The snow is piling up and the sun is shining in the BC Interior
This week we had the chance to go out and do an early season snow check with the crew at K3 Catskiing. Although the opening is weeks away, they are off to a great start and coverage is looking amazing with over 150 cm of snow up at 2000 metres. Having this kind of snow on November 26 makes us excited to see how the rest of the winter stacks up.
We drove in with a cloudy haze hanging overhead and our hopes for a sunny day were dashed. But just as we climbed up to the cat staging area, we broke through the valley cloud and into the sun.
On a ridge near the top you can see all the way from Sun Peaks (Tod Mountain, Kamloops) in the West, to the back of Mt. Begbie (Revelstoke) to the east.
The terrain at K3 Catskiing is an impressive looking mix of peaks, open bowls, meadows and steep trees. Each run seems to offer up something new so whenever you step out of the cat it is like unwrapping a present everytime! The team at K3 really know how to read a group and make sure that the runs are taylored to the style of the group. This is probably why they have returning guests coming back year after year.
Talking with K3 Owner/Operator David Moore, he says low valley cloud is a common occurrence in the that area over the winter. The lake effect cloud hangs in over the Shuswap valley, and you still get some great sunny days up top.
So it is November right? You wouldn't think so. We have a theory about this early season snow. Operators in BC had a tough go last season. They slogged it out in the warm temps and thin snow. They did their best to show their clients the best of what their terrain had to offer despite the challenging conditions. We think that this epic early season snow is a bit of payback from ol Mother Nature for sticking with it last season.
At the end of the day we got to ski down into the sunset. The lighting was stunning and we sqeezed out every last flake of powder we could. There is nothing like a day above the clouds skiing in fresh early-season powder with your friends and excellent hosts.
Want a big pow filled smile like this guy? K3 Catskiing has some great spots still open in December and January, give them a call and book one in before it's gone.
I have had it with summer, and I'm so ready for the cold weather to start. And just in time, as my patience wears thin, the ski hills around British Columbia are starting the process of opening. That means one thing...that catskiing is just around the corner! As I sit here at the computer, constantly checking the forecast and willing it to snow, I see the temps drop day by day. If there is one thing that will get you thinking about warm clothes, it’s that first blast of winter and being outside wearing something suited more for your fall adventures.
Fleece and shell layers are great, but nothing compares to a good puffy jacket when it comes to all out warmth. But, if you get caught out in any weather you may end up cold and smelling like a wet goose. Stink and loss of performance when wet are just a couple things that make you consider the conditions when using your puffy coat. New from Icebreaker over the past couple seasons is MerinoLOFT, bringing the goodness and multipurpose of merino wool to the insulated loft jacket world.
The MerinoLOFT Stratus Jacket is made with a re-purposed highly insulating wool loft for extra warmth when you need it. A recycled polyester exterior sheds the snow flakes, and a merino lining maximizes the good feeling and minimizes the stink. That is always a big plus for the sweaty types like us that don’t want to a smell like we just joined a non-showering hippie revolution. Throw in some cool features like internal wrist gussets and a shaped hooded for when the cold and snow pushes in, and you’re all set.
We've all got kids now and there are many reasons having children is an awesome thing. It is rewarding to teach them and watch them grow and all that. But one of the major benefits is getting to play with all the cool toys and hide behind the "oh it's not mine, it is juniors. I am just helping him..."
Lego is the perfect example of this. Have you seen the sets you can get now?! This snowcat had to be bought and assembled on the first snow day. So go grab your kid (or niece, nephew, neighbour!), find some ski-themed Lego or Playmobil and light that child-like excitement for the first snow of the season!
Nick McNutt was up at Island Lake Catskiing in early January 2015 and captured the footage fro this edit. This few minutes of powder eye candy is actually part of a larger tv show project Island Lake is involved with. So watch for the full feature coming Fall 2016. In the meantime, enjoy this edit and start dreaming. The season is upon us!
Hard work in the off season pays dividends come powder season!
Part of Island Lake Catskiing's on-going summer effort is to enhance the terrain in order to make the ski experience as great as possible. Our glading crew spends a fair bit of time planning out the best approach to this. Corrie and Steve, whom take this on are long term ski guides as well and know every nook and cranny of the Island Lake ski terrain. This past summer the guys concentrated on enhancing early season ski options and cat access. This means cutting down a whole lot of alder and willow bushes. With this work, it will be easier for skiers and snowcats to get to some of the pick up zones in the terrain, thus giving more options and a better ski experience in the early season. Some of the areas that were worked on include: The Woodies ridge line, trees between Faceshots and Wolverine, the shrubs on Skyline and Five Star, The Galdiator, The Hot Tub Chutes alder path and Hunters left.
These enhancements are part of the ongoing effort to make the Island lake ski experience the best it can be.
The goal is to raise in excess of $6000 for this valued community program. Single day & over night packages available to the public on December 11th, 12th & 13th, 2015. All profits will be donated to The Northern Snow Angels. Advance booking required at $399.00 per day. Trip includes Helicopter flight in and out from the cat skiing area, lunch and all safety gear.
Go shred some powder and raise some funds and awareness for a worthy cause!
A revision of their name to better describe what they offer.
Selkirk Wilderness Skiing (or SWS to those familiar) has been renamed to Selkirk Snowcat Skiing. The idea is it better reflect what it is that they do and do wel - snowcat skiing. As many of you may know, Selkirk Wilderness Skiing started it all for the catskiing industry. What many of you may not know is that they actually operated as Selkirk Snowcat Skiing for a time. The new owners and management team decided during the off season that they wanted the world to know what it is that they are laser focused on and thus the name change and re-branding.