The bright red PistenBully wound its way up the switchbacks to the top of San Mateo Ridge. Inside, guide Ron Baldis joined the joyous revelry of his guests as they regaled each other with stories of their last run through the trees.
Baldis grew up skiing in California, making first runs at Big Bear and joining his family for long trips up to Mammoth. In the early 2000s, he got a call to help a fledgling cat skiing manage its business. He ended up buying the company and now, 16 years later, he still gets the same good feeling as he leads skiers and riders across the 43,000 acres of Thousand Peaks he services with his fleet of cats.
PC Powder Cats and Heli-Ski makes dreams come true. On the day we skied with Ron, we joined a group of old high school buddies from Minneapolis. Last summer they got a text chain going, rallying each other to come out to Utah for a guys reunion trip and a weekend of cat skiing.
It was a stormy, wet morning when we arrived at the lodge at the head of Weber Canyon. Soon the cats were charging up hill. That first run is full of apprehension. Then you realize, ‘hey, I can do this.’ Dipping off the ridgeline your skis carve into the snow, kicking up snow plumes.
Tom Kelly takes the Last Chair podcast to Thousand Peaks, getting to know Park City Powder Cats owner Ron Baldis from the cab of a PistenBully. Listen in as Baldis tells the story of Thousand Peaks ranch and what makes cat skiing such a social affair.
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