ABOUT CAT SKIING IN WHISTLER
Located in Southeastern British Columbia, Whistler is most well-known for hosting several events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. This ski resort town is located 125 miles north of Vancouver and is home to 11,000 year-round residents. However, millions of ski enthusiasts flock to the town during the winter months with most tourists coming from Australia and Europe.
One of the town’s most popular ski resorts, Powder Mountain in particular, is a lure for people who want to experience the thrill and excitement of cat skiing. The mountain receives more than 164 inches of powder snow each year. The bulk of the snowfall there arrives during the months of December, January, and February when it receives more than 40 inches of snow on average each month.
This powder snow makes the resort an ideal location for people who want to venture out to the backcountry to try their hand at cat skiing. The cat skiing resort recently invested in several Pisten Bully 300 snowcats that are designed for taking up to 12 people at a time up to the backcountry of the mountains. The cabins of the snowcats are heated and have large windows that provide panoramic views of the mountain on the climb up to the top of mountain runs.
|Region State||British Columbia|
|Closest Resort||Mountainside Lodge|
|Optional Resort||Whistler Peak Lodge|
|Optional Resort||Tantalus Resort Lodge|
|Acres (sq. miles)||4,300|
|Skill Level||Advanced +|
|Annual Snowfall (inches)||418.7|
|Mountain Range||Coast Mountains Tricouni Peak and Cypress Peak|
|Runs per Day||6 - 9|
|Apprx. Vertical Feet per Run||800 - 3,000|
|Apprx. Vertical Feet per Day||8,000 -10,000|
|Apprx. Cost per Day per Person||$599|
|Apprx. Cost per Day per Cat||$6,999|
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT CAT SKIING IN Whistler
The mountain itself boasts more than 7,000 vertical feet or 4,300 acres of ski runs that permit cat skiers between six to nine runs per day. The cost for a single day of cat skiing at Whistler’s Powder Mountain averages around $600 per person and does not include any resort fees or GST skiers may be expected to cover. The resort does not charge more for extra runs, however.
To qualify for a day of cat skiing here, parties need to consist of no more than 11 people. The snowcat cabins can seat up to 12 skiers along with a photographer and guides for each run. Each cat skiing party is assigned two experienced, certified guides. Each skier is also provided with a trans-receiver from the resort for safety’s sake.
Cat skiers are also required to sign a waiver before they are allowed to board the snowcats and head to the backcountry runs. They also are given brief safety instructions designed to keep them safe during their excursions.
For safety and to help skiers avoid crowds, only 24 cat skiers are permitted to take to the backcountry runs at a single time. Skiers should always anticipate encountering fresh powder snow rather than hard found on other ski runs at the resort. Fans of this extreme winter sport also can enjoy the fact that the snowcats are designed to run in the heaviest of snow conditions. They are not grounded like the helicopters used for heliskiing by the resort.
Whistler is served by the Vancouver International Airport where tourists can arrive and depart on flights on major airliners. VIA is located 140 miles south of Whistler. Tourists who charter private flights to this ski resort town can fly into Pemberton Regional Airport that serves smaller commercial and private aircraft. Pemberton is located 38 minutes to the north of Whistler.
Includes snacks, lunch, and drinks on the cat.$599
PRIVATE SNOWCAT (Holds 11 people)
Includes snacks, lunch, and drinks on the cat.$6,999
HOW TO GET TO WHISTLER
|Airport Name||Airport Code||Miles to Region|
|Vancouver International Airport||YVR||84 mi|
|Seattle-Tacoma International Airport||SEA||231 mi|
|Los Angeles International Airport||Los Angeles||CA||LAX||1280||2h 45m||Direct|
|O'Hare International Airport||Chicago||IL||ORD||2182||4h 25m||Direct|
|John F. Kennedy International Airport||New York||NY||JFK||3007||6h||Direct|
|San Francisco International Airport||San Francisco||CA||SFO||957||2h 20m||Direct|
|Seattle–Tacoma International Airport||Seattle/Tacoma||WA||SEA||139||55m||Direct|
|Newark Liberty International Airport||New York/Newark/New Jersey||NJ||EWR||2982||5h 42m||Direct|
|Logan International Airport||Boston||MA||BOS||3179||8h 29m||1|
|Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport||Minneapolis/St. Paul||MN||MSP||1803||3h 56m||Direct|
|Philadelphia International Airport||Philadelphia||PA||PHL||2962||7h 57m||1|
|LaGuardia Airport||New York||NY||LGA||2996||8h 20m||1|
|Washington Dulles International Airport||Washington, D.C.||VA||IAD||2497||7h 48m||1|
|San Diego International Airport||San Diego||CA||SAN||1395||3h||Direct|
|Midway International Airport||Chicago||IL||MDW||2209||8h 49m||1|
|Portland International Airport||Portland||OR||PDX||312||1h 10m||Direct|
Grand Targhee Resort
3300 Ski Hill Rd
Alta, WY 83414