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Chatter Creek Cat Skiing

When did we go:

  • Jan 14-17, 2020


Who attended:

  • Ed, Rod C, Michael C, Mike B, Doug, Connor, Al, John, Chris, Jimmy (Tank), Steve, Ryan, Rod E, Catherine, Craig, Cathy, Mark, Bill, Mike K, Mike J, Todd, Brant, Fiona, Eugene



Why did I go:

  • I’ve been fortunate to be invited by my good friend, Rod (Guy) Cheresnuik, for thirteen years to this amazing backcountry lodge and ski terrain (www.chattercreek.ca)
  • Chatter is one of the largest, snowiest, and most spectacular ski destinations in the world


How did we get there:

  • drove two hours from Canmore west on the Trans Canada Highway past Golden to Duncan (24 km past Golden)
  • turn right off the highway and follow the signs for 2 km to the helipad
  • took a 20-minute chopper ride over the majestic mountain ranges NW of Donald into the lodge (this part of the journey never gets old, but the one year we had low cloud cover and had to take buses both ways was not a fun journey)


Where did we stay…

  • the lodge has rooms in two buildings with two single beds and a bathroom complete with a shower
  • my roomie was my long-time buddy Johnny Krill
  • the amenities include a ski room where you gear up, sauna (burnt down just before Xmas but will be rebuilt), large hot tub, massage rooms, dining area, stretching area, bar with pool table, foosball, darts, and the famous tickle trunk



Where did we eat:

  • all of the meals were at the lodge, and the food was amazing as usual
  • they provide a selection of lunch items to choose from that are ready to go in your cat the next morning along with a water bottle that is your keepsake


What did we do…

  • skied three days (Rod puts us in groups of six so that we rotate through everyone over three days)
  • post skiing activities included a hot tub, stretching, massage, martini coin-flip contest, dinner, and a few adult libations while playing darts, foosball, pool, hula hooping and table bouldering
  • it’s a ton of fun to get caught up with some people that I only see once a year and swap as many lies as possible


Interesting facts:

  • the lodge was first opened in 2002 and expanded in 2004
  • there is decent internet service for those type-A people like me that need to keep up with the outside world
  • the staff is amazing and it’s always great to see the long-time staff (Pete, Josh, Brian, Andy, Rachel, Jenn) and the new folks who make it a fun experience
  • I take my own boots, but rent their latest powder skis and borrow their poles
  • the ski terrain covers 235 square km, sits at 1500-2900 km elevation, has 100 named descents, annual settled snow averages 3 meters, and a typical day of skiing is 4000-6000 meters comprised of 8-10 runs
  • the views include the Columbia and Clemenceau icefields to the east, the Selkirks to the west, as well as Mount Sandford and the Adamants
  • the lodge also offers small group cat skiing, ski touring, and snowmobiling
  • for most of us that are plus or minus 60 (middle-aged you might say) we look at our annual Chatter experience as motivation to stay in good physical condition to keep this tradition running for many more years


What did we not do that is on the agenda for next time:

  • its been the same fun routine for thirteen years, so there isn’t really anything new to expect or needed