Nelson Kootenay Lake: CAT Skiing Capital of the World
It’s one of those announcements that those of us “in the know” will doubtless have a forehead slapping moment and be inclined to stare in wonderment at anyone who did not know this, pre-official-announcement. But we’re a compassionate bunch. We understand. If you haven’t actually ever visited the Nelson Kootenay Lake area, you may not realize what a CAT Skiing mecca it actually is.
With five world class CAT Skiing operations, including Baldface, Selkirk Wilderness, White Grizzly, Valhalla Powder Cats and Retallack, the Nelson Kootenay Lake area boasts 97,000 acres of terrain. 97,000 acres is one of those numbers that is so big as to be meaningless. Let’s put that in perspective. It’s huge. CAT skiing at one of the larger Colorado operations is 35,000 acres. Okay? We’ve got 13 metres of snowfall annually. 13 metres, 40 ft. That’s a ton. 2500 metre elevation. 14 CATs holding 12 people each. You’ll ski between 12,000 and 20,000 vertical feet per day.
Twelve thousand vertical feet. Up to twenty thousand vertical feet. You’ll want a massage and warm bed after a day like that. And 4 out of 5 of our operators offer accommodation. That would be Baldface, Retallack, White Grizzly and Selkirk Wilderness Skiing.
And, by the way, as you might expect, CAT skiing was born here. In 1975, at Selkirk Wilderness Skiing. Allan and Brenda Drury started the whole thing. So, again, Nelson Kootenay Lake for the win, people.
Each one of the CAT providers also fully supports and encourages visits to our local ski resort, Whitewater Ski Resort. It’s only 20 minutes from Nelson, known for its epic powder and has another nearly 1200 acres of terrain for you to try out and warm up the legs before you hit the CAT.
Each cat ski company has its own character offering delicious meals and comfortable accommodation (both understatements, as you will discover).
Read more about each place on the Nelson Kootenay Lake website and if you are looking for a place to stay, Nelson, Balfour and Kaslo have lots of options, before or after CAT skiing.
Header photo by Nick Diamond, Baldface. Inset photo by Lucas Jmieff, Selkirk Wilderness Skiing.