Snowcats (or "cats") are the machines you see grooming ski hills. Ours are specially modified
versions with a heated passenger cabin containing seats to transport twelve guests, two guides and a photographer
Helicopters (or "helis") are the quickest and most flexible way to get you to the untracked.
Ours are specially modified versions with a ski/ snowboard rack and a heated passenger cabin containing seats
to transport four guests and their guide
into the backcountry safely and comfortably. The
will take you to some of the best untracked snow you will ever get the chance to enjoy. With a strictly controlled number
of people per day, you always get first tracks. The only people you see are your friends and the guides.
More on our cats.
More on our helis.
Using a snowcat is the most fun and social way to get your untracked snow fix. If you are nervous about
flying in a helicopter or if you are tired of the crowded, rushed experience that ski resort powder has
become, Catskiing is the powder experience you are looking for. No lift lines, no crowds, untracked
powder all day. You're with a small group of 11 other guests in 4,300 acres of untracked snow with
beautiful views of magnificent mountains all around. Catskiing has great atmosphere as it's just
you and your friends, and the very best 'bang for your buck' when it comes to the amount of skiing you get for the money.
A heli's the quickest and most exciting way to get your untracked snow fix.
If you are tired of the crowded, cramped and rushed experience that ski resort powder has become, heliskiing is the
powder experience you are looking for. No lift lines, no crowds, untracked powder all day. You're part of a group of 4 guests
flying through 4,300 acres of untracked snow with beautiful views of magnificent mountains all around. With a helicopter we can take
you to the best lines with the best snow.
It doesn't matter how old you are, as long as you want powder runs!
Our average age is mid-20s to mid-40s.
If you want to bring your kid or kids in the cat or heli, please keep the
rest of the group in mind when you judge their skiing or riding ability.
If your child is unable to keep up with the group, then they will have to ride in the cat for the day with no refund.
If you book a private cat or heli then as it's your machine, you can ski or ride at the speed you want.
We love kids getting the Powder Mountain experience, but not to the detriment of other guests' experience.
We use fully equipped Pisten Bully 300 Snowcats especially designed for catskiing. They have
comfortable bucket seating for twelve, two guides and a photographer, as well as panoramic
view windows for checking out the peaks and runs that have made Powder Mountain Catskiing legendary.
More on our cats.
We use fully equipped A Star (Eurocopter AS350) helicopters especially designed for heliskiing.
They have comfortable seating for four guests and one guide and a photographer.
More on our helis.
SnowcatHelicopter skiing is as safe as we can make backcountry skiing.
cat has two highly trained and certified guides who are
helicopter has a highly trained and certified guide who is
constantly monitoring snow and weather conditions so you can be as safe as possible in
an uncontrolled backcountry environment.
Every morning our guides have a safety meeting covering everything from A-Z to make sure
your day with us is safe, fun and enjoyable. There is always an element of risk in any backcountry
experience however, and you will need to read and sign our waiver.
Our guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or riding, the guide will assess the
situation and take whatever steps are necessary.
Your safety is our prime concern. Therefore, our guides constantly monitor snow and weather conditons throughout
the day so you can be as safe as possible in the uncontrolled environment of the backcountry. Every guest wears a
transceiver and is shown how to operate it.You're also given a safety orientation session for your general
No, but all our certified guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or
riding, the guide will assess the situation and take whatever steps are necessary.
A transceiver is an electronic beacon that you wear on your body when ever you are in the backcountry. It sends
out a signal whenever it it turned on. If ever needed it will lead us right to you. All guests are provided
with transceivers which must be worn.
We match groups to terrain.
We accept people with moderate to high skill level in powder.
We will take you powder shredding even if you're not the best rider, but if you are holding up the group then you may be asked to sit out a run, or to stay in the cat for your own safety. Please determine if this is for you. If you are asked to sit out, there is no refund. Please respect the guides decision to keep you safe.
You should have intermediate skiing ability with experience in a variety of conditions
including powder, trees and steeper terrain. Our more relaxed experience lets you concentrate on
enjoying the day and learning to ski better. Our guides are all fully certified ski instructors who
can help you with tips and pointers throughout the day to help you get comfortable in powder snow and
ski better. Untracked snow is great for learning to ski in powder.
We highly recommend that you rent fat skis from Summit Sport Rentals in Whistler.
They make skiing or learning to ski powder easier and take less energy than regular skis. Rent some. You'll be glad you did.
There is no need to be intimidated about going
If you can link turns with proficiency on a blue run then you are ready to start
Riding powder on a snowboard, if you have never done it, is one of the easiest things to get the hang of. Our more relaxed
experience lets you concentrate on enjoying the day and learning to ride better. Our guides
who are fully certified instructors can help you with tips and pointers throughout the day so
you'll quickly get comfortable in powder snow and ride better. You will learn so much about
riding powder from them that you will be an expert in no time.
If you don't have a powder specific board we
recommend renting one from Summit Sport Rentals. Powder boards make learning to ride in powder the easiest
thing ever. The correct board is everything. You won't use all your energy fighting with your board to stay afloat.
Obviously, the more fit you are the less tired you will be at the end of the day.
The cool thing about the cat is that if you are tired you can "sit out" a run and ride down in
the snowcat while you re-energize.
Our highest elevation is about 6,500 feet, so altitude is not a problem.
Our runs range in vertical from 800ft to around 3,000ft. Most runs are in the 1200-2200 vertical foot size. Having runs
of this size means you spend less time in the cat between runs and more time skiing or riding. It also means you can
charge down each run with out getting worn out.
We also highly recommend renting fat skis or a powder snowboard from Summit Sport Rentals. Having the right equipment makes
it so much easier, so you can use all your energy skiing or riding instead of wasting it fighting with your equipment to stay afloat.
As much as we'd all like to be extremenators, what you see in magazines are professional riders paid to
do amazing and carefully planned things.
Real powder skiing and riding is different. With most of our terrain being descents ranging from 20
degrees to 45 degrees, we can pick lines to suit the group's ability and aims. Imagine a perfect day
at your favorite mountain riding powder with no one around. That's what
is everyday. The only people you see are the other people in the group you came with. Once people have been
once, they understand what the excitement is all about, how easy it really is and
they start counting the days until their next trip.
Absolutely! With our two guide system, everyone skis and rides at their own pace within the group.
This makes for a relaxing day without the intimidation that is sometimes felt by friends "trying to keep up".
One of the nicest things about catskiing is that people of different abilities can ride together because the cat can only get
to the bottom of the run at a certain speed. This means you go at your own pace to the bottom. You won't have the feeling that you
are "holding up the group". With two guides everyone gets the same experience: guided powder skiing in the mountains, safely,
with more fun and great times than you can imagine. If part of the group is slower, one part of the group goes with the lead
guide and the other part of the group goes with the second guide. No stress, no vibes from the rest of the group, just happy
smiles and jokes about wipeouts and epic face shots. Exactly what a day in the mountains with your friends should be!
The helicopter moves quickly and there is a single guide for the four guests, which can be a challenge if the group isn't well balanced.
If you are unsure of your, or your buddy's ability, then please give us a call and we'll work out the best experience for you.
Catskiing is a great place to learn if you are willing. Please understand that if you feel you
are ready to go Catskiing but end up holding up the group you may be asked to sit out with no refund. Please respect
the guides if they ask you to sit out for the happiness of the group or for your safety.
Heliskiing can be a great place to learn if you are in a group who are willing to wait for you, although
we can't hold up the rest of the group should you be unable to keep up. If you're unsure about your ability, please call us
to discuss your options. In some cases cat skiing may be a better place to start because it's more flexible with respect to
skier/ rider ability.
We have terrain for every ability and fetish. Tree skiing freak? Powder Mountain Catskiing/ Heliskiing has awesome trees and
glades. Love the high alpine open bowl skiing? Got you covered. With 5 peaks to choose from we have every kind of
skiing you could want. The guides constantly monitor the weather and snow and we go to where the snow that is
best that day. Check out our run maps
There are only a couple of our runs that are only accessible with a short hike. They are worth the hike. In general
though there is no hiking involved: that's why we have the
Not less than 7,000 ft, but mostly 8,000ft to 10,000ft per day. You can expect six to ten runs, depending on the conditions and the group. Our runs range in vertical from 800ft to around 3,000ft. Most runs are in the 1200-2200 vertical foot size. Having runs of this size means you spend less time in the cat between runs and more time skiing or riding. It also means you can charge down each run with out getting worn out.
We don't have an exact number as we are always discovering new ones. With over 4,300 acres of powder,
there are more runs than we know what to do with. The coolest thing is we always have your best run,
and there is always "one more".
Free pick up at Our Village location 4145 Village Green. If you are
in the Village Square, look for Starbucks on the main drag. Be dressed and ready to ski.
We drive you and your equipment to our base lodge where you meet your guides.
The Powder Mountain Lodge is about 20 minutes south
of Whistler on Highway 99 at the Chance Creek turn off.
There is no breakfast, so make sure you eat before we take off.
Check here for pick-up times and please don'
t be late. Time wasted cuts into the amount of skiing
you get in a day. Every turn you miss is one you are behind.
We cannot do pickups at anywhere other than The Village. If you are coming from a hotel in Whistler,
your concierge can point you in the right direction or order you a cab to drop you off at TheTaxi Loop. If you have booked
a private cat for the day we can pick you up at your hotel or condo.
Every day varies according to snow conditions, group ability, weather and other factors, so we can't give
you an exact time. Plan on returning to Whistler at around 5:00 PM. See here for a
typical day's schedule.
Yes, tipping is allowed and encouraged.
Each snow cat takes a single group of twelve people, two guides and a photographer. The most we ever
have on our mountains are three snowcats. Unlike heliskiing, you have your own machine so you can
bring a pack with anything you think you might need and leave it under your seat in the cat.
Each heli takes a single group of four guetss plus a guide. We fly in
different terrain from that used by our snowcats.
The helicopter may be shared with one or two other groups of four guests, so you can't generally
leave anything in the heli between runs.
The first ride up in the cat takes anywhere from 25 minutes to a hour minutes before we drop in for the first run, depending on which of the 5 peaks we are skiing that day. After that the runs come quickly. The average cat ride time is 10- 15 minutes for each run. Just enough time to recharge your energy, grab a snack or something to drink crack some jokes, make some friends. Sometimes it seems like you just got in the cat at the bottom of the run and then suddenly you are back at the top getting ready to drop in. It's amazing how much fun and how social catskiing is.
We guarantee 7,000 vertical feet of skiing or riding. On an average day you can expect to do six to ten runs.
Absolutely! Whistler has pro skiers like a hot tub has water.
There's always the off chance a famous skier or snowboarder will be part of your group. They know how much fun
and riding is.
We have a professional photographer on the cat with every group.
We have a professional photographer who will try to meet up with you during your day in the back country.
Everything's shot on digital so at the end of the day we can burn you a CD with the photos of you
from the day. Also included on the CD is a greatest hits package of photos from Powder Mountain Catskiing/ Heliskiing.
Who knows, maybe you will make our greatest hits slideshow.
The photographer is with you the entire day, not just for a run or two. We chronicle
the whole day. We understand that this is a day you have been dreaming of, and it'll be filled with moments where you
think: "Man! I wish I had a picture of that". Our photographer will get all those moments. Your
day never ends because of the photos - you can re-live that perfect turn or slash forever.
Fat skis make powder easy and require less energy to turn so you have more energy all day and get more skiing and more fun.
If you don't have fat skis, rent them from Summit Sport Rentals. You can thank us afterwards.
Click on the Summit Sport logo to book.
Snowboards: We use and recommend Burton powder snowboards as they are designed
for backcountry snowboarding. Not everything works in powder anymore. Get a powder specific board
and double the enjoyment of your day.
Not at all. What ever makes you stoked works.
Dedicated powder skis and boards just make it easier.
Trust us though, we get so much snow you'll be glad
you had the fattest skis you could rent.
Suffering is optional.
You can rent all the ski or snowboard equipment you
need at Summit Sport Rentals. Their service and
selection are the best in Whistler. Click on the
button to book your rentals.
You can rent all the ski or snowboard equipment you need at Summit Sport Rentals. Their service and selection are the best in
Whistler. Click on the button to book your rentals.
We recommend the same clothing as you would wear at a ski resort.
are heated, there are plenty of opportunities to warm up between runs.
Unlike a ski area where you have to carry everything with you, you can bring extra clothes as you can store
them in the cat in case you need them. Dress in layers as we have a wide variety of weather conditions and
you may need to add or subtract a layer.
Bring both if you wish. Most of the time we all wear goggles, although once spring rolls around
sunglasses are great. As we are in the alpine some form of eye protection is necessary. Our
guides use and recommend Oakley Goggles and sunglasses.
You may want to bring a backpack to carry your spare clothes in. Our guides use
and recommend dakine backpacks. You can leave your bag in the cat so your gear is always close at hand.
You may want to bring a backpack to carry your spare clothes and other stuff in, but you can't leave it in the heli between
runs so you'll have to ride with it. Our guides use and recommend dakine backpacks.
We have water, drinks, snacks and food on board, but your own stash never hurt. All safety equipment (shovels, probes, transcievers) is
provided, but if you are
more comfortable with your own by all means bring it.
The Tricouni area typically receives 60% more snowfall on average than Whistler/Blackcomb. Our Cypress area recieves double the snowfall of WB. Our average snowfall is approximately 18 meters/60 feet per year. This makes for more powder days than you can imagine. With only two cats with twelve people per cat on the whole mountain you can imagine how long the powder lasts. FOREVER!
The beauty of
is that the snow is always great. If it isn't we don't go skiing! Your experience is the most important thing. We won't take you
skiing if the snow is bad just to "make money". If the snow is good, which is 99 days out of 100, then we go. Otherwise we don't.
Our season starts in mid December and goes to mid April. December, January, February and March are the
prime powder months where we have fresh snow all the time. April has great snow with awesome corn after the spring hits. Three
years ago our best day of the year was April 18th. With 4,300 acres of untracked snow, when you come with us you are going to
get the goods. Spring time also means longer days so you get more skiing for the same money.
The temperature is typical for winter weather in BC.
One of the best things about the snowcats is that after every run you have time to warm up in the heated passenger cab
as it carries you back up the mountain for your next run. That's better than long cold lift lines and freezing charilift rides. You can
store extra clothes in the cat so that you are always dressed correctly for the temperature. Gloves got wet? No problem, grab your
extra pair from the cat.
Don Schwartz Owner & Head Guide & Canadian Snowboard Legend
Ken Achenbach Owner & Snowboarding Hall of Fame Member
Gord Calder Operations Manager, Cat driver, skier
We know powder. We've traveled the world looking for it and this is it. Come skiing or riding with us
and you'll have your best day in the mountains ever.
Our office address is Powder Mountain Catskiing and Heliskiing Inc Box 1116 Whistler BC V0N-1B8 Canada.
Our telephone numbers are at the bottom of this page.