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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    Has anyone tried Big Red Cats out of Red mtn?

    I have trip there in Jan
    Big Red Cats was the greatest Groupon ever, several years ago. Someone posted it here, and a bunch jumped on it. There's a thread somewhere on it, and there might be some more comments on BRC there.

    BRC was friendly staff, scenic terrain, but I don't remember it being super challenging. It may have been the group (some less advanced) or it may have been conditions. I still had a lot of fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  2. #52
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougW View Post
    You have to be super slow to not be at the spot waiting for the Cat. Other people may have been waiting for a couple of minutes but everybody waits.
    Yah but when you do have those super slow people it is painful. My only cat experience was at Revelstoke last winter and we had an epic 70cm dump the day before so conditions were about as good as I have every seen. Unfortunately we got stuck with 2 fat out of shape NY woman. I knew right off the bat when one fell and lost all her gear within 20 yards for leaving the first cat and took 15 min to get her skis on again we were doomed. Every run we were waiting for them 15+ min at the cat. Most of the day the 10 skilled people followed the lead guild and the tail guide broke off and basically held the other 2's hands coming down. Luckily we got a few runs when the guide made them stay in the cat as the terrain as to tough for them so we got a few good runs. Kind of killed the whole experience though as everyone was pissed at them.

  3. #53
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    On the slow people issue: avoid having snowboarders in your cat group. If there's any flats at all, and if the snow is deep and soft like you're paying for and hoping it'll be, the snowboarders will really slow you down.

    I did a single day with Pacific Crest a few years ago. About half the cat was a group of snowboarders. We unloaded the cat at the top of the first run, and the lead guide told everyone to follow him over a short distance on a flattish traverse to start the first run. Guide, me, and another skier or two went on over, and stopped.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    And the guide radio'd back to the tail guide, who was still near the cat, with the snowboarder group that was struggling to get themselves over from the cat to the start point.

    Every run was like that. Floundering, flailing...
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    On the slow people issue: avoid having snowboarders in your cat group. If there's any flats at all, and if the snow is deep and soft like you're paying for and hoping it'll be, the snowboarders will really slow you down.

    I did a single day with Pacific Crest a few years ago. About half the cat was a group of snowboarders. We unloaded the cat at the top of the first run, and the lead guide told everyone to follow him over a short distance on a flattish traverse to start the first run. Guide, me, and another skier or two went on over, and stopped.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    And the guide radio'd back to the tail guide, who was still near the cat, with the snowboarder group that was struggling to get themselves over from the cat to the start point.

    Every run was like that. Floundering, flailing...
    Just wait, you may even get a no-boarder in the group.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  5. #55
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    It must depend on the terrain, at Skeena the guide and one of the tail gunners are snow boarders so no waiting for snow boarders
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #56
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    Sep 2011
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    ^ not a lot of flat to worry about at Skeena though.

  7. #57
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    you should have been there when a certain bro hits the flat at the bottom of a steep double ejects and hits so hard his aviy pack inflated
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #58
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    Yah but when you do have those super slow people it is painful. My only cat experience was at Revelstoke last winter and we had an epic 70cm dump the day before so conditions were about as good as I have every seen. Unfortunately we got stuck with 2 fat out of shape NY woman. I knew right off the bat when one fell and lost all her gear within 20 yards for leaving the first cat and took 15 min to get her skis on again we were doomed. Every run we were waiting for them 15+ min at the cat. Most of the day the 10 skilled people followed the lead guild and the tail guide broke off and basically held the other 2's hands coming down. Luckily we got a few runs when the guide made them stay in the cat as the terrain as to tough for them so we got a few good runs. Kind of killed the whole experience though as everyone was pissed at them.
    Ok that is extreme that actually delayed cat waiting for them. I guess I had that as a single twice. Paired with a Brit then a eastern skier cousin of somebody in the operation. Worked out for me as both gave up and road in the cat all day whereas I got to ski with a super sexy swed blonde super skier. We always arrived at the pickup spot seconds after lead guide. The guide was hitting on her so hard .
    Mrs. Dougw- "I can see how one of your relatives could have been killed by an angry mob."

    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    dougW, you motherfucking dirty son of a bitch.

  9. #59
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    Nov 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    Has anyone tried Big Red Cats out of Red mtn?

    I have trip there in Jan
    I've been there 3 times I think? Guides and owners were awesome, super friendly people and the terrain was good. There was some really fun tree skiing but nothing too crazy as far as steeps. I was there early in the season so some of the bigger runs weren't in yet.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    Has anyone tried Big Red Cats out of Red mtn?

    I have trip there in Jan
    I'm probably doing a day there and a couple at red/whitewater in late January as well. I was hoping for Valhalla powdercats, but they had no availability that fit my schedule.
    ::.:..::::.::.:.::..::.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldereldo View Post
    This, a group or even one or two people who canít handle steep or gnarly lines will doom the entire group to terrain they can handle, or a group who doesnít religiously follow the guides instructions and wanders off the designated line can cause the guide to dial the exposure back until it is totally safe. We once had a guy who came into our group, last minute, friend of a friend to replace a cancellation. He left a 3 day trip after the first day because he thought he was going to be able ski where and when he wanted, and when he was instructed to stay within certain limits proceeded to ignore the guide and dive down alternate drainages. We spent 1/2 hour at one point waiting for the tail gunner to find him, and bring him back to the group. Needless to say the guide was not amused, we were not amused and his reception turned distinctly frosty. He left that night.
    agreed on listening to the guide is important.. would rank folks not listening to the guide as more of a problem than less skilled.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougW View Post
    Ok that is extreme that actually delayed cat waiting for them. I guess I had that as a single twice. Paired with a Brit then a eastern skier cousin of somebody in the operation. Worked out for me as both gave up and road in the cat all day whereas I got to ski with a super sexy swed blonde super skier. We always arrived at the pickup spot seconds after lead guide. The guide was hitting on her so hard .
    You got the wrong brit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    Catskiing is great for aging, inexperienced, and/or out of shape skiers who need to pay to access powder skiing, but otherwise feels like being herded around, between long periods of hanging out (which should be the primary reason for organizing a compatible group). Anyone who can, will get way better skiing and have a much more satisfying experience by ski touring. Fit and experienced tourers will even get similar vertical.
    Me doth agree

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    Catskiing is great for aging, inexperienced, and/or out of shape skiers who need to pay to access powder skiing, but otherwise feels like being herded around, between long periods of hanging out (which should be the primary reason for organizing a compatible group). Anyone who can, will get way better skiing and have a much more satisfying experience by ski touring. Fit and experienced tourers will even get similar vertical.
    Touring Vs cat. A different experience, yes.

    "Better and more satisfying". To each his own.

  15. #65
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    Jun 2011
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    Sounds like a shitty guide who doesnít know the terrain. If heís been there before with snowboarders before, he should know to not go back.

    Iím not saying we need a snowboarder as a guide but I hate following clueless skiers who doesnít plan ahead. Sure you can walk using your poles, but why would you if you donít have to? Avoiding flats, stop way above flats, and if you must go through flats, let people know to space out and follow tracks. Pretty simple.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #66
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmokes View Post
    Sounds like a shitty guide who doesn’t know the terrain. If he’s been there before with snowboarders before, he should know to not go back.

    I’m not saying we need a snowboarder as a guide but I hate following clueless skiers who doesn’t plan ahead. Sure you can walk using your poles, but why would you if you don’t have to? Avoiding flats, stop way above flats, and if you must go through flats, let people know to space out and follow tracks. Pretty simple.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Yup. My GF typically snowboards on powder days and skis on the other days (there are sometimes exceptions). She gets very angry with me when i forget she is on a board and lead here on a traverse or accross a flat bottom that takes me less than 20 seconds to skate or sidestep up, but requires her to unstrap and posthole around for 5 minutes because she is courteous and gets out of the track to allow other skiers by. It really sucks when i realize right after committing to the line that its gonna be a bad time for her haha.

    By the same token, she has a much easier and better time when we get to an transition zone and i beater my way through a 1" breakable crust, while she cruises along enjoying the snow.

    Gotta know your crowd... and if you are getting paid to show folks a good time, you better be thinking of them first.

  17. #67
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    Sep 2006
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    I know the OP asked about Cat skiing, but I did a one day outing with RK Heliski back in January of 2014. They fly out of Panorama. It was a deal where I put my name on the wait list a week ahead of time as I was skiing at Lake Louise. I ended up getting a call 5 days out that they had an opening. The customer service rep asked me several questions about my skill level. Seems they had two spots open. One was with a group of strong intermediates, and the 2nd group was with some repeat customers of very solid expert level skiers. I was hesitant to say the least about getting stuck with the expert group just from the stand point of; are these a bunch of bro brah bad asses, who like to huck and drop 20 footers? And charge hard all day? (This was my first time heliskiing). I ended up with 3 dudes and 4 chicas that were all ex racers out of BC and Alberta. A couple of the dudes had done professional video and photog work. So, I was on the other end of the spectrum of these 7 skiers wondering if I was going to be able to ski at their pace or hold them back. They kept asking me probing questions about how long had I been skiing, where did I like to ski etc. Once I told them I grew up in UT and AK, been skiing since I could walk, and did the backcountry thing, they kind of relaxed. Long story short, I held my own and then some. The 4 women gave me the highest honor of saying I was the best person they had ever skied with while the 3 guys said I was a close 2nd to a blond haired, blue eyed cutey out of the Arlberg. I'll take it as a compliment.

    In any event they have decent terrain, and their pricing isn't much more for a day of heli than a lodge experience at a cat operation. Surprised they don't start flying before the 21st of Dec. though.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  18. #68
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    On the slow people issue: avoid having snowboarders in your cat group. If there's any flats at all, and if the snow is deep and soft like you're paying for and hoping it'll be, the snowboarders will really slow you down.
    LMFAO!

    I mean, I can see your point, I guess (though decent guides would gather everybody before a flat spot, make a track, and make sure everyone knows to take that track - I've been on cat trips with knuckle-draggers, and it has never been an issue). I'm only lulz-ing because...THE O.P. IS A SNOWBOARDER!

    Anyhow, another thing to keep in mind, maybe, is the damn Pinapple Express. I've been to Retallack twice. Both times, as we arrived, it was absolutely puking beautiful, huge flakes, and we were giddy about the pow we were going to slay in the morning. But both times, it turned to pouring rain overnight and cat-skiing operations were cancelled. Yes, the lodge is nice - fkn yay.

    I don't know how common this is or isn't (Canuckistanis in this thread may have some insight), but next time I book a BC cat trip, I'll be looking for something higher altitude and/or further north (assuming those exist and are decent).

    But don't worry...we had great fun at Fernie, Whitewater, Red, Rogers Pass, Kootenay Pass, etc. - some of the best skiing I've done in my life.

  19. #69
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    Nov 2014
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    yeah i'm a snowboarder. it's true - if you love being in the flats, skiing is the way to go. i'd like to think if it's possible to make it across a flat zone without poling and if i'm given some notice, i won't slow anyone down. but yeah i'm looking for terrain with minimal flats. not to toot my own horn, but i'm pretty sure i'm not slowing anyone down in the terrain i want to ride.

    it's now looking like a buddy and i are going to be doing a mainly touring trip in the koots, with a couple resort days here and there. that combined with my increasing fear (due to this thread) of dropping $2700 for 3 days of being held back by a shitty group is making the cat trip less likely. cool to read everyone's experiences though. if only i had 12 friends that weren't so fucking cheap...

  20. #70
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    I had an opportunity to check out Baldface outside of nelson, BC when a group had a cancellation and I got a nice discount. I was at least familiar with the majority of the group from college. Drove up from PDX. Had nice conditions. The terrain they put us on was mellow, but fun. Got plenty of vert and certainly couldn't match with (my) human power. They get you to different zones well. Operations appears to book up well in advance but that may change as the economy takes a digger or if you have smaller groups.

    Not really sure what kind of gnar you can get into there if your group is all pros. They seam to host a lot of industry peeps and cater a bit more to snowboarder crowd. Snowboarders in our group were definitely not holding anyone back and the guides/staff were great. The dining and partying at the lodge was top notch as well. Lunch/breakfast was just okay, but suitable. I'd recommend the place for sure.

    Hit whitewater resort to extend your trip. Great mountain outside nelson.



    vid is limited and doesn't do the terrain justice

  21. #71
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by raypruit View Post
    yeah i'm a snowboarder. it's true - if you love being in the flats, skiing is the way to go. i'd like to think if it's possible to make it across a flat zone without poling and if i'm given some notice, i won't slow anyone down. but yeah i'm looking for terrain with minimal flats. not to toot my own horn, but i'm pretty sure i'm not slowing anyone down in the terrain i want to ride.

    it's now looking like a buddy and i are going to be doing a mainly touring trip in the koots, with a couple resort days here and there. that combined with my increasing fear (due to this thread) of dropping $2700 for 3 days of being held back by a shitty group is making the cat trip less likely. cool to read everyone's experiences though. if only i had 12 friends that weren't so fucking cheap...
    I wouldn't get too spooked about a slow group at Retallack. It's got terrain that more intermediate skiers/boarders would probably avoid. Here's a video we shot a few years ago that shows some of the terrain.



    Also, if you do tour and want to hit up a resort here and there, you might consider a single day cat trip with Valhalla. They've got great terrain and you're not paying for lodging or food, other than the lunch they serve you. It could be a good way to get a bit of an introduction without springing for the full three days. Here's some video we shot there.


  22. #72
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    Good idea on Valhalla or similar places that can have a single day opening come up at the last minute.

    Usually it’s because they had a full cat and one person was so slow and annoying that everyone else killed that person and hid their body in a tree well, opening up space for a skilled rider to join the group the next day!

    Win win situation.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  23. #73
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    ^^ Unless you're the slow, annoying guy. Then, not so much...

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    Has anyone tried Big Red Cats out of Red mtn?

    I have trip there in Jan
    One day there. A lot of cut block and tree skiing. As a poster above said, not a lot of steep. It was pretty thin cover the day I was there, but it was still fun (when is cat skiing not fun?).

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlimFlamvanHam View Post
    One day there. A lot of cut block and tree skiing. As a poster above said, not a lot of steep. It was pretty thin cover the day I was there, but it was still fun (when is cat skiing not fun?).
    Did two days there back in that GroupOn year.

    With good coverage, the terrain gets better. I know that they work pretty hard in the off-season to open up and maintain better and steeper terrain.

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