By Powderhound Matt \ February 28 2013 \ 14 Comments
Who knew Snowbird had cat skiing? I sure as hell didn’t. How is it even possible, that the guy who calls himself the “Powderhound” was unaware of such offerings. When I got the call Sunday night to test out the goods on Monday morning, the day after a 20” dump in Little Cottonwood, needless to say I switched up my plans, set the alarm clock and hit the sack.
Cat Skiing is new to the Bird... here is my take on the whole situation. Let’s say you’re a tourist and you’re on vacation. It just dumped on the mountain, and you skied the resort the entire day. Obviously, your sea level loving legs are shot. You still have another day tomorrow... and you don’t want to hit the 300 vertical feet of tracked runs. How do you still ski the Greatest Snow on Earth? Get on the phone (801) 947-8222 and book a day with Cat Skiing for Nature Adventure. You’ll be able to spend the entire morning skiing Powder at your own pace with no competition.
With that ticket, you get a first class breakfast at the Forklift Restaurant. It’s at the Base of the Tram and is a huge upgrade from those operations that say “breakfast included,” which really only equates to a Cliff Bar.
Breakfast is followed by a quick orientation and a PrePublic Tram ride! That in itself is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. From there, you get to rip around Mineral Basin all by yourself. When I say rip, I mean it! We were going full throttle back there, skiing at speeds up to 65 mph. Depending on how fast you go you can get one to three laps before the public shows up.
From there, it’s out to the Bookends Traverse and the real meat and potatoes of the day. The Cat Skiing. Now, like I said earlier, the terrain is new back there so the opportunities are endless... but for now the set up is super mellow and relaxed. You don’t need to be a pro skier to take this tour.
Once your Cat has reached its final destination, your group will ski between 6 and 10 Cat laps in an old growth forest. That in itself is extremely rare in Utah because of our mining history. If your not sure what I’m talking about, Spencer and Jono your guides will get you up to speed on your Little Cottonwood mining history. These guys seem to be mining buffs with all the knowledge they unloaded on our group.
As the day rolls on you’ll ski untracked powder in shots that range from 600 to 900 vertical feet. It’s not overwhelming but certainly not underwhelming either. You won’t find the super challenging terrain Snowbird offers at the resort, but you will find the famous champagne powder the Bird and Little Cottonwood Canyon are famous for.
So to summarize, here is the deal. Get to Snowbird, ski the heck out of the resort on the powder day and just as you begin to run out of gas but are still craving more, make your reservation and guarantee yourself another day of skiing totally untracked powder. Now this is just my opinion, but I think skiing 1-3 days after a storm would be the best time to ski this terrain. You don’t necessarily want to be there the day it’s dumping, I mean why would you when you have the legendary terrain of Snowbird and chairlifts at your disposal. Well that’s my take on the situation. Let me know if any of you have been out there yet.
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