10 Of The Best Cat-Skiing Operations In The World

Photo Credit: Valhalla Powder Cats

10 Of The Best Cat-Skiing Operations In The World

Skiing

10 Of The Best Cat-Skiing Operations In The World

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Catskiing AKA “The Poor Man’s Heli” | Photo Credit: Powder Mountain | Cover Photo: Ski Arpa

If you’ve ever watched Aspen Extreme, chances are you got extremely jealous when Dex and TJ snagged a ride to the top of Ajax for first tracks via ski patroller Dave Ritchie’s snowcat.

Related: Utah’s Newest/Biggest Resort Opening This Season

Riding in a snowcat is not only a novel experience but it’s one of the best ways to access powder stashes outside the world of helicopters. So with that in mind, we asked friends and industry experts where to find the best cat-skiing in the world.

Here Are The 10 Best Cat-skiing Operations In The World

Powder Mountain, UT

Photo Credit: Powder Mountain

Photo Credit: Powder Mountain

Aside from their downhome ski area that boasts plenty of the “Greatest Snow On Earth,” Powder Mountain offers an array of cat-skiing options that include everything from hippie powder turns to steep, varied terrain meant for certified skiers.

Operation Stats:

  • 3,000+ acres of varied terrain
  • 450-500″ of average snowfall

Pricing: $440/person or book the whole cat and save!

The Eleven Experience, CO

Map of the Catskiing Terrain | Photo Credit: Irwin Guides

Map of the Catskiing Terrain Offered By Eleven | Photo Credit: Irwin Guides

Located in the heart of the Elk Mountains, The Eleven Experience operated by Irwin Guides offers the wildest cat skiing in the lower 48. It’s remote, snowy, and most importantly contains some of the best terrain in Colorado.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 10,000-15,000 vertical feet per day
  • Irwin Guides is the only snowcat skiing operation accredited by the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA)
  • 600″ of average snowfall

Price: $650/person or $6,500 for a private cat (includes 10 people)

Shimamaki Snowcats, Japan

With the most snow in the world and unbelievable views of the Sea of Japan, it’s hard not to score an epic day @ShimamakiSnowcats. Also, avoid Niseko’s crowds of Australian tourists in favor of the low-key Japanese village of Shimamaki, which boasts all-time sushi and a unique cultural experience.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 9,000-15,000 vertical feet per day
  • 590″ of average snowfall (January-March)

Price: ¥ 145,000 / person (2 days, 2 nights)

Steamboat Powdercats, CO

Photo Credit: Steamboat Powder Cats

Photo Credit: Steamboat Powder Cats

The Park Range of Colorado is one of skiing’s most underrated spots in North America and Steamboat Powder Cats is lucky enough to call this area home. With over 500″ of Champagne Powder™, Steamboat Powder Cats offers skiers and riders the most bang for their buck in the good ole’ United States of America.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 12 person snowcat capacity
  • 8-16 runs/day
  • 500″+ of average snowfall

Price: $600/individual seat and $6000/private cat.

Island Lake Lodge, BC

Photo Credit: Island Lake Lodge

Photo Credit: Island Lake Lodge

Island Lake Lodge is BC’s top shelf skiing destination that was founded with the help of legendary snowboarder Craig Kelly. Deep snow, 3 course gourmet meals, and a world-class spa make Island Lake Lodge a 4-star destination for luxury catskiing

“I’ve been skiing for more than 40 years and the deepest powder I have ever skied was at Island Lake Catskiing.” – Wayne Wong

OPERATION STATS:

  • 7,000+ acres of skiable terrain
  • 8-12 runs/day

Price: Approximately $3,427/person (3 days, lodging included, peak season)

Ski Arpa, Chile

Photo Credit: Ski Arpa

Photo Credit: Ski Arpa

Driving up to Ski Arpa, skiers and riders will instantly realize that this is not your “mellow” sidecountry catskiing op. Just like the Andes, Ski Arpa is rough and wild and hosts some of the best terrain in the central Chilean Andes. Not to mention, Ski Arpa is the most economical choice on this list.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 3,000’+ descents
  • 2 Pisten Bully snowcats
  • 200″ of average snowfall

Price: $350/person and $4,150/private cat.

Selkirk Snowcat Skiing, BC

The Selkirk Mountains in Canada are home to some of the lightest snow in Canada and its namesake catskiing operation is a contender for the top spot for good reason. The permitted area is close to being double the size of Whistler Blackcomb and receives plenty of POW each season.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 15,000-18,000 vertical feet/day
  • Weeklong stays (Sunday-Sunday)

Price: $5,400/individual (week long stay)

Valhalla Powdercats, BC

Photo Credit: Valhalla Powder Cats

Photo Credit: Valhalla Powdercats

Also located in the Selkirk Mountains, Valhalla Powdercats offers some of the most unique and extreme terrain offered without booking a helicopter.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 480″ of annual snowfall
  • 21,000 acres of skiable terrain
  • Suited for advanced to expert skiers  

Price: $550/person/day

Baldface Lodge, BC

Photo Credit: Baldface Lodge

Photo Credit: Baldface Lodge

There’s a reason why Travis Rice loves Baldface Lodge. The catskiing operation located in the snowcat mecca of the Selkirk Mountains is home to Red Bull’s Supernatural along with hundreds of thousands of face shots each year. 

OPERATION STATS:

  • 32,000+ acres of skiable terrain
  • 500″ of annual snowfall
  • 12,000- 20,000 vertical feet/day

Price: Depends on Booking (Check Rates Here)

Mustang Powder, BC

Photo Credit: Mustang Powder

Photo Credit: Mustang Powder

From Sammy Carlson to JP Auclair, Mustang Powder has hosted some of the best skiers in the entire world and for good reason. The Monashee Mountain cat skiing op is holding court as one of the premiere backcountry experiences in the world.

OPERATION STATS:

  • 18,000-23,000 vertical feet/day
  • 12-17 runs/day
  • 700″+ of average snowfall

Price: $1,150/person/day (peak season)

 

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