Ski Anthony Lakes, which sits above the eastern Oregon desert with the state's highest base elevation (7,100 feet), likes to say that it is a place "where powder is a reality."

One way to test Anthony Lake's claim is to check out the resort's cat skiing operation, which gives skiers and snowboarders access to 2,000 back-country acres of steeps, bowls and glades with runs of 1,000 to 1,700 vertical feet in length.

These trips to Anthony Lakes' untracked powder fields are intended for fall-line riders who are able to negotiated all types of snow - ice, wind pack and other yucky types of the white stuff could be encountered -- and terrain conditions.

The $199 cat fee (if you book 12 riders, the vehicle's capacity, one of them will get to go for free) gets you up to 10 runs -- depending on the group's average ability level - a continental breakfast, hot drinks, water, lunch, high-energy snacks and as much light and dry as you can gobble. The cat ski operators will even throw in use of a shovel and transceiver for the day.

Cat trip reservations can be made the day of the outing, but Ski Anthony Lakes says that in order for someone to guarantee a trip to the backcountry at least eight people must sign up.

Reservations can be made and further questions can be answered at 541-856-3277.