8 Years of Big Red Cats, One Big Fat Reason to go Cat Skiing

14th November 2013 | Brigid Mander

News Regions: British Columbia

Resorts in this article: Red Resort

Big Red Cats

Big Red Cats: one of the largest cat skiing operations in the world.

Copyright: Big Red Cats

Big Red Cats in charming Rossland, British Columbia has gone from opening its doors eight years ago to being one of the largest cat skiing operations in the world for good reason: it is all about the skiing, and the skiing is flat out awesome.

Owned by Kieran and Paula Gaul, a warm, down-to-earth pair of Australian transplants, Big Red Cats is a fun, casual and well-run operation that is well worth a look. BRC offers endless gladed and featured terrain, wide open bowls, steeps dotted with pillow lines, cliffs and plenty of north-facing, cold dry powder.

Does it get better than cat skiing on a powder day?

Copyright: Big Red Cats

This outfit also offers performance category options, including the Uber-Expert for skiers who commit to skiing all day long without a break—following the guide off any jumps and down any steeps he/she so chooses for the group. You can turn and burn powdery adventure all day long at maximum speed.

For those uninterested in catching air, 360-degree skiing off the eight peaks is included in BRC’s tenure, including wide open bowls and glades—where you’ll still be eating your lunch in the snowcat; BRC is about getting the powder skied, not picnics in the snow.

Located right next to Red Mountain, guests stay at the resort and can book anywhere from one day to a week of cat skiing, with the option to alternate with resort days.

Big Red Cats=wide open bowls, steeps dotted with pillow lines, cliffs and plenty of north-facing, cold dry powder.

Copyright: Big Red Cats

PHOTO GALLERY: IF YOU DIDN'T WANT TO GO ALREADY...

IF YOU GO:

Travel: Rossland is two hours from the Spokane, Wash. airport and 30 minutes from the Castlegar, BC airport.

Basic Package: Prices start at $350 CAN per day, with a popular basic package of three days cat skiing and three days in BRC’s Red Shutter Inn starting from $1,209 CAN.

Years in Biz: 8

Size of Tenure: 19,300 acres

Snowfall: 400"

Size of Group: 12 people in a cat with two guides. Small group option of three skiers to one guide.

Guarantee: BRC offers a rain check, redeemable within two years if the weather renders cat skiing impossible. On most days, intermediate groups will get 6–8 runs, advanced will ski 8–12 runs and experts 9–16 runs. There is a six run minimum guarantee and no daily maximum, so you'll get more runs in March than in January because the days are longer. The runs are generally between 1200–1800 feet.

Because BRC resides at the base of Red Resort, a really fun lift-served resort area option also exists for those who can't or don't want to cat ski.

How they Charge: BRC allows you to book by the day and with or without lodging. Extra runs do not cost more—the cats run until the daylight dictates a return to the base. 

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