If you want to ski or ride the deepest, driest powder, it has to come from somewhere! Overall, down days seldomly occur at Northern Escape. On average we experience less than one full day per week where we’re unable to fly our machines due to weather. This is typical in the industry, no matter where you go heli skiing. So when it’s storming, at most heli ski operations, that means sitting in the lodge, NOT skiing.
But at Northern Escape, our industry-leading snowcat skiing backup has you covered. We’re one of the very few heli ski operators anywhere to have this service. Our three custom-outfitted, heated snowcats all have forward-facing Captain’s chairs and music speakers so your rides up are super comfy. The cats are always on standby in case our Koalas can’t fly. Our 50kms of snow roads are regularly maintained by our snowcat crew and we even glade our top runs to improve the skiing and boarding.
Our significant investment in our cat skiing operation rivals the biggest cat skiing lodges in BC. We do this because we want to give you the most time on the slopes. Our snowcats are only used by our heli skiing guests, so you’re guaranteed a spot when you need it, no matter what heli package you’re on. (If you’re on our Elite Package, the snowcats leave directly from our new Mountain Lodge.) We typically do 12,000-15,000’ vertical per day in our cats, and if you ski or ride less vertical than your heli package, we’ll even refund you the difference. So go skiing instead of playing darts in the lodge!
Facilitated by the immense power and flexibility of snowcats, cat skiing allows you to ski fresh tracks while exploring the backcountry. Snowcats, short for snow caterpillar, are enclosed-cab, truck-sized, fully tracked vehicles, that are designed for grooming ski resorts, and have been used to shuttle skiers up remote backcountry slopes for years. Northern Escape’s custom-outfitted snowcats will climb up even the most unapproachable terrain with enough space for your ski and snowboarding equipment and everything you’ll need for a day on the slopes.
Cat skiing first appeared as a sport in 1975 when a couple, Allan and Brenda Drury, opened their first cat skiing facility near Meadow Creek, BC. Allan fell in love with the idea of using snowcats to access unexplored peaks and giving people the chance to enjoy new terrain from a different perspective. Soon enough, cat skiing spread throughout the mountains of British Columbia.
Our Catland Ski Area encompasses over 29 square km’s (7,200 acres) of sub-alpine terrain, which is nearly the size of North America’s largest ski resort. It has over 50 km’s (31 miles) of snow roads, offering some of the best tree and open glade skiing within our tenure. With an average ski run of over 600 vertical meters (2,000 vertical feet), it is a powder paradise with everything from steep trees, chutes and pillow drops to open bowls.
While Catland may be where we go when we can’t go heli skiing, it’s hardly a downgrade. We’ve even had pro riders and film crews who’ve come away amazed at the quality of our cat skiing. If the weather clears enough to Heli Ski while we are out Cat Skiing, the helicopter will pick us up and we’ll seamlessly continue our day of deep powder skiing and riding. Conversely, if we’re Helicopter Skiing and the weather starts to change for the worse, we can meet the Snowcats and quickly switch to deep powder Cat Skiing.
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