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Skeena Cat Skiing Inc.

6 Reviews
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Skeena Cat Skiing Inc.

6 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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DBS wrote a review Mar 2020
New England58 contributions98 helpful votes
My wife and I skied here for 4 days. For background, we've cat skied at one other location in BC too, and ski about 25 days/year, mostly in Vermont. We had a great time here! People need to understand that you generally pretty ski tame slopes in terms of pitch when cat skiing. The steeper terrain is too avalanche prone (this is true of most cat ski operations) so you ski slopes with a 30 degree or so pitch. An advanced intermediate can handle the skiing although my wife and I are both experts. Unless you nail your timing perfectly with spring temperatures and snow stability, you won't be skiing 50 degree lines like you see in ski movies. If steep skiing is your thing, you're better off waiting until late spring or going to a formal ski area where they can control avalanche risks daily. We flew into Terrrace airport, which has many more daily flights than recommended Smithers. Depending on exact dates, the staff may be able to pick you up in Terrace but you need to confirm with them prior to booking. After landing at Terrace airport, we had a two hour drive to New Hazelton, followed by a 40 minute car ride, followed by a 30 minute cat ride to base camp. They have a nice main tent with heat, couches, wifi and great food served by a very competent chef. Food was superb. You eat dinner and breakfast in the main tent, and eat lunch (sandwiches, homemade cookies, fruit) on the cat. Each sleeping tent has two twin beds, and heaters. There is a separate bathroom facility and washing facility, with hot water for showers. This means that you need to walk out from your sleeping tent to the bathroom tent to use the bathroom, even at night just to go pee. We generally skied about 15-20 short (less than 1000 feet vertical) runs per day on a mix of alpine and gladed terrain. We had a full cat with several unrelated groups, but everyone had at least an advanced intermediate ability so we never had to wait. The location has more than one snowcat, so the backup cat (normally used for road building) can be used as primary cat if primary breaks down. While this wasn't an issue during our trip, it's extremely valuable to know that your skiing won't be limited because the sole snowcat is broken down and awaiting a spare part that needs to be sent from a parts supplier in a big city. This can happen at other cat ski operations. For us, the group dynamics were odd, but that may be particular to our group. The lead guide had only been guiding this particular location for a few weeks, and lacked the experience of skiing the complete terrain over multiple seasons, which encompasses several thousand acres here. We had several runs which were difficult wind slab that were tough skiing. You don't learn all the terrain nooks and crannies in a few weeks. The tail guide Carla was superb. She was warm, personable, competent, eager to help guests and has skied the terrain over her several years guiding at Skeena. She's a great asset to the organization. We had two minor avalanches during our stay- the first one was caused by a repeat guest who skied beyond the guide's designated boundary (the guides will give you landmarks for how far left and right of their tracks you should go). This person knowingly went slightly outside the guide's direction and caused a small avalanche on themselves. The second avalanche was on a relatively tame (maybe 35 degree) but unskied slope when several people congregated in the same place. The weight of several people in the same spot on the slope crown caused a minor avalanche below them. Nobody was injured in either slide, but several people were very spooked by witnessing the avalanches, and this unease threw the group dynamics off even further than they were before. The group dynamics on our trip were very strained. Guides were justifiably furious with the person who knowingly skied outside of boundary, and there was a lot of arguing. There seemed to be personality clashes too between the tail and lead guide.It's a small group (12 skiers+ 2 guides) so these fights flow through to the entire group. In summary, we had a great experience of skiing powder for 4 days in a very remote area that few people will ever get to see. I will treasure this unique experience for the rest of my life. Seeing the stars at night, the clouds whip over remote peaks, the adventure of the unknown, sharing the passion for skiing and life, good food, and lots of laughs made for a great vacation. If you're the type of person who treasures a unique wilderness active ski vacation, there's nowhere better that I've found. Unlike heli skiing, you won't get grounded due to weather. A special shoutout to Lynn, who helped with the logistics and billing. Without her, we couldn't have made it happen!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Francis H wrote a review Feb 2020
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada9 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
Fantastic experience. Professional guides, endless powder all day long. Well worth the money. Will be returning.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Tina M wrote a review Mar 2017
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia50 contributions16 helpful votes
Stayed at Bearclaw Lodge. Skied withSkeena Heliskiing. Bearclaw Lodge is an excellent Lodge in every way. Excellent staff, rooms, views, meals and extra activities. Skeena is a very professional Heliskiing company with very professional heli pilots and ski guides who are top quality and very safe and helpful in every way. What a tremendous heli operation. Great week.
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Date of experience: March 2017
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steve g wrote a review Mar 2017
Salmon Arm, Canada36 contributions38 helpful votes
Just came off the mountain from the best back country ski experience you can imagine. This is our 4th trip with Skeena Cat and they've always been awesome but we hit the best snow conditions I've ever experienced this trip. It was cold Skiing but the low temperatures made the lightest 2 feet of pure virgin powder you could imagine, 4 days of punching through one great run after another. The terrain is super easy to ski in, much of which is above the tree line, big long powder highways. The accommodations are in insulated, hotel room size, heated tents with large soft beds and comforters, glamor camping (glamping). The food is incredible, fresh baked bread, hot gourmet food 3 meals a day. Après ski every night till you decide to quit, no last call. Too many great things to say, thanks to Jev, Carla, Kevin, Logan and Cindy; see you next year, our silver anniversary.
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Date of experience: March 2017
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Michael H wrote a review May 2016
Smithers, Canada15 contributions13 helpful votes
For novice and expert skiers a trip with Skeena Cat Skiing should be on your bucket list. The terrain is spectacular and the snow is even better.
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Date of experience: February 2016
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