David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
Sorry if I posted in the wrong spot but nothing else really seemed right.

I'm looking for someplace to go catskiing for the first time this winter but it's been 20+ years since I've skied deep powder. Living in the midwest It's tough to find it and trips west have to be timed just right or just pure luck. Does anyone offer a first timers day? I've been searching online and not finding much. Or should I find a powder class and snowcat next year? Looking to ski somewhere between CO, UT, ID & WY.
 

BS Slarver

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Posts
1,015
Location
Big Sky MT
Just across the Canadian boarder is big red cats. They offer a fleet of cats (5 ) and many options.
From beginner to Uber extreme, they have it all. Spoke to them about our upcoming trip and got placed with what we thought would be a perfect match - advanced / expert.
Nothing worse than plopping down that kind of $$$$ and being in the wrong group either too advanced or holding up the group.
 

martyg

Out on the slopes
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
975
David - ditch the US. I'm with BS. Go to BC. Many,, many cat operations exist.

PSIA D-Team member Jennifer Simpson ran a powder clinic last season with Big Red. She is exceptional. No idea if she is doing it this year, but I can ping her if you are interested.

When I owned companies it was a nice tax advantage for me to book several cat / heli trips per year. Universally, day trips are a shitshow. AM cattle call, cattle call avy drill. Load up. Confusion. Find a partner... by day's end you are just figuring it out. Going into a remote lodge where the cat / heli is waiting outside the door ever AM, and where all your needs are taken care of, and where you ski with the same people for the week - that is the way to rock it.

Those operations - the ones who do it right - are booked years in advance. Look at Selkirk Wilderness Cat Skiing, and Island Lake.

If you want to come to SW CO we do have a few outfits here - and Silverton. I'd be happy to work with you for half-day. I'll likely be teaching at Beaver Creek, but in Durango most of the time.

Enjoy.
 
Thread Starter
TS
David

David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
David - ditch the US. I'm with BS. Go to BC. Many,, many cat operations exist.

PSIA D-Team member Jennifer Simpson ran a powder clinic last season with Big Red. She is exceptional. No idea if she is doing it this year, but I can ping her if you are interested.

When I owned companies it was a nice tax advantage for me to book several cat / heli trips per year. Universally, day trips are a shitshow. AM cattle call, cattle call avy drill. Load up. Confusion. Find a partner... by day's end you are just figuring it out. Going into a remote lodge where the cat / heli is waiting outside the door ever AM, and where all your needs are taken care of, and where you ski with the same people for the week - that is the way to rock it.

Those operations - the ones who do it right - are booked years in advance. Look at Selkirk Wilderness Cat Skiing, and Island Lake.

If you want to come to SW CO we do have a few outfits here - and Silverton. I'd be happy to work with you for half-day. I'll likely be teaching at Beaver Creek, but in Durango most of the time.

Enjoy.
BC is a bit far to drive from MI (I hate airports). And as much as I'd like to spend a week in a cat or heli I can't justify spending 6 months wages on a vacation. But a day or so in a cat with some guidance first would be awesome! I'll keep your offer in mind.
 

martyg

Out on the slopes
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
975
BC is a bit far to drive from MI (I hate airports). And as much as I'd like to spend a week in a cat or heli I can't justify spending 6 months wages on a vacation. But a day or so in a cat with some guidance first would be awesome! I'll keep your offer in mind.
Right on. This last winter there were a lot of days were I thought, "Who needs a cat???"

PM me once we get further into the season.
 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
2,623
Location
Quarantined in Spokane
I don't know enough on the topic to say much. Spent a few days skiing Soldier Mountain Idaho last winter. They have run cats there for years and seem to know what they are doing. Nice terrain in their cat skiing area and last year's rate was $200/day. You can probably get on with short notice.

Contact them for more info cause that is all I know.
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
Skier
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Posts
4,013
Location
Denver, CO
Sorry if I posted in the wrong spot but nothing else really seemed right.

I'm looking for someplace to go catskiing for the first time this winter but it's been 20+ years since I've skied deep powder. Living in the midwest It's tough to find it and trips west have to be timed just right or just pure luck. Does anyone offer a first timers day? I've been searching online and not finding much. Or should I find a powder class and snowcat next year? Looking to ski somewhere between CO, UT, ID & WY.
Steamboat Powdercats. One of the Cats is "Level 1" Beginner and the terrain is fun and mellow. The snow is consistently cold and powdery. The area they use gets a ton of snow, much more than the resort proper. It is perfect for polishing your powder skiing.
 

jmeb

Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
3,244
Location
Colorado
Steamboat is a great option for deep snow and mellow terrain.

Another option in Colorado is Ski Cooper (not Copper): https://www.skicooper.com/snowcat-skiing/

I wouldn't consider the cat at Copper or Loveland "cat skiing". Yes you ride in a cat, but the lines see far more traffic than remoter areas. And there is no "prep" -- you get on, get told where is open, then you just ski.
 

Jerez

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Posts
1,492
Location
New Mexico
+1 for steamboat powdercats. Good chance of light (easier) powder and a cat group especially for beginner deep snow skiers. They have a great video of the terrain on their website to whet your appetite.

If you are driving then you can decide after the season starts and you see if snow is northwest or southeast Rockies. Especially if you are only looking for one seat.

Wolf Creek typically gets the most snow in Colorado for resort powder and has lots of mellow terrain. Monarch mountain has a cat operation. Terrain isn't super mellow but there is plenty in the resort for practice and you can hike to the bowl where the cats go before you commit. Grand Targee, WY is also known for its abundant powder and mellower terrain and it has a cat too.

Timing powder more than 10 days out is a crap shoot. Persoanally making plans ahead for skiing at a particular place is almost a guarantee of no powder. Hopefully you have better JuJu.

Subscribe to opensnow or just check it for their powder finder.
 
Thread Starter
TS
David

David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
Right on. This last winter there were a lot of days were I thought, "Who needs a cat???"

PM me once we get further into the season.
Thank you! I lived in Edwards back in the mid 90's but I have not skied Telluride or Purgatory yet so that would be a fun trip
 
Thread Starter
TS
David

David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
Thanks all. Targhee was on my list since I family in JH to stay with. Steamboat sounds like another great option too!
 

Tony

tseeb
Skier
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Posts
699
Location
Northern CA
Just across the Canadian boarder is big red cats. They offer a fleet of cats (5 ) and many options.
From beginner to Uber extreme, they have it all. Spoke to them about our upcoming trip and got placed with what we thought would be a perfect match - advanced / expert.
Nothing worse than plopping down that kind of $$$$ and being in the wrong group either too advanced or holding up the group.
Even worse than being in the wrong group which could possibly be corrected during the day would be getting r--ned on or day canceled due to r--n, both of which can happen at Big Red.

We had a very compatible group at Mustang Powder this year and skied 18K, 17K and 19K vertical on our three days, even with avalanche training on first day. For some pictures, see https://www.pugski.com/threads/accsar-mmm-on-the-way-to-big-sky-gathering.14268/#post-335249 - I've been to Mustang four of the last five years and am signed up again for Feb 2020. I've never done a day trip in US or Canada and have only had cat rides at Aspen Highlands and Heavenly, back when that was the only way out of Mott Canyon.

While big skis make powder easier than 20 years ago, you should try to get more recent powder experience.
 

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
2,899
Location
Stanwood, WA
Schweitzer has cat skiing that operates from the top of the mountain, $200 day. Easy to add a day or two on an existing trip for resort skiing. If the conditions aren’t favorable for cat skiing, just stay with resort skiing.
 

graham418

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Posts
1,768
Location
Toronto
If I remember correctly, someone posted about a cat skiing trip they did in Washington? Oregon? Idaho? I think they said it was close to the Idaho border, small resort with cat skiing on the side . For $99 / day!
And if you want to stay in Michigan , Mt Bohemia does cat skiing.
 
Thread Starter
TS
David

David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
If I remember correctly, someone posted about a cat skiing trip they did in Washington? Oregon? Idaho? I think they said it was close to the Idaho border, small resort with cat skiing on the side . For $99 / day!
And if you want to stay in Michigan , Mt Bohemia does cat skiing.
I'll do more searches before I make any definite plans.
Mt Bohemia can be hit or miss. I tried a couple years ago in Feb and they only had an 18" base. It's also a 13 hour drive and I can be in Denver in 16.
 

Jerez

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Posts
1,492
Location
New Mexico
If you can wait until 10 days out, that's your best bet. If not and you can get to Denver in 16, then Steamboat seems like your next best bet. Resort skiing if the snow gods are not delivering and cat skiing if they are. I believe Steamboat had a 3 pack on sale, but the sale was for a short period. Check it out if it's still on sale. The smaller places in the San Juans I mentioned will be a lot further drive.
 
Thread Starter
TS
David

David

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
Skier
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Posts
694
Location
Holland, MI
If you can wait until 10 days out, that's your best bet. If not and you can get to Denver in 16, then Steamboat seems like your next best bet. Resort skiing if the snow gods are not delivering and cat skiing if they are. I believe Steamboat had a 3 pack on sale, but the sale was for a short period. Check it out if it's still on sale. The smaller places in the San Juans I mentioned will be a lot further drive.
I need to give 30 days notice for vacation dates but where I go during those dates can be really flexible. Especially with some family and friends around the Rockies I have options.
 

pchewn

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Posts
1,043
Location
Beaverton OR USA
Schweitzer has cat skiing that operates from the top of the mountain, $200 day. Easy to add a day or two on an existing trip for resort skiing. If the conditions aren’t favorable for cat skiing, just stay with resort skiing.
Prices are huge for Cat skiing, with very few if any in the $200/day range. I'm also looking into a Cat ski adventure this year. The areas I'm interested in are in this spreadsheet. I inquired at Soldier Mountain two months ago and the reply from the operation was not very encouraging.

My plan is to sample a day opportunistically (snow conditions) at Anthony Lakes, and book a 2-day with yurt overnight at Soldier Mountain for a group of 10 friends. Those locations are the least expensive and close enough to friends and family so I can stay for free nearby.

snowcat-spreadsheet.JPG


Soldier Mountain said:
Hello Patrick,

Thank you for your inquiry into our backcountry. At this time no reservations are being taken. We do not generally open up our booking into November or beginning of December. It generally is opened up to previous guests first and then to the public.

Because of us not opening till then, at this time I also can not say what the pricing will be. Historically the best snow is in February, the first week of March is normally about the end of it.

I will be happy to keep your contact information and get back to you as soon as that program starts to update and open for reservation.

Thank you again for your inquiry.

My best to you,

Beth

Beth Pina
Admin Asst. to Mountain/Lodge Managers
Soldier Mountain Ski Area
[email protected]
 
Last edited:

Staff online

Top