Featured First time snowcat?

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by David, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    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.
     
  2. BS Slarver

    BS Slarver Formally known as Catskill Carver Skier

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    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.
     
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  3. martyg

    martyg Out on the slopes Industry Insider

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    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.
     
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  4. Thread Starter
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    David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    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.
     
  5. martyg

    martyg Out on the slopes Industry Insider

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    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.
     


  6. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Industry Insider Team Gathermeister

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    Powder Mtn UT, Loveland CO and Copper Mtn CO are three places that quickly come to mind that have free or a la carte cat skiing, making it easy to get a sampling without committing to a full/expensive week.
     
  7. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    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.
     
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  8. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    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.
     
  9. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    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.
     
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  10. Jerez

    Jerez Out on the slopes Skier

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    +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.
     
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  11. Thread Starter
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    David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    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
     
  12. Thread Starter
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    David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    Thanks all. Targhee was on my list since I family in JH to stay with. Steamboat sounds like another great option too!
     
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  13. Tony

    Tony tseeb Skier

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    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.
     
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  14. David Chaus

    David Chaus If I am skiing the world is a perfect place. Skier

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    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.
     
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  15. graham418

    graham418 Out on the slopes Skier

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    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.
     
  16. Thread Starter
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    David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    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.
     
  17. Jerez

    Jerez Out on the slopes Skier

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    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.
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    David

    David "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" Skier

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    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.
     
  19. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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  20. pchewn

    pchewn Out on the slopes Skier

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    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

     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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