Welcome to cat skiing on the backside of Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho! Enjoy over 4,350 acres of west-facing Selkirk goodness: We’re known for quick access and 78 named runs, all dropping from our 6½ mile summit ridge cat road. Yep, endless drops for 6½ miles into all the goodies you’ve come to expect: open lines for cruising, world-famous tree shots, drops, jibs, and pillows. The long run is 2,200 vertical feet and the average is 1,200 vertical feet. We’ve improved the cats with huge, opening windows. Powderchasers: The target is squarely on us! Viva La Niña!
It’s the flow! With our summit-based lodge, a 7 min chairlift ride, and literally one pole stroke or foot-kick away from Schweitzer’s summit lift puts you almost immediately into the cat skiing terrain. Our longest vert is 2,200 ft; the average is 1,200 ft. The fall lines are incredible. The snow conditions and temps: typically awesome. The cat lap times are quick and efficient. Lunches (which we provide) are tasty and filling. Water in custom, reusable bottles, electrolytes, and snacks like chocolate and salty chips are provided, too. Lead and tail guides are tops in their field, playful yet stern, and adeptly lead groups to achieve 8–14 runs to surpass 10,000 ft of vertical per trip.
While every snowcat operation is intrinsically different, perhaps what really sets Selkirk Powder apart from other cat skiing operations is the breadth of our permit area and speedy access in the morning: no vans, no long snowcat ascents, just a quick ride up the Great Escape quad, a skiing safety session (always important), and you’re dropping into the flow.
A single day or more
Join us for a day, or join us for the week. Accommodation options are plentiful, and we offer other recreational activities like heli skiing, self-propelled backcountry ski touring, and good-for-the-entire-family snowmobiling. Plus, there’s the fun provided by Schweitzer’s 100 runs and off-piste programs orchestrated by their Activity Center. For groups considering a few days or more, our Cat Skiing season Pass may save you some dough.
We ski with two cats (a maximum of 20 guests per day) in one huge drainage of the U.S. Selkirk Mountains. The Selkirks run north; our drainage runs west. This great combination provides the perfect aspect for 75 shaded runs interspersed along our 6½ mi upper cat road—that’s right: 6½ mi of continuous drop points!
Just like cat skiing in BC, we rip through big, open powder fields, steep pitches in fir glades, and find flow among wicked fun, natural terrain features like monster cornices and droppable cliffs. Steeps range up to 40° or more down to mellow cruisers. Size-wise, compared to all North American ski resorts, our 4,350 acres rank us #6, just behind Heavenly. See more terrain pics
The snowpack in our area is a mix between continental and maritime and is famous for being deep and well-bonded. Lying in the natural storm track, snow is often refreshed, which results in an annual snowfall that exceeds 300 in. Depth-wise, we average 120 in of snowpack in April. In our history, we have observed areas with depths over 20 ft and cornices reaching outwards 50 ft. View the webcams and weather reports
- licensed guides *
- BCA avalanche transceiver for the day
- snow safety awareness and equipment training
- single-use lift ticket for the initial chairlift ride to the summit
- lunch, snacks, and water
|Register at our desk in Schweitzer Mountain’s Lakeview Lodge. You’ll complete registration documents and be fitted for an avalanche transceiver, watch a safety video, and receive your lift pass for the chairlift ride up to our Summit Lodge on the summit.|
|As you off-load from the lift, you’ll meet your guide and head towards our Summit Lodge to complete your safety briefing and gear check. Then off you go to drop into the backcountry! Our snowcat will be waiting for you at the bottom of your first run, warmed up and ready to whisk you back up.|
|–||After about six hours of cat skiing, we’ll return to our Summit Lodge. Ski & ride your victory lap down one of the resort’s trails on the front side to our Village-based reception area. After checking back in and returning your beacon, you can opt to head straight back to your car for a quick ride home, perhaps wind down in the hot tub of your hotel or condo, or hoist a glass of your favorite beverage and swap stories of epic powder turns with your new friends at one of Schweitzer’s Village pubs.|
To rally our guests for their day of pow, we purr along in big red cats, aka PistenBully snowcats, outfitted with custom-built “in-the-round” seating cabins that comfortably accommodate ten (10) passengers. Cabins are heated and vented, sport wireless speakers, and are funished with comfortable, padded seats. Helicopter-style fresh air vents are installed into the window system to cool and provide fresh air flow. For 2020 we have installed 2 more larger, fully-opening windows for plenty of ventilation.