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“Real Powder Hounds can find the Fluf” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Great Northern Powder Guides

Great Northern Powder Guides
Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Real Powder Hounds can find the Fluf”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2014 via mobile

My first day on a Snowcat adventure started with a bit of trepidation. I used to ski the woods back in Vermont when a young man, but now almost sixty I have been riding the groomed for twenty years. I thought it would be tricky skiing in the woods with variable spring conditions. Sure enough our first runs were on breakable (some not at all!) crust, as the sun had gotten to fresh snow, then it had frozen over night. Diving down through pine trees was tricky.

This is where the Powder Hounds of Great Northern came to the rescue. Evan our lead guide quickly figured out by knowledge of the mountains weather patterns where the protected stashes of powder were. A hound will find what it needs. We enjoyed many runs of boot top fluff. After awhile I got used to the steep and the dancing through the trees was exciting. The Cat rides were fun, enlivened by a great group from Freeride Media. I am thrilled to have had the adventure and at Whitefish today I got off the groomed and hit the tree runs off the T-bar! Thanks to all at GNPC, I plan to be back.

Helpful?
1 Thank RocketJBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Fernie, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic day out skiing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014

My first experience back country skiing and i wasnt disappointed with Great Northern Powder Guides. the snow as great, fresh tracks all day, and the staff were as happy to be out there as we were. It was the little things that impressed me - i was skiing injured and just having the staff take our gear at the end of each run and pack the cat made a big difference for me. The lunch was awesome in their backcountry semi-permanent tent, and to top it off a beer on the way down the mountain - perfect way to finish the day. I also bought the photos from the day and i had the edited copies from abby in 24 hours. Big thanks to Clay, our lead guide, and the rest of the team
until next time :)

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Nathan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitefish, MT
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fresh powder for days!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

This was my first trip out to Great Northern Powder Guides and I can definitely say it didn’t disappoint! I’ve been skiing at many, many ski resorts throughout the US, both in-bounds and out, and I’ve come to appreciate finding good powder more than anything else while skiing. GNPG gave me exactly what I was looking for.

Arriving at a little after 8am, we were greeted with fruit, muffins, etc while we got our gear set for the day. Once we were off, the guides chatted with us and gave us a bit of an idea of what the day would be like. Before long we were skiing down different zones of pristine, untracked pow. The guides were very professional and did a good job of communicating to us where we were going and making sure everyone was happy. They cooked us up a nice lunch at the yurt that consisted of grilled burgers, soup, chips, fixins, warm beverages and cookies. We got back to the headquarters around 5pm or so, but not before stopping on the way to enjoy a cold one after our last run of the day.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely do it again.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Dan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Cat Ski Adventure in Montana”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

Similar to Simon O, I have skied Whitefish Mountain a lot and was looking for a new adventure. Having never gone cat skiing I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was apprehensive because I have a healthy respect for avalanches and I have no formal training on snow conditions and searching for a buried victim, etc. We all wore beacons and were given a crash course on how to use them which did make me feel better about things. Our guides Lloyd & Lisa were fun and accommodating.

I didn't anticipate getting nauseous in the back of the Cat. I wasn't alone in this as most of the people I with also got motion sickness. The cats smelled of diesel fuel and the windows were all fogged up which only amplified the conditions. In fact they had a jerry can of fuel in the back of the cat that was in a plastic bag!

Having not been on a trip like this before I didn't know what to expect. The snow was very good and I was always able to find some great powder but I was surprised at how short the runs were. I felt like I was just getting my groove on and the run was over. Then it was back into the vomit comet for another trip up the mountain. You really never knew how long you were going to be in the cat for as the guides didn't offer any of this information. 5mins? 25min? A minute is a long time when you’re trying to hold back your breakfast/lunch!

The second cat broke down and the folks in that cat got two runs in all day and ended up spending most of their time at the yurt. I'm confident that Jay & Ky will look after them and they felt quite bad about the situation. (These things can happen when running equipment)

Breakfast was great with warm muffins, toast, coffee & fruit. Lunch was chili, nacho chips and hot dogs. The yurk was pretty cool and I enjoyed the cool vibe there. On the ride out they offered a cold beer which was much appreciated.

In general of the 10 runs that we did I would say that 5 of them were what I was expecting. Several of the runs were very tight in the trees and steep making it hard maintain your speed. Others were in old clearcut logging areas where it was a bit more open. We had one good run where there were some smaller cliffs and snow covered rocks to play on. It would have been fun to do that one twice.

I have no buyer’s remorse for going but I likely wouldn't do it again. The motion sickness just drained many of us and by the time you were feeling a bit better you had to get back in the cat. I have no reference point of other cat ski operations to compare GNPG and I don't have a lot of experience but when I look back on the day I mostly recall either waiting around or hoping for cat ride to end.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kylanne S, Guest Relations Manager at Great Northern Powder Guides, responded to this review, 4 March 2014
Dear Ken, Thank you for the honest review. We were unaware that anyone in the cat was experiencing difficulty with diesel fumes. There have been times we have had to carry the fuel inside the cabin when the fueling cat is further back in zones building roads. We wash the can, cap it and wrap it in plastic. obviously that's not enough! We will refrain from this practice due to your experience and thank you for bringing our attention to it. Cat rides in general can most definitely cause nauseousness in passengers. We always have anti-nauseousness medicine on hand for those experiencing it.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“First of many days with GNPG”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

I can’t say enough to thank GNPG for an amazing day. They were a pleasure to deal with and set everything up perfectly and then the crew that took us out for the day really took excellent care of us. We were late getting everyone in our group ready to go, but the team’s excellent work still got us well over ten runs and about as much vertical as we could handle. Even with weeks of no snow our guide managed to find us lots of powder and lots of amazing terrain. The cats are large and comfortable, the meal in the yurt was perfect and they are all just obviously in love with what they do. We will be back next year for sure!!!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank BrentGibbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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