©Ellen Barone.

One of my most memorable holidays was a summertime heli-hiking vacation in the Canadian Rockies with Canadian Mountain Holidays.

In my younger years, I was willing to strap on a 40-pound backpack and stagger through the long-approach hike necessary to experience the solitude, freedom and timeless beauty of the untamed High Country.

These days, although the longing for remote landscapes and wide-open spaces is still powerful - perhaps even more acute thanks to the usual entrapments of maturity - I'm no longer loath to take the rough out of roughing it.

Initially, I'd been seduced by the unique combination of High Country wilderness, professional guides and, of course, the ease of access that helicopter-assisted hiking offered.

I knew that CMH offered the opportunity to explore the serrated ridges, turquoise lakes, flowery meadows, and blue-tinged glaciers of Canada’s remote, High Country. I also knew that heli-hiking would engage my senses and expand my limits.

What I hadn't realized was that it would be so much fun. It was good, old-fashioned, alpine abundance - offered up with a healthy dose of post-adventure pampering.