Cat Skiing FAQ's
You'll find lots of useful information about our cat skiing program below. And, our reservations specialists are always happy to share tips about the most suitable lodging for your group, suggestions on eateries about town, or even what gear is best for conditions. If you don't see your inquiry in our cat skiing FAQs don't hesitate to call--we enjoy consulting with our guests! (208) 263-6959 from 7:30AM - 4:30PM PST
When should I register? Some of our guests make their reservations up to a year in advance, so don’t wait too long to contact us.
How much vertical will I ski? We average 8 to 11 runs per day. This typically adds up to over 10,000 vft, but it depends on the ski conditions, as well as the ability of the group. Many groups achieve upwards of 14,000 vft.
Our season: The week before Christmas 2016 through Mid-April, 2017
What is the maximum number of riders in a snowcat? Our snowcats can seat up to 10 each.
Should I buy travel insurance? For peace of mind, and reducing your exposure should you need to cancel or become injured or ill, we recommend travel insurance policies with "Cancel For Any Reason" coverage.
Do I need to buy a lift ticket? No. We provide you with a single ride ticket to our summit lodge.
What time do I need to show up? 8:00 AM, at our registration desk in the Lakeview Lodge.
Do I need powder skis? Yes, we strongly recommend them. Use a ski with a minimum width of 100mm under foot. You can bring your own, or rent excellent equipment from Schweitzer Ski and Ride Center (208 255-3070) or the Alpine Shop (208 255-1660)
Can I bring a pack? Yes, there is plenty of room in our snowcats for a knapsack. It is not practical to bring multiple skis or boards however, because we typically will ski the first run from the summit down to an awaiting snowcat.
I am a good skier, but with limited powder experience. How difficult is the skiing?
Our terrain would generally be considered moderately difficult. Each day, your guide will attempt to select runs that are compatible with the group’s interests. Keep in mind that conditions can change quickly. There are no groomed runs in the backcountry. Sometimes for best conditions, we might be skiing in the trees. Terrain choices may vary at any time due to changing snow conditions.
What is the avalanche danger? Avalanches do occur in alpine environments. However, our experience has been that we see few, if any, natural avalanches in our ski terrain. We issue BCA “Tracker” avalanche beacons to our snowcat skiing guests, and provide basic training in their use. You will watch a safety video before you depart for the slopes. Each group will also be provided with an emergency gear pack. The pack contains a radio, First Aid and basic rescue tools.
May I bring my own transceiver? Yes. Guests may bring their own packs and transceivers, but you will be asked to demonstrate your familiarity with and ability to operate your personal transceiver before skiing/riding.
Do I need to bring lunch and water? No. We provide you with lunch, bottled water and snacks. If you have special dietary needs, please contact our Reservations Desk a minimum of 72 hours in advance of your tour, and we will make every effort to accommodate you.
Does the price include tips? No. Industry standard tipping is 10-20%, the same as you would for service in a restaurant or similar service industry. At Selkirk Powder, tips are pooled and shared between guides, snowcat drivers and your front desk representative.
I am traveling with my family--- some of them are not ready for the backcountry. What can they do? There are plenty of other activities for your group to enjoy while you're cat skiing including snowmobiling, skiing the resort, snowshoeing, tubing and zip lining, shopping in Sandpoint, or even sleigh rides.
A 25% non-refundable deposit is required upon confirmation of your reservation with us. If paying by credit card, please ensure the same credit card is used for both deposit and final payment.
Full payment is due no later than 60 days from your tour date. Failure to pay in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of your reservation.
If you need to reschedule your tour during the current season (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be charged a $40 administrative fee. We will endeavor to honor new tour dates, but please be aware that any changes are subject to space availability.
If you must cancel your tour with us and we receive your notice more than 30 days in advance of your scheduled tour date (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be credited for a new tour with us for a period of up to 5 years from your original date.
Any cancellations received 30 days or less from your scheduled tour date are 100% non-refundable. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance through an outside provider.
A Note About Weather: We cannot control Mother Nature. We tour in sun, snow, rain, wind or any combination of interesting weather. It is, after all, an alpine environment. Be prepared, and dress accordingly. We reserve the right to cancel a tour for safety reasons, if conditions warrant. In such an instance you will be credited for a new tour with us for a period of up to 5 years from your original date.