Originally Posted by Ollie
We made sure our group was 12 guys who were all of like ability. It would truly suck to hold up the group because not everyone was at the same level. Something to consider, not only do you need to be a confident skier but you MUST be fit enough to dig for lost skis and be willing to commit to a buddy system.
Some good points. Cat skiing can be exhausting if you aren't in good shape. If your friends can't ski powder, what would they do when faced with the conditions Ollie's showing in his pictures? Even if they were game to try, half a run would probably do them in. That's not to be condescending, it's just a fact. You say you're an expert and chances are, you've long forgotten how tiring skiing is for inexperienced skiers, especially in deep powder.
My husband and I are in pretty good shape, but our first cat skiing trip showed us we weren't in as good shape as we thought!
: The hikes and traverses into terrain, and traverses and hikes out, were eye opening. Needless to say, in preparing for our Chatter Creek trip, we at least doubled our workouts at the gym and during the summer doubled the hiking. Made a BIG difference.
Four days at Chatter Creek and we were barely feeling it--hot tub in the evening was enough to recover.
As far as I know, most of the remote lodges don't cater to inexperienced powder skiers and riders. Perhaps you could consider a trip next year to a resort that offers cat skiing so they can get their feet wet that way: Targhee, Alta, Monarch, Keystone (which might be perfect for intermediates) come to mind as places to check. And a lesson or two and/or lots of practice in powder beforehand...
Originally Posted by Ollie
It is worth every penny though and I'd love to get back there this year. Feel free to ask more questions. By the way Kicking Horse sucked when we were there.
Kicking Horse sucked when we were there last January too (end of Jan.). It was right in the middle of the Pineapple Express that went through PNW and BC. We basically did laps off the highest chair and while the snow there was decent, it did get boring pretty fast, and you couldn't ski any of the steepest terrain because the snow was so bad and dangerous.
What was so amazing is that while the heli operators and other cat operators were literally shut down during the week we were there, Chatter Creek was open and we skied in thigh-deep powder the entire time.
There were some aspects that couldn't be skied, and we definitely had to stay in the high Alpine (except for a few sections of trees with the right aspect and accumulation of windblown snow), but the snow the guides took us to was fabulous. So, we're there in a bad snow year and get thigh-deep powder, and Ollie's there in a great snow year and you see what he was skiing!
Pretty ringing endorsement!