New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cat Skiing ?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have decided to spend my 50th birthday Cat Skiing at Grand Targhee in February. Happy Birthday to me!!!!!

Does anyone have any experience with these guys? Is it worth it?

Anything about cat skiing I should know about?,... look out for (besides trees)?,....ask about. I have heard some bad stories and some good stories about cat skiing. Also what kind of a tip does one give the guides. Thanks.
post #2 of 28
Grand Targhee cat skiing is basically meadow skipping. It's fun, but don't expect to do much that's challenging. Most of the other customers you ski with probably won't be all that good. It's 6-8 runs IIRC. Good powder in December when I went, probably better in February. If you go into it expecting to make some fun powder turns you should be happy. Shred the gnar you will not.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ooooooohhh no....that does not sound good!!!! I was hoping for a little more.....Any other suggestions. I am in Wyoming and can make it to CO or MT.....maybe Whitefish?? They are all pretty close to the same price.
post #4 of 28
Pretty much agree...
I went in early March few years ago and it was untracked knee deep powder all day long without barely ever crossing a track. Medium pitch terrain, sprinkling of bowls and not too tight trees and just steep enough to be fun.
Not that challenging but still really a fun day and worth it. Think we made 7 runs (1700-2000 Vert each?)
Only downside on my end was I felt I could have skied a lot more by the end of the day BUT still one of the more memorable days of skiing I've had. Think we each tipped the guide 20 bucks so he made out OK.
post #5 of 28
Don't go cat skiing they go super slow - like maybe 6mph. It's your 50th birthday I recomend a 1 day heli ski trip. They sometimes include a photographer or even videographer. You can get around 6-7 runs - really long runs compared to cat skiing, for around 1000 a day not including lodging. Hey it will prolly include meals tho
post #6 of 28
I've haven't done it yet, but I heard that the Steamboat cat tours are pretty good.
post #7 of 28
I did the cat once at Grand Targhee.

Like others have said, it's not extreme. You'll get more sphincter-tightening terrain over at Jackson Hole.

Regardless, no untacked is bad. The pitch is reasonable (single black), the terrain is wide, and the guides were great.

Finally, the price was nice - $230 back then. Even if it's $350 now, still not bad. A Helli-day will be 3 to 4 times that amount.

I also don't like the iffiness of a chopper landing on a cornice in high winds. Helli runs are longer, and can be epic. But, choppers are more susceptible to weather than cats. I've done both, and prefer cats.

I have fond memories of that day in Targhee.
post #8 of 28
I had the worst 2 ski trips of my life trying to cat ski at Mt Bailey in Oregon. Out of 4 days I got 1 day of left overs on not very good terrain. One day the cat broke.I had to get towed out behind a snowmobile for 6 miles. On 2nd trip I got one run on eggshell crust over powder that ate everyone including the guides. I've had better days skiing inbound at Kirkwood and Mammoth where I'm familiar with the terrain even late in the day on powder days. I tried twice and got skunked twice. I'd spend the money on heli skiing. It took forever to get to the top of the runs. You are definitely not going to get much vertical. Heck , I've had more fun hiking for extra vertical.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
I did the cat once at Grand Targhee.

Like others have said, it's not extreme. You'll get more sphincter-tightening terrain over at Jackson Hole.

Regardless, no untacked is bad. The pitch is reasonable (single black), the terrain is wide, and the guides were great.

Finally, the price was nice - $230 back then. Even if it's $350 now, still not bad. A Helli-day will be 3 to 4 times that amount.

I also don't like the iffiness of a chopper landing on a cornice in high winds. Helli runs are longer, and can be epic. But, choppers are more susceptible to weather than cats. I've done both, and prefer cats.

I have fond memories of that day in Targhee.
I would echo all of this, ajinsan. I've cat-skied there twice, one of which was my wife's 50th birthday. None of the terrain will intimidate you, but it's a LOT of fun. And I thought the cat went uphill plenty fast - I think it's faster than a chairlift and it's one heck of a lot faster than I can walk up.

Another alternative if you're here in Wyoming is the cat-skiing operation at Angle Mountain. This is about 45 miles from Jackson, up on Togwotee Pass (pronounced TOE-guh-tee). Here's the link: http://www.jacksonhole.com/ad.page.asp?nodeId=133

I haven't skied with the cat operation, but I have randonee-skied there a few times and it was excellent. There's definitely some steeper skiing if that's what you're looking for. Togwotee Pass gets a LOT of snow.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyof View Post
I had the worst 2 ski trips of my life trying to cat ski at Mt Bailey in Oregon. Out of 4 days I got 1 day of left overs on not very good terrain. One day the cat broke.I had to get towed out behind a snowmobile for 6 miles. On 2nd trip I got one run on eggshell crust over powder that ate everyone including the guides. I've had better days skiing inbound at Kirkwood and Mammoth where I'm familiar with the terrain even late in the day on powder days. I tried twice and got skunked twice. I'd spend the money on heli skiing. It took forever to get to the top of the runs. You are definitely not going to get much vertical. Heck , I've had more fun hiking for extra vertical.
I wouldn't judge any skiing by Mt. Bailey.

I also cat-skied there once. It was - no kidding - worst ski-day of my life.

Conditions were wind-blown crust over mush, and visibility was bad. The owners should have cancelled, but didn't. The chosen terrain was best for tearing ACL's (narrow chutes with crust and heavy mank). Even the guides couldn't ski it.

Lodging was the worst I could remember: Diamond Lake Lodge -filled with nocturnal, drunken snowmobilers. No sleep. They also had cat equipment problems and the guides were hung-over stoners. I couldn't wait for that trip to end.

I've done a decent amount of cat-skiing, and NOTHING compares to Mt. Bailey. Stay away from this one!
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for all the comments. I may have to rethink what it is I am looking for.....steep and deep or relaxed and fun. I am not particularly tied to Grand Targhee and at $390 a day now, maybe shopping around may be good. I was thinking of stopping in JH the day before as a tune up. Maybe that is where I will get my steep and deep. I'll check into Steamboat but.....well, back in the day, I spent 11 months there ( in a bus at the KOA....cold assed winter!!) and was completely unimpressed with the "powder" they have. Of course, I had just spent several years in Utah, so..... it is hard to compare.

I appreciate the help from everyone!!! Will post a TR to let you know how it went.
post #12 of 28
I would go to Silverton and do the guided skiing. You could also do 1 or 2 heli drops at $150 each.

http://www.silvertonmountain.com
post #13 of 28
A nice mix is a day or two at Silverton and then a day or two at:

http://www.sanjuanski.com/

which is the snowcat operation that runs out of Durango.
post #14 of 28
Ok, here's cat ski tip you may not have heard. Dress as if you're going to be skiing in a 34 degree snowstorm. The cat is warm, outside is cold. Every bit of snow you bring in with you will melt on your clothes. Bring extra gloves, goggles, whatever. You'll get soaked if you're not waterproof.
post #15 of 28
Try Island Lake Lodge in Fernie B.C.
I skied there for a week. Epic!
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoturn View Post
Try Island Lake Lodge in Fernie B.C.
I skied there for a week. Epic!
That's the one on everyone's radar (Scott Schmidt's operation, isn't it?).

In inquired once, and they were booked a year ahead.

The buzz is they have phenomenal, thrilling terrain, great accommodations, and top-tier guides.
post #17 of 28
Take a look at Togwoteelodge.com/winter activities. I've cat skied there the past two years and it was great. If your alone try to get into a group of good skiers, the better the group the more runs and the more challenging the terrain.
post #18 of 28
Captain,

All that you have heard is true.
Awesome terrain, lodging and dining.
When I went only 36 people skiing a few thousnad acres in the Lizard range. Match this up with a few days at Fernie and you have an incredible combo.
post #19 of 28
Wow! You can go heli-skiing at Silverton for $150?? I've always thought heli-skiing would be great, but a little too expensive for me. Even if it's only one run, at least it would be a way to experience it.
post #20 of 28
anjinsan,

I guess one thing to ask is your ability level and whether or not you are comfortable skiing off-piste.

Targhee Cat Skiing can be the best or worst day of your life, depending on snow conditions and whom you get stuck with. I've been out on the cat somewhere between 10 but less than 75 times (not going to tell you exactly), and I've had everything from too deep of snow (+30") to sun baked death crust; from an entire cat load of Snowbird PSIA Level III instructors (getting in 14 runs) to the "I want to be, no, I shall be, pampered" family from NYC (6 runs); and from 50 degree F spring corn to -15 degree F clear and cold days.

You have to be comfortable skiing all conditions, all day. Not that you're one of these, but LOTS of skiers and boarders show up stating their ability as "Expert" and end up flailing after the first run. I've seen many skiers (and boarders) pay for a full day of cat skiing and then spend half of it riding in the cab of the cat because they have way overstated thier ability and can't hang ("These boots make my thighs hurt."). Again, not saying that you are one of them.

Nothing is groomed, and all (99%) of the steep skiing will be in trees. Peaked Ridge does get guided once in a while (i.e., the guides sometimes take the clients down the ridge, depending on the ability of the group), but not very often.

Take extra gear in a backpack, no matter where you go. And listen to your guides. If they say, "stay to my left", when skiing along Peaked Ridge, they mean it.

HB
post #21 of 28
Wait? There was steep skiing? Shoot.
post #22 of 28
You really should consider Canada. At todays exchange rate, you can take 22% off of posted prices. If you don't want to book a full week at an expensive backcountry lodge, try Big Red Cats near Rossland. We're going back for our 4th year...
post #23 of 28

cat skiing

My wife and I are headed for Big Red Cats in Feb...I think it will be great ( first time there).
Skiing in Canada is Cheap...
You should fly into Spokane
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestEast View Post
Wait? There was steep skiing? Shoot.
Cat skiers have, in the past, gone down this run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5pmQcEl7Aw
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post
Cat skiers have, in the past, gone down this run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5pmQcEl7Aw
Fun run. Too bad my group would have shit itself.
post #26 of 28

Cat Ski

Check out Valhalla Powder Cats, they're in Nelson BC. Google will work.
post #27 of 28
If you want the real experience you need to head up to BC. Ive done some catskiing in the USA and there is always limitations on what you can do because of permits and forest service. In BC some cat skiing operations has thousands and thousands of acres and the possibilities are endless
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Follow Me View Post
You really should consider Canada. At todays exchange rate, you can take 22% off of posted prices. If you don't want to book a full week at an expensive backcountry lodge, try Big Red Cats near Rossland. We're going back for our 4th year...
Wow, I didn't realize how much it's moved downward in the last month. Whistler is definitely on the docket for this winter. Well, it was anyway, but now it looks even more appetizing.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion