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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › Cat Skiing in Utah: Powder Mtn Powder Safari or Park City Powder Cats?
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Cat Skiing in Utah: Powder Mtn Powder Safari or Park City Powder Cats?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

The wife and I just got back from a trip to Utah and got a good bite from the Powder Bug. We did one run on the Lightning Ridge Snowcat at Powder Mtn and hiked up James Peak for a solid 1,500+ vertical feet of untracked powder. Two days earlier they got 17-24". It was awesome! One of the best runs that we've ever had and we need our next fix...

 

We're planning on going back to Utah at the end of March and I'm wondering if anyone has feedback on Park City Powder Cats (PC) or Powder Mountain Powder Safari (PM). Specifically, how are the guides, avalanche danger, what's the terrain like, how much vertical, is it worth it if it hasn't snowed in a week or so?

 

PC: $400pp, 42,000 acres, 8-12 runs per day, 8,000-12,000 vertical feet (is each run only 1,000 vertical?)

PM: $350pp, 3,000 acres

 

 

post #2 of 13

so what was the result? Any feedback on Cat skiing in Park City? Who should I go with? Former Jackson Hole ski bum.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

We ended up going to Mammoth and decided to wait a couple years and do a weeklong catski trip in the Canadian Rockies. 

 

If you're on a budget, I'd just pay for a couple rides on the Lightning Ridge Snowcat at PM. Compared to JH, the terrain at PM is going to be really mellow and not too steep. Apres Vouz at JH felt steeper than PM. If money isn't an issue and you're craving powder in Utah, it's probably a coin toss between PC and PM. I'd just go with whichever option is closer and more convenient. 

 

I'm just getting into backcountry/sidecountry terrain and one of my friends at Alta suggested an avalanche course through Wasatch Powderbirds. It's less than catskiing and you get avalanche training plus a ride in the heli for less than the price of catskiing. You're also in LCC so you'll get better terrain.

 

http://powderbird.com/services/avalanche-awareness-classes

 

 

post #4 of 13

Have you heard anything about the Grizzly Gulch cat skiing at Alta?

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkoenig View Post

I'm just getting into backcountry/sidecountry terrain and one of my friends at Alta suggested an avalanche course through Wasatch Powderbirds. It's less than catskiing and you get avalanche training plus a ride in the heli for less than the price of catskiing. You're also in LCC so you'll get better terrain.

 

http://powderbird.com/services/avalanche-awareness-classes

 

 


That goes on my bucket list!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Based on size, I'd assume that the terrain at Alta would get tracked out pretty quickly. If you time it right and get there on the right day it might be worth it, but I wouldn't plan a vacation around it. 

 

Grizzly Gulch (Alta): 375 acres

Powder Safari (PM): 3,000 acres

PC Powder Cats: 42,000 acres

post #7 of 13

I've heard nothing but fabulous things about P.C. Powder Cats but never actually done it. There's nothing east of here but cows and mountains until you hit Colarado and they have contracts for vast terrain.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

I've heard nothing but fabulous things about P.C. Powder Cats but never actually done it. There's nothing east of here but cows and mountains until you hit Colarado and they have contracts for vast terrain.


I have never been cat skiing, but if I were to go in UT it would certainly be the PC operation.

 

post #9 of 13

Both look intriguing. I haven't done cat skiing either (outside of Lightning Ridge), but I have been around some of the Powder Mountain terrain. It looks pretty mellow, but the amount of snow was ridiculous - looked nipples deep easy, while the resort was shins deep.

 

On the other hand, I think the PC operation is in the Uinta Mountains, which would be cool to ride since Utah's ski scene is so focused on the Wasatch Range. Their terrain looks a lot more varied and difficult, too.

 

Powder is also about 90 bucks cheaper.

post #10 of 13

The guides at Pow Mow told me the terrain on Lightning Ridge was steeper than the dedicated cat terrain, if you can believe that!

post #11 of 13

Interesting.  I am headed out in March to ski Pow Mow and Snowbasin and had been thinking about doing a day of cat skiing.  I think it might depend on what area they take you to.  The area around Cobabe Canyon is suppose to be a lot mellowed.  I wonder how this compares to the cat skiing.

 

 

 

Quote:
The Ultimate DMI Tour
A full day tour of Wolf Canyon for 5 - 8 guests led by 2 guides.  The ultimate tour takes you to open bowls, chutes, gladed trees and all the powder you can handle. The tour includes lunch, use of avalanche beacon, and a private van shuttle to maximize your vertical for the day.  $295 per person.  A minimum of 5 guests are required for tour to run.

 

I think I will call the guide I went out with last year to get his take on the terrain.

post #12 of 13

I have backcountry skiied most of Utah (human powered) and here is my 2 cents:

 

Powder Mountain Powder Safari - they use an area called "Lefties" the steepest lines over there are barely 25 degrees and most of it is less than 20 degrees.  This means you will be almost pushing to get down.

 

Park City Powder Cats - they ski in the Unitas, which doesn't get the famous Utah Snow!  You will feel like you are skiing in Colorado, except with less snow.

 

Alta - Grizzle Gulch - most of the terrain is super easy to access from the parking lot, this means you are paying to ski on terrain that 1000's of BC skiiers are skinning up for free.  There terrain is West to South facing - so not really great snow when the sun is high in the sky or after it hasn't snowed in awhile.

 

Honestly, Cat skiing is a waste of money in Utah.

 

Please don't get me started on the Heli skiing in Utah!

 

Go to Canada!  They have lots of options that get as good of snow as Utah and don't have the user conflicts we do.

post #13 of 13

The Lightning Ridge Snowcat is pretty cheap unless you're looking to do a ton of runs.  I just got back from Utah last week too and we took advantage of their $40 lift tickets on Wednesdays, so opted to do the snowcat as well.

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