Island Lake Catskiing
Powderhounds are well accustomed to the powder panic at ski resorts. “There are no friends on a powder day” is one of my favourite sayings because I don’t want anyone to hold me back. A powder day is a mad scramble to get to the freshies before anyone else. What I love about cat skiing
is that there is no pressure. Every day is a powder day, and the other guests in the snowcat can be my friends. I don’t need to use my elbows to get to the powder because there’s plenty to go around.
The only jostling that needs to occur is to get a seat with Island Lake Catskiing. This cat ski operation is very popular and it can get booked up well in advance. This comes as no great surprise considering that Island Lake is a luxurious cat ski operation. Cat skiing needn’t be the only priority on your ski holiday because the experience also encompasses relaxation and fine wining and dining. Even the snow is lavish!
Where is the Island Lake Lodge?
The cat skiing terrain is located in the Lizard Range of the BC Rocky Mountains. Island Lake Lodge is only accessible by snowcat (or cross-country skis) and is located 15km from the town of Fernie in the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada. The renowned Fernie Alpine Resort
is about 5km from the town of Fernie.
Nearby airports are Calgary (4 hours away), Cranbrook (60 minutes) and Kalispell in Montana (a 2 hour drive). From the airports you can hire a car, or Island Lake Lodge can assist with transport arrangements.
Cat Ski Packages
Island Lake offer 3 and 4 day all-inclusive cat skiing packages in high season, 2,3 & 4 day trips during regular season and 2 & 3 day packages in low season. The Island Lake Lodge provides three accommodation levels that range from standard rooms to king bed deluxe rooms with soaker tubs. The lodges also have various outdoor hot tubs where you can commence your après relaxation.
The fine dining is a highlight, and the food is so good that Island Lake have published a cookbook so that foodies can enjoy the cuisine at home. Island Lake Lodge also has a fabulous wine library that will impress any oenophile.
The use of powder skis and boards is included in the multi-day packages but not in the single day trips.
Island Lake also runs speciality tours such as family trips and girlski tours where no testosterone is allowed.
Other Island Lake Winter Packages
Island Lake Lodge also offers day activities other than cat skiing. Options include a lunch and day spa combo that incorporates a soak in the hot tub overlooking the backdrop of the stunning terrain of the Lizard Range. They also offer a X-country ski adventure on the trail up from the carpark or on a variety of trails around the lodge. Nordic skiers can combine this with a gourmet lunch or a day spa package. Either way it’s absolutely delicious.
Snow and Cat Skiing Terrain
Island Lake is well located to get great snow. The combination of moist storms from the Pacific Ocean and the cool Arctic air from northern Alberta results in 9-12 metres of Rocky Mountain powder each season.
The 2,124 hectares (5,248 acres) of cat ski terrain is incredibly varied. The diversity includes high alpine bowls, steep chutes for experts, well spaced tree runs, and gentle rolling slopes for strong intermediates. A typical day covers 10-14 runs with approximately 15,000 vertical feet (4,572 metres) of skiing or riding. Some of the runs are quite long including the aptly named Beer Run that ends up at the lodge.
More Reasons to Cat Ski with Island Lake Lodge
Cat skiing with Island Lake is almost purr-fect! Island Lake does a fabulous job of combining the excitement and adventure of cat skiing with the relaxation and pampering that you want from a vacation. They don’t just offer a massage service, but have a full service day spa with treatments such as wraps, exfoliations, aromatherapy and foot care. Between the day spa, the food, the hot tub and the powder, Island Lake is one yummy indulgence.
The lavish experience includes hero terrain and hero snow – you’ll feel like a complete legend. One of Island Lake’s mottos sums up the only downside to the cat ski operation. “Surgeon General’s Warning: Powder is highly addictive – side effects include a feeling of euphoric bliss, uncontrollable laughter, respiratory difficulties (choking on powder), overwhelming joy and screaming”!