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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A word on snowcats

Chatter Creek has four Bombardier snowcats, three for carrying clients and one for building winter roads and backup to the client machines. The "Bombardier Snowcats" link at the top of the page displays a gallery of photos that show the use of Bombardier snowcats at Chatter Creek.

The passenger cabs are quiet, warm and comfortable. They have 12 individual airline-style, cloth-upholstered seats and two jump seats for guides or hitchhikers. Eight of the seats recline.

Each group of 12 skiers and boarders is assigned its own cat and a pair of guides. The pace of skiing is determined soley by the needs and ability of the group. Cats do pretty well in keeping up to fast groups, and no one cares if they wait for slower groups.

Clients can leave extra clothing in the cat while skiing, and change between runs. Food and drinks are carried in the cabs and clients graze on lunch as they feel hungry. There is no lunch "stop". Extra skis can be brought along too, so guests can experiment with different lengths and types.

Typical cat rides are about 20-30 minutes in duration, time enough to adjust clothing, to warm up or cool down, to rest tired legs, and to have something to eat. They are quiet and conversation among the whole group is easy. Tired clients can take an extended rest and keep the driver company on the ride back down the mountain. If a client wishes to quit for the day, a staff member will fetch them and take them back to the lodge on a snowmobile.