Backcountry skiing in the Wasatch just got a bit easier. Snowbird just announced that they are now offering guided snowcat ski tours, called “Snowcat Skiing for Nature.” Why? Because proceeds from the operation will go to benefit the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation. It’s the first time since Mineral Basin was brought into Snowbird’s boundaries that they’ve had snowcat skiing.
Here’s the full press release from Snowbird about the operation:
Snowbird, UT – For the first time since Mineral Basin opened in 2000, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is offering a guided, backcountry cat skiing experience, called Snowcat Skiing for Nature because proceeds benefit the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation.
Half-day and private tours are available for groups as large as 10 people, or on an individual basis. Half-day tours cost $300 per person and include lift ticket, breakfast and orientation at Forklift restaurant (Snowbird Center, Plaza Deck). The tour then sets out for pre-public guided skiing in Mineral Basin, then off to the backcountry terrain and aspen trees of Miller Hill and the north-facing slopes of Mineral Basin.
Custom and private snowcat tours may be arranged.
Cat Skiing for Nature participants must be expert skiers in physical condition for high altitude exertion in variable snow and weather conditions.
Tours include some short skis-on hikes. Participants must wear a beacon, which may be provided.
Advance registration is required by calling (801) 947-8222, or in person at the Snowbird Mountain School office located on the Plaza Deck.
Proceeds from the Snowbird Cat Skiing for Nature program benefit the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation and the Wasatch Water Legacy Partnership, a public/private partnership working to improve the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Salt Lake City’s drinking water.
Sounds like it’s basically cat-serviced skiing in Mineral Basin before it opens to the public. Good way to get first tracks on a powder day for sure, or for anyone allergic to earning their backcountry turns.
For more information, check out the website at www.snowbird.com/winter/activities/catskiing