Here are some of the questions our guests ask us all the time:
What is a typical snowcat skiing trip like?
On the evening of your arrival, we’ll welcome you in, give you a tour of the lodge and show you to your room. Once you’re settled, we’ll give you an orientation and safety talk. On your first morning after breakfast, we’ll teach you how to the use the avalanche transceivers everyone wears while skiing. Each morning the snowcat picks up your group at the front door of the lodge and transports the group and two guides to our skiing area. We measure our skiing in days rather than feet and we ski all day, every day. The number of runs in a day depends on the snow conditions and the strength of the group. Average vertical per day is between 12,000 and 15,000 feet. If you don't wish to ski a full day, it is possible to return early to the lodge or sit-out runs in the snowcat. At the end of the day, we have the option of several runs that take us back down to the base for après-ski relaxation in the comfort of our private lodge.
When should I come for the best skiing?
This depends on what you are looking for. Although the weather is totally unpredictable, December and January usually have cooler temperatures and heavy snowfall. We usually have six to eight feet of snow on the ground by Christmas. February and March typically get sunny breaks between regular snowfalls. April offers longer ski days because there are more hours of daylight. On warm, sunny days our powder snow is well protected on our numerous north and east facing slopes. We get excellent skiing most of the time, unbelievably great skiing some of the time, and occasional brief periods of difficult skiing.
Can I ski on days when it's snowing hard?
Yes. Our snowcat operates on days of heavy snowfall, often above the cloud layer. The terrain chosen is determined by weather, visibility, snow stability and snow quantity. Virtually everyday of your vacation is a ski day.
Do I need to be an expert skier with previous powder experience?
No. Our guests are expert, advanced and intermediate skiers. They come from many walks of life from young to not so young. Previous powder experience is not required, but you will be required to ski in control on various types of backcountry terrain and snow conditions including treed slopes. You should have experience at downhill resorts and have spent some time skiing off the groomed trails. With your skis on, you should be able to make confident parallel turns and be able to side slip, step up sideways, traverse and make kick turns on terrain that can be difficult and steep. You should be in good physical condition. The better condition you are in, the more enjoyment you will get out of your vacation and the less likely you are to injure yourself. It is difficult to describe precisely the level of experience required to fully enjoy cat skiing. Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you are unsure of your ability level.
Do you recommend special equipment?
Yes. Goggles should be double lens and antifog. An extra pair of gloves or mitts is a good idea so you always have a dry pair. Bring clothing that's suitable for a wide range of conditions, from snowy and cold to warm and sunny. Dress at the lodge is casual. Our guests have more fun on shorter, softer powder skis that are easier to turn in deep snow. Our rental shop carries the Volkl Explosiv, Volkl Snowranger and Volkl Mantra skis in a variety of lengths.
Are snowboarders welcome?
Yes! Snowboarders need to be experienced riders who are able to handle any backcountry conditions, including treed terrain. However, conditions and terrain varies widely and snowboarders must be prepared to do some traversing and walking. Collapsible poles are strongly recommended.
Can I come alone or do I have to come with a group?
Skiers arrive in any combination from alone to private groups of 16. Rest assured that if you come in a small group or alone you will feel right at home. Our lodge is an ideal facility for holding business meetings, entertaining clients or hosting family gatherings.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes — we do accept VISA and Mastercard payments for skiing packages. Please contact the office for information on other payment options as well.
What should I do if I require a special diet during my stay?
If you have special dietary requirements, please notify our office prior to your arrival. Our chef will make every effort to accommodate your needs.
Does your lodge have Internet and mobile phone service?
We like to think that your ski vacation is a great opportunity to disconnect from the world. However if you need to be connected, there is high-speed wireless service in certain areas of the lodge. The quality and speed of access will be variable and you must bring your own laptop, as we cannot provide access to any computer equipment at the lodge. Guests can call out on the lodge pay phone with a calling card or credit card. Messages and faxes can be left on the lodge private line. We ask that you limit the length of your calls as a courtesy to other guests.