Whistler has been the Mecca of skiing and snowboarding for decades.
Famous athletes like Ian McIntosh, Mike Douglas and Marie-France Roy all call Whistler their home, and with good reason – we have Whistler Blackcomb on our doorstep. But what truly keeps most people enthralled with Whistler is the backcountry. The sea of mountain ranges, the untouched wilderness and an endless possibility for adventure is why more and more people are calling Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton their home.
Thanks to Powder Mountain you don’t have to live here (or know how to ski tour or splitboard) to experience what it feels like to pick your line from over 4,300 acres and five peaks. You just need $549 Canadian Dollars and be ok with getting up at the crack of dawn.
Powder Mountain Gets More Snow Than Whistler Blackcomb
This is the real reason we think you’ll love catskiing with Powder Mountain.
Powder Mountain’s catskiing typically runs on Tricouni Mountain. As you can see from the map below Tricouni mountain (the red marker) is closer to the coast than Whistler (the yellow star). This 25km (and two mountain ranges) difference means that when a storm rolls in from the Pacific Ocean it meets Tricouni mountain first – dumping 2 or 3 times more snow than Whistler would get from the same storm. This is because the moisture in the air cools and forms snow each time it passes over a mountain range.
Tricouni is one of the first stops on the snow’s journey inland and the perfect place to go catskiing, especially if there hasn’t been any snow in resort.
Catskiing is one of the most common ‘Bucket List” items of people who visit Whistler, so here’s a quick run down (and few photos to work up the stoke) of a typical day with Powder Mountain and their team of incredible guides and photographers.
A Typical Day With Powder Mountain
08:00am: At 8am sharp the Powder Mountain shuttle will drive you and your gear to the Powder Mountain base lodge 20 minutes south of Whistler. Do not be late. You don’t want to be that guy (or girl), and the ‘no friends on a powder day” rule will definitely apply if you make everyone else late.
8:30am – 8:45am: You’ll arrive at the Powder Mountain base lodge, a simple backcountry lodge with cozy fireplace and bathroom facilities, for a short talk on the day’s proceedings. Once the formalities are over it’s time to load up the cat and head out into the backcountry. The next time you step out of the cat you’ll be in the wilderness at 6,500 feet.
9:15am – 9:45am: After a quick snowcat a safety orientation it’s time to get your first taste of fresh backcountry pow. Your first run is always a mellow one to get your legs and post-coffee brains warmed up after the early start. This also allows the guides chance to get an idea of the true ability level of the group – this (and the snow conditions) is what will decide the kind of terrain your group will be riding.
9:45am – 2.45pm: Shred your face off. Maybe stop for a photograph…or just pow slash your way passed the photographer. Each cat has an assigned photographer who is with you the entire day, not just for a run or two. They shoot the whole day because so you’ll never have a moment of “Man! I wish I had a picture of that”.
2:45pm – 3:00pm: The end of your day, if you still have the legs, you can ski/ride out on the cat road. Or, if you’re toast (like most people) you can jump in the cat for the ride down.
4.00pm:9:15am – 9:45am: Back at the lodge you and your new best friends can check out the photos of all your face-shots and high-fives, before starting the drive back to Whistler.
4:00-4:30pm: You’ll arrive back in Whistler by around 4:30. Just in time to have dinner, tell all your friends what an epic day you’ve had and then pass out after one beer.
Book Your Epic Day with Powder Mountain
Cost for one full day catskiing or catboarding: $549 + tax per person.
If you’re staying with the Summit Lodge you can add-on a full day of catskiing or catboarding to your room reservation online, here: summitlodge.com/whistler-canada/winter-activities/whistler-cat-skiing
Or you can book online with Powder Mountain, here: powdermountaincatskiing.com