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Cat-skiing in Macedonia, anyone?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I thought this sounded pretty cool, and was hoping to book for this year. Does this appeal to anyone else? Or has anyone been here done this before?

http://www.eskimo-freeride.com/About-Us/Snowcat/

Unfortunately, I can only afford one trip this year and so want to make it a good one. I was thinking either this or a week at Skiers Lodge in La Grave - the standard ski week there is 1180EUR including 6 nights half board and six days guiding. They don't mix skiers and boarders though so I need to find a group of boarders which is not so simple, it seems.

http://www.skierslodge.com/what-we-offer/standard-ski-week/

I just wanna find a fun but kind of extreme trip where I can join a group for a fun week of freeriding and apres. Happy on the pistes too, but would love to incorporate some guided backcountry exploring.

I just discovered this forum and seems a good place to meet people to go on trips with. I also just discovered the snowheads off piste bash, so maybe I'll do that instead.. just a shame not to have full details and price yet. I also may have the opportunity to join a group going to Val D'isere in late feb which aslo sounds pretty good.

Just want to get something sorted really.. and I reckon I'll probably go for one of the latter two options, but thought I'd post here to see if anyone else was interested in Cat-sking (or La Grave). If not this year.. may try to do it next year.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think the Eskimo Lodge burnt down this Autumn - Welcome to SnowHeads by the way! I ll check and see if I can find the link.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks Mishmash.

Hmm, I guy called Tom from Eskimo Freeride replied to my email.. Well - not my first one, but he replied to a second email recently saying I was welcome to come out and what dates was I thinking of.

They base their trips from Hotel Bora or something.

I'd be interested to see anything relevant though, or hear any reports.. the website seemed kinda unprofessional, but I did find some quite positive reviews of the set up (they were very old though).

I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who has been on the Off Piste Bash, or going this year.. PM me, or post here if you prefer.
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I've been on the off-piste bash a few times and there's even a token (split) boarder who'll be going this year. As much or as little guiding as you prefer and at least a day in LG, depending upon conditions.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hey welcome to snowheads! No idea on Macedonia but if you're heading to Val d'isere I know a great guy who does guided backcountry snowboard - open groups - I think 80 euro for a morning.
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here you go: http://www.tetongravity.com/blogs/One-Of-T-G-R39s-Favorite-Ski-Hostels-Burns-Down-6553490.htm and I got it from this thread which you should have a squint at here: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2342318&highlight=macedonia#2342318
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi Guys! Thanks, Mishmash - very interesting reading. MikePow's report and his photos really inspiring - totally make me wanna go there.. and maybe get into ski touring..? btw I do ski too.. but don't have any kit so more likely to be on my board.. don't handle pow too well on skis either - so much easier on a board! Hmm.. which trip to do this year...? Macedonia looks awesome but prefer not to head there alone. I think Val D'Isere is looking like the winner at the mo so I'd be really interested to get contact details for the guide you're recommending, Lib-banana.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Well good luck with whatever you do!! I would say Macedonia Macedonia Macedonia but then I ve never been and have no chance this year - too booked already and not getting another pass ...

Never been though. Val'd'I late feb - still full of 1/2 termers then ?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The cat skiing is around the resort of Popova Sapka. The place is sick! One of my favourite places to go, and I have been here and there, including a few times in La Grave.
You can go there and ride plenty even only with the lift! There are several lifts, but most of them are for the average rider on blue and red runs. The main one - Caripashina runs up to 2500m and from there you can get phenomenal backcountry runs! You can get over 1300 vertical meters to a village, where the locals will drive you back to the resort in a Golf 2 for £4 Very Happy You can get back to the resort via 3 or 4 different ridges and there is a black run if you are into the ski runs thing.
TGR shot some movies there and the locals are more than happy to get you to the places, often for free.
The ski pass is about £12, sleeping is £5, food is another £5-6.
95% of the people are albanians riding skis with jeans on blue runs Very Happy The 2 or 3 times I have been there for a few days, planned with a weather forecast, there were maybe 20 people seriously into freeriding.

The SnowCat drives you up to one additional peak, behind the Caripashina and maybe 2 or 3 other places, but for the price they ask I don't think it's worth it... You can get to the same places with 20-30 minutes touring.
Just make sure that you plan your stay there with a weather forecast. If it's too windy the Caripashina lift is not working and the other lifts won't get you anywhere interesting.

Crazy place. Also crazy people. There is mountain rescue service, but the people that ride there are reckless. The level of avalanche awareness is 0 and the locals that go there freeriding survive purely by luck! This is the only advantage the Cat has - they know their thing.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
knickers, no worries - his name is Nico Glize
http://nicolas.glize.free.fr/
Great guy, knows the area very well, good English speaker, had a great week with him a year or two back
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
moridinbg, - sounds ace - how are they doing for snow in this sketchy season? - off to Galtur tomorrow but have 2 weeks free early March and looking outside the/my usual options.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
snowbandit wrote:
moridinbg, - sounds ace - how are they doing for snow in this sketchy season? - off to Galtur tomorrow but have 2 weeks free early March and looking outside the/my usual options.


Sounds super sketchy... my 1st rule: "the best rule is you come back to try it again"..... You need to be extra on the ball here I think...Anyway, Family Guy on Tele now, time to go!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
They are doing... sketchy. You can check here for fresh photos - https://www.facebook.com/wehavesnow
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
moridinbg, Thanks for the report. It does sound really ace. It's true that the CAT operation is a bit pricey and it's interesting to read from you and MikePow that you can pretty much access all the good stuff with a bit of a hike. However, I'm not very experienced at all in the backcountry or very knowlegeable about avalanche safety so I'd want the security of going with their guides. I'd LOVE to go somewhere like this with some more experienced freeriders like you guys, however, you probably wouldn't want to rely on me to get you out of an avalanche.. I hope I could just about keep up with you on the way down but being a tad unfit I'd probably be a bit slow on the way up too.

I'd really like to do more of this stuff, but finding the cost a bit prohibitive. Macedonia looks cheap, but to use the CAT most days sure adds a big cost.

In the end, For this years trip I've decided to join a group to do a weeks mainly on piste skiing in Val D'Isere. Hoping to hire a guide to go backcountry for a day or two.

Maybe next year something a bit more adventurous...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Macedonia Cat skiing! Maybe this could fit the bill! http://mountaintracks.co.uk/trip/cat-skiing-macedonia
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just returned from my second visit off piste skiing in Macedonia . Once again we went to Popova Sapka for a 4 day adventure off piste / touring and Cat skiing. On this visit I took 5 clients with me who had a sense of adventure!

Stayed at The Snow Patrol lodge which is right on the slope above the lift pass office ( shed). Accommodation in SPL is basic but does the job. This is probably the best and most convenient location to eat as it has a nice restaurant serves local specialities, great salads, burgers etc. The Rakija and Mastica are also fantastic! You would struggle to spend €20 with a starter, main and plenty of drinks!

Off piste opportunities here are great if your prepared to skin for a short period (45 mins to 1 hour will open up some stunning terrain). You need to be self-sufficient with a plan B as if the lift stops working there will be no explanation as to why! The main very long chairlift gives access to a large freeride area with many opportunities. Using the chair AND skins and you are in business.

We used the Cat operation for one day which was good although the weather was poor so we probably didn’t get as much out of it as we could have on a good weather day. Runs can be quite short so you are in and out of the cat which can be tedious. But I will say the guys DO run a full day operation so you get a 9am – 4.30pm period with a lunch break. A couple of our guys choose a second day in the cat with a 6am start to watch the sun rise. With the weather being so good on that day they did pretty much skied the same slopes as we did using skins so the value can be questioned. Although they obviously got more vertical per hour than we did using the cat for uplift. They said they had a great time and a unique experience. Logistics of using the cat if you’re not staying in their base hotel needs thinking through. We persuaded the cook from our hotel to give us a lift in his van, which then got stuck anyway!

Cat skiing €200.00 per person per day so you need deep pockets to do it for a week. I suggest try the cat for 1 or 2 days, then find your own adventure with a little extra effort.

On the whole a great experience and one I shall be repeating. I have some pictures uploaded on the Alpinecoaching FB site if you want a feel of the place.

Pete

Pete Gillespie
BASI Level 4 / Alpine trainer ISIA
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi all,

How do you feel about free riding about 2500 ha of untouched poweder terrain, from 6 up to 20 ppl max per group, VIP status (you are the first to be there in the morning and the last to be heading home, with no other groups), chalet accommodation (up to 4 ppl per apartment), breakfast-lunch-dinner, COMBO SYSTEM (using CAT SKIING - 3 snow groomers and 6-seater CHAIRLIFT Doppelmayr and 2 t-bar lifts) including interesting activities during evening hours for 190 euro per person per day. Also there are other available additional activities for after skiing hours, like gambling down in the city of Gevgelija, spa treatments, night clubs, etc.

Each group has 2 packages ( 3 day and 5 day package)

This is available this winter season 2014-2015 on Kozuf Mountain, Macedonia.
Official offers are soon to be published and available for booking. (to be displayed in the coming days on www.skikozuf.com.mk)

Explore untouched nature and the POWDER PARADISE in South Europe.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
fwiw, I'm off to Macedonia cat skiing with mountaintracks, (so what Diverskify posted) sometime in Feb 16. mainly 'cos I was in Macedonia last summer, really loved it as a place to visit (lovely people, amazingly unspoilt countryside, very cheap), and I saw a write up of cat-skiing somewhere on SH, and did some digging. I remember driving past the turnoff to the ski resort on the way back to Skopje, and thinking "I wonder what the snow's like" - according to youtube, it's pretty darned good, and a LOT nearer than Utah.
happy to take questions in the interim, and will try to write something up post event.
cheers, h.
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Just as a heads up, we're giving away a free cat skiing/boarding trip to Macedonia... And there aren't that many entries so far wink

http://www.luex.com/info/snowcat-raffle.html
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well now this sounds interesting. Must check back next season.
And doesn't sound too expensive for cat skiing either.
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I can’t recommend this company anymore. The skiing is ok (but not stunning) and the food is adequate.

The problem is the customer service (or total lack thereof). The machines break down, no lodging is available upon arrival and the attitude among the staff stinks of nonchalance.

Do spend your money in the Alps instead. Georgia is also an alternative if you want an adventure in the former eastern bloc.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi Everyone
My name is Ljubica Mushulanova Ristevska and I'm general manager of Hotel Sumski Feneri - Bitola and freeride operation SF Freeride, that operates in National Park Pelister, in the south part of Macedonia. I saw that you are interested in freeride in Macedonia and I wanted to let you know that there are 2 Freeride Mountains in Macedonia Shar Planina and Pelister. I invite you to see what we work on our web page www.sffreride.com and our Facebook page and Instagram SF Freeride.
We operate for 4 years but from last year we become partners with Powderhunds and several agencies in Europa. We have 4 guids, 2 Pistenbullies with cabins and avalanche safety equipment (beacon, probe, shovel) and avalanche airbag system (abs). We offer fullboard accomodation (breakfast, lunch& dinner) – excluding drinks and the accommodation is in Hotel Sumski Feneri - Bitola, one of the best hotels in the aria. We serve the lunch in a Mountain Lodge at 1995m and breakfast and diner are at Hotel Sumski Feneri - Bitola.
The backcountry skiing terrain is in the National Park Pelister, in the aria called Shiroka from 2600m to 1995m. On a clear day there is an exceptional view from this side of the mountain to the Prespa lake, so you see at one time 3 countries Macedonia, Albania and Greece.
We do 3000+ vertical meters per day (depending on weather conditions & your own strenght up to 5000m). In bad weather conditions usually, the agenda is to stay low for amazing forest skiing. This where the powder stays protected from the wind, and that is what we chase. This was a terrible winter with little snow but still we were operating every day from 1 February, because there was just enough snow for every satisfaction.
We also offer Snowcat assisted Skitouring & Freeride and we have packages that include one day skiing in Kaimaktsalan Mountain in Greece till noon and swimming in the hot springs in the afternoon. The price is 180 Eur per person per day. Minimum nr of skiers 4, but we always have other groups that you can fit if you are alone.
Please contact me for more information or question on sfeneri@t.mk, ljmusulanova@gmail, my mobile +38975395213, I have Viber and WhatsUp.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Best regards
Ljubica Mushulanova Ristevska
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