ALBERTA’S BEST CAT SKIING & RIDING
ENJOY AN EXCEPTIONAL BACK COUNTRY EXPERIENCE WITHOUT HAVING TO STRAY FAR FROM HOME
Castle’s Powder Stagecoach is one of only a handful of resort based cat skiing operations in North America. Using a blend of lift and snow cat access, across more than 900 acres of terrain and some of the best snow in North America, our experience is as unique as it is amazing.
For the 2020-2021 season we’re responding to COVID-19 in several different ways – most notably by moving to hosting only one group of up to 12 guests per day and by expanding our operations to 5 day / week. One of western North America’s most exclusive cat skiing operations just got that much more exclusive.
Freshly prepared, gourmet breakfast upon arrival
Full complement of avalanche safety gear (pack, shovel, probe, transceiver)
Huckleberry Chair lift ticket (to gain access to the cat)
Fully guided day of cat skiing / riding
Check in at Joe’s Café (upstairs in the main day lodge) where you’ll first enjoy a gourmet full hot breakfast followed by a safety briefing and the issuing avalanche kits. Please do everything in your power to be on time.
Typically we’re getting ready to head out the door, to catch an early upload on Huckleberry, in order to meet our cat.
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
We’re cat skiing! Each cat skiing lap consists of a ride on the Huckleberry Chairlift, a ride on the cat, and somewhere in the vicinity of 1800 – 2200 vertical feet of powder-licious skiing / riding!
Return to Joe’s Cafe to share stories, and enjoy a beverage on us!
Days of Operation
TUESDAY – SATURDAY (5 DAYS / WEEK)
OFF PEAK SEASON
$399.95 / seat
Dec. 26, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2020 & Mar. 16, 2021 – Mar. 20, 2021
$499.95 / seat
Jan. 19, 2021 – Mar. 13, 2021
How do I make a reservation?
All bookings, except full cat (cat of 12) bookings can now be made online by clicking the book now button! Cat of 12 group bookings will still need to be facilitated via phone.
If you’d like to chat to a human, we’d be happy to oblige! Give us a shout at 888-SKI-TONS or 403 627 5101 or send us an email.
What changes have you made to your operation in light of COVID-19?
We have made a number of changes to our cat skiing operations to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. These include:
Smaller groups –
Our first, and perhaps most major change, is cutting back to only running with one group of up to 12 guests / day (as opposed to serving 2 groups of up to 12 guests / day) with our one snow cat. This means that there are no other people, aside from those in your group, that will be sharing your cat. One of the positive side effects of this is that you’re likely to enjoy a slightly faster paced day; translation – more runs!
We will also be removing our staff from the passenger cabin to increase guest comfort.
5 day / week operations –
Due to running with fewer people each day we operate, we’ve expanded operations to 5 days / week (as opposed to 3 day / week operations we’re accustomed to). With 60 scheduled cat skiing days this year we’ve nearly doubled the number of days we’ll be operating!
Cleaning / Sanitization –
- Snow Cat
- The Powder Stagecoach will receive a full cleaning of its passenger compartment at the end of each day
- Avalanche Safety Equipment
- All avalanche safety equipment (pack, probe, beacon, shovel) will be sanitized at the end of each operating day
Mandatory Face Coverings –
Maintaining physical distancing is simply not possible within our snow cat. Therefore it will be mandatory for all guests to wear a suitable (2-layer minimum) face covering while in the cat.
If you don’t have one or maybe you’re not stoked on the one(s) you own, no sweat! All cat skiing guests will receive a complimentary two layer neck tube as a take home memento of their experience.
Do you offer deals or discounts?
The following loyalty card holders are eligible for 10% off all Powder Stagecoach Cat Ski bookings:
- Castle Mountain Resort season pass holder / Wonders of Winter Card holder
- Use promo code “CMRCAT10“
- Lake Louise Ski Resort season pass holder / Lake Louise Plus Card holder
- Use promo code “LLSRCAT10“
A valid 2020-2021 card / pass number is required at time of booking to be eligible for discounts. Discounts do not apply to the purchase of open dated certificates.
What are my options for private group rentals?
We offer a private cat of 12 rental, granting you exclusive domain over our cat skiing area, for $3999.95* to $4999.95**, seasonal dependent.
*Off-peak rates in effect from Dec. 26, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2021 & Mar. 16 – 20, 2021. **Peak season rates in effect from Jan. 19, 2021 to Mar. 13, 2021.
In order to be eligible for group rates payment is required in one lump sum, one transaction by a group coordinator.
Can I buy a gift certificate?
Yes, you most definitely can! However, gift certificates carry with them some special considerations.
Two types of certificates exist; restricted and unrestricted certificates. Restricted certificates are available for use only within our off-peak season (from Dec. 26, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2021 & Mar. 16 to 20, 2021). Unrestricted certificates are available for use on any of our 60 regularly scheduled cat ski departures, all season long.
Once you’ve purchased a gift certificate it is completely non-refundable and is valid for a cat-ski seat only in the season you’ve purchased it for. Cat Ski Certificates will not be rolled over to subsequent seasons should they go unused.
Lastly, your certificate does not guarantee you a seat on any departure you wish. As only 12 seats are available for each date and seats are based on first-come-first-serve availability, we recommend selecting your preferred date as soon as possible. Please quote your certificate bar-code number upon booking.
What is the terrain like?
Wide open bowls, trees, gullies, wind lips; we’ve got it all! If you’ve skied or ridden Advanced or Expert terrain on the main mountains at Castle before, then you shouldn’t be worried about your skill level. Our cat skiing area is a bit mellower than areas such as Sheriff or the Chutes, in terms of pitch, but it’s often where you’ll find the best (and most) snow at the resort.
You’ll find no mandatory cliff drops or chutes within the cat-ski terrain which means that competent, advanced level skiers and above will have a great time. Experience skiing powder and variable, off-piste conditions is expected.
How many cats do you operate per day?
We operate one cat with one group consisting of up to 12 guests.
What does "lift assisted" mean?
We run a combination of chairlift and snow cat for our cat skiing operation. You start on the Huckleberry Chairlift, ride the lift to the top then jump on the cat to go even farther up onto the shoulder of Mount Haig. This gives us the opportunity to ride 1800 – 2200 vertical feet per run! Each run you return to the base area and ride Huckleberry lift to the top to catch the cat.
Do I need to purchase a lift ticket?
No! A Huckleberry Chair lift ticket is included as part of your experience, which you’ll receive when you arrive on the morning of your cat skiing day.
Do you have bathrooms in the cat skiing terrain?
There are no washroom facilities outside of our base area. However, we do come into the base area after every run, so there is an opportunity for a quick break if needed. Ask your hosts where the nearest bathroom is so you don’t miss out on any runs!
Do I need to bring my own Avalanche Gear?
We supply all the avalanche gear you need and its included in the price. An Ortovox backpack, probe, shovel & transceiver will be waiting for you at check in. If you would like use your own equipment please bring it with you to check in with full batteries and show it to our hosts to approve use.
Should I rent fat skis?
Powder skis and boards generally make your day on the Powder Stagecoach easier and more fun. Powder skis / boards will help you “surf” through deep snow, riding on top and not sinking to the bottom.
Skis / boards can be pre-booked at the time of your booking and are provided by our onsite rental / retail shop owned and operated by Alpenland. In fact, pre-booking will save you some dough with a special rate of $40 / person plus GST (regular $45 / person).
For more information on exactly what skis / boards are available you can give CMR’s Alpenland shop a call at (403) 627-5389.
What should I bring?
Check the weather before you come to ensure you are prepared for the conditions – it never hurts to throw a variety of things in your car so you have it on hand. Remember, every run we make returns to the base area so, just because it doesn’t fit in your pack, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to access it during your day.
Good long underwear, warm gloves, goggles and a face mask are a must! We pack you a lunch but it is always good to bring a snack to keep your energy levels up!
Do you stop for lunch?
We don’t have a formal “lunch stop” as we’re aiming to ski / ride as many runs with you as possible, on your big day. Short breaks will occur throughout the day where you can enjoy something from your provided, bagged lunch.
Due to mandatory face covering requirements, within the snow cat, lunches will not be permitted to be eaten within the cat this year.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations outside 30 days prior to trip date, will be completely refunded less a $49 administration fee per day / seat.
Cancellations within 30 days are non-refundable. In the event that you are unable to attend your option would be to transfer your seat to another person. Written notice (email) is required of any changes along with complete contact information for the new guest.
Once your reservation has been accepted, changes to your date are not permitted.
If the Powder Stagecoach is unable to run due to weather, or other unforeseen circumstances, a full refund will be provided.
How many runs should I expect? / Do you guarantee a certain number of runs?
There are a wide variety of factors that contribute to how many runs a group may get in. Factors such as the speed of fellow skiers / riders, weather conditions, and snow conditions all play a part in the day.
We guarantee a minimum of 5 runs / day but, more often than not, our groups are enjoying 6 to 8 laps of our cat-skiing terrain.
If your group falls short of 5 runs, a 20% refund will be offered for every run short of 5. For example, should your day be cut short after 3 runs, you would receive a refund in the amount of 40% of the original amount associated w/ your booking.
Should you choose to end your day early, on your own accord (illness / injury, late arrival, equipment malfunction, tiredness, etc), a refund will not be available.
What if I get tired during the day?
You are welcome to skip a run and have a break in our day lodge if it is needed. One of the great benefits of being resort based, you can grab a coffee, warm up in the lodge or just rest your muscles and catch the group on the next lap.
Will I have cell phone reception or wifi available?
We do not have cell reception in the base area, depending on your provider you may get a signal at the top of the Cat Skiing Terrain! Wi-Fi is available in the base area (at check in/end of day).
Is there a minimum age for cat skiing?
There is no minimum age restriction associated with our cat skiing operation. If your little ripper can ski powder and variable conditions, on advanced terrain, they’re all good!
Please keep in mind that all children under the age of 18 must have their waiver signed, on the morning of your cat skiing adventure, by a parent or legal guardian.
Should I tip my hosts?
Gratuities are not expected or required however they are always appreciated. A gratuity is not included in the cost of cat skiing.