Park City Powder Cats
Ski the Utah Backcountry from the comfort of a Custom Snowcatby Scott Flanders
Back to the Wasatch Back
So you’re looking to get away from the crowds, the tracked-out terrain, and the cold chair lifts. You want to make new friends, and create memories that will last forever. Face it, you just want to ride powder – on every turn.Park City Powder Cats is the only ticket you need.
Thousand Peaks Ranch, located in the Uinta Mountains near Park City, Utah, offers up 30,000 acres of pristine dry powder and terrain for all abilities. Whether you’re into steep chutes, cliff drops, trees, wide open bowls or intermediate cruising, Powder Cats has exactly what you’re craving.
Each tour starts with a continental breakfast in Park City. After filling up, your group will head out to the Thousand Peaks Ranch base lodge. Experienced guides will equip everyone with transceivers and fat skis for the day (boarders may bring their own board). From there, you’ll load into one of the two heated, 12-seat, custom snow cats. Then just sit back while your cat driver chauffeurs you up to the most beautiful terrain on the Wasatch Back.
On the ride up, you’ll discover why the 60,000 acre ranch earned its name. Gladed bowls, skiable trees, and exposed cornices stare down from a thousand surrounding peaks. Dropping into your first run, you’ll wonder why you ever skied or rode a resort. The only high speed quads you’ll see will be those you’re flexing, as you lay more fresh turns than your lift-assisted buddies will ever see in one day.
Following the first several runs, smiling skiers and boarders sit down to a buffet lunch on the mountainside. Rest, eat, and laugh at those who choose to stay on-piste. Then, it’s back to the powder for more fun. In fact, you’ll have so much fun that you may not want to stop in the afternoon. But don’t worry, you’re tired legs will appreciate the rest as the cat returns you to the lodge at day’s end.
Park City Powder Cats average about 10,000 vertical feet per day, between eight to eleven blissful runs. Worried about leaving someone behind? The cats welcome skiers and boarders any age older than 10 years. Remember, the terrain is varied, with pitches ranging from about 20 degrees up to 55 degrees. There really is something for everyone.
Cat skiing is a first class experience; and Park City Powder Cats has discovered a formula that feeds every skier and rider backcountry addiction. Tempted? Feast on this perk: It’s about three hundred dollars less than a comparable day of heli-skiing.
Yes, there really is a paradise on the Wasatch Back, and you can ride it without taking out a second mortgage. It’s called Thousand Peaks Ranch, and Park City Powder Cats will take you there.Scott Flanders
Scott Flanders is a freelance writer who works closely with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams. He is currently fueling his addiction for the backcountry by working in Park City, Utah, as an Olympic team correspondent.