|Originally posted by Aaron:
This thread caught my eye, and I have a related question. I'm headed to Fernie in mid-March, and was thinking of trying cat skiing for the first time. I haven't looked into it all that deeply, yet (Island Lake, etc).
My question regards ability. I've never skied powder before (but I would describe myself conservatively an upper intermediate skier, level 7-8). The varying cat operations advertise "intermediate skiing" and I'm wondering, if I rented fatties, if I'd be floundering out there or would the money be well spent?
First thing Lake Island is usually booked up high season a year in advance and doesn't do day trippers. I think shortest trip is 3 days and you have to do the whole meals thing. Though I've heard its very good. Fernie wilderness does day or multi, with lodge or no lodge,
On skis well you can rent fatties at Fernie Wilderness that day so you can decide then depending on how much fresh snow they have. Though you never stated how wide is the ski you would use if didn't rent is. I skied at Fernie Wilderness on my Mountain Xs (78mm width, 191cm) and it was great. Trees weren't supper tight but you did have to know how to ski trees or learn fast.
Ability- Every time( well 4 of 5 days) I've cat skied one person has or should have done runs down in the Cat. Two of these were at places that were quite easy, Fernie W and Wildhorse. I was the partner of 3 of these people. Falling in powder is no fun. No falling is fun but digging yourself out is no fun. You do it twice in a run and your bagged. You get down on yourself and think that your holding people up. Its really hard to hold up a Cat. Though if I actually had been a good partner I might of been a bit pissed. Well I did wait for my wife and was actually, but that was at Retallack which does have expert terrain and they do bill themselves that way.
The question to ask self is can you ski powder and trees with your current skis. Then if less that 12 " of fresh then use current skis. If more, ski like a hero on fatties.
If you go bring and change of goggles and gloves. If goggles get wet change and give wet pair to driver to dry out in cab. In the back nothing dries. Too many bodies and melting snow.