When we rolled up to Purgatory Snowcat Adventures on a foggy morning in February, we weren’t sure if it was the day for a cat skiing. Lucky for us, things at the Southwestern Colorado-based business were about to change.
A lull in winter storms had the best of the Southern Rockies getting tracked out, but just like that, the snow started falling and piled up over the ocean of mountains and valleys before us.
“The terrain we have is incredible,” said Josh Kauffman, lead ski guide with PSA. “It’s the largest acreage in North America for a cat-skiing company. We have 36,000 acres of skiing.”
While we were certainly accustomed to our share of good terrain and conditions served by chairlifts or earning turns in the backcountry, we had never had the luxury of a giant snowcat on monster tracks toting us around and dumping us off at the top of pitch-perfect, untouched runs and picking us up at the bottom. One after the other our runs blurred into one white room of weightless turns.
Cat skiing, Huh? We could get used to this.
“Oh man, I don’t have to skin up the hill to come down for some amazing untracked powder turns,” said Chris Crowl, a restaurateur who lives for powder days and often ventures out into the backcountry to find them.
Despite the scope of the terrain, all accessed by an unmarked network of roads, Kauffman’s ability to put us in powder was surgical. And it was all for the taking.
“When you come skiing with us, you have a 36,000-acre ski area essentially that’s yours,” he said. “That’s hard to find.”