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Keystone $5 Outback Cat-Shuttle?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried the Keystone Outback Cat-Shuttle?

For $5 per tow (like Utah's funky but fabulous Powder Mountain), you apparently get hoisted to pristine back-country terrain.

The concept has me drooling - especially at the price. But, the few times I've skied Keystone, I've never found it to be a powder destination.

Doesn't Keystone have the most spare snowfall of all Summit County resorts? If so, does this Cat-Shuttle now make it worthwhile to target Keystone for a pow day?
post #2 of 7
I was psyched-up to try this last Apr when I spent a few days at Keystone, but the operation is sporadic in late season and wasn't open during my stay. Not due to lack of snow. They told us due to about a foot of snow our first day that they needed to check the area for avalanche danger and didn't have enough patrol on duty during last week of season for that. I guess I would call ahead before you plan to try it and I hope you'll give us a report when you do it. Some people call this Back-country Lite. The non-operating Cat I saw was very conveniently located/parked at the summit of The Outback chairlift. It takes you about 500 vertical feet above the lift served runs over mostly open bowl terrain, some routes feed into glades, all eventually link back to ski trails and lifts. My son, nephew, and I walked about 1/4 mile to ski/board some of this same terrain and it was easy single black diamond in difficulty. I come from the mid-Atlantic, so I'm kind of easy to please, but from what I saw the snow ain't so sparse at Keystone that you can't have a freakin' blast there.
post #3 of 7
It's worth it if you just don't feel like taking on the 15 minute or so hike.
It doesn't take you anywhere you can't hike to (inbounds).
Both the North and South Bowls can be pretty sweet on powder days.

But... for $65 or so you can take the cat to Independence Bowl !!!
post #4 of 7
Like above poster said, it is worth it if you don't feel like hiking and there is some fresh snow. Once you get up there you can do some good hiking and you'll be pretty alone most days. Keystone does get the least snow in Summit, but on a good snow day I always hike to North, South, or Independence bowls and you can always find fresh tracks up there.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sounds like it's definitely worth checking-out. The Independence Bowl option sounds enticing.

Knowing the terrain is avy-checked -a plus.

It's good to know Keystone can get rocked with snow. Even at less snow than the neighbors, it's still Summit County.
post #6 of 7
Last few times I was in the outback it was all skied out. The cat is there but you might as well just hoof it. Once you get up the first part you can just ski down thru the gate and part way up the hill, most of the snow around the far sides is usually windblown or sunbaked in the late season.
post #7 of 7
So, has anyone skied the complete cat day up at Keystone? I'm heading up there for a work conference and thought about checking it out. I would hate to shell out the $$ and only access tracked-out snow.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Keystone $5 Outback Cat-Shuttle?