Cat Skiing and Heli Skiing are two terms that we hear all the time. We tend to classify them together – assuming that both are equally a powder chaser’s dream come true. There are, however, several differences between the two. To save you the trouble, we thought we’d do a comparison for you.
|Heli Skiing is described as backcountry downhill skiing or snowboarding accessed via a Helicopter.
+ If you opt to go Heli-Skiing, you get to experience a chopper ride. DUH!
+ A Helicopter can get to places which a snowcat cannot
+ A helicopter travels a lot faster than a snowcat
+ Of course, you have access to WAY better terrain than you would at any resort, and you get to avoid lift lines and boundaries
+ HeliSkiing averages more vertical per day than your average Cat Ski Experience
– A Helicopter may get grounded due to weather
– HeliSkiing is more expensive than cat skiing
|Cat Skiing is described as backcountry downhill skiing or snowboarding accessed via a SnowCat.
+ SnowCats are less limited by the weather than HeliSkiing is
+ Cat Skiing is usually about half the price of Heli Skiing
+ No lift lines and better terrain than that of a resort is a given
+ You tend to get more time to rest and warm up between runs
+ You can bring more stuff with you (Layers/Snacks for the day) since you are less limited by space and weight
– Cats are not nearly as fast as helicopters
– You have less access to the amount of land that helicopters do
All in all we figure that both Heli Skiing and Cat Skiing are phenomenal experiences. Often the choice comes down to the budget you’ve set yourself, and also the terrain you plan to excursion. Take note that a lot of Heli-Skiing places have available SnowCats in case their helicopters happen to get grounded when a trip is scheduled. Do some in-depth research into the place you are visiting and check out what people are saying about the area.