Frequently Asked Questions

Ability

What abilities do you accept?

You should have advanced or better skiing ability, with experience in a variety of conditions including powder, trees and steeper terrain. We match the ability of the group to the terrain.

Our more relaxed experience lets you concentrate on enjoying the day and learning to ski or ride better. Our guides are fully certified instructors who can help you with tips and pointers throughout the day. Untracked snow is great for learning to ski or ride in powder.

We will take you powder shredding even if you're not the best rider, but if you are holding up the group then you may be asked to sit out a run, or to stay in the cat for your own safety. If you are asked to sit out, there is no refund. Please respect the guides' decision to keep you safe.

We highly recommend that you rent fat skis or a powder snowboard from Whistler village. The right skis or board makes powder easier and more fun.

What abilities do you accept?

You should have advanced or better skiing ability, with experience in a variety of conditions including powder, trees and steeper terrain. We match the ability of the group to the terrain.

Our more relaxed experience lets you concentrate on enjoying the day and learning to ski or ride better. Our guides are fully certified instructors who can help you with tips and pointers throughout the day. Untracked snow is great for learning to ski or ride in powder.

We will take you powder shredding even if you're not the best rider, but if you are holding up the group then you may be asked to sit out a run, or to stay in the cat for your own safety. If you are asked to sit out, there is no refund. Please respect the guides' decision to keep you safe.

We highly recommend that you rent fat skis or a powder snowboard from Whistler village. The right skis or board makes powder easier and more fun.

Do I have to be physically fit?

The fitter you are the less tired you will be at the end of the day.

Our highest elevation is about 6,500 feet, so altitude is not a problem.

Do I have to be physically fit?

The fitter you are the less tired you will be at the end of the day.

Our highest elevation is about 6,500 feet, so altitude is not a problem.

My buddy isn't as good as me, can we go together?

Typically yes. The cat can only get back to the bottom at a certain speed to pick your group up, so there is some time there. However, if anyone is holding the group up, they could be asked to sit out a run, or stay in the cat for your own safety. If asked to sit out, there is no refund. Please respect the guides decision to keep you safe.

In our helicopters, the group moves more quickly and there is a single guide for the four guests, which can be a challenge if the group isn't well balanced.

If you are unsure, please give us a call and we'll work out the best experience for you.

My buddy isn't as good as me, can we go together?

Typically yes. The cat can only get back to the bottom at a certain speed to pick your group up, so there is some time there. However, if anyone is holding the group up, they could be asked to sit out a run, or stay in the cat for your own safety. If asked to sit out, there is no refund. Please respect the guides decision to keep you safe.

In our helicopters, the group moves more quickly and there is a single guide for the four guests, which can be a challenge if the group isn't well balanced.

If you are unsure, please give us a call and we'll work out the best experience for you.

What ages do you accept?

It doesn't matter how old you are, as long as you want powder runs! Our average age is mid-20s to mid-40s.

If you want to bring your kid or kids in the cat or heli, please keep the rest of the group in mind when you judge their skiing or riding ability. If your child is unable to keep up with the group, then they will have to ride in the cat with no refund.

If you book a private cat or heli then as it's your machine, you can ski or ride at the speed you want.

What ages do you accept?

It doesn't matter how old you are, as long as you want powder runs! Our average age is mid-20s to mid-40s.

If you want to bring your kid or kids in the cat or heli, please keep the rest of the group in mind when you judge their skiing or riding ability. If your child is unable to keep up with the group, then they will have to ride in the cat with no refund.

If you book a private cat or heli then as it's your machine, you can ski or ride at the speed you want.

The Operation

What is the terrain like?

We have terrain for every ability and fetish. Tree skiing freak? Powder Mountain has awesome trees and glades. Love the high alpine open bowl skiing? Got you covered. With 5 peaks to choose from we have every kind of skiing you could want. The guides constantly monitor the weather and snow and we go to where the snow that is best that day.

What is the terrain like?

We have terrain for every ability and fetish. Tree skiing freak? Powder Mountain has awesome trees and glades. Love the high alpine open bowl skiing? Got you covered. With 5 peaks to choose from we have every kind of skiing you could want. The guides constantly monitor the weather and snow and we go to where the snow that is best that day.

What is your average Catskiing vertical?

For catsking Not less than 7,000 ft, but mostly 8,000ft to 10,000ft per day. You can expect six to ten runs, depending on the conditions and the group. Our runs range in vertical from 800ft to around 3,000ft. Most runs are in the 1200-2200 vertical foot size. Having runs of this size means you spend less time in the cat between runs and more time skiing or riding. It also means you can charge down each run with out getting worn out.

What is your average Catskiing vertical?

For catsking Not less than 7,000 ft, but mostly 8,000ft to 10,000ft per day. You can expect six to ten runs, depending on the conditions and the group. Our runs range in vertical from 800ft to around 3,000ft. Most runs are in the 1200-2200 vertical foot size. Having runs of this size means you spend less time in the cat between runs and more time skiing or riding. It also means you can charge down each run with out getting worn out.

Is the terrain shared with any other tour operators?

No.

Is the terrain shared with any other tour operators?

No.

Is tipping the guides allowed?

Yes, tipping is allowed and encouraged.

Is tipping the guides allowed?

Yes, tipping is allowed and encouraged.

Can or will I ride with famous skiers or snowboarders?

Absolutely! Whistler has pro skiers like a hot tub has water. There's always the off chance a famous skier or snowboarder will be part of your group. They know how much fun catskiing and heliskiing and boarding is.

Can or will I ride with famous skiers or snowboarders?

Absolutely! Whistler has pro skiers like a hot tub has water. There's always the off chance a famous skier or snowboarder will be part of your group. They know how much fun catskiing and heliskiing and boarding is.

Where does Powder Mountain operate?

We are based in Whistler, BC, Canada and operate snow cats in the Tricouni Peak and Cypress Peak areas. We fly helis in separate terrain shown here, mostly the Ashlu region.

Our base lodge is 20 minutes south of Whistler (1hr 20mins from Vancouver).

Find us here.

Where does Powder Mountain operate?

We are based in Whistler, BC, Canada and operate snow cats in the Tricouni Peak and Cypress Peak areas. We fly helis in separate terrain shown here, mostly the Ashlu region.

Our base lodge is 20 minutes south of Whistler (1hr 20mins from Vancouver).

Find us here.

Safety

Is it safe?

Snowcat and Helicopter skiing is as safe as we can make backcountry skiing.

Each cat has two highly trained and certified guides, and each helicopter one guide, who are constantly monitoring snow and weather conditions so you can be as safe as possible in an uncontrolled backcountry environment.

Every morning our guides have a safety meeting covering everything from A-Z to make sure your day with us is safe, fun and enjoyable.

There is always an element of risk in any backcountry experience however, and you will need to read and sign our waiver. This must be done in front of our staff. We also suggest taht you check our policy on injury evacuation insurance.

Is it safe?

Snowcat and Helicopter skiing is as safe as we can make backcountry skiing.

Each cat has two highly trained and certified guides, and each helicopter one guide, who are constantly monitoring snow and weather conditions so you can be as safe as possible in an uncontrolled backcountry environment.

Every morning our guides have a safety meeting covering everything from A-Z to make sure your day with us is safe, fun and enjoyable.

There is always an element of risk in any backcountry experience however, and you will need to read and sign our waiver. This must be done in front of our staff. We also suggest taht you check our policy on injury evacuation insurance.

What happens if I get hurt?

Our guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or riding, the guide will assess the situation and take whatever steps are necessary.

In rare cases you may need to be evacuated, and you need to be aware of our policy on this.

What happens if I get hurt?

Our guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or riding, the guide will assess the situation and take whatever steps are necessary.

In rare cases you may need to be evacuated, and you need to be aware of our policy on this.

What about the risk of avalanche?

Your safety is our prime concern. Therefore, our guides constantly monitor snow and weather conditions throughout the day so you can be as safe as possible in the uncontrolled environment of the backcountry. Every guest wears a transceiver and is shown how to operate it. You're also given a safety orientation session for your general backcountry awareness.

What about the risk of avalanche?

Your safety is our prime concern. Therefore, our guides constantly monitor snow and weather conditions throughout the day so you can be as safe as possible in the uncontrolled environment of the backcountry. Every guest wears a transceiver and is shown how to operate it. You're also given a safety orientation session for your general backcountry awareness.

Is there ski patrol in the backcountry?

No, but all our certified guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or riding, the guide will assess the situation and take whatever steps are necessary.

Is there ski patrol in the backcountry?

No, but all our certified guides are all trained with Red Cross Industrial First Aid. If you get hurt skiing or riding, the guide will assess the situation and take whatever steps are necessary.

What is a transceiver?

A transceiver is an electronic beacon that you wear on your body when ever you are in the backcountry. It sends out a signal whenever it it turned on, and can be switched to receive that signal when you need it. If ever needed, it will lead us right to you. All guests are provided with transceivers which must be worn, and training in how to use them.

What is a transceiver?

A transceiver is an electronic beacon that you wear on your body when ever you are in the backcountry. It sends out a signal whenever it it turned on, and can be switched to receive that signal when you need it. If ever needed, it will lead us right to you. All guests are provided with transceivers which must be worn, and training in how to use them.

Equipment

What kind of skis do I need?

Fat skis make powder easy and require less energy to turn so you have more energy all day and get more skiing and more fun. If you don't have fat skis, rent them in the village.

You can thank us afterwards.

What kind of skis do I need?

Fat skis make powder easy and require less energy to turn so you have more energy all day and get more skiing and more fun. If you don't have fat skis, rent them in the village.

You can thank us afterwards.

What kind of snowboard do I need?

Not everything works in powder anymore.

Bring a powder specific board and double the enjoyment of your day.

What kind of snowboard do I need?

Not everything works in powder anymore.

Bring a powder specific board and double the enjoyment of your day.

Do I absolutely need powder skis or a powder board?

It depends on the conditions.

Almost always though, the answer is yes. Dedicated powder skis and boards will make your day much easier. If you are an EXPERT back country skier or boarder then whatever makes you stoked will work.

You can rent equipment in the village.

Do I absolutely need powder skis or a powder board?

It depends on the conditions.

Almost always though, the answer is yes. Dedicated powder skis and boards will make your day much easier. If you are an EXPERT back country skier or boarder then whatever makes you stoked will work.

You can rent equipment in the village.

What should I wear?

We recommend the same clothing as you would wear at a ski resort. As our snowcats and helicopters are heated, there are plenty of opportunities to warm up between runs. You can bring extra clothes as you can store them in the cat in case you need them. Dress in layers as we have a wide variety of weather conditions and you may need to add or subtract a layer. You can't store extra gear in the helis between runs.

What should I wear?

We recommend the same clothing as you would wear at a ski resort. As our snowcats and helicopters are heated, there are plenty of opportunities to warm up between runs. You can bring extra clothes as you can store them in the cat in case you need them. Dress in layers as we have a wide variety of weather conditions and you may need to add or subtract a layer. You can't store extra gear in the helis between runs.

Goggles or sunglasses?

Bring both if you wish. Most of the time we all wear goggles, although once spring rolls around sunglasses are great. As we are in the alpine some form of eye protection is necessary. Our guides use and recommend Oakley Goggles and sunglasses.

Goggles or sunglasses?

Bring both if you wish. Most of the time we all wear goggles, although once spring rolls around sunglasses are great. As we are in the alpine some form of eye protection is necessary. Our guides use and recommend Oakley Goggles and sunglasses.

What else should I bring?

For the cats, you may want to bring a backpack to carry spare clothes in. Our guides use and recommend Dakine backpacks. You can leave your bag in the cat so your gear is always close at hand.

For helicopters, you can still bring a backpack to carry your spare stuff in, but you can't leave it in the heli between runs so you'll have to ride with it.

We have water, drinks, snacks and food on board, but your own stash never hurt. All safety equipment (shovels, probes, transceivers) is provided, but if you are more comfortable with your own by all means bring it

What else should I bring?

For the cats, you may want to bring a backpack to carry spare clothes in. Our guides use and recommend Dakine backpacks. You can leave your bag in the cat so your gear is always close at hand.

For helicopters, you can still bring a backpack to carry your spare stuff in, but you can't leave it in the heli between runs so you'll have to ride with it.

We have water, drinks, snacks and food on board, but your own stash never hurt. All safety equipment (shovels, probes, transceivers) is provided, but if you are more comfortable with your own by all means bring it

What if I don't have my own equipment

You can rent all the ski or snowboard equipment you need at the resort.

What if I don't have my own equipment

You can rent all the ski or snowboard equipment you need at the resort.

Your Day

How many people are in a group?

Each snow cat takes a single group of twelve people, two guides and a photographer. The most we ever have on our mountains are three snowcats. Unlike heliskiing, you have your own machine so you can bring a pack with anything you think you might need and leave it under your seat in the cat.

Each helicopter takes a single group of four guests plus a guide. We fly in different terrain from that used by our snowcats. The helicopter may be shared with one or two other groups of four guests, so you can't generally leave anything in the heli between runs.

How many people are in a group?

Each snow cat takes a single group of twelve people, two guides and a photographer. The most we ever have on our mountains are three snowcats. Unlike heliskiing, you have your own machine so you can bring a pack with anything you think you might need and leave it under your seat in the cat.

Each helicopter takes a single group of four guests plus a guide. We fly in different terrain from that used by our snowcats. The helicopter may be shared with one or two other groups of four guests, so you can't generally leave anything in the heli between runs.

How long is the cat ride up for a run?

The first ride up in the cat takes anywhere from 25 minutes to a hour minutes before we drop in for the first run, depending on which of the 5 peaks we are skiing that day. After that the runs come quickly.

The average cat ride time is 10- 15 minutes for each run. Just enough time to recharge your energy, grab a snack or something to drink crack some jokes, make some friends.

Sometimes it seems like you just got in the cat at the bottom of the run and then suddenly you are back at the top getting ready to drop in. It's amazing how much fun and how social catskiing is.

How long is the cat ride up for a run?

The first ride up in the cat takes anywhere from 25 minutes to a hour minutes before we drop in for the first run, depending on which of the 5 peaks we are skiing that day. After that the runs come quickly.

The average cat ride time is 10- 15 minutes for each run. Just enough time to recharge your energy, grab a snack or something to drink crack some jokes, make some friends.

Sometimes it seems like you just got in the cat at the bottom of the run and then suddenly you are back at the top getting ready to drop in. It's amazing how much fun and how social catskiing is.

How many cat runs can I do in a day?

We guarantee 7,000 vertical feet of skiing or riding. On an average day you can expect to do six to nine runs.

How many cat runs can I do in a day?

We guarantee 7,000 vertical feet of skiing or riding. On an average day you can expect to do six to nine runs.

Is there a photographer?

We have professional photographers on the staff. Check out our photos and video.

Is there a photographer?

We have professional photographers on the staff. Check out our photos and video.

How cold is it up there?

The temperature is typical for winter weather in BC.

How cold is it up there?

The temperature is typical for winter weather in BC.

When do we eat lunch?

In the heli we'll stop for lunch so you can take a breather.

In the cat people usually eat on the cat drives back up the mountain so as to maximize the amount of skiing done. Snacks and drinks are always available in the cat.

When do we eat lunch?

In the heli we'll stop for lunch so you can take a breather.

In the cat people usually eat on the cat drives back up the mountain so as to maximize the amount of skiing done. Snacks and drinks are always available in the cat.

I only eat/ can't eat...

If you've any dietary restrictions you think we need to know about, please put them in the notes on your booking, or contact us a day or two before your trip and we'll make sure that you're catered for.

I only eat/ can't eat...

If you've any dietary restrictions you think we need to know about, please put them in the notes on your booking, or contact us a day or two before your trip and we'll make sure that you're catered for.