THE EXPERIENCE

LOCATION

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.

Skeena’s ski tenure is located 80km directly north of Smithers, BC, and approximately 200km from the Alaskan border. The tenured area is over 30,000 hectares – one of the largest in BC! This area has long been known by local loggers and powderhounds as a crazy snow belt. Here is where the warm, moist Pacific air collides with the cold, dry air from the interior creating huge dumps of perfect powder snow. The local mountains further enhance the accumulation. If it’s snowing anywhere in BC, it’s most likely snowing at Skeena Cat Skiing!

And all of this is accessible in a short and affordable trip from Vancouver! No matter where you live, you can fly via Vancouver on a short 1.5 hour flight to Smithers, BC. Air Canada flies twice daily at 8:20am and 4:25pm.

From the Smithers airport guests will travel by helicopter to the Skeena Base Camp, on a quick 30 minute ride. The cost for the helicopter transfer is $400 (roundtrip), and is NOT included in your Skeena holiday cost.

If weather prevents us from flying one or both ways, we will arrange travel to and/or from the Base Camp as required, by truck and snowcat at no additional cost. The helicopter flights to the Base Camp will commence on January 16 and go to the end of the ski season. Due to the shortage of daylight in late December and early January, for trips prior to January 16 transport will be by truck and snowcat at no additional cost.

 On the way home, return flights to Vancouver depart the Smithers Airport at 10:35am and 6:40pm daily.

Skeena co-owner Nick Holmes-Smith and wife Ali also own Mustang Powder Cat Skiing, and Nick recommends the Skeena experience for its accessibility (among other reasons!): “I can honestly say that it is much quicker and easier to go to Skeena than Mustang and most other cat and heli operations in Southern BC”.

 

Beyond the Crowd: the experience
First Lines on Bowl Terrain
Snowboarding in deep powder

ARRIVE EARLY: SMITHERS SKI PACKAGES

If you are flying to Skeena, we suggest adding a few days to your experience to explore other adventures in the area. Early arrival will also ensure you account for weather delays that may result in a missed connection.

Check out Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers, BC, to get warmed up prior to the cat skiing trip. Find great deals on ski and accommodation at Ski & Stay Smithers.

Contact us for inquiries on ski holiday packages with Skeena and Hudson Bay Mountain.

Skeena Cat Skiing Instructions Outside
One person having the experience of a beautiful mountain view
People standing at the top of Skeena Cat Skiing terrain

SKI TERRAIN

Skeena Cat Skiing has one of the largest and most skiable tenures providing endless terrain to explore! From open alpine bowls to naturally gladed treed runs, and everything in between, the following stats outline what we have to offer.

Our terrain is more than double the size of other “big” cat ski operations in BC. We have 50 runs now, and we have only scratched the surface. This year we will double the size of our terrain, and we will continue to expand every year in the future. Endless wide open bowls to explore, fresh tracks with the signature fluffy powder of the north. The experience and access we will be able to provide will be simply unbeatable.

· Coordinates: 55°29’00.0″N 127°16’00.0″W

· Highest Elevation: 1,800 meters (5,900 feet)

· Run Lengths: 400 meters to 1,100 meters (1,300 feet to 3,600 feet)

· Average Daily Runs: 10 to 15

· Average Daily Vertical: 12,000 feet to 15,000 feet (3,600 meters to 4,600 meters)

A ski holiday at Skeena will involve ski runs in wide-open alpine, and terrain below the tree-line. The treed terrain is necessary for the cloudy and snowy days, as the trees create the visibility needed in a white-out. On clear days, we are up in the big alpine bowls and wide open meadows, with unbeatable views. This terrain and snow is where Skeena really stands out as a truly unique experience.

To check out photos of our alpine terrain, check out our Gallery.

BEST CHANCE FOR FIRST DESCENTS

Your chances of getting first lines and first descents at Skeena, are the best that BC has to offer. Each season Skeena has developed new runs and now has between 40 and 50 runs, with more being added for this season.

Being located further north than the majority of cat and heli ski destinations in BC means that the tree-line at Skeena is at a much lower elevation. With the planned expansion of our skiable area this winter (2021-22), we are opening up the north portion of Gail Creek zone, which will result in tons of new alpine runs added.

This winter, for the 2021/22 season, we will nearly DOUBLE THE SIZE of the skiable terrain, which, in turn, will double the experience!

BASE CAMP

Skeena Cat Skiing basecamp is positioned at approximately 1,200 meters, halfway up the Gail Ridge ski area. The trees and land formations provide sufficient shelter for the camp, and the nearby glacial stream provides the camp with water. But the heartbeat of basecamp is the power generator which supplies electricity to the entire camp.

Our basecamp consists of seven tents that are 12’ x 12’, each with two single beds; one 24’ x 32’ common tent; and the shower house.

The common tent contains the kitchen, dining and lounging areas. Our wood-burning stove provides the heat as well as a cozy atmosphere. A boot dryer is also located in the common tent.

The heated bedroom tents each have two single beds with comfortable mattresses, warm bedding, a fluffy pillow, coat rack, night table, and an electrical outlet. New this season in the bedroom tents are porta-potty toilets for midnight pees.

The shower house has two shower stalls and two sinks with the water being heated by an on demand system. We supply towels, organic shampoo, conditioner and soap.

Rally Ridge Cat Skiing Basecamp
Skeena Cat Skiing Food Experience

FOOD

All of our meals are prepared on site from scratch by our talented chef, using organic ingredients, locally grown meat, and wild seafood. The breakfast buffet includes homemade apple and cinnamon oat porridge, yogurt, granola, and fruit followed by a plated hot breakfast. Lunches are made fresh every morning. We do not have a scheduled stop for lunch on ski days, so guests may help themselves whenever they are hungry. Upon returning to basecamp after your day of skiing, hors d’oeuvres are served in the common tent. Around 7pm, a three of four-course plated dinner is served, featuring soup or salad, an entre and dessert. Bar snacks are available during the evening.

Non-alcoholic beverages are included, but alcohol is also available for an additional fee. Our bar features a great selection of beer and spirits. New this year is an expanded BC wine list, featuring some of the best wine from the Okanagan region of the province.

 

 

BOOK YOUR EPIC BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE NOW!

Our BC cat skiing season runs late December to early April. CLICK HERE to check availability for the upcoming season, or click below if you’re ready to book now. We look forward to hosting you!