Cat Skiing in the East

in NELSAP Forum Posts: 1,752
Are there currently any backcountry/sidecountry cat skiing operations in the East? This does not include cat skiing which serves lift served terrain before or after lifts open/close for the day. I know Bohemia has it in the Midwest and Arrowhead used to offer it on their upper mountain trails, but I am not currently aware of any active operations in the East.
- Sam

Comments

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 940
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 763
    Great Glen Trails has a faux-cat that brings you to the treeline of Mt Washington.  Most people use it for sight seeing but you are allowed to ski back down the Auto Road.

    Big Squaw is working on acquiring a 2nd cat for cat skiing off the summit while they continue to fundraise for a new FGQ.
  • edited February 13 Posts: 1,752

    Is that still active? I can't seem to find any more info on it.
    - Sam
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 940
    Dunno.  It appears (maybe) to have been part of "Blue Pond Adventures Inc" which was a campground (?) but was liquidated in 2015

    I could be way off here.  But it definitely did exist at one time
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,186
    Bearpen next year?
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited February 13 Posts: 1,504


    Is that still active? I can't seem to find any more info on it.



    They lie, there's others in the East. In the Chic-Chocs of the Gaspe. Check out all the jumps they built on York Mtn. The tree huggers must just love that.

    http://www.chic-chac.ca/en/skiing-packages/heliskiing-catskiing/

    Hermitage has one, but of course that area is lift served too.

    At the Great Glenn SnowCoach, it is my understanding is that you can only XC or snowshoe down. Weather permitting too. And they want you to head down, not up or over. 



    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • bousquet19bousquet19 advanced
    Posts: 214
    ciscokid said:

    Bearpen next year?



    :D
  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    edited February 14 Posts: 100
    Not sure about Eastern US. But there a few in Eastern CAN. Including within driving distance of New England
    https://www.catskiing.ca/canadian-operations/chic-chac-catskiing

    Or further north
    https://www.catskiing.ca/canadian-operations/blomidon-cat-skiing

    Whoops edit: see you already got these recommendations
  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 204

    Al Risch (SP?), head of the Wildcat Ski Patrol at the time, used to run snowcat skiing on Mt. Washington after Wildcat ended its season. I don't know how long it lasted, but the first trip was memorable. I forget the year, but it was in early April and the mountain hadn't loosened up yet. There was a lot of boilerplate, patches of wind-blown hard pack and, on Hillman's breakable crust. Pretty exciting. A month later the trip was perfect, powder and corn, with skiing all the way to Pinkham.


  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 763
    Where on the mountain were these cat trips?
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 272
    I don't recall any Cat Trips but I did partake of the Helicopter Skiing 3 different Springs all in early and mid May with top to bottom skiing all 3 times.⛷
  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 204
    obienick, it must have been in the early to mid '70s.We rude the Tucker (I think) snowcat up the carriage road to the summit. Al Risch, his wife Allison and the captain of the Dartmouth ski team, all superb skiers, were our guides. We skied the east snow fields first. It was boilerplate and wind-packed powder. 
    When, after a run, we climbed up the footholds the first person made, one person fell, started to slide and knocked the next person in line down. They slid into and knocked the third person down. The fourth person in the  way (me) stepped aside, wished them and the Red Sox good luck, and watched them slide to the bottom of the east snowfield and into the rock garden.
    Luckily they suffered just  few bumps and bruises. We made a few more runs there, then skied around he ridge to the top of Tuckerman Ravine where our guides un packed some lunch. We then went to the top of Hillman's. The lip of the headwall was solid ice and was a no-go. Hillman's had breakable crust so we sidestepped down to a patch of wind-packed powder, then skied down to near the bowl, checked out the ravine, then skied down the Sherbie to the parking lot.
    It was a bit more dicy than we had expected, but Al, Allison and the Dartmouth guy kept up easy talk, gave us good advice and directions, made good decisions and got us down to the parking lot with no further problems. At the bottom, one of the group said to Al, "Well, that wasn't so bad, was it." Al looked him in the eye and said, "You're lucky you're alive." Thereafter, whenever I'd see Al in the Time for Tuckerman booth at the Boston ski show, I'd always greet him with "You're lucky you're alive." He always got a laugh out of it.
    When I went back in May to do it again, it was a bluebird day, the snow was great and it was perfection. 
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 736
    Belleayre did on Cathedral Brook in years past.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,504
    Bill an amazing adventure, BUT I see why the Snowcoach only allows XC down their trails and why the NFS decided against Helis. I happened to at Wildkitty one of the days they flew a test heliski flight up to the big guy. Talk about jealous.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,186
    Bill29 said:

    obienick, it must have been in the early to mid '70s.We rude the Tucker (I think) snowcat up the carriage road to the summit. Al Risch, his wife Allison and the captain of the Dartmouth ski team, all superb skiers, were our guides. We skied the east snow fields first. It was boilerplate and wind-packed powder. 

    When, after a run, we climbed up the footholds the first person made, one person fell, started to slide and knocked the next person in line down. They slid into and knocked the third person down. The fourth person in the  way (me) stepped aside, wished them and the Red Sox good luck, and watched them slide to the bottom of the east snowfield and into the rock garden.
    Luckily they suffered just  few bumps and bruises. We made a few more runs there, then skied around he ridge to the top of Tuckerman Ravine where our guides un packed some lunch. We then went to the top of Hillman's. The lip of the headwall was solid ice and was a no-go. Hillman's had breakable crust so we sidestepped down to a patch of wind-packed powder, then skied down to near the bowl, checked out the ravine, then skied down the Sherbie to the parking lot.
    It was a bit more dicy than we had expected, but Al, Allison and the Dartmouth guy kept up easy talk, gave us good advice and directions, made good decisions and got us down to the parking lot with no further problems. At the bottom, one of the group said to Al, "Well, that wasn't so bad, was it." Al looked him in the eye and said, "You're lucky you're alive." Thereafter, whenever I'd see Al in the Time for Tuckerman booth at the Boston ski show, I'd always greet him with "You're lucky you're alive." He always got a laugh out of it.
    When I went back in May to do it again, it was a bluebird day, the snow was great and it was perfection. 

    Now that's the kind of story that makes snowjournal what it is, a good clean interesting read told by our respected octogenarian. ( you certainly can't tell you were a professional newspaper writer lol)
    Remember the old Bud commercial from the 90's, love ya man
  • Posts: 1,752
    Bill29 said:

    obienick, it must have been in the early to mid '70s.We rude the Tucker (I think) snowcat up the carriage road to the summit. Al Risch, his wife Allison and the captain of the Dartmouth ski team, all superb skiers, were our guides. We skied the east snow fields first. It was boilerplate and wind-packed powder. 

    When, after a run, we climbed up the footholds the first person made, one person fell, started to slide and knocked the next person in line down. They slid into and knocked the third person down. The fourth person in the  way (me) stepped aside, wished them and the Red Sox good luck, and watched them slide to the bottom of the east snowfield and into the rock garden.
    Luckily they suffered just  few bumps and bruises. We made a few more runs there, then skied around he ridge to the top of Tuckerman Ravine where our guides un packed some lunch. We then went to the top of Hillman's. The lip of the headwall was solid ice and was a no-go. Hillman's had breakable crust so we sidestepped down to a patch of wind-packed powder, then skied down to near the bowl, checked out the ravine, then skied down the Sherbie to the parking lot.
    It was a bit more dicy than we had expected, but Al, Allison and the Dartmouth guy kept up easy talk, gave us good advice and directions, made good decisions and got us down to the parking lot with no further problems. At the bottom, one of the group said to Al, "Well, that wasn't so bad, was it." Al looked him in the eye and said, "You're lucky you're alive." Thereafter, whenever I'd see Al in the Time for Tuckerman booth at the Boston ski show, I'd always greet him with "You're lucky you're alive." He always got a laugh out of it.
    When I went back in May to do it again, it was a bluebird day, the snow was great and it was perfection. 

    Great story! Al & Allison are relatives of mine and they have many similar stories about Wildcat, Tuckerman, etc. which are always fun to hear.
    - Sam
  • spk27alumnispk27alumni intermediate
    Posts: 36

    While heading up the PSPA, back in the '80s, Al came to visit our Pro Patrol one day.  What an interesting guy!!!  It was pretty cold that day, and I noticed he was not wearing a hat. When I inquired why he was without a hat, he explained that he never wore a hat. Given the kind of weather he was dealing with in N.H., I still can't believe he was telling the truth.

    NE Skier... can you confirm if he was telling me the truth that day, or just pulling my leg?   

  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 204
    N.E. skier, when you see Al and Allison please give them my best. They're terrific people. I missed the ski show this year so I didn't see them. (They may remember me from that story. Oh, what the hell. Why be coy. Tell them Bill Clew said hello).
  • Posts: 1,752

    While heading up the PSPA, back in the '80s, Al came to visit our Pro Patrol one day.  What an interesting guy!!!  It was pretty cold that day, and I noticed he was not wearing a hat. When I inquired why he was without a hat, he explained that he never wore a hat. Given the kind of weather he was dealing with in N.H., I still can't believe he was telling the truth.

    NE Skier... can you confirm if he was telling me the truth that day, or just pulling my leg?   

    I think that may be correct. I can't ever recall seeing him ski with a hat.
    - Sam
Sign In or Register to comment.