Pete & crank,
Thanks for your input. I have been catskiing a couple of times before, & was disappointed. I have heard that some of these places like Vahalla can actually get you to some decent terrain & vertical, so I'll keep that as an option. I've found that heliskiing is usually a better value, so we may try & fit in a day or 2 during one of our stops, depending on funds. I was thinking about Nelson being right on our route, so thanks for the confirmation, definately worth looking into.
Crank, I think the weather you experienced is not uncommon for that area. Looking at historical statistics, it seems the lower elevations of these areas can be a bit iffy. That is why I am reluctant to plan this thing so far ahead of time. I felt lucky on my trip 2 years ago. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=53764
We had good top to bottom skiing at KH & most of the other areas I visted, as well as moderately safe conditions for sidecountry.
Pete, how far out of the way is Silver, depending on conditions that may be an option on one end or the other.