The moments are quiet, save for the rumbling of the snowcat engine. Frosted windows obscure the view of the mountains, so as a way to pass time, I identify the stickers stuck to the cooler holding brown-bag lunches.
…K2, Burton Snowboards, Get Rad For Rudolph, Teton Gravity Research…
My knees bounce with anticipation, my boots clank against the floor. Eager to get outside, I turn to the window and rub away a circle of frost. The trees are stacked and the snow is untouched.
"Leave some for the others," the guide says to me with a shit-eating grin. I give a friendly nod to indicate I understand. The cat pushes its final ascent until it slows and finally comes to a stop.
"Here we are,” barks the guide. “Everybody out."
One by one, they exit. I patiently wait my turn to squeeze through the door, my mind racing with excitement. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life, I think. Outside, the mountains finally reveal themselves in a rush of clarity and splendor. And then my jaw drops at the site of a beautiful untouched apron that is mine. All mine.
Leave some for the others? Yeah right. Welcome to Powder’s 2013 Heli and Cat Skiing Guide. On the next 12 pages, heli and
cat operations detail their respective attributes that will provide you with the best skiing of your life.
It’s yours. All yours.
Photo: Scott RinckenbergerAlaska Rendezvous Heli-Ski Guides
Photo: Darryl LeniukBig Red Cats
Photo: Dave SilverLast Frontier Heliskiing
Photo: Darryl LeniukNorthern Escape
Photo: Court Leve/WMEPoints North Heli-Adventures