No, this has nothing to do with kitty cats on skis, with their whiskers blowing in the wind and their tails streaming behind them. (Though I’m sure that would be a sight to see!)
I’m referring instead to being transported up a mountain by a vehicle known as a “snow cat,” then skiing down through fluffy pillows of powder. And yes, it’s done by people, not cats.
I haven’t done this yet, though I’ve always wanted to. From what I hear, it’s an experience not to be missed!
Catskiing works a lot better for me than heli-skiing. I have a real fear of going up (but more especially, of coming down) in a helicopter. Cats never leave the ground; a definite plus, in my book.
A number of resorts offer catskiing. Monarch, Powder, and Copper, to name a few. One operation I’ve heard great feedback about is Powder Cowgirls, a three-day, all women’s catskiing tour that operates on the Western slope of the Lizard Range of the Rockies, in SE British Columbia. I’ve heard that the Lizards have amazingly deep, dry snow, as well as fantastic terrain and tree skiing. Nothing wrong with that! Plus Powder Cowgirls sends along a Level 4 CSIA instructor to give you powder skiing tips (which as an east cost skier, I could definitely use!). They also provide lodging, meals, even powder skis, if you need them. I’m Diva enough — and old enough, I guess — to prefer a little of the creature comforts in life, and Powder Cowgirls looks like the mix of comfort and kick-ass skiing that appeals to me.*
Is catskiing for you, and does it mesh with your ski ability? My understanding is that there are catskiing operations for a wide range of abilities, from intermediate on up. A conversation with a tour operator can give you a better idea of whether or not your ability jives with what they have to offer.
There’s a thread about catskiing going on now at TheSkiDiva.com. If you’re a woman who’s a member, log in to talk about it. And if you’re not a member, register so you can.
*Full disclosure: Power Cowgirls advertises on TheSkiDiva.com. But that doesn’t mean I don’t really think it’s cool!