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Old 10-01-2012, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Catboarding skill requirement - how good do you need to be?

I'd like to go catboarding this winter, likely for one day to try it out.

This would be in BC, likely Whistler as I'll be there already on a vacation riding the resort.

Any thoughts on the right skill level to do this - I've been boarding for a few years now, can go on the single black runs at Whistler, a little cautious in the steeper parts of those. Not ready for the double black runs at whistler. My only realy powder experience has been the occasional snowy day where I've been able to play around some in the powder on resort slopes.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's different by cat operator. It's best to look at the websites of the operators that you are considering. Every one I have seen has at least an outline of what your skill levels should be at to be able to enjoy their services. All operate in different areas and terrain.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Cat at Keystone takes you like a mile and opens up a whole bunch of.....green terrain basically. Seriously the only cornice it gives you, you can walk to in like 5 minutes. Otherwise its a 10 minute green run-out.

All depends like Kill said. The cat at Copper is the titties by comparison.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd go with what Kill said. Check the operator, they usually have different skill levels to sign up for, and a description of each. Just don't be that guy who can't ride powder who gets in the expert cat (happened to me before, the guy was not liked by the rest of the group).
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrnknZag View Post
I'd go with what Kill said. Check the operator, they usually have different skill levels to sign up for, and a description of each. Just don't be that guy who can't ride powder who gets in the expert cat (happened to me before, the guy was not liked by the rest of the group).
I've been to a number of websites, most say strong intermediate level rider or better, just not sure how to interpret that. There was one company that said that they had 3 different levels, which would make it easier. I would think that some lucky folks would have had a lot of experience boarding in powder even at their resort due to where they live so the transition to catboarding/heli would be pretty straightforward, whereas others like me only get a day here or there of heavy snowfall, and never get truly deep powder.

For those who are in my situation and went out by cat/heli how difficult was it, and how experienced were you before you went?
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Intermediate is pretty much what it means. Can you comfortably ride an intermediate slope at a resort?

I am guessing by your trepidation and initial post, if you book a cat trip, you should do it at the intermediate level. Nothing wrong with it. I spend plenty of days in the backcountry in terrain that would be considered intermediate. In fact a couple of my favorite runs at Bert are intermediate in nature, but they are just fun. Sounds like your goal is to ride powder, not necessarily the steepest, most gnar pow runs you can find. Take it easy, book it for an intermediate level day. You'll be riding powder all day and that never sucks.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrnknZag View Post
I'd go with what Kill said. Check the operator, they usually have different skill levels to sign up for, and a description of each. Just don't be that guy who can't ride powder who gets in the expert cat (happened to me before, the guy was not liked by the rest of the group).

Do elaborate. Sounds like a good story
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do elaborate. Sounds like a good story
Bro trip to up Big Red Cats two seasons ago, we booked 6 seats in the expert cat. Two guys in the cat had never ridden pow before. We spent the better part of the day a helping dig them out of deep powder while avoiding the steep terrain we came for. Not good times.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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if you truly believe your skills are expert (i am not saying they aren't), and thats what you're there to ride then book the whole cat or don't book at all IMHO.

they'll always dumb it down to the least competent rider.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if you truly believe your skills are expert (i am not saying they aren't), and thats what you're there to ride then book the whole cat or don't book at all IMHO.

they'll always dumb it down to the least competent rider.
Oh yeah, I know they dumb it down for the least competent rider (liability). The dude should have picked the intermediate or beginner cats, not the expert cat. I expected to get a bunch of gnar riders (there were a couple). The last time I went out, we booked the "über" cat....and we definitely got what we wanted. Super solid crew that time around.
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