Spending the season in Fernie was a really amazing experience. There was a few days that will be forever edged into my memory. One of those is the EPIC day we’ve spent Cat-skiing with Fernie Wilderness Adventures. The conditions were as good as it gets. There was about 20-30cm of fresh snow that fell a day or two before we went, and the day was a picture perfect blue bird day!
Now as many people has asked me what Cat Skiing is, let me explain. When you ski inside a resort boundary, you usually take a chairlift up the mountain and then ski down a run. The area inside a resort is controlled for avalanches and is groomed daily. This grooming is done by a snow cat. That looks like this:
These wonderful machines can also be modified to carry people up a mountain. So when you want to find the best untracked powder, don’t want to skin (hike) up a mountain and don’t have the budget to do heli-skiing, cat skiing is the perfect solution. Here is a picture of the cat we were in:
Now I thought I loved skiing before we went to Fernie. But there I learned about a whole new way of skiing. Skiing in powder is an amazing feeling. It feels like you are floating on clouds. And although we had bunch of days in the resort where we could ski fresh powder, the cat skiing took it to completely new level!
The terrain we skied on was great, mostly between spectacular trees, with views that leaves you breathless. Here is another amazing pictures the photographer took on the day:
It was a quite a surreal experience to be honest. I have seen many of these extreme skiing videos of people skiing in the wilderness. This was the first time that we were skiing in one of those videos. Nick Nault the photographer did such an amazing job on the day, watching his pictures afterwards enhanced the experience significantly. Here are a few more astonishing pics:
This was a wonderful day. If you ever have the chance to go cat skiing, don’t miss out! Next time I would love to try heli-skiing as well!
There is a book full of amazing picture taken at one of the other Cat Skiing operations in Fernie, Island Lake Lodge. It was done by some local legends. It is called Bears Above the Valley.