Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is Snowcat Skiing?:
The machines you see grooming the ski runs are similar to the ones we use to transport riders into the backcountry. You will enjoy an exciting day with a certified guide, carving through powder and endless terrain while absorbing spectacular views. No lift lines, great atmosphere, epic powder all day, and the very best ‘bang for your buck’.
 
What type of snowcats do you use?:
Our fully equipped Piston Bully snowcat offers a heated passenger cab with luxury seating for 12 participants, ski racks, panoramic view windows, and a surround sound system with aux input.
 
What to wear:
Wear your snowsuit, jacket or pants that you would if skiing or snowboarding on the ski hill. Goggles, warm waterproof gloves and several thin layers you can take off are highly recommended. We strongly recommend you bring powder specific skis or snowboard, the snow is really deep and your day will be much more enjoyable with appropriate equipment.
 
Where to meet:
Blackcomb Powder Cats has an office on the lobby level of the Hilton Whistler Resort. We also pick-up from all major Whistler Village hotel locations. If you have your own transport and prefer to drive directly to our base facilities there is plenty of onsite parking. Please see the Locate page for more information on how to find our office and base.
 
Included:
Transportation to and from our Brandywine base (10-15 min), a safety briefing and a short transceiver training, for your backcountry awareness and qualified guides. Tours also include lunch, (sandwich, fruit, cookie and water), permits and entry fees, and of course loads of fun.
 
How good a skiier/snowboarder do you have to be?:
Skiers and snowboarders should have strong intermediate skiing ability with experience in a variety of conditions including powder, trees and steep terrain. Snowcat skiing is unlike a resort style ski area. There are no maintained runs or grooming and the snow is often very deep. Much of the area is similar to an un-groomed Black Diamond. Snowcat skiing is a backcountry experience. Snow can vary from fluff to corn and everything in between. Blackcomb Powdercats guides try and match the groups ability level to the terrain.
 
What’s your average vertical?:
We usually average between 6,000 – 8,000 vertical feet of riding per day; however, this depends on the conditions and the groups riding ability.
 
What’s kind of terrain is there?:
Blackcomb Powdercats operates between 3,500 feet and 7,300 feet, on intermediate (15-20 degree slopes) to advanced (40-45 degree slopes) terrain.
 
Is it safe?:
There is always an element of risk when partaking in backcountry activities, but our experienced and certified guides are constantly monitoring and checking the conditions to ensure your personal safety. All guests are orientated to the dangers and how to react to any should the unlikely event arise. Guests are equipped by Blackcomb Powder Cats with transcievers to further ensure their safety in the backcountry. All guests will need to sign a waiver prior to embarking on our cat skiing activities.
 
Does Blackcomb Powder Cats do private charters?:
Yes, we can do private cat ski adventures for your ski group or family. No experience is necessary, we can even arrange for runs to be groomed with advanced notice. Your own private ski run.
 
Where does Blackcomb Catski operate?:
We operate in the Brandywine Meadows, Metal Dome, and Chocolate Bowl areas, 15 minutes south of Whistler.
 
What’s your average snowfall?:
The Brandywine area typically receives 50% more snowfall on average than Whistler/Blackcomb. The average snowfall is approximately 11 meters / 432 inches / 36 feet per year.
 
Release of Liability and Waiver Form:
It is mandatory for all tour participants to sign a Release of Liability and Waiver Form. Any participant under the age of 19 must have a parent or guardian sign on their behalf.
 
Cancellation Policy:
Tours are non refundable within 24 hours of tour departure. Groups on 10 or more require 72 hour notification of cancellation. Group cancellation with out 72 hours will be non-refundable. Blackcomb Powder Cats reserves the right to cancel tours due to inclement weather, foreseeable hazards, insufficient bookings or events beyond our control. Full refunds will be made or alternate dates will be offered in these unlikely events.
 
Alcohol:
Under no circumstances is any person suspected of intoxication beyond the legal driving limit in British Columbia permitted to participate as a driver or passenger in any tour. Persons denied participation will not receive a refund.
 
Health & Pregnancy:
Adventure sport activities are not recommended for individuals who suffer back or neck pain, heart or respiratory distress. Consult your physician prior to participation. Safety regulations require that Blackcomb Powder Cats not permit pregnant women to participate in cat skiing activities. All mother’s to be are welcome on our snowcat dinner tours.

 
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