Sunday, December 19, 2010

First day of the season

Sunshine, 30 cm of fresh powder, no wind, -10C, a snowcat filled with ripping skiers and boarders - a perfect day.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Road Building

Tyler and I have been out in the Wildhorse for the last couple of days getting the snowcat skiing roads into shape for this winter. We hauled up 160 hay bales into the mountains to fill in nasty traverses, gullies and other trouble spots - I feel a bit like a farmer right now. But the road building is going much better and the crop is looking good. It snowed 20 cm today. Another 30cm is forecasted for the rest of the week - that should put us into perfect skiing territory.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Heavy snowfall warning!

Some people say it's going to be the biggest snowfall for years this winter. I agree. Let it be billowing over my head. March 8th, 2009

Monday, October 18, 2010

Remembering winter's past

I was just flicking through some of our older photos thinking about winter. It's almost been ten years since I started taking people up into the Wildhorse mountains. The first five years were all ski touring with Ymir Yurts and then the last have mostly been with Wildhorse Catskiing. Sara took this one two or three winter's ago and did the photoshop thing combining three shots into one. No snow in the mountains quite yet but the temperature is cold enough now and the next snowfall will stay. See you soon.
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Friday, October 08, 2010

This winter's La Nina weather forecast

We’re headed into a La NiƱa year the likes of which haven’t been seen since 1955, according to Washington state climatologist Nick Bond.

Bond said temperatures for this time of year are the coldest since 1955, and the pattern could continue as we head into winter. Ocean temperatures affect air circulation, and cool air can lead to more rain and snow and colder temperatures.

The Farmers’ Almanac is also predicting a cool year.
According to the 2010-11 forecast, “winter temperatures will be a bit below normal . . . with below-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall.”

Read more:

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ski Bums on assignment

Last spring I got a call from a photographer - Cory Leis with an interesting story. Three photographers had been chosen along with ski models to spend three days in the Kootenay's ending in Revelstoke with no money and no car. They had to call up friends, friends of friends and anyone else they could trade photos for skiing. I took them up the Wildhorse for a night at the Wildhorse Cabin and a day of touring and skiing on Wildhorse Peak. Here's a sample photo.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Video shot by

Wildhorse Catskiing Review from John Holman on Vimeo.

Taxes, taxes, taxes...

Here are two ways to beat the tax man! This summer in British Columbia the government is introducing a new tax they call the HST which is going to make everything better and be better for everyone which is why we are all so happy about it. In the past we have paid a 5% GST tax on all catskiing trips - now we are going to be paying 13% tax - to pay for the Olympics perhaps? However if you pay for next winter's powder skiing at Wildhorse now we get you 10% discount AND you don't pay the additional 8%. Total savings 18%. Just another reason to book before April 30th.
The other method is to pay a share at Wildhorse Catskiing & Powder Mining Co. A share costs a mere $10K but provides you with an annual tax free dividend of a 3 day catskiing package including all meals and accommodation.

You can order online at

Monday, March 29, 2010

Job Training for my son - Ethan

We had a short day of work today picking up a group ski touring at Qua Yurt. Sara and Ethan had decided that it would be a good day to come visit the Wildhorse. We had in mind sunshine and spring conditions but woke to more than a foot of fresh powder snow and wind gusts hitting 70 km/h up at Wildhorse Cabin. We did some job training on snowcat driving and at 6 months old he seems to be doing OK.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A season of Avalanches

Typically the springtime brings improving stability. Not this winter. We had lots of early season snow and then February and March brought small storms and a series of weak surface hoar crystals creating avalanche hazard. Toward mid-March the amount of snow on top of the weak layers was a huge threat. For the last month we had been treading very carefully in the mountains around Wildhorse keeping everyone safe. Looking carefully at the photo below you can see a 50-70cm fracture line across 300m of Wildhorse Bowl. Great skiing when the conditions permit. Our first priority is keeping everyone safe - even when everyone is saying "steep and deep".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why Ski at Wildhorse Catskiing?

When I meet people that have skied at a wide variety of snowcat skiing operations it is always interesting to find out what they like about Wildhorse Catskiing. There are a range of options out there offering a variety of services. Here are some of the reasons:
Accessible Location - for our U.S. customers we are 3 hours away from the Spokane WA airport. Calgary and Southern Alberta - 3-7 hours and people doing the Powder Triangle tour we are on the road with all the popular Kootenay ski resorts.
Snow and Terrain - We have a good variety of terrain that keeps most skiers very happy and we get the snow and the quality is good. We have short runs, steep runs, long runs and awesome views.
Daily Operation and Ymir Palace - Wildhorse is based out of the Ymir Palace in the town of Ymir. Roscoe and Belinda do a great job creating home-style cooked meals, a friendly low-key atmosphere at a great price. Skiers get all of the amenities of a small town BC town including the Ymir Hotel, a liquor store and the town of Nelson just minutes up the road.
We are happy with the results - skiers like skiing at Wildhorse because the price is right for lots of powder skiing, the food is great, the beer is cheap, and everyone is out to have a good time.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Guide - Joaquin

If you skied at Wildhorse this year or last year chances are you were with Joaquin. If you are in Ymir in the summer and you looked up you might see him flying his paraglider or taking clients for tandem paragliding trips.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Exploring some new terrain

We opened up a bit of new terrain this winter in a great north facing pocket. Lots of beautiful open gladed sub alpine trees and some good pillow lines. The team from joined us for a day of skiing and took a bunch of great photos. The powder here is about two weeks old and still perfect.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

It has not snowed in awhile - what's it like up there?

We get this question a lot during the course of a season as local skiers see Whitewater and Red Mountain turning to hardpack. Even the local backcountry spots get hit pretty hard. We are fortunate in the Selkirk's that we get fairly stable temperatures hovering below freezing and generally calm winds. A little bit of cloud cover helps keep the crust off the south facing slopes. After two weeks of no new snow we are still skiing great boot top powder. It comes down to numbers - 12 skiers per day. With great stability in the snowpack we get to ski lines that we might only ski once a season. I love it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do we do on our Day Off

And these blogs for more photos and adventures in the backcountry around Wildhorse Catskiing.
So we put down this line on Wildhorse Peak and then for the next two days dragged some adventurous clients up there too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Greg and Lyndell from visited us last week for a day of catskiing. We had a great time skiing with them again - here is their review from last winter. We were lucky again ( as we are every day! ) to be skiing great powder ( with sunshine for great photos! ). We also love it when it's snowing and we can't see for the snow billowing over our goggles.....
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Powder and Sunshine

The last couple of days have been perfect. Sunshine and powder and a stable snowpack. Charlie rips it up down to Wildhorse Meadows. We put down lines into Mustang Bowl, Perfect Glades and Rocking Horse.
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Ymir Palace

Welcome to the Ymir Palace - headquarters of Wildhorse Catskiing during the winter. Hosts Belinda and Ross White renovated an old mining day hotel and now prepare delicious breakfasts and dinners for hungry skiers. Ready to go skiing!