We recommend that you check our availability calendar in order to select the appropriate day or group. It shows which seats are booked, and what ability level each tour is targeting. We can run up to 4 cats a day. If you book yourself into a group which is obviously stronger than your own ability, you may be asked to sit out a couple of runs so that the rest of the group can enjoy their day. You will have a better time if you are grouped with others of a similar speed, ability, and level of fitness, so please tell us a bit about yourself and your group when you are booking.
We will make every attempt to stick with the chosen ability level, but please understand that this is a guideline, there is often overlap between advanced and expert groups, and ability is self-assessed and not foolproof. If there are 12 or fewer seats booking in two cats, it may be combined into one group, but we will never combine intermediate with expert.
All guests are required to sign a liability waiver and assumption of risks document on arrival. It essentially eliminates the ability for you to take legal action on anyone for any reason, so it is important to be aware of that. Click here to read the waiver
Deposits, Refund Policy
Deposits made by credit card are NOT REFUNDABLE, but may be rescheduled in some cases, such as COVID travel conditions or unsafe conditions.
30% deposit charged at time of booking (10% if before July, topped up to 30% on 1 July - this will be delayed if the border is not open by 1 July). The remainder is payable in full 90 days before the trip. If you are unable to commit to the trip 90 days in advance, that is the time to make changes or reschedule to the next year, and reapply your non-refundable deposits.
In the event that COVID travel restrictions are applied, you may reschedule the booking to the following season or two, or transfer to a friend, but it is not refundable. This applies to cat skiing and lodging in the Big Red Lodge, Red Shutter Inn, and Red Shutter Cabin.
Names can be changed on the booking any time.
In the event that the weather renders the skiing conditions hazardous, or something else beyond our control means that we cannot safely offer cat skiing, you may be given the option to reschedule to another date in the same or following season. If you evaluate your options and do not want to opt for a rain check, that is fine, as long as it is legal we will take you cat skiing, though the terrain on offer may be limited, and the experience may be less than desirable. Rain checks are transferable, and it is likely that is a good choice to ski at the resort instead, and return another day. We understand that when there is a widespread melt/freeze crust, skiing on groomed runs is a better use of your time and money. Please understand that we cannot control the weather and we will always try to operate, but the option to ski at the resort instead and change your date is the best "ski guarantee" we can offer.
If you have a full cat booking, and you would like us to consider moving your whole group to another date, and running a 6th cat to maximize a powder day or avoid a weather disaster, ask us. It may or may not be possible, depending on our staffing, but it is worth asking, if you're in the area anyway. We normally don't schedule 6 cats in advance so that such changes can be possible.
When conditions are deteriorating, we may be going day by day, or even hour by hour, but as long as it is safe to ski, we will make every effort to do so. Rain checks are often not offered until the night before - or sometimes the morning of - the trip, if the weather is questionable. If you need clarity several days before the trip, in order to change flights, we will sometimes grant rescheduling in the SAME season, or the following low season, several days in advance, so that you don't have to travel here. Note that in most cases, outside lodging will NOT be rain checked into a separate season, as it is usually still possible to come and ski at the resort on groomed runs if cat skiing is not ideal, and the lifts will still be running. So be aware that if you choose not to come because of conditions, the lodging payment may be forfeit if you don't come in the same season. Ask your lodging provider at time of booking for written clarification.
In the event that conditions deteriorate DURING the day, here is the policy: If you ski 1-3 runs, and the entire group is offered, and chooses unanimously to depart, there is a 50% credit for a future day of cat skiing. 4-5 runs and there is a 20% credit. If the group skis 6 runs or more, there is no future credit. If the group isn't unanimous, it will keep skiing. These are future discounts, and are not refunds.
We strongly recommend that all guests from outside BC have in place their own travel and medical insurance, including trip cancellation and evacuation. If you don't have your own, it can be purchased online at Sanderson Travel Insurance, as their coverage does include off-piste skiing. Ambulance or air ambulance will be called if you are injured and you will be billed for it by the Province - Canadians from outside of BC are NOT covered, so ambulance cover is essential.
Trip Cancellation/Travel Insurance will generally NOT cover if we recommend that you reschedule your trip due to unsafe conditions, but it will help if you need to cancel due to health issues, transportation delays, etc. (perhaps not for COVID, but we will reschedule you in that case).
IF WE OFFER YOU THE OPTION TO RESCHEDULE YOUR TRIP, AND RECOMMEND DOING SO FOR SAFETY REASONS, AND YOU CHOOSE NOT TO DO SO, THERE IS NO REFUND. WE WILL STILL OPERATE AND TAKE YOU SKIING. AN OFFER TO RESCHEDULE DUE TO CONDITIONS IS AN OPTIONAL COURTESY BUT IS NOT MANDATORY. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO EITHER RESCHEDULE TO ANOTHER TIME IN THE NEXT TWO SEASONS, OR WE CAN TAKE YOU OUT IN THE SUB-PAR CONDITIONS.
Average Vertical & Vertical Guarantee
On most days, intermediate groups will get 6-8 runs, advanced will ski 8-12 runs, and experts 9-15 runs. There is no daily maximum, so you'll get more runs in in March than in January because the days are longer.
There is a vertical guarantee of at least 6 runs: A $30 future credit will be placed on your account for each run less than 6 if we need to cancel due to mechanical failure to help to lower the cost of a future trip. If the day is slowed because someone is lost or injured, the vertical guarantee does not apply, as our safety focus cannot be compromised. If you are asked to sit out runs because you overestimated your own ability and booked yourself into the wrong ability group, this will not apply.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are strictly forbidden while you are still skiing and riding, and you will be "benched" if you are found to be drinking from a flask or toking up behind a tree. There is a $50 fee if you need to return to the resort early. Safety is our first priority and we want all of our guests to have all of their faculties while out on the mountain, and we don't want anyone putting the rest of the group in danger, or disregarding instructions, getting lost, and ruining the day for the rest of the group.
If you are prone to motion sickness, we strongly discourage you from drinking very much the night before cat skiing, as the cat ride can be quite uncomfortable for the hung-over. You may wish to take anti-nausea medication prior to leaving the resort, so that it has time to take effect.
You are quite welcome to bring some cans of beer or a plastic bottle to enjoy after the last run of the day while the cat is heading back to the staging area. A cool beverage after a hard-charging day in the pow can be a beautiful thing - but do remember that there are 12 people in the cat, and cat skiing is a "team sport..."