And those guides aren’t just fashion plates, they happen to be at the forefront of skiwear design, thanks to the ongoing collaboration between CMH and Arc’teryx, an outdoor gear and clothing firm based in North Vancouver, BC. A few seasons back, CMH convened a summit meeting between its mountain guides and the Arc’teryx design team. Their mission: re-design the guide uniforms from the ground up.
“It’s great for us to have such a big pool of hardcore users who are out a hundred days a season in this amazing testing ground,” says Design Manager Carl Moriarty.
The result is the Neos AR line of jackets and bib pants, where the genius is all in the details. Featuring the latest version of Gore-Tex®, the jacket an extra-tall collar with an internal draw cord that seals out spindrift when the helicopter is taking off or landing, plus a helmet-compatible hood which can be easily rolled up inside the collar when not in use. A convenient chest pocket holds a VHS radio and allows a cord to be internally routed to a microphone clip on the collar. Four zippered external pockets provide plenty of storage, while underarm zippers help expel body heat. An internal powder skirt is made of a stretchy, grippy elasticized fabric that keeps it in place while bending over, while pre-curved foam kneepads offer warmth and protection.
There’s just one problem: ordinary consumers can’t buy the garments in the ultra-visible colour now known fondly as CMH Orange. They’ll just have to find their neon fix elsewhere.