Snowcat skiing is one of the most exhilarating ways to experience BC’s mountains and carve fresh tracks in untouched powder. Not all cat skiing is created equal though. It comes in ranges of difficulty, cost, luxury and quality. Three common types of cat skiing are Day Cat Skiing, Lodge-based Cat Skiing, and Private Cat Skiing. Let’s take a look at each.

Day Cat Skiing

Day Cat Skiing offers skiers and snowboarders the chance to access remote terrain and ride through fresh, untracked snow that is otherwise inaccessible from a ski resort. This involves taking a snowcat ride to remote areas of the mountain that are not accessible by lifts or other means of transportation. The snowcat drops skiers and snowboarders at the top of the mountain, where they can then ski or snowboard down through untouched, deep powder. It’s an incredible way to experience off-piste slopes.

cat skiing in BC

Day operators tend to be adjacent or very close to ski areas, and offer a ‘try’ experience that may be a good introduction to the sport. Cost is typically lowest for this type cat skiing compared to others as it only includes the cat trip for a single day with no accommodation or added luxuries. This means it’s more accessible, and you’re more likely to encounter lower-skill-level guests and larger group sizes.
The trip typically starts early in the morning, with a meeting at the cat-skiing operator’s base. Here, skiers and snowboarders will meet their guides and receive a safety briefing, including information about avalanche safety and what to expect from the day ahead. Depending on the operation, you may do between 3-5 runs on a typical day.
The terrain for day cat skiing varies depending on the location and weather conditions. Some locations offer steep and challenging terrain, while others are more mellow and suitable for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. It’s important to choose a cat-skiing operator that matches your skill level and offers terrain that you feel comfortable with.

Snow Cat Lodges

White Grizzly cat ski lodgeLodge-based cat skiing is typically an all-inclusive ski vacation where guests stay at a remote mountain lodge that serves as a base for their cat skiing adventure. Unlike day cat skiing, lodge-based snowcat operators offer guests the opportunity to stay for several days or a week at a time, allowing them to explore more terrain and enjoy a wider range of skiing and snowboarding experiences. Larger lodges will have several cats in operation and guests are divided into groups of similar skill level and led by experienced guides who are intimately familiar with the terrain.

You’ll need to be in good physical condition to handle the physical demands of skiing or snowboarding in deep powder, and you’ll need to have some experience with off-piste skiing or snowboarding. Some lodges offer terrain suitable for intermediate-advanced skiers and snowboarders, and others are experts only with steep skiing and tree skiing.
Lodge-based cat skiing is more expensive, but it offers so much more. You can expect more ski runs at a dedicated lodge versus a day operation. Prices include skiing, accommodations, food, equipment, guides and more.

Private Cat Skiing

If you have a group of 10-12 ski buddies, it makes sense to book out the whole snowcat. You’ll have control of the group and can set the pace and select the terrain you want to ski with the snowcat and guides exclusively reserved for you. This provides the ultimate freedom and flexibility, and depending on the lodge, you may be able to book that out privately as well.

cat skiers

White Grizzly Cat Skiing

Since 1998, White Grizzly Cat Skiing has catered to advanced and expert skiers and who come for the thrill of steep tree skiing. Located in the town of Meadow Creek, White Grizzly sits at the epicenter of BC’s best snowbelt and the spectacular terrain of the Selkirk Mountains. The all-inclusive, ski lodge is easily accessible and many guests combine a BC cat skiing trip with a few days at nearby Whitewater Resort in Nelson or Revelstoke en route. Check availability, contact us today, or call us at +1(250) 366-4306 to plan your next cat skiing adventure.