The latest news from the catskiing / snowcat industry. Where to ski, who has snow, whats happening. We also post reviews of the latest gear, skis, and some general interest stuff. Be sure to check for last minute deals to make your winter vacation the best.
Growing up many boys read comic books. We read Powder Magazine! We dreamed of one day being on the pages of this pinnacle of skiing media and now it has happened. Our photographer Geoff Holman and skier Adam Benson are in the latest issue of Powder. And not just any Powder issue, but the Photo Annual no less! Needless to say, we are all stoked here at Catskiing Canada headquarters.
The photo above was taken last January at Valhalla Powdercats near Nelson BC. It was on our second day of the trip and we had the pleasure of taking an early run while the new group joining us did their safety briefing. It has snowed somewhere between 20-25cm and it was still coming down. Geoff had been experimenting with new flash equipment and photo set ups and the result ended up on the pages of Powder.
Thanks to Valhalla Powdercats for the opportunity to get this shot (and many more!). Thanks to Powder Magazine for noticing Geoff's work and thanks to Mother Nature for the Kootenay Pow!
A very stoked James Smith has won the 2012 Great Catskiing Giveaway Contest! He is the lucky recipient of TWO days of catskiing for TWO people! James could choose from one of four amazing catskiing operators: Big Red Cats, Valhalla Powdercats, K3 Catskiiing, and Selkirk Wilderness Skiing.
James has decided to go with Valhalla Powdercats located out of Nelson BC. It sounds like James is going to combine a his trip with a few days at Whitewater while he is out. Why not eh? Since Nelson/Rossland just won Best Ski Town(s) as voted by the readers of Powder Magazine!
As an added bonus, James also received TWO jackets from Outdoor Research and TWO base layer kits from Icebreaker Merino. I am sure he will have a line up of people offering up reasons why they should get to go with him!
We want to thanks all of our participating catskiing operators and our sponsors for this fun giveaway. And thanks to all of your for entering.
Stay tuned for the next contest announcing very soon...
The season is off to a strong start at Big Red Catskiing
It is technically early season in the skiing world but you wouldn't know it up at Big Red Catskiing near Rossland BC. We have been hearing the stories of epic powder dumps and rapidly accumulating snow bases across BC so we had to check it out for ourselves.
Our first catskiing trip of the season happened on December 11th and Big Red Cats was the place. This wasn't their first day though...they have been running cats since the last weekend of November! As a result, they have an early road network built like no other early season which got us to many new skiing spots; even some runs that were skied for the first time.
We have been skiing Big Red Cats since the year they opened and have never seen a December like this. Normally we would expect that we would see some exposed rocks, stumps, alder and other reminisce of summer. But not this season. No, this year it is all powder and we aren't complaining. In fact, we had an incredible day filled with powder bowls and tree skiing. We even found a few things to huck ourselves off!
This season we were reunited with Bob Legasa and his crew from Freeride Media. Bob hails from Sandpoint Idaho and is a regular visitor to BC for catskiing and heliskiing. We always enjoy skiing with Bob and his crew and had another day for the history books. We will be talking about this opening day for years to come I am sure.
We are stoked for what the rest of the season has in store for us. We can confidently recommend that if you are thinking about some early season catskiing that you should give Kieren and Paula a call at Big Red Catskiing. They are set up and skiing and have some fantastic early season promos to help you get your powder fix in. Besides, who doesn't need an early Christmas present?!
Until then, check out our photos from the day. Enjoy!
With our first trip coming in a couple of days we figured we had better get the new boards mounted! Normally we would use some of the old sticks to go poke around the rocks out there during the early season. But this year with area catski operators reporting above average snow fall, we thought we would break out the new stuff.
Our collection expanded this year thanks to the guys down at Moment Skis. They hooked us up with a late season deal at the end of last year and we couldn't be happier. On the bench we had a couple pairs of Donner Party's, A Ghost Chant, a sweet pair of Comi's and a Jaguar Shark. Also in the mix is a big-ass pair of Liberty Mutant that keep our photographer Geoff floating to all the best shooting locations.
All these skis are strapped up with the Marker Jester bindings from the our friends at Fresh Air. They will be joining us on a trip to Valhalla in early January so stay tuend for footage on that one.
For now, we are getting stoked for first turns of the season at Big Red Cats. Check in with us next week for a full report and a load of pics and video!
14 Fortunate Souls Get to Sample the Early Season Deep!
Here is some very tantalizing footage from December 6th at Chatter Creek Catskiing. 14 lucky people got in on this epic early season powder and it looks like they took full advantage. December powder is so sweet because people down in the valley bottom have no idea what is going on up high. Chatter, along with many of the other snowcat operators this year, have an above average base. This early base has set everyone up for what looks like an incredible season to follow.
In the words of Chatter Creek: "Watch and dream..."
Or you can give them a call and book one of the very few seats left available Dec 11-14. It will be worth it!
Big Red Cats is offering an early season special on whole cat bookings. Get in on the bountiful early season snow while you can! Get a group together from now to 15 Dec, and it's just $2000 for the cat (that's $200 each for 10 of you, or $250 each for 8 of you.. $2500 from 16-21 Dec.
Just one cat per day, and the 6th and 11th are already booked. If you can't gather a group, it's $299/seat, and we'll build a group! The conditions are like February, but the price is LESS THAN HALF!
"Woke up, jumped out of bed Thoughts of powder ran through my head Found my way down the hall and drank a cup And looking up, outside was great Found my coat, grabbed my hat Made the cat in seconds flat Found our way up the hill and felt the stoke And as the guide spoke I went into a dream ah...."
As we reviewed footage we realized how we are the lucky ones who have made the grade. Instead of making a video of the incredilbe skiing to be had at SWS, we realized that we had some great shots of lodge life and wanted to show you what that is all about. You see, the people at Selkirk Wilderness have had almost 4 decades to fine tune life at their operation.
Waking up at Selkirk Wilderness Skiing is a special thing. Wandering down the hall to the espresso machine with smells of breakfast filling your sense. Your mind drifts as you take in the view across the Selkirks and Purcells. Everyone in the lodge is waiting in anticipation for the powder day to come, but at the same time everyone is relaxed by the environment that SWS has created. They have made the morning routine part of the catskiing experience rather than just something to get out of the way to go skiing.
After a day raiding powder stashes with Selkirk's guides your last run lands you right at the door step of the SWS Lodge. Before heading inside it has become a tradition around the lodge to hang out on the porch and relive the day with your catskiing friends. The stories of how deep the powder was and how high the drops were seem to get bigger and deeper as time progresses. Enjoying beers and appies after a day in the powder at SWS will form friendships that last years.
Back in the lodge we enjoyed another world class dinner prepared fresh using locally sourced food. The dinning is family style which is a given at a place like Selkirk Wilderness. More stories, more laughs carry us on into the evening where we play heated games at the pool table and belly up to the bar for more drinks (our favorite is the CatBomb - a mix of whiskey, Bailey's and Nelson Brewery Black Heart Oatmeal Stout!)
We have had a couple trips to SWS already and are looking forward to a lifetime more. We can even see bringing our kids here when they are older like generations have before. At Selkirk Wilderness the skiing is always great. Although conditions may vary from year to year one thing remains the same: the Selkirk Wilderness experience.