BC Skiing & Snowboarding Adventure

 About Skeena
Cat Skiing & Snowboarding

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Skeena Cat Skiing

Company Intro

Locally owned and operated, Skeena has been open since 2011 and operates from a backcountry basecamp located at the tree line. We have one of the largest and most skiable tenures in the province, with big expansion plans!

Partner Businesses

The members of the Skeena Cat Skiing ownership group also operate these amazing businesses. Check out the links below, and consider a trip to visit them all!

Skeena Cat Skiing

Team Profiles

Skeena Cat Skiing founder, Jevon Zyp, has joined forces this year with new partners to create a BC backcountry dream team: Gary Mathiesen, Owner and President of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort; Nick Holmes-Smith, Owner of Mustang Powder; long-time Skeena employee, Kevin Rankin; and Skeena Heliskiing. This new ownership group will take advantage of the depth of their combined knowledge and history in the industry, to expand and enhance the Skeena experience. Learn more about our owners and the incredible Skeena team below.

Jevon Zyp

Partner, Founder

Jevon was born and raised in the Monashee Mountains, and his love for snow sports and heavy equipment led him on the path of helping to start three of BC’s biggest cat ski operations. He moved North with a dream of starting his own, and Skeena Cat Skiing was born in 2011.

Jennifer Zyp

Operations Manager

Jennifer is a Gitxsan k’ubawilksihlkw (princess — Chief’s daughter) raised in the Skeena Mountains and has a vast knowledge of the land, culture, and people. Married to founder Jevon, this duo manages the operations at Skeena Cat Skiing. Jennifer has a diploma in Adventure Tourism and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. When not working or adventuring with her family she is investing in cultural revitalization programs within her Nation.

Gary Mathiesen

Partner, President

Gary has been an avid backcountry and downhill skier his whole life. His diverse business career includes over a decade as the owner and operator of Hudson Bay Mountain.

Kevin Rankin

Partner, Operations

Kevin’s love for the mountains moved him west in his early 20s. His passion for wilderness adventures led him to the backcountry ski industry, where he was instrumental in the birth of Skeena Cat Skiing. He has been a dedicated and loyal partner since the beginning!

Michaela Pye

Tail Guide, Cat Driver

Hailing from the remote and snowy island of Newfoundland, Michaela believes in the importance of untouched wilderness and untouched powder. It’s these two principles that drew her to Northern British Columbia. She has nearly a decade of backcountry ski experience, from Alaska to Newfoundland. She’s been Ski Patrolling over the past five winters and volunteers with her local Search and Rescue. Her favorite things are ski mountaineering, hot coffee, and running ultramarathons. She’s stoked to spend the winter hearing about you folks and your adventures!

Frank Blanchet

Camp Manager

Frank brings an extraordinary 20 years of experience in the cat skiing industry to Skeena Cat Skiing. He grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and moved to BC in 1999. His love and respect for rivers, oceans and mountains brought him north, where he is now a successful entrepreneur with his wife and daughter in stow. His knowledge and skills make him the perfect guy for his Camp Manager role!

Sebastien Charest

Tail Guide, Cat Driver

Born and raised in the steep and deeps of northern British Columbia, Sebastien moved to Terrace B.C in 2016, where he has spent the last 6 years developing his knowledge of snow science. Over the last decade, Sebastien has been passing on his passion for snow sports to the next generation as an instructor at various ski hills. In the off-seasons, he works as a sea kayak guide and foreman for a local tree planting company. He is looking forward to a season full of stoked smiles and powder!

Jason Kwan

Head Chef

Jason came to Canada for winter over 10 years ago and decided to make it home. He ended up getting his first taste of cat skiing in 2018 and knew he had to find a way to do it more. Jason has worked as an exquisite chef in backcountry ski lodges and we are pleased he is now the head chef for Skeena Cat Skiing!

Willy Trinker

Lead Guide

Willy came to Canada​​ in 1983 ​from Austria ​i​n pursuit​ of new and exciting mountain adventures. He initially joined ​Mike Wiegele Heliskiing, followed by CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays) in 1985​.​ His never-ending quest to find new terrain has resulted in first tracks in several CMH areas including the Adamants, McBride, and Silvertip. In 2017, this quest took him to AMH (Altai Mountain Heliskiing) in the Altai Mountains, Xinjiang, China. This was also his first taste of cat skiing. Upon his return and another season of heliskiing with CMH, he decided to give cat skiing in Canada a try- which landed him at Mustang Powder. Always looking for what’s next, he couldn’t refuse to come and ski (maybe a few more first’s are in the cards) with us here at Skeena Cat Skiing.

Bruno Dupere

Lead Guide

Bruno loves to ski! Initially from a ski racing background, he came out West to coach, but discovered “faceshots” and has been hooked since. He has been guiding cat skiing, heli-skiing, and ski touring for the last 15+ years as an ACMG-certified ski guide. We’re excited to have Bruno on the team at Skeena Cat Skiing!

Ali Haeri

Lead Guide

Ali originally hails from Montreal, QC, and now resides in Revelstoke, BC. He got his start in the avalanche industry as a ski patroller in Banff and moved on to being an avalanche technician for the University of Calgary snow science program. He then became a part of the avalanche control and backcountry rescue team at Rogers Pass until he became a certified ACMG ski guide in 2012. More recently he has been fortunate to be able to guide in a variety of settings and operations specializing mainly in cat skiing and ski touring. What he enjoys most about guiding is sharing the experience of riding in powder snow with others who enjoy it just as much.

Jason Guptill

Lead Guide

Originally from a long line of east-coast fishermen, Jason grew up just outside Halifax, NS, where the BIG mountains are! He moved west in 2004 to find deeper snow, and has been hooked on the pow-pow ever since guiding skiing in the winter, and alpine and rock climbing in the summer.

Karsten von Hoesslin

Snow Science Technician

Karsten has a long history of working and playing in the far corners of the world’s mountains and oceans. His background is in small team deployments that include field intelligence operations, hostage rescues, and disaster response in remote and hostile environments.  In 2018, Karsten returned to Canada to turn his life-long passions into new careers and now focuses on the avalanche industry as well as teaching technical rescue to emergency services. Although Karsten continues to consult on international investigations relating to homicide and wildlife crimes abroad, he is happiest when working in the mountains as an avalanche & snow safety technician with his trusty avalanche & bomb detection dog, K-9 Delphin.

Stefan Kreuzer

Lead Guide

Born and raised in Bavaria, Germany, Stefan spent his youth free skiing all over the European Alps, loving skiing and up to this day believes that skiing is the greatest sport in the world. In 1983 he immigrated to Canada and naturally became a back country ski guide. Over the last 25 years he has guided for several helicopter and snowcat skiing operations mostly in British Columbia, but also as far as Iceland, where he likes to finish each season with some extended spring skiing.

Stefan is a professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association, is certified with CSGA and the ACMG, and used to be an instructor and examiner for the Canadian Ski Guide Association.

Ben Groundwater

Lead Guide

Ben was born and raised in the Coast Mountains and from a young age developed a passion and curiosity for what lay beyond the ski area boundary. After meeting a mountain guide at age 16 he knew exactly what he wanted to be. Now An ACMG ski guide and CAA avalanche professional, Ben’s experience includes over decade of Heli-Skiing in the coast range, avalanche forecasting for the forest and mining industries and teaching outdoor education. Deep powder, good vibes and big smiles is what Ben is all about and he looks forward to sharing some with you!

Nick Holmes-Smith

Partner

Nick Holmes-Smith and his wife Ali have been in the cat skiing industry for 22 years, developing two operations: Monashee Powder Snowcats and Mustang Powder Cat Skiing.

Skeen Cat Skiing

Land & Community

Skeena Cat Skiing acknowledges and gives thanks to the Gitxsan Nation for allowing us to operate on their unceded traditional territories. We recognize and honour the Gitxsan peoples’ land rights and title, and are appreciative to all those fighting to protect the land, resources, and environment.

The tenure of Skeena Cat Skiing is situated in the mid-south eastern section of the Gitxsan Laxyip (Territories) of Simgigyat (Chief’s) Djogaslee (Ted Mowatt) laxyip Xsu Gwil Gwalgit , Yagosip (Bill Turner) laxyip Max Hla Gandit, Luutkudziiwus (Charlie Wright) laxyip Madii Lii, and Gutginuxw (Mel Woods) laxyip Lax Xsin Djihl.

Skeena Cat Skiing founder and director, Jevon Zyp, takes great pride in being a part of the Gitxsan community as his wife and children are also Gitxsan. Jevon has been a supporter and ally to the First Nations people as well as many Hereditary Chiefs with their endeavours for over a decade and looks forward to continuing to build relationships with the Simgigyat and people of the Gitxsan Nation.

Community

Skeena Cat Skiing is proud to enhance the socio-economic status of the region through local hiring; sourcing local food and supplies; using local trades for all repairs and maintenance, and supporting the local tourism industry.

Skeena Cat Skiing is also proud to have involvement in the community through local event sponsorship. 

The following is a highlight of some organizations and programs we support:

Local Towns

Skeena’s nearest towns are the District of New Hazelton, ten minutes away; and the Town of Smithers, a one-hour drive.

Locals of the Hazeltons refer to the area as “The Land of the Totems”. Visit Love The Hazeltons for more information on the area, and a listing of the unique accommodations, excursions, and cultural tours. Not to mention some of the best steelhead fishing in the world.

Smithers’ downtown shopping area replicates a small Swiss ski village and has lots of shops and restaurants to explore. The Smithers airport is right in town, and the base of Hudson Bay Mountain is also just 20 km away. Visit the Smithers Chamber of Commerce website for a full business listing.

Skiing and Adventure

The fun never ends in the #PlaygroundoftheNorth. Arrive early for your Skeena trip and check out some of these other great adventure destinations in the area. And come back in the summer, for incredible fishing, golf, mountain biking, and more! Visit the Smithers Ski & Stay website for great package deals!

Accommodation and Tourism

Visit Tourism Smithers for more information on all the activities to do in Smithers, and the surrounding area, and for a full list of accommodation options.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Book your Epic Backcountry Adventure Now!

Our BC cat skiing season runs from late December to late March. Click below if you’re ready to book now. We look forward to hosting you!

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