When it comes to popular cat-skiing locales, most people see interior British Columbia as Mecca. But what those folks don’t realize is that you can get the same, powder-choking experience right here in the good ole US of A. Just over an hour south of Fernie, Whitefish Montana’s Great Northern Powder Guides is an amazing outfit that provides a wide variety of terrain at half the price of its northern competition.
From mellow powder glades to their ‘Steep and Deep‘ program, the terrain/snow combo is off the charts. Add in newly gladed runs each year and Great Northern’s offering is only getting better.
A single day cat-skiing with Great Northern Powder Guides runs $420. A similar day in BC can cost upwards of $900!
Team Unofficial got three days in the cat and we skied everything from deep, storm day powder to variable crust under foggy conditions (*admittedly hard to avoid sometimes in Northern MT). At the end of the trip, when things heated up, we even dipped our tips in hot pow that made our final beers all the more tasty.
On the whole, 75% of our skiing was done in soft snow conditions. Thanks to their expansive terrain and pretty much do anything cats made in-house, GNP’s guides had us on the winning aspect(s) for the majority of a three-day bender. Here’s what we skied…
The terrain in northern MT is very similar to that of Interior British Columbia. Dense pine forests crowd the low-lying terrain but gaining elevation, the thick forest begins to open up and the glade skiing is some of the best in North America.
“With Great Northern Powder Guides, our guests have the opportunity to ski 10,000-12,000 Vertical feet per day or 14,000 vertical feet per day in our ‘steep and deep’ cat.”
Perhaps the best part is how they coordinate with logging efforts during the summer months so they can offer new terrain each year. Although the standard, non ‘Steep & Deep’ terrain mostly ranges from 28-38° slope angle, it’s varied enough to keep any proficient skier entertained.
Highly Recommended: Jay’s Ridge, Panama, Pothead, Ky’s Kingdom, Beandip
Find pricing here: Cat Skiing Rates
- 3,788 Vertical Rise
- 20,000 Acres of Backcountry Cat Skiing
- 10-12k vertical feet per day (*standard)
- 14,000 vertical feet per day (*steep & deep)
EXPERTS ONLY: The ‘Steep and Deep’ Program
For those dialed-in skiers with plenty of backcountry experience, the ‘Steep and Deep’ program is definitely the way to go. We were lucky enough to check out a couple runs of the terrain in question and it’s definitely up there with BC. Big, consecutive pillow drops and steep chutes are just the tip of the iceberg.
WARNING: Steep & Deep is recommended for experts in top-notch physical shape with experience skiing backcountry terrain that includes chutes, cliffs, and exposed slopes.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few to call themselves a resident of the great state of Montana, The easiest way to Great Northern Powder Guides is by plane via Kalispell. Stay in Whitefish or grab a room at the newly added, Dog Creek Lodge next-door to the cat-skiing op.
- Airport Shuttle Service (*available upon request)
Reach out: Great Northern Contact Page
About Great Northern Powder Guides
Great Northern Powder Guides is a Cat Skiing and Cat Snowboarding operation in Whitefish Montana, USA. Great Northern Powder Guides create extraordinary Backcountry Skiing and Backcountry Snowboarding experiences by combining: unique terrain, experienced guides, Backcountry Powder, and first class accommodations. With these elements in play they guarantee an unforgettable cat skiing adventure in Whitefish Montana, just minutes south of the Canadian border.
Great Northern Powder Guides deliver a professional, high-level, backcountry skiing experience to all their guests. Working in the Northern Region of the Stillwater State Forest, GNPG has seemingly endless terrain for all types of riders.