Skiing/Boarding

Skiing/Boarding
Epic alpine & subalpine terrain for a ripping good time in all conditions

Our Terrain

The terrain at Backcountry Snowcats is radically good. Some of the best in the world, even, according to the shredders who have frequented our slopes. Catering for all levels of intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers and snowboarders, the tenure covers 15,000 acres of epic alpine and tree skiing terrain for the best time whatever the conditions. Our base elevation is at 1500 metres (5000 feet) and our alpine reaches to 2550 metres (8370 feet).

teaser image

Railroad Pass

For a long time we stared longingly at this zone, painting tracks in our heads. In 2010 we finally added it - and its extra 1000 acres - to our tenure. A run down Railroad will see you ski or ride approximately 2000 feet of vertical down steady fall-line, and that’s before you’ve even hit the subalpine tree zone, one of the longest tree runs at Backcountry Snowcats.

teaser image

Dental Basin

High elevation, north facing, more terrain features than you’ll know what to do with: this is the radical Dental Basin. The peak tops out at 2300 metres (7546 feet) and the zone has snow that is colder, drier, and deeper than the rest. When nowhere else in the region has been getting snow, this stash will still have the goods.

teaser image

Lone Tree

On a bluebird day, the vast alpine bowls of the Lone Tree zone are the place to be. The zone boasts over 2000 acres and five bowls full of deep, frequently replenished pow. Easy cat access makes for lap after lap of good times on a sunny day, ripping down the open bowls or slashing one of many gully walls along the way.

teaser image

Black Forest

Likely to be one of your most unique ski or snowboard experiences ever. The Black Forest or “Badlands” zone is 500 acres of loosely spaced dead trees, the result of forest fire. Especially good on stormy powder days, weaving through the jagged trees, gullies, and pillows of the Black Forest is a memorably surreal experience.

teaser image

Detonator Ridge

When winter storms are raging, Detonator Ridge and its epic tree runs offer amazing skiing conditions. You’ll find gladed runs, gullies, chutes, drops, and pillows, all just waiting to be shredded. This zone is a favourite amongst Backcountry Snowcats regulars.

teaser image

Sunset Shoulder

With an impressively varied mix of terrain, Sunset Glade offers natural glades, rolling ridges, and some unreal lines, not to mention dreamy snow. It’s the best on sunny winter and spring afternoons.

Skiing/Boarding
It’s pow heaven: on average we get 10 metres of cold, dry snow each season.

Snow Conditions

Backcountry Snowcats gets on average 10 metres (32 feet) of cold, dry snow per season - that’s the equivalent of a three-story building or 67 pints of beer stacked one on top of another. In other words, a lot.

Backcountry Snowcats is perfectly positioned in the South Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. The weather here is colder and drier than nearby Whistler, but with all of the same storm cycles. The result is cold, dry snow, and lots of it - it snows on average 10 metres (32 feet) per season, accumulating up to 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) base.

Weather Forecast Links

Environment Canada weather for Pemberton
Whistler Snow Report

Skiing/Boarding
Safety is our highest priority

Safety

The safety of our guests and staff is the highest priority of Backcountry Snowcats. We are continually monitoring and assessing the weather and snowpack, our guides are highly trained and experienced, and all our guests receive training as well.

Highly trained & experienced guides

Our guides are highly trained and experienced. The lead guides are professional mountain guides and members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. They also have Level 2 Avalanche certification. Their first priority is safety but they believe in deep powder and fun times too. The lead guides are assisted by tail guides. Our tail guides are trained in first aid and hold a minimum of CAA Level 1 operations Avalanche certification. Most are, or have been, professional ski patrollers. All love skiing and the mountains.

Smart decision-making

Our guides make informed decisions that minimize the risk to all. Twice a day, all staff meet for a ‘guides’ meeting’, where we discuss and determine a specific skiing and travel plan for the day. The decisions are based on our own observations, shared information, and many years of experience and training, and are constantly checked and reassessed.

Throughout the season we monitor and record the weather, snowfall, snowpack, and avalanche activity. This information is shared with the Information Exchange System (INFOEX) run by the Canadian Avalanche Centre. The sharing of information between commercial backcountry operators provides us with detailed information on weather, snow, and avalanche conditions from many regions and helps us forecast conditions in our area.

Ongoing staff & guest training

Every staff member is trained in avalanche rescue and emergency procedures. Procedures and training are reviewed and practiced continually.

You will receive training as well. All our guests are instructed in transceiver use, basic avalanche rescue, safe procedures in snowcat and snowmobile operation, and general backcountry and lodge safety. We make sure our trainings are both informative and fun.

High standards

Backcountry Snowcats is proud to be a member in good standing with Helicat Canada, the trade association of the Canadian helicopter and snowcat skiing industry. This association has strict operational standards. Our operations are reviewed regularly to ensure their standards are met.

Communications

Backcountry Snowcats has radio, satellite phone, radio phone, and satellite internet communications with the outside world.

Waiver of liability

Our number one mission is to provide a safe backcountry experience, but it is not possible to completely eliminate all risk. Guests must read and complete a waiver of liability prior to the start of their adventure. Please review a copy of our online waiver. This is an important legal document that requires you to assume responsibility for the risks associated with the backcountry activities you’ll be participating in with Backcountry Snowcats. We are happy to answer any questions you might have - please ask.