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Cat Skiing Tours
Traditional ski resorts are fun, but they’re not as thrilling as the outback. Cat skiing is for true nature lovers, outdoors people, and experienced skiers. If you want to get away from the controlled ski resorts and challenge yourself on untouched slopes that offer trees and fresh powder, then you’ll want to go on a cat-skiing tour.
The name “cat” skiing refers to the method of transportation that skiers and snowboarders use to get to their backcountry destinations within a snowy wilderness. Snowcats are motor vehicles designed for the snow, and they’re used to take people up slopes. This saves you the hike of having to climb up the slopes on foot. Once you get to the top, you’ll have the chance to ski down the raw virgin snow of the terrain.
If you were “heli-skiing,” then a helicopter would take you up the slope. But instead, cat skiing uses snowcats for this task. The best choice really depends on the size and elevation of the terrain. If you’re trying to go up an entire mountain, then you may find a helicopter to be a more convenient and faster way to get up there. But if you have the patience to enjoy nature, then you won’t mind riding up the mountain in a snowcat. Snowcat skiing makes the experience so much more thrilling.
There are two main options for your cat skiing adventure tours: Group and Private. Let’s go over each one in detail.
If you’re new to cat skiing, then you should take the group tour first. This gives you the opportunity to travel up the barren snowy terrain with an experienced group of people rather than just with your friends. There are professional tour guides available to show you the ropes and help you out if you’re in trouble.
Larger snowcats are typically used for group tours. They can seat between 4 and 12 people, depending on how large the group is. If you’re interested in meeting new people and possibly learning from them too, then you’ll enjoy the group tour. It makes you feel less isolated to be around a lot of people when you’re traveling on uncontrolled terrain.
Group tours are cheaper than private ones. The only downside is that you won’t get as many runs down the terrain because the snowcats need to bring more people up and down the slopes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get anywhere from 8 to 15 ski runs per day on a group tour.
Private tours are better for experienced cat skiers who only want to spend time with their friends and no one else. It will cost you more money than a group tour because you need to rent an entire snowcat for just you and your friends to use only. A ticket for each person in your tour must be purchased in advance.
Private tours give you the opportunity for more runs on the slope. Since you’ll only have a small number of people in your private tour, then you can get more rides up the slope in order to go back down again.
You can find cat skiing tours available across the country. The most popular ones are the keystone adventure tours in Colorado. For less than $500, you’ll receive a premium cat skiing tour up the Keystone mountainous terrain. The snowcats are heated too, so you won’t be shivering the entire time. The lift ticket and lunch are both included with the price of the tour.
Aside from Colorado, you can find great adventure on other cat skiing tours that are located in British Columbia, Utah, Jackson Hole, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Pemberton.
Since this is an uncontrolled backcountry, you’re not going to have the convenience of immediate medical assistance in case something happens to you. In addition, the powdered terrain is susceptible to dangerous avalanches which are usually unpredictable.
A professional touring company takes steps to reduce the risk of avalanches by blasting the snow beforehand. One of the benefits of taking a guided tour is having the luxury of professionals who can help keep you safe. They do this for a living, so they know how to spot the safest areas of the backcountry to use for skiing or snowboarding.