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Group of painters examining a glacial lake

Painting en plein air with Mike Svob

August 1 - 4, 2022 at CMH Bugaboos

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Professional Painting Instruction in the Best Classroom on Earth

Learn from eminent painter Mike Svob as you’re immersed in iconic landscapes on a 4-day trip to CMH Bugaboos. You’ll venture to remote viewpoints via helicopter with a small group while Mike teaches you how to analyze and capture the stunning surroundings with your own interpretations and style. Then experience CMH hospitality at its finest as you spend evenings relaxing and dining at Bugaboos Lodge. For beginners and masters alike, this is the plein air painting trip you’ve been dreaming about.


Painting workshops are held at the Bugaboos




Estimated total
$1,497 per night
Price based on double-occupancy. Includes lodging, daily heli access, meals & transportation.

Talk to our planning experts 1-800-661-0252


6:30 am
Depart Banff to helipad
9:30 am
Arrive at helipad for heli-transfer to CMH Bugaboos Lodge
10:30-11 am
Upon arrival, you’ll get acquainted with the lodge
11:30 am
1 pm
After a helicopter safety briefing, enjoy your first afternoon of exploration and painting instruction from Mike Svob
4-5 pm
Return back to the lodge where you can enjoy après-adventure refreshments, a soak in the hot tub or a massage
7 pm
Enjoy your first CMH gourmet family-style dinner – staff will join you for the meal each evening

Days 2 & 3

7:30 am
Wake up with a dynamic warm-up class
8 am
Fuel up with a hearty breakfast to start your day right. Pack your lunch for the day and get ready for your day of adventure.
9 am
First group will fly into the mountains. Fly to a stunning location with Mike before breathing in and finding inspiration in some of the most astounding scenery in Canada. Mother Nature will happily be your muse
12 pm
Lunch in the field
4-6 pm
After a memorable day of painting, return to the lodge, where you can enjoy après-adventure refreshments, a soak in the hot tub or a massage.
7 pm
Swap stories of your incredible adventures in the mountains as you savour a family-style dinner with your guides and lodge staff


8:00 am
Enjoy a hearty lodge breakfast before departing the lodge with your final heli-transfer
11:00 am
Private coach transfer from helipad to Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary International Airport
2 pm
Estimated arrival time in Banff
3:30 pm
Anticipated arrival at Calgary International Airport (YYC). We recommend guests do not book flights until after 6pm MT. *Please note: Hiking schedule and lunch times may vary

Extend Your Stay

Arrive early or leave later by extending your CMH stay with additional adventures in Banff and surrounding area. Our CMH Vacation Planning team can help you with the details.

Learn more ›

What CMH provides for each trip


A double occupancy room in the hotel-style CMH Bugaboo Lodge for the duration of your stay, featuring a full range of inviting onsite amenities.

Food & Beverage

Three meals per day – a chef-prepared breakfast and dinner plus packed lunches, après-hiking snacks and non-premium non-alcoholic refreshments.

Heli-Assisted Guided Adventure

Professionally accredited guides will accompany you on your adventure, featuring heli flights up and down the mountains plus return flights to your lodge.

Painting Instruction

Eminent painter Mike Svob will guide you through the plein air painting experience throughout your experience, including tips and tricks in the field and back at the lodge.

Ground Transportation

From Banff, Lake Louise or Golden to the CMH Bugaboos helipad, and return to Golden, Lake Louise, Banff or the Calgary International Airport (YYC).

Hiking boots, backpack and jacket


Use of CMH hiking equipment, including boots, rain jackets, wind pants, day packs and hiking poles. Some of our guests opt to use their own equipment – the choice is yours.

What to pack

Recommended Workshop Supplies

  • A sturdy, lightweight easel that can withstand some wind and hold your painting surface. A French easel paint box or similar will carry most everything you need.

  • Any paint or drawing medium you wish to use; acrylic, oil, watercolour, pencil

  • Recommended colour palette: Titanium White | (Hansa or Cad) Lemon Yellow | Cadmium Yellow Deep | Cadmium Red | Quinacridone Magenta (Crimson or Alizarin) | Cobalt Blue | Ultramarine Blue | Carbon Black This is the minimum, if you have a few other favourite paints, please bring them

  • A small bucket for rinsing your brushes (water is available)

Oil Painters: Mike highly recommends using a quick drying medium with your paint. Alkyd or Cobalt drier are effective. You will also need small sealed containers for you to clean your brushes.

Watercolour Painters: this the simplest medium to work with as you only need water and a bucket.

A Classic CMH Icon

Welcome to your historical headquarters in the famed Bugaboos. Perched at 1,490m (4,888 ft), our 32-room log-hewn lodge at the base of Bugaboo Glacier is enshrined as the birthplace of the heli-skiing industry. With mind-blowing scenery that’s captivated mountaineers for over a century, history abounds here – and so do modern comforts. 

Inspired cuisine, deluxe accommodations, full-service amenities and one of the best hot tub views on the planet make Bugaboo Lodge the perfect alpine escape. Soar into an incredible summer adventure at CMH Bugaboo Lodge.

Take a virtual tour of Bugaboo Lodge

CMH Bugaboo Lodge living room

Additional details

Single supplement is available by request on a space-available basis, depending on the lodge and the number of nights in your stay. As a solo traveller you may book on a twin-share basis, and we will attempt to match you with a same-gender roommate. If we are unable to do so, you will not be charged for the upgrade to single occupancy

Non-smoking rooms  | No pets please |  Complimentary laundry facilities 

All prices are $CAD ($USD prices shown are based on currency rates available from and are subject to change).

Group travel options 

Book an entire lodge or bring your group and mingle with other guests. Plan a corporate retreat, a family reunion or a special celebration, and let us help customize the details. Learn more ›

There are a number of ways to travel to our lodges: you can ride in one of the private CMH coaches (from designated pick-up/drop-off locations) or drive yourself to the helipad. We also offer additional transport options if you’re looking for something more specialized – call us for details. 

Please note that a Parks Canada pass is required to park in Banff or drive to our helipads. If you’re self-driving and require a pass, you can avoid lineups at the park gate by buying a pass online.

Arrival/departure information Self-driving directions (via Banff) CMH Area Map Purchase a Parks Canada Pass

Custom Travel Options

Customize your travel details by contacting us


Getting here image
Travel Bus Icon

Banff - Bugaboos Helipad

173km / 107.4 mi (2 hrs)

Our private coach from Banff takes you along the spectacularly scenic Trans-Canada Highway then winds along a corridor lined with Rocky Mountains and epic forests toward Golden, BC.  From there, we'll travel southwest until arriving at the Bugaboos helipad.

Travel Heli Icon

Bugaboos Helipad - CMH Bugaboo Lodge

10 mins

It’s time to lift off on your first CMH heli flight. After watching a safety video, you’ll disembark your coach for your short, scenic flight up to the fabled Bugaboo Lodge.

What's the weather like?

Due to the high mountain environment, expect to experience various conditions. The weather can be sunny and warm, but be prepared for cooler temperatures, rain, wind and possibly snow.

Mountain weather can change with very little warning. Temperatures range from highs of 10˚C to 35˚C (50˚F-95˚F) and lows of 9˚C to -3˚C (48˚F to 26˚F).

I'm not a hiker - will I be able to keep up with the group?

Whether it’s a hike, walk or amble, each heli-hiking day is tailored to all levels of fitness, experience and age. We split the group as necessary so everyone can stay within their comfort level. The only requirement is a thirst for adventure.

I'm an avid hiker - will I be challenged?

Absolutely! Our guides share a passion for exploring all the Columbia Mountains have to offer. If you’re seeking a challenge, they’ll deliver a great workout.

Are all of your guides certified?

Yes. Most CMH guides have made a lifelong career out of their passion. They are dedicated professionals trained in the European guiding tradition, which emphasizes both respect for the mountains and a deep concern for the well-being of every guest. Our guides are fully trained and re-trained regularly in first aid, wilderness rescue, emergency procedure and prevention. Many of our guides are fully certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) – a ten-year process on average. The rest of our guides are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), also to rigorous standards. Every guide is an experienced, knowledgeable interpreter of our mountains’ flora, fauna, geology and natural history, ensuring that your heli-hiking experience is both safe and enriching.

What happens when nature calls and we’re on the trail?

We hike and explore remote areas where there are no conventional washrooms. Mother Nature provides trees and rocks for privacy. We recommend bringing toilet paper and a ziplock bag. Paper used in the field can be disposed of back at the lodge.

Are gratuities included?

The CMH team is committed to ensuring that you enjoy the trip of a lifetime. While gratuities are not included in your trip fees – nor are they mandatory – they may be offered on a voluntary basis. Gratuities are divided among all of the lodge staff and your pilot.

How do I arrange a private group booking?

Private bookings are a great way to share the magic of a summer heli-hiking adventure with a group. Call our planning experts to arrange the details of all-to-yourself bookings for privately guided trips.

Will we encounter wildlife?

In all of our trips, we strive to avoid any contact with wildlife. However, our guides are trained in safely dealing with wildlife encounters, should one occur.

How many helicopter trips will I have to take?

In addition to your heli trips to and from the lodge, each day offers the chance to heli to new adventures – with unprecedented access. On average, you can expect two or three helicopter trips per day, depending on your preference and weather conditions.

What makes the painting workshop so special?

You will be part of a small group of 11 painters who will stay at the remote Bugaboo Lodge, and fly to stunning locations each day to paint within some of the most incredible scenery in the world. You’ll have the services of professional painter Mike Svob on-hand as he provides you with instruction and tips throughout the trip!

What does a typical day look like?

Our aim is to paint ‘plein air’, which means ‘outside’. You’ll fly to a few locations each day where Mike will do a demonstration and help everyone individually. You will do as many plein air landscape paintings as the conditions and time allow, but plan for three or four each full day. Once you return to the lodge, you’ll have further instruction and art discussion.

How much painting experience do I need?

All abilities are welcome. Whether you’re a beginner who has only done a few paintings, or a professional with many canvasses under your belt, you’re going to find this trip rewarding.

How fit do I need to be?

Once you’re dropped off at your daily painting location, you’ll need to walk from 100m-1km whilst carrying your equipment.

Is instruction included in my workshop?

Yes – you’ll receive instruction from artist Mike Svob.

What happens if it rains during the painting workshop?

Rain? No problem! If the weather doesn’t allow us to paint outside, we will visit different locations to take photos of the landscape. We’ll then return to the lodge to paint, using the photographs we have taken that very morning as reference.

Read all FAQs

Your Trip Highlights

Each day you’ll fly to multiple inspiring locations and receive personal instruction as you paint landscapes you’ve only imagined. We aim for three or four unique destinations per day, where you’ll paint as many pieces as conditions and time allow. After a day spent painting a cascade of colours, you’ll enjoy additional painting instruction and art discussion draped in lodge comforts.

Man painting outdoors


Pricing & Dates

Reserve your painting en-plein-air retreat today

Man painting outdoors



Painting workshops are held at the Bugaboos




Estimated total
$1,497 per night
Price based on double-occupancy. Includes lodging, daily heli access, meals & transportation.

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