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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    979

    Cat/Heli Skiing Etiquette and Tips

    Going for a single day with Valhalla in early march with my fiance. First time ever going catskiing, and as it is a bunch of money id like to get the most out of it.

    What are some things i should know, should bring, should expect? How can i best handle being grouped with a cat full of jerrys so im not stuck on boring terrain all day? How can i best handle being the Jerry in a cat full of rippers so i don't kill myself, or their vibe? How much do i tip the guides/cat driver? Should i insulate more or less than normal? Etc.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    30,597
    Have your shit squared away and ready to go when you arrive. But be prepared for far more waiting around than you want at start of day. Don't ask the guide for non-jerry treatment or the special gnar.

    Listen attentively to pre-flight instructions from guide and pilot.

    Minimal high fiving and selfie taking.

    Follow guides skiing instructions regarding where, when and spacing... to the syllable.

    Offer help to those in group that need it.

    Nail your beacon practice.

    Dont touch the helicopter unless expressly instructed. Keep your gear organized at landings and loadings.

    Keep your skis out of the rotor. Dont walk behind the helicopter even when it's not running.

    Dont knock the snow off your boots on the heli as you get in.

    Enjoy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    " I don't wana see a bunch of beer cans falling out on the ground when I open the door ... keep it together eh "
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Highyak
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    What Brit said with the addition of, "Pay attention to the helicopter safety briefing." You might need to know where the PLB switch & emergency fuel shutoff button are.

    Catskiing is a pretty chill day. Heli days tend to be more rushed as Jet-A is expensive as are pilots. Regardless of mode of transport, make sure you enjoy the ride!
    "Pay your nickel and take your chances"
    "they don't groom Alpental, they just move shit around."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipedream View Post
    What Brit said with the addition of, "Pay attention to the helicopter safety briefing." You might need to know where the PLB switch & emergency fuel shutoff button are.
    Think I said that?

    But yep. Give guide and pilot the impression you are the guy in their load that has their shit together.

    Don't ask "what's an airbag".
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    Depending on the operation. and the number of people, you will likely be skiing with both tippers and Jerry's. If there are enough to divide be honest about your skill level. The only way to be sure you are in a group with the same ability level is to bring your own group.

    Tips are usually 10-15 percent of cost, and they can divide it up amongst themselves.

    ...and yes, have your shit together even though others won't. Don't be "that guy".

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    Depending on the operation. and the number of people, you will likely be skiing with both tippers and Jerry's. If there are enough to divide be honest about your skill level. The only way to be sure you are in a group with the same ability level is to bring your own group.

    Tips are usually 10-15 percent of cost, and they can divide it up amongst themselves.

    ...and yes, have your shit together even though others won't. Don't be "that guy".
    Tips... be the guy who makes sure everyone tips.

    Go around the group and say "hey we're all throwing in $xx"
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    979
    How about clothes. Dress warmer or cooler than usual? Or as you normally would?

  9. #9
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    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by californiagrown View Post
    How about clothes. Dress warmer or cooler than usual? Or as you normally would?
    As you normally would.

    Pack a puffy you can throw on.

    Spare goggles and gloves.

    You've got this. Make sure your fiance is on same page and don't be baby sitting her through it.

    One final thing... encourage the others to do the same things for a mutually beneficial experience.
    Last edited by PNWbrit; 01-23-2020 at 11:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    PRB
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    22,127
    You're gonna die.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    20,569
    bring extra chocolate bars (you, or someone will be tired)

    bring extra goggles (the cat/heli is a sweat lodge)

    bring extra gloves


    assume YOU will not need any of this. Its all for others.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    234
    If your cat skiing it means you will be at a lower elevation meaning some tree skiing. Sometimes the protocol after the guide goes first can be a little chaotic(fucked). Some people want to be nice and let others go. Some always jump in first. Or everyone goes at once into the same patch of woods. If you are a backcountry skier and are used to the ski one at a time theory, it ain't that. Be aware and look out the corners of your eyes for faster/slower skiers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
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    11,087
    don't land on the damn turn earnin hippies
    and keep em tighty
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    79
    The cat skiing I did in Tahoe included some open slopes where we went one at a time. If thatís the case, take turns being the first to follow the lead guide.

    If dressing in layers is your norm, then dress as you normally would.

    Have a great time!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Wasatch
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    Donít venture off guide direction

    Bring high stoke and help load and unload gear

    Have fun and dress a little lighter cause cat is warm

    Bring extra snacks and goggle wipe

    They will try to group people and this may be based on your jerry scale


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

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  16. #16
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    Jan 2013
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    Northern BC
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    Some great tips ^^^^

    On one of my cat skiing experiences I ended up with a group of rather wealthy individuals. Great guys all of them, pretty much all of whom I consider friends or at the very least friendly with. But I gotta say, after the 6 or 7th ride up, the redundant, conversational theme roughly centering around how f*cking rich they are became kind of obnoxious. In fact I recall thinking how I would rather have been touring with my dog. Ergo, check yourself conversation-wise. Maybe not everyone is interested in talking about the same thing over and over again, whatever the topic may be.

  17. #17
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    Sep 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    You're gonna die.
    Danno, I can always count on Danno

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    90
    Be very accurate of your skiing abilities. Was on an expert cat a few years back in Revelstoke on an epic 60cm+ day. Within 25 yards 2 nancies fell completely yard sailing and took forever to get everything back on. I knew at that point we were screwed. They had no clue how to ski pow and we had to wait about 20 min every run for them. Everyone was pissed. Luckily the guide made them sit in the cat after lunch so we could get some good runs in.

    Listen to your guide and never get in front of them. They get mad!

    Yes you guide has the best job in the world but they get paid crap. Tip them.

    Bring layers and have all your stuff ready to go. Some cats are hot while others are freezing and you are in them for a long time between runs. Choppers are better through as the trips are quick.

    MOst standard groups are 10-12 people so be prepared to wait. Even if you have a good group it seems like something happens on every run. If they have an option for small group this will be muh less of a problem. The one heli day I did was a group of 5 and we all riped. One of the best days of my life.

    Just have fun and be chill.

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Boston
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    Cat/Heli Skiing Etiquette and Tips

    donít make them deliver the pizza box joke?
    Last edited by Self Jupiter; 01-24-2020 at 05:55 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5,366
    If you get tired take a nap. If you get hungry, eat something.


    And donít test your airbag while in the chopper, itís frowned upon.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
    Posts
    12,461
    If youíre on a volcano and the guide says to watch for open vents, take him seriously.

    Offer to ride the rope up and let a guide ride in the cat on one of the laps

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    424
    I actually went out with Valhalla a few years back, nice group. They ran two cats and sort of explicitly/not explicitly sorted the group between them. One the meadow-skipping powder geezer contingent, the other the standard bro-brah contingent you'd expect. They'll partner you with someone for the day, try not to lose them. Say please and thank you and don't suck too terribly. That's about it.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,025
    Cover your mouth when you sneeze.
    Say excuse me when you burp or fart, but try to not fart in the heli/cat.
    Don't have bad breath, it goes without saying that good dental hygiene means you care, not just about you but about others.
    Don't be that guy who takes the last cookie or brownie.
    Don't blaze up a doobie in the chopper and offer it to the pilot.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Bozone
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    1,098
    Remember when you're in a helicopter - the pilot isn't flying it, he/she is trying to keep it from crashing.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    7,344
    To break the ice, pretend you came for heli snowshoeing.

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