Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Canadian Powder Chasing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking to glean information from the hive mind.

One of my annual trips is with a group of mates; all very similar in lack of ability. We look to ski off-piste and are mainly concerned in trying to find deep untracked snow, rather than the "steeps of certain death". I don't think any of us have ever landed anything over 6', although we keep trying. We are prepared to walk (if needed) to reach decent snow, but don't tour for the sake of touring.

We're thinking Canada next year, and one bloke has suggested a 10 day trip to Revelstoke, some days cat-skiing and maybe a couple on the heli. I'm not sold on heli; my one lift showed it doesn't guarantee better snow than you can walk to. After using the search function on here, it seems that cat-ski in Canada is probably better?

A quick trawl of "Powderhounds" shows that most cat-ski operators are a fair distance from international airports too. The thought of a four hour drive after a 9 hour flight isn't too appealing.

Has anyone done much over there? Any tips on length of trip, been thinking 7-10 days or so? Is it worth driving from operator to operator in different areas bearing in mind they don't seem to repeat runs? Any favourite choice of operators?

Really any info would be greatly received snowHead
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mosha Marc,

I would recommend Fernie Wilderness Adventures for cat skiing. It's (relatively) close to Calgary and is reasonably priced.

You could combine it (on a road trip) with resort skiing at Fernie itself, plus Castle Mountain (on the way to Fernie),
Kimberley, or Kicking Horse, or Revelstoke, or Banff (on the way back to Calgary).

We've skied FWA twice in the last 10 years (twice for 2 days each time) and not been disappointed. The snow and guiding were excellent and the social aspect of the catting was great - food and drink/lunch in the cat and lovely fellow guests to share the experience with. We've also heli skied - but preferred the more relaxed approach of snow catting. The heli was also great but it felt like a quick in/out, in comparison with the cat.

We've also cat skied with Mustang Powder and Monashee Powder and stayed in their wilderness lodges. What an experience! Expensive (though half the price of heli lodges) but worth every penny. Very Happy

There's also Island Lake (luxury lodge) at Fernie, though we've not tried them.

We broke our journey from Calgary by staying at a cheap hotel in Claresholme on arrival night (about a 90 minute, easy drive), then skied Castle Mountain the following morning and drove from there to Fernie.

What do you mean by " they don't repeat any runs" (so you may need to move on)?
snow report     
 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?
Bergmeister wrote:
Mosha Marc,

What do you mean by " they don't repeat any runs" (so you may need to move on)?


I saw online that during multi-day trips you get a "new" line on every uplift. So I was wondering if that negated the need to move between areas.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Mosha Marc, the trainerroad guys went here and skinned up, sounded awesome, but looks like booked out most of 2020 already which tells you something!

http://www.powdercreeklodge.com/

but flipping heck it ain't cheap, you could probably hire a guide for a week in Europe and "chase powder" around Europe for less money or just goto Japan Smile
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'd go Vahalla or Mustang from everything I've seen or read. Not that I've been with either. FWA is day trip punters from Fernie so unless you've got a full cat you could be lumbered with whoever.

Castle is a good shout on way to/from Fernie. Stay the night in Pincher Creek (real Tin Star country)..

Road trip is the way to do Alberta/Eastern BC but it does mean driving on after skiing

Castle/Fernie/WH20/Red/Revy gets you some superb "resort" terrain
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Yes, I've I've ridden the last 30 seasons in BC, mostly in helicopters but also in cats.
I run some systems for Powder Mountain Catskiing in Whistler.

It depends what you want, how good you are, and how deep your pockets are.

I usually stay for 10-15 days, because I get bored with much more. A single week is excellent and probably the best value. Weather risk reduces with longer stays.
Resort "daily" heli tends to be comparatively expensive in terms of vertical and mellow enough for one-day heli novices, so frustrating for experts.

You don't need to drive from operator to operator; you're not going to be "repeating runs" in the way you mean.
You're paying for fresh tracks, all the time except "transport" (run outs and traverses to the slopes.

Operator-wise, I've direct experience of quite a few, and they're all good. Broadly you get what you pay for.
More important are the other things, see second paragraph above.

It depends, but unless you know you're good, I'd advise some cat days, because they're more flexible and are better value at a resort than heli days.
Lodge based cat is very popular, probably because it's as close as you can get to heli without paying the big bucks.
Very popular means it books up years in advance. It's easier to find heli seats.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mosha Marc,

I get it now! I thought you were advocating moving on because you don't repeat runs:roll: (I must have misread it - or you've changed your last sentence wink )
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
"I usually stay for 10-15 days, because I get bored with much more."

Bloody hell. Same with me. Once I've had a fortnight sleeping with Miss World I'm bored rigid! Shocked Shocked

On a serious note.. a 4 day lodge trip meant pushing the boat out for us. 15 days? Wow! The stuff of dreams... (sigh).
snow report     
 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.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:


FWA is day trip punters from Fernie so unless you've got a full cat you could be lumbered with whoever.


That's no different to lodge-based operations, in our experience. On all of our trips (both lodge based and day trips) we've been "lumbered with whoever" and it's never been a problem (in a total of 14 cat days).

I'd really recommend giving it a go. However it's worth bearing in mind that one trip will never be enough! Very Happy
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

We look to ski off-piste and are mainly concerned in trying to find deep untracked snow, rather than the "steeps of certain death". I don't think any of us have ever landed anything over 6', although we keep trying.

6' is a lot of snow! Toofy Grin
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@abc, I meant failed jumps Embarassed
latest report     
 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.
Mosha Marc wrote:
The thought of a four hour drive after a 9 hour flight isn't too appealing.



Factor the drive into the first morning. The jet lag will have you up and alert by 5 a.m.

(I'm on day five and slept to the alarm at 7.30 for the first time this morning)
snow report     
 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
@Val Desire, very good point; I've been there before.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bergmeister wrote:
.... That's no different to lodge-based operations, in our experience. On all of our trips (both lodge based and day trips) we've been "lumbered with whoever" and it's never been a problem (in a total of 14 cat days). ...

Cats are more "tolerant" to a range of ability than helicopters, because they are limited by the speed of the machine, not the people.
It doesn't matter if some people fall over now and then, or get tired, or want to quit.
Because they tend to work a relatively small geographic area and because you have one group per cat, you can even split the group into two if it helps and run them at different paces.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Whilst I'd agree on Cats being flexible unless you're paying for unlimited vertical most helicopter days are limited by the number of runs paid for and not the speed of the skiers. Fixed number runs are more common at resort operators as it lets you get the experience on a small(er) budget. If you do go for fixed runs though don't expect to be taken back to the lodge when you're done if the helicopter is doing more... you just get to sit inside and watch other people ski (or pay for the upgrade...). Depending on your group size you might be able to fill a cat or a helicopter which removes the "lumbered with whoever" and takes away some of the uncertainty.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Utah.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Whitegold wrote:
Utah.


We've been to Utah twice, skied there for 14 days (in total) and had 3 powder days. Confused

We've had 14 powder days out of 14 when cat skiing. Very Happy

And your point is...? Puzzled
snow report     
 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?
Quote:
I'd go Vahalla or Mustang from everything I've seen or read. Not that I've been with either. FWA is day trip punters from Fernie so unless you've got a full cat you could be lumbered with whoever

I can report on the following cat skiing:
- Mustang Powder (3 day stay): Fantastic wilderness lodge, fantastic skiing, great guides. Highly recommended.

- Fernie Wilderness Adventures (5 separate days): Great set up, very customer-friendly, fantastic skiing, brilliant guides, great value, no problems with group mix. Highly recommended.

- Chatter Creek (3 day stay): Great skiing and lodge - but poor customer service when our whole group couldn't get to the wilderness lodge because of the weather (no refund or credit note; not so much as a free drink in compensation; extra night hotel and food to pay for in Golden); one very good guide; one impatient and intolerant at the mixed ability group. Can't recommend them....
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
When I stayed at Mustang they implied that Chatter creek was for a bit the younger and more party crowd. This is a while ago though so things may have changed. Really nice set-up.

One option that is getting more popular in Canada is "heli-touring" or cat touring. You get an uplift in the morning to avoid the slog through trees etc and then tour the rest of the day. Depends on what the group is looking for and I've never done it but it does appeal. Perhaps get to places that the cat can't get to etc. Depends on what the group is looking for.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:
I'd go Vahalla or Mustang from everything I've seen or read. Not that I've been with either. FWA is day trip punters from Fernie so unless you've got a full cat you could be lumbered with whoever

I can report on the following cat skiing:
- Mustang Powder (3 day stay): Fantastic wilderness lodge, fantastic skiing/powder, great guides. Highly recommended.

- Fernie Wilderness Adventures (5 separate days): Great set up, very customer-friendly, fantastic skiing/powder, brilliant guides, great value, no problems with group mix. Highly recommended.

- Chatter Creek (3 day stay): Great skiing/powder and wilderness lodge - but poor customer service when our whole group couldn't get to the lodge because of the weather (no refund or credit note; not so much as a free drink in compensation; extra night hotel and food to pay for in Golden); one very good guide; one impatient and intolerant at the mixed ability group. Varied age range - no more of a party crowd than Mustang. Can't recommend them - though bedrooms are nicer than those of Chatter Creek...

Quote:
Utah
Spent 10 days there split between Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird. Blue skies every day - and not a single powder turn Sad . (Greatest snow on earth my @r$€....we've skied more powder at Weardale and Yad Moss in the Pennines wink )

Meanwhile...11 days catskiing in BC: 11 days powder.... Very Happy


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 6-02-19 23:11; edited 1 time in total
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
mountainaddict,

I know the story - but others will be thinking that no accommodation provider would compensate you if you couldn't get to them because of bad weather... Puzzled
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
^^^^^ There was a massive snowfall - and the transfer heli (to the lodge) became unavailable as it was allegedly commandeered to help with avalanche control work on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Fair enough we thought, as the website said we'd go in by snowmobile if the heli couldn't fly...

After keeping us hanging about because the heli could fly (but was unavailable), it was suddenly announced that the job was off - we'd have to go in the next day as it was too late to arrange snow mobile travel.

On checking the small print, we found - to our horror - that we were truly up the (Chatter) Creek...So we effectively not only paid for an extra night in Golden and a meal there - but also for the poor guests who were 'stranded' up at the lodge to ski our powder, sleep in our beds and eat our food...An extra day's skiing and night at the lodge for them - paid for by us.

We were then welcomed at the heli pad and lodge the next day as though it had never happened - no apology, not so much as a complimentary cup of hot chocolate...nothing. Awful customer service.

It was about 10 years ago - but I still have the sour taste in my mouth.... Mad
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

It was about 10 years ago - but I still have the sour taste in my mouth....

Considering how much a day of heli skiing cost, I can quite understand the sour taste.

They get their pay back, as you're advising snowheads NOT to patronize them.
ski holidays     
 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.
@Mosha Marc, basing yourself in Revelstoke could work as there are multiple options round there , and also if it snows the lift served inbounds in revs is dam good . so many options really , but as said above getting booking now as the good ones are booked up for months in advance
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
abc,

I agree!

But - for clarity...mountainaddict was cat skiing, although his transfer to the lodge was by heli (or supposedly by snowmobile if the heli was grounded).

10 years. An elephant would be proud! Toofy Grin
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Unless you really want want to go CAT skiing I would head to Whitewater (near Nelson) and hike out of resort the terrain is epic. You can also ski Red Mountain, Revie or KH and there is CAT or Heli if required.
snow report     
 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.
We're thinking of can skiing 3 or 4 days and skiing on our own on the other days.

Liking the look of both Revelstoke and nelson at the moment, but what's the best way to get to either? Drive times are up to 7 hours from Calgary.
latest report     
 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
Definitely driving. Roads are really well maintained, it opens up cheaper accommodation options as Revelstoke and Nelson you'll likely be getting a car / bus to the hill anyway.

Drive from Revelstoke to Nelson is fine - check the ferry times and leave a while to get there. If you fancy you can stop in at the hot springs at Halcyon. For budget powder hiring a guide for slack country is going to be very good bang for your buck and still Epic.

You can break the trip to Revelstoke with Radium Hot Springs and a Day at Kicking horse and the trip back from Nelson with a stop at Kimberley, Fernie or Panorama if you fancy.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Or break up the journey to Fernie (nice rhyme) with skiing at Castle Mountain (and a possible night at Pincher Creek or Claresholm).

It's a long drive to Revelstoke, so another option is to fly to Kelowna from Calgary. From Kelowna you could cat ski with nearby Monashee Powder and resort ski at Silver Star, which is excellent, as well as Revelstoke.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mosha Marc, apologies for hiijacking your thread. I am looking to do something similar next year.

Has anyone used (or know someone who has) Boulder Hut Adventures? Near Kimberley you take a Heli in to the lodge and then earn the turns ski touring each day. Sounds ideal.

Slight contrast in tranquillity I imagine but further north near Jasper at Valemount is Crystal Ridge Sled Ski - anyone know anything about this place? 20yrs ago I paid a couple of sledders 2 cases of beer to shuttle me up a hill at Revelstoke for a day, just wondering what the terrain might be like at Cystal Ridge, whether it is worth the drive that far north.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Snowwater for Heli and Cat skiing.. Near Nelson BC
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy