Powder Skiing for the Young at Heart

It’s Dad’s 60th birthday soon and the family wants to send him on a ski trip. We are hoping that you and Bill and Owen will keep him company”. “Sure”,Powder Skiing for the Young at Heart Articles I said, expecting a destination like Sun Peaks or Rossland.“Where are we going?” “Cat Skiing near Fernie.” “What skiing?” “Cat skiing!”“What’s Cat Skiing?” “Its backcountry skiing from snowcats, sort of a poor man’s heli-skiing.” “Can I afford it?”“You can’t afford to miss this!”That four-day trip was the start of seven years of superb skiing. On that first trip, we had a marvelous time and powder skiing, the likes of which none of us could remember. Run after run in fresh, untracked snow. There were steep rollovers that put my heart in my throat, where the deep snow seemed to support us like an invisible hand, letting us down the fall line slowly and gently. Wow! Face shots galore! I thought, “Life is too short not to be doing this every year!”On the second day of that tour, I presented myself at the lodge office and requested a booking for the following year.“Sorry, full up”.

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“No!”“Yes!” “However, the year after has an opening, and you could have a whole cat.” “Done”, I said, and thought, “You fool, what are you doing?”After much effort, evening after evening of phone calls, hounding old friends and a very long wait, we were back two years later with twelve good men and women. Some were old ski friends of almost 50 years. We had another wonderful trip with great skiing, great snow and great company.Now, years later, we are still at it. We’ve changed venue from near Fernie to a spot near Golden, B.C., where the skiing is a little higher and the snow seems to be a little more reliable. Our host is Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing a partnership of four personable young men who run an excellent operation, about 20 minutes by helicopter north of Golden, on the western flank of the Rocky Mountains.The 130 sq. km. tenure includes a large glacier at just under 10,000ft. elevation, huge open alpine slopes and bowls and a number of enormous ridges that offer superb tree skiing. After many trips to Chatter Creek, we have yet to ski the entire area. Each summer, snowcat roads are extended to open up ever more terrain. An application has been made to increase the terrain size by about 85%. See Cat Skiing Terrain