WHAT IS CAT SKIING?
Cat skiing began in BC over 30 years ago when a couple from Meadow Creek, BC realized that ski resort grooming machines (snowcats) could also access the backcountry for skiing. More skiers could participate by adding a passenger cab to the snowcat. Development of snow roads, combined with the snowcats, create cat skiing! Building begins once there is enough snow, and requires nighttime temperatures that are cold enough to stabilize the road. A steady pushing of snow and time to freeze results in a snow road. Road building usually begins in late-November or early-December to ensure they are ready for season startup.
Snow roads are designed to minimize turnaround times and maximize skiing time. Drop-off and pick-up points are strategically identified so skiers are never left standing around waiting for the cat.
Snowcats are powerful machines but snow conditions and the weather always dictate when and where we can ski.
As health and safety is always a priority, the snowcats are equipped with safety gear. The rescue and safety equipment is kept on the top of the snowcat passenger cab. The guides and a few guests carry shovels and probes in their back pack, and oxygen and a defibrillator are carried in the driver’s cab of the snowcat. Skeena provides transceivers for our guests, a lesson on how to use them and how to probe and assist in a rescue.
HELI SKIING VS. CAT SKIING
Cat skiing is comparable to heli-skiing but it costs less, and you can ski every day regardless of weather. Similar to heli-skiing, the skiers are led by a certified ski guide and followed by a certified tail guide. There is no vertical guarantee, as with heli-skiing, but you can expect to ski between 12,000 feet to 15,000 feet (3,600 meters to 4,600 meters) per day. Where and how much vertical skied is also dependent on the size and ability of the skiers.
If you’re interested in a heli-ski adventure, check out our sister company Skeena Heliskiing, operating from the same tenure.
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!