Whether you're looking for a one-day cat skiing adventure, a week-long cat-skiing package, or a ski or boarding safari involving a combination of different cat ski and resort skiing operations, Big Red Cats has what you need - come on out ride the Powder Highway at Big Red Cats!
Skiing & Riding:
- 19,300 acres of terrain, accessing all aspects of 8 whole mountains, with over 450 varied runs
- Located in the Monashee Range, between Red Mountain and Whitewater ski resorts in BC's "Powder Triangle"
- Normally receive 35-40- feet of snow per year
- Temperature is often "just right" - (-5 to -10C) - colder than the coastal ranges, but warmer than the Rockies - for light powder and lots of it
- Separate trips for expert, advanced, and intermediate riders - make sure to book with a group that's your speed, and has the same terrain appetite as you do. Intermediates will usually get 6-8 runs, as they take their time getting down, advanced groups 8-12 runs, and experts 10-16 runs. (Hint: get more runs after Daylight Savings kicks in - our cats have extra large fuel tanks, so you aren't limited by fuel).
- In 2009 we expanded on to our 8th mountain; in 2010 we have a 7-man full-time cutting crew for 3 months, glading the existing terrain for even higher quality skiing and riding
- We have 5 fast and powerful Pisten Bully 300 snowcats (4 with cabins, one back-up), and two full-time year-round mechanical staff, for lots of runs each day
- Big Red Cats is a professionally-run operation which hires only qualified guides (CSGA, ACMG, or equivalent, with CAA avalanche qualifications, according to WorkSafeBC and the Operating Standards of the CSGA)
- There are always 2 guides in your snowcat, and often 3 (the third person a junior guide participating in our guide training program, or volunteer)
- Located very close to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (a few minutes by helicopter to their new heli-pad, or 40 minutes on the road after ground evacuation from the area)
- We provide each person with a Mammut Pulse transceiver for the day, and the group members will take turns carrying safety packs containing probes and shovels. Our guides will do a safety talk each day, discussing avalanche conditions and training in transceiver use and avalanche rescue
- You can find your own lodging at Red Mountain or Rossland, or we can package it for you (non-residents may apply for a 50% tax rebate on snowcat trips including lodging, but not on trips which aren't booked as a package)
- Most of our guests stay in the Big Red Lodge (for groups), or the Red Shutter Inn (each are about $65/person/night and our shuttle picks up right at the door), but we can also book you into condos, the Ram's Head Inn, and the Prestige in Rossland. We can put everything on one convenient invoice for you.
We are located just 2.5 hours north of Spokane airport, mostly on easy to drive low-elevation highways 395 and 25. Spokane airport has direct flights from Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, Denver, Minneapolis, and Chicago, and has one of the best on-time records in North America. We recommend renting a car if your group has 3 people or more, or contact www.kootenayshuttle.com 21 days in advance.
We are 20 minutes from Trail airport (YZZ - daily direct flights from Vancouver south terminal on Pacific Coastal), and 30 minutes from Castlegar (YCG - daily direct flights from Vancouver and Calgary). These airports are nearby, but sometimes suffer delays and cancellations due to poor visibility, so if you absolutely need to be somewhere, consider flying into Spokane or Kelowna.
Our HQ and your lodging is right at Red Mountain Resort - so it is easy for you to combine resort skiing with cat skiing, and to travel with others who prefer to stay at the resort while you head to the backcountry with us. It is also easy to walk in and check on standby seat availability, and add another day of cat skiing once you're here.
We have two shuttle buses to transport you from our HQ at the base of Red Mountain (next to where you're staying), to our waiting snowcats. The drive is up the pass, which takes you to a good starting elevation. The morning drive is 15-30 minutes on the bus, and 15-40 minutes in the snowcat, which is similar to many lodge-based operations.
Looking for a safari type of holiday? We are on the Powder Highway, near Red Mountain, Valhalla Powdercats, and Whitewater, and we can combine all of them into one convenient package for you.
- Because you're staying at a resort, you can be as comfortable as you want to be.
- Dining: We can arrange for your group to have full catering during your stay if you like, or you can head out and explore the local restaurants, or go to the supermarket and cook for yourselves
- Massage: Massage therapists are available at the spa in town, and mobile massage at your lodging may also be available if ordered in advance
- Photos: We will take photos and post them on the site, but if you want professional photographs, please ask us and we'll make sure to send a photographer with your group
- Nightlife: Make your party, or head over to the base lodge or into one of the pubs in Rossland
- Hot Tubs: Most of the lodging at Red Mountain has hot tubs
- Ski Rental: We offer high-performance Rossignol S7 fat skis, as well as a few other options. Snowboards can be rented from Red Mountain ski resort the afternoon before your trip.
- Big Red Cats provides an excellent skiing and boarding experience at very competitive rates, especially for groups and multi-day packages.
- $450/day in high season, $350/day in low season, plus discounts for multiple days and full cat rentals get 2 seats free!