Cat-skiing originated in Canada, when someone came up with the fantastic idea of using the robust, tracked vehicles that groom pistes (known as snowcats) to transport skiers up the mountain in search of steep slopes and fresh powder. It didn’t take long to catch on.
Snowcats can navigate challenging terrain. Although they can’t travel as fast or as far as a helicopter, the off piste skiing experience cats can deliver rivals heliskiing in terms of the quality and variety of snow and landscape.
Because of their more limited range and speed, cat ski areas tend to be smaller, and the space steadier. This makes cat skiing a little more accessible than heliskiing in terms of cost.
You join the group and climb into the snow cat’s comfortable, heated cab for your ride out into the wilderness. As you travel, you marvel at the way the cat’s huge power and mighty tracks make light work of steep inclines.
With all your gear assembled, your guide first goes through a safety briefing with you. The cat then drops you at the top of the first slope in a silent mountain world, robed in virgin powder. And then you’re off, revelling in the sensation of floating waist-deep through pure, fine powder.
At the bottom you’re met by the cat, which takes you back to the top – or on to the next slope. This gives you a chance to catch your breath in warmth and comfort while you swap stories with your fellow powder ski and powder board companions.
Find out more about Cat Skiing in our blog ‘What is Cat Skiing?‘