Want to go ski the back country in a snow cat for $30.00 today? Me too! Here is how I pulled it off last weekend.
First you have to go to a Shell station and get 10+ gallons of gas. You need gas to go up the hill anyway right? Have them provide a stamp on the receipt and on the buy one get one voucher they will provide when you ask about it. Have them staple it together to keep it all organized.
Next, grab a buddy and head up the hill to Loveland ski area. Loveland is an hour up I-70 from Denver. Get off on the last exit before the tunnel on highway 6 to Loveland Pass, don’t worry you can’t miss it. Go to the ticket booth at the bottom of the mountain and give them the voucher and $60.00 and they will give you two tickets for lift access all day. While you are down there make sure you go into the season pass office and get your cat pass. It’s a yellow badge that says you signed your life away, that pass is free and will allow you to get on the cat when you get up there. Don’t forget this important step, because I have seen them turn people away if they do not have it.
Next go to the top of lift 8 and ride the cat trail to the right or north.
You will usually see a group of people waiting there for the snow cat to come back down and pick them up.
They can fit about 20 people in the cat and they take you up along the north ridge.
From the drop off point you can hike up a little ways and get to some sick steeps with nice cornices to launch off of. Basically you drop in and end up at the top of 6 or 4 lift.
The day we went was the first blue bird powder day of the season. We lucked out. It was a Wednesday so it was not crowded and we had 8″ of fresh powder. It does not get much better than that.
All of that work for a line like this is certainly worth it.
Anyways that’s how you go back country cat skiing for $30 in about a hour from downtown Denver. Happy trails!