On a hiking trail recently, I overheard some people talking about going "catskiing" as part of a winter vacation from school.

Obviously, that doesn't mean skiing with or by means of a cat.

What is catskiing? How is it done and in what situations? Does it require a special type of skis?

1 Answer 1


Cat skiing is a type of guided skiing where the skiers go up the mountain in a snowcat, which is a tracked vehicle with an enclosed cabin.

Also see,

  • To add: catskiing often brings you to more challenging, sidecountry or back country terrain where ski lifts don't service, but not always. Nov 7, 2018 at 5:59
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    @whatsisname ski lifts don't service those parts, but that doesn't mean that you need a snowcat to go there. You could simply ski there.
    – njzk2
    Nov 7, 2018 at 7:09
  • @njzk2: hence the words "often" and "but not always". Neither snowcats or ski lifts are required to go anywhere, but they are much more convenient or comfortable than 'simply skiing' there. Nov 7, 2018 at 16:17
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    Hi @whatsisname! Would you be willing to add an answer to this, based on your comments about catskiing being used in more difficult to reach terrain? Part of our community likes backcountry activities. This sounds adventurous and fun for them. An answer wouldn't have to be long or complicated, I just think it would be a good addition! Now that you've mentioned that use-case I'm going to add the backcountry tag. Thanks! Nov 7, 2018 at 23:50
  • I guess the name comes from analogy with "heli-skiing", then? Nov 8, 2018 at 10:21

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