Cat Skiing in Whistler


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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.

Area Overview
CST Rating
Region Name Whistler
Region State British Columbia
Region City Whistler
Region Country Canada
Closest Resort Mountainside Lodge
Optional Resort Whistler Peak Lodge
Optional Resort Tantalus Resort Lodge

Cat Skiing Pictures in Whistler

Area Details
Acres (sq. miles) 4,300
Skill Level Advanced +
Annual Snowfall (inches) 418.7
Snow Type Powder
Mountain Range Coast Mountains Tricouni Peak and Cypress Peak
Elevation (feet) 2,200
Tour Details
Runs per Day 6 - 9
Apprx. Vertical Feet per Run 800 - 3,000
Apprx. Vertical Feet per Day 8,000 -10,000
Rentals Available N/A
Apprx. Cost per Day per Person $599
Apprx. Cost per Day per Cat $6,999


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.

  • PRIVATE SNOWCAT (Holds 11 people)

    Includes snacks, lunch, and drinks on the cat.



Closest Airport
Airport Name Airport Code Miles to Region
Vancouver International Airport YVR 84 mi
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport SEA 231 mi
Distance From
Airport City State Code Miles Time Stops
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


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