The Backcountry Snowcats tenure is located a 1/2 hour drive north of Pemberton or 2.5 hour drive north of Vancouver via Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway. We’ll meet as a group then make the final approach to the lodge together via snowmobile.
Backcountry Snowcats is based above the Hurley Pass in the South Chilcotin mountains. We meet up with all our groups in Pemberton (a town 30 minutes north of Whistler). We can also arrange pick up in Whistler for large groups. If you are meeting us in Pemberton, please meet at 4:30pm on the day of your arrival at Grimm's Gourmet & Deli in Pemberton. Their address is 7433 Frontier St, Pemberton, BC V0N 2L0.
After meeting, you will follow a Backcountry Snowcats staff member in your own vehicle to snow line at the end of the Meadows Road (24 kms to the northwest of Pemberton), where we transfer to snowmobiles for our final approach to our lodge. Plan to arrive dressed in your warm ski gear.
Don’t worry if you have never ridden a snowmobile before - we will teach you how to ride and give you a full safety briefing. You’ll be riding double and have frequent stops to rest or switch up driving. It is approximately a 75 minute ride covering 40km. It’s a fun and exciting experience, but it can be cold, so we recommend dressing warmly. Full ski gear and your ski boots or good winter boots work well. You can also borrow a pair of winter boots from us.
On the last day of skiing/riding, you will ski/ride until 3 - 3:30pm, then have a hot appetizer before travelling out by snowmobile to your vehicle. You will arrive back at your vehicle at approximately 5:30pm.
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A Typical Day
We are all about the skiing and riding at Backcountry Snowcats. Ski or ride as much as you desire - or your legs can handle - then relax and recover in the comfortable mountain lodge and do it all again the next day.
Breakfast is served early and the snowcat will be ready to leave the lodge when you are. It’s a 35 minute cat ride from the lodge to the top of our terrain. The guide will make decisions about what zones and runs to ski/ride based on weather and snow conditions and the combined ability of the group. The lead guide sets the line down the mountain to the pick up or meeting point. The second guide makes sure that everyone in the group knows what’s going on and can give you tips on lines and technique to make your day even sweeter.
Lunch, snacks, and water will be available in the cat any time that you are hungry or thirsty. Most groups choose to eat lunch in the cat to maximise their ski day, but you can take a short break if the group desires.
You’ll keep lapping it out until the light - or the group - is done, with the cat returning to the lodge in the afternoon just before dark. The average group racks up 12,000 feet vertical or more on the longer late winter days.
On an average day, the mornings are cold (around -25°C/-13°F) and it generally warms up to midday temperatures of around -12°C/10°F. Dress in layers and bring a small pack with dry goggles, gloves, and extra layers which can be left in the cat during the day. Back in the lodge, enjoy some chilled apres ski with a beer, a soak in the outdoor hot tub, dinner, and fun & games in the entertainment lounge.
What To Bring
All you need is your ski/snowboard gear, a pair of slippers, something cosy to wear for apres, and your swimsuit for the hot tub.
Your list of must-bring essentials:
- Ski / snowboard gear - including outerwear, boots, skis, board, poles, helmet, extra gloves, goggles, and layers.
- Outerwear for the snowmobile trip - you may want to bring a second set from your ski wear.
- A day pack for extras.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Swimsuit for the hot tub.
- Cosy apres wear, including slippers or footwear for the lodge.
- Camera / phone.
- We have a good selection of powder skis and boards available for rent at the lodge. Please let us know in advance what you need and we will get it sorted.
Backcountry Snowcats is a BYOB lodge. We do not sell alcohol, so if you fancy a brewski or two to celebrate the day’s turns, bring your own. Make sure that you do not pack it with your clothes gear - we will pack it separately for the snowmobile ride in. Carbonated beverages should be in cans, not bottles.