Frequently Asked Questions

Why book a trip with FWA?

FWA is the only way to experience a Catskiing adventure with because of its non-intimidating fashion, affordable prices and down to earth mentality. It also helps that FWA has deep roots in the Fernie Wilderness as they have been operating for over twenty one years. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and they all share a passion for extreme adventures.

Why try skiing/boarding the back country via a Cat?

Snowcats can climb in almost any type of weather versus some of the flying limitations associated with heli-skiing. Other advantages of Cat skiing are: the ability to leave personal items on the cat such as extra clothing, being able to warm up in the heated cat between runs and the chance to meet and socialize with people from all over the world.

Will I need to sign a waiver?

Yes, you will be required to review and agree to the waiver over email prior to confirming your reservation. Each guest will be required to sign a physical waiver upon arrival prior to cat skiing.  Anyone under the age of 19 will need a parent/guardian to sign a waiver. The waiver can be review here:

What are the risks, dangers, & hazards associated with cat skiing?

Follow the link for further education

Can I come alone or do I have to come with a group?

We welcome all types of riders, lone, couples, and groups. Cat skiing reservations do require pre-booking. We require a minimum of 6 (up to 12) guests in each cat, we run up to 3 cats per day. If you are in a group of less than 6 people, your reservation will rely on other reservations joining your cat. Sign up for our Last Minute Club to be notified if any openings become available and for any special offers.

What type of conditions do you guarantee?

We do ski in all conditions as long as our terrain is considered safe and skiable. Since we rely on the weather we cannot guarantee that every day will have fresh tracks. As we operate in private terrain it is more preserved than a public ski hill and our guides work to preserve the snow as best they can. We do our best to provide the best back-country ski experience possible with the conditions the weather brings us.

How many runs do we get a day?

You should expect to get in between 8 to 10 runs which is approximately 10,000 – 12,000 vertical.


What time does the day start and where do we meet?

Guests meet at the FWA Lodge at 8:00 A.M, which is approximately a 20 minute drive. Detailed directions will be provided in the guests confirmation email. If guests do not have their own transportation, we can provide a shuttle at an additional cost, there is limited availability. Guests would be picked up and dropped off at their accommodation. Shuttle pick-ups start at approximately 7:30 AM (depending on number of pick-ups and locations). 

Is lunch provided?

Yes, a nutritious hand-packed lunch is provided.

What time does the day end?

Clients will arrive back at the lodge anytime between 4:00 – 4:30 PM. Check out the itinerary for a typical day cat skiing.

Do you rent skis/boards and how much are they?

Yes, click here for pricing information. We highly recommend renting fat skis or a powder snowboard as they will help one ski in deep powder, adding enjoyment to the day.

Am I prevented from skiing on days of heavy snowfall?

Unlike Heli-Skiing, the Cat can navigate during heavy snowfall.

Do we get a discount if we book more than one day?

There is no specific discount for booking more than one day but please check out the special offers on our home page.

What do I need to bring?

We recommend wearing a water-resistant, wind proof, breathable ski suit that has room for layers. If snow sticks to your suit, or if it is heavily insulated, it is best to leave it at home.

A small pack is a good idea for goggles, extra gloves or a camera. These may be left in the cat while you are skiing.

Anyone 18 years of age and younger must be accompanied by their parent. It is mandatory for minors to wear a helmet. Although helmets are not mandatory for everyone, Fernie Wilderness Adventures highly recommends wearing one.

Fat skis and powder boards can be rented (boots & poles not included). You definitely want to be skiing on fat skis. Half the effort, twice the fun.

Here’s a basic list of things to bring:

  • Powder skis or snowboard (fat skis/powder boards can be rented)
  • Ski boots/snowboard boots
  • Ski poles
  • Ski goggles or sunglasses.
  • Breathable and non-restrictive ski clothes suitable for all conditions        and temperatures. (Layering is the best)
  • Sunscreen and lip protector.
  • Bathing suit for hot tub.
  • Warm gloves or mittens and hat.
  • Clothing for relaxing around the lodge.
  • Daily required medications.
  • Personal wine or spirits (for overnight trips).

Is there an age minimum?

We do not have an age limit but anyone under 19 years of age will need to be accompanied by their parent/guardian. If a parent/guardian is not attending the trip they are able to sign their parental rights to another adult in their group for the day. We can provide this letter in advance upon request for the parents/guardian to fill out and sign. Our guides and staff are unable to sign the release to provide guardianship


What level of skier/boarder should I be?

Guests must consider themselves an advanced level 5 skier/boarder. At FWA we strive to make snow catskiing non-intimidating, our guides attentive care will ensure all of our guests feel comfortable and safe. Fat skis are highly recommended for deep powder skiing and will only further your enjoyment of the day. FWA offers fat ski and powder board rentals right on site. Please refer to our skier/boarder ability levels below. We highly recommend you be at least a level 5 skier/boarder, this will make for a more positive skiing experience.

Skier Levels
Level 1: First Time Skier

Never skied before. Or not yet able to stop confidently on easy, groomed terrain.

Level 2: Novice

Learning to snowplow turn in control on mellow slopes. May start to ski easy green runs.

Level 3: Confident Novice

Able to link strong snowplow turns or beginner stance parallel on green runs. Occasionally skis a blue run with caution. Rides chairlifts confidently.

Level 4: Intermediate

Able to ski parallel turns with pole plant. Most blue runs can be skied with confidence, but more advanced blues are still challenging. Looking to ride more varied terrain.

Level 5: Advanced

Can ski strong parallel turns with a pole plant confidently on all blue runs and easier black runs. Leaning towards hop turns, moguls, powder and more difficult terrain.

Level 6: Expert

Can ski in control on most black runs and enjoys all conditions and terrain.

Snowboarder Levels
Level 1: First Time Boarder

Never snowboarded before. Or not yet able to stop confidently on easy, groomed terrain.

Level 2: Novice

Able to stop safely. Can “Falling leaf” on heel and toe edges. Usually riding magic carpets.

Level 3: Confident Novice

Learning to link heel side and toe side turns on green runs. Experience riding chairlifts.

Level 4: Intermediate

Can link toe edge and heel edge turns confidently and control speed. Most blue runs can be ridden with confidence, but more advanced blues are still challenging. Looking to ride more varied terrain.

Level 5: Advanced

Able to link turns on all blue runs and easier black runs. Enjoys riding powder, off piste terrain, and can confidently make short turns.

Level 6: Expert

Can ride in control on most black runs and enjoys all conditions and terrain.

Do you fill the cats by level of the skier?

No, we fill up one cat at a time but there are different routes down to the bottom depending on the difficulty one chooses.

How many guides are with a cat?

There are two guides in each cat. One is the lead guide who navigates the mountain first and a tail guide who follows after all of the guests have descended down the mountain.

How many people fit in a cat?

Twelve guest can fit in a cat.

Can I bring my own beer and wine?


Looking to Book a Cat Skiing Trip this Winter?