Powder at K3 Catskiing
K3 Catskiing delivers unbelievable and unexpected powder conditions in early January
“You are so lucky to have this so close to you”
These remarks came from our new friend from Holland at the end of an unexpected powder day at K3 Catskiing. I say unexpected because at the valley bottom it was + 5 Celsius and raining. But up at the K3 staging area it was -4 and snowing...heavily. Our Catskiing.ca headquaters is located in Kelowna BC which is an easy 2 hours drive whereas our new ski friend from Holland has to travel quite a ways and gamble on the conditions in the Alps being worth the trip!
Expectations are very high this year for BC backcoutnry operators after an epic La Nina season in 2011. The weather gurus up and down the west coast of North America are calling for a repeat of last year so all eyes are watching the storm patterns in BC. And K3 has had it's fair share of powder dumps.
Beginning with a huge hit of snow in November, K3 got an early jump on road building and the stoke level was high. Then some high pressure systems killed the snow cycles and all has been a little quite in the catskiing world around the BC interior save for a few northern operations. But at K3, the base has been steadily building each day. As we rode up the access road with David and Rod, operators of K3, they told that small dumps of 10cms at a time have led to a base of over 2 metres with an average of a 30-40cm foot penetration. That means that you could be skiing knee deep powder at any given time in their terrain!
With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season now behind us, we were pumped to be headed to K3 Catskiing for our first turns of the 2012 season. It was January 3rd as we headed north out of the Okanagan Valley and into the Monashee range where K3 operates as the only day trip operation in the area. This is one of our favourite areas to hang out and search for powder. You see, within the same area you will find not only K3's operation, but Mustang Powder, Chatter Creek, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort. It is a powderhound's playground!
This year we were treated to 7cms of fresh snow first thing in the morning with another 5cms or more falling throughout the day. Combine that with a foot deep powder penetration and needless to say, the group in the cat was all smiles. If you are a returning visitor to this website then you will know we have been to K3 a few times before and we have mentioned the South Park area of their terrain. The South Park is an old burned forest that has a nice pitch and is always full of powder. It also makes for some pretty dramatic photography. This year we pulled out the strobe lights and got some really cool shots that you can see in the gallery below.
We had a few German guests skiing with us so there was certainly a language barrier, but given the look on their faces each run, we knew they were thinking what we were thinking. Also joining us was a young lady who was catskiing for the first time. We love to see this because many people see catskiing as this extreme, cliff dropping, chute skiing dangerous adventure. And it can be that. But more often than not, catskiing is the perfect way to get acquainted with the backcoutry and experience bottomless powder that you would never find at a resort.
K3 Catskiing is in its 5th year of operations and the word is out. They are mostly booked for the season but have a few single days here and there left in their schedule. It is best to give them a call directly to see what you can get. We recommend getting on the waiting list in case there any last minute cancellations. With the snow already in fantastic shape we can only imagine what it will be like up there mid-season.
If you do end up skiing with David, Rod, Kris, Todd and Carl this season, be sure to