Skiing Schweitzer Mountain offers runs falling off a long ridge. But some stop to eye the terrain behind the ridge in the giant west basin-glades and chutes accessed by Selkirk Powder Company.

The company's permitted west-facing terrain is so big that it nearly matches the acreage of Schweitzer Mountain Resort. More than 50 runs span six large bowls across three miles of state and private land, and the longest run plummets 2,200 feet.

Skiers and riders get 8 to 13 runs per day, and faster groups can rival the amount of vertical that some heli-tours offer-up to 14,000 vertical in a day. Recent clearing and brushing opened up more lines, expanding the run roster.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with avalanche safety training and a quick chair ride up Schweitzer's Great Escape Quad to the summit. The day also starts with a run rather than a cat ride, so you're wallowing in powder by 9:15 a.m.. The guides, all avalanche and National Ski Patrol certified, lead off picking good aspects for the snow conditions.

Selkirk Powder Company's location offers the split-ability family a way to all enjoy Schweitzer. Those not ready for cat-skiing can stay on the resort's groomers while those ready to pillage powder can join Selkirk Powder Company to ski or ride the back side.

The cat often runs half full, so you can sometimes get on at the last minute. Rates run $250-350 per person, depending on the number of people. Midweek rates also run $50 less.

The cat ski company also offers a unique bonus: You can order hot pizza delivered to the cat.

More information. Or call 866-464-3246.