoboarding

The monoboard

Monoboarding is a curious sport that in recent years has gained popularity and is not dissimilar to monoskiing. For those who don’t suffer from a fear of having both legs stuck together, monoboarding involves a snowboard-type device where the bindings are right next to each other and facing forwards. The boots are similar to ski boots but softer to enable boarders to carve more easily. It may resemble a salute to the tight kneed, stiff carving of the 70s’ and 80s’, but the technology of the boards allows for more flexibility.

Telemarking

Telemark skiing

Telemark skiing uses similar equipment to ski touring – telemarkers wear wide downhill-looking skis with a detached heel and shorter, more flexible boots. With every turn they make, skiers’ inside (or uphill) leg shifts back, the foot lifts and that knee bends low. There is no hike involved as telemarkers are often not looking for a hike. It is a demanding sport that requires thigh strength and bendy knees, but once you get the hang of it its extremely fun and definitely worth a test on some rentals. (We don’t however suggest you try telemarking backwards…)

Ski Touring

Heli-assisted touring with CMH

Ski touring adventures take skiers up and out of resorts to high mountain peaks where the snow is fresh and untouched. They use similar skis to telemarkers, but the detached binding can clip in, making the descent a typical, off piste downhill run. Off piste skiing and ski touring have become popular enough in the last few years that CMH Heli Skiing now offer a couple of Heli Assisted Ski Touring trips. With one helicopter lift up to the peakiest heights in the morning, the rest of the day is spent touring and skiing down amazing fresh, Canadian powder.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing is a fantastic sport, and if you live somewhere with frequent blizzards and snowstorms, a great way to travel. Cross country skis are much skinnier than the others, with very soft, short boots that only attach to the bindings at the toe. To ski, you alternate pushing off of each foot with your toes, gliding for as long as possible on the other leg. The ski poles are shoulder height to help with the process. It requires a degree of fitness and is very technical, but once mastered is a wonderful way to see the countryside. The annual Canadian Ski Marathon, one of the sports’ bigger events, is a two-day 160 km event. The distance is broken up into sections so skiers can do as much or as little as they want, with either overnight camping, sleeping in equipped local schools, or the slightly plusher Fairmont Le Château Montebello.

If you like the sound of heli-assisted ski touring, get in touch with the heli skiing and off piste skiing experts at Pure Powder!

Posted by: Claire Matheson

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Location: Most famously known as just Whistler, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side and make up Canada’s biggest resort. Together they make up a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, split between pisted runs, Alpine bowls and glaciers. Whistler Village is at the base of Whistler, the hub of the village […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s fourth largest ski resort where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love due to being further west. The varied terrain spreads over 3,282 acres and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there: Silver Star is extremely easy to get […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location: Sun Peaks is the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler. It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there: Sun Peaks is located in the heart of British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops and less than an hour by […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Tree Skiing in BC, Canada

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of British Columbia is very unique.  The trees protect the snow from wind and sun damage; so not only is it where you would expect the deepest snow to be, it is also where the powder remains perfect for longer which makes tree skiing a very enjoyable experience! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

CMH Private Heli Skiing Trips

Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing experience – we don’t know a skier out there who doesn’t have heli skiing on their bucket list.  What’s not to want – deep, untracked powder in every direction, fresh tracks at every turn, no lift queues and a helicopter at your service!  Now, imagine it all to yourself […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Go Small Group Heli Skiing?

Smaller heli ski groups mean greater opportunities for deep snow and more epic lines; and  heli skiing in groups made up of 4- or 5- guests can mean that your mountain experience is as intimate as possible.  You can either fill a helicopter with your buddies or join a ready made small group.  It’s best […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Revelstoke

Location: Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in North America’s ‘deep snow capital’ in the heart of British Columbia. It was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in 2020, which is most likely due to its 3,120 acres of skiable terrain that includes the longest vertical ski hill in North America, trumping Whistler in 2008 when their […]

Posted by: Suzy Small

Where Can I Heli Ski In Chile? 

What a better way to spend the summer than heli skiing in the Andes…Powder South, offers an excellent heli skiing programme which is be based out of four different locations.     The Heli Skiing Programme:   Heli Skiing in Chile is based out of the Chilean Andes Mountains and it has access to over 1 million acres of terrain – where to heli ski here is endless. Most of the skiing is on open Alpine […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

Stuck for Christmas gifts for the skier or snowboarder in the family or for friends…then check out our ultimate gift list for this upcoming Christmas Go Pro Hero9 A Go Pro has to be the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder and the Go Pro Hero9 is the one to go for. As the […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

In The Press: Forbes Photo from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Alaska has to be one of the most desired places to heli ski in the world, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. Forbes have recently written an article saying that “avid skiers are seeking out Alaska as the top place to heli-ski” Alaska […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

It’s all very exciting – you’ve got your trip booked; flight tickets in hand; passport at the ready…  you can practically smell the powder!  However, you’re standing over an empty bag thinking – have I got everything?  We’ve pulled together our top packing tips to make sure that you’re all set.  What ski clothes to pack?  […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

We’ve updated our top 10 favourite ski blogs which bring you the latest ski news, top tips and fashionable destinations.  Get your powder fix today and whet your appetite for the season ahead…  powdermatt.com/   To kick off the list we have this cracking a blog by Matt Mosteller – one year, while his friends were busy getting […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank