Powder 101 at Big Red Cats

January 9th - 14th, 2019

Join Kate Howe and PSIA National Alpine Team Member Jennifer Simpson On Your First True Powder Adventure

Learn the fundamentals of skiing powder in one of natures perfect training grounds.

Only 11 6 spots left.

Dates: January 9 - 14, 2019

Total Price: $4,320 USD

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Learn to ski fresh, untracked pow in your very own cat at Big Red Cats in Nelson, BC.

National Team Member Jennifer Simpson will be on board with us this year as your intrepid Powder Instructor.

Stay next door to the cat operation in our private lodge, with yoga every morning, stretching and rolling every afternoon, and  tech talk over cocktails  (review your footage from the day).

Start the evening with a massage, hit the hot tub, have a delicious dinner, and do it all again the next day.

Four days of learning to love the fluffy stuff with friends... what could be better?
Big Red Cats is one of the biggest cat skiing operations on the planet with six cats, 20 guides, over 500 runs, eight mountains, and more than 20,000 acres.

Big Red Cats is located near the ski resort at Red Mountain BC, only 2.5 hours north of Spokane airport.

Come learn to love the epic, fresh, deep BC pow!

More About Big Red »
The luxury ski lodge includes five bedrooms plus loft, two living rooms, three full washrooms, and the following amenities:

Hot tub
Wireless internet
TV/DVD player
Wood Stove
Gas Fireplace in the second lounge room
Central Heating
Two high quality beds in each room

Cathedral ceilings in the great room for a stunning view of Red Mountain through the timber-framed windows

Spacious kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances.
"What about slowing down the group? Isn’t instruction a lot of talking?" Good question! We like to ski when we are on the snow, not talk. Kate has been coaching powder skiing in both heli and cat operations for a decade, and trust us, she likes to rip the pow rather than talk about it.

When you are new to powder, it's really easy to feel overwhelmed and worried, and yes, you are going to fall down and spend some time learning how to get back up. (We affectionately call this "wallowing." Don't worry, we've all had to learn to do it.)

This trip is built for people who are confident single black skiers, who spend time off-piste, can traverse slopes, but who don't have a lot of time (or comfort) in untracked virgin powder. It is hard to learn to ski pow in a resort! It gets cut up before you get your second run in, and then you are trying to ski cut up crud... resort powder usually looks like: slow down, speed up, fall over...

Not to worry, we are here to help. We have the whole cat to ourselves, and there is NO "anchor" here. If you choose to come on this trip and you are already competent in pow, this is a great chance to get your feet under you for the season, but realize you are coming to Powder 101 (otherwise known as Kindergarten), and you may be waiting with a smile on your face at the bottom until we all join you.

Tech talk and the bulk of the instruction comes in the cat between runs, with an intention set to focus on at the top, and a review of your run at the bottom. In the afternoons, video review and tech questions will help continue to solidify technical foundations, enabling you to ski with more ease and less frustration or fear the next day.

Short tips will be given along the way to individual students, but we try not to lecture on the snow.

"I’m not good with tech stuff. It’s not that complicated, is it?" No, actually, it’s not. Kate and Jen make it a point to be concise, clear and specific, and to teach you in the way you learn best. This is an intensive - we only have four days to get you ripping, so we will offer a lot, but you only take what works for you.

Powder 101 includes: Early morning yoga and rollout to get your body loose and ready, breakfast and coffee, on-snow quick tips, in-cat instruction/clarification, lunch in the cat, apres tech talk, and video analysis of your skiing or riding. Beacon, shovel, and probe provided.

Also included: lodging, ground transportation round trip from Spokane airport to Big Red, and one night of lodging at the airport hotel in Spokane.

What's not included: Skis should be 105-120 underfoot depending on your height and weight, and can be rented at Big Red for anyone who doesn't want to fly with their gear (they have a terrific current selection of skis.) We always recommend skiing in the back country with an airbag.

Dinner and alcohol are not provided at the lodge for this trip, so we will be venturing out into town to eat at great local restaurants. We will also take one evening trip to an amazing hot springs for those who want to join. It will help you ski better, and is an interesting and unique place, but it is a bit of a drive. This hot springs trip is an additional expense for entry and beverages. Finally, if you'd like to reserve a massage, which we highly recommend, please email us as soon as you book so that we can save an appointment for you. Massage therapists will come to the lodge.

Three term PSIA Alpine Team member Jennifer Simpson will be on our coaching team this season, and we couldn't be more stoked about it! Jennifer is not only an incredible teacher, she's a blast to hang out with, and she truly loves helping people improve.

“Some people dream about what they want to do. Others do what they dream about.”I truly do love to ski and teach and my passion is to help fellow skiers achieve their dreams. If you share my love for skiing and are passionate about improving as a skier, I can’t wait to help you do what you dream about!"

Kate believes anything you love to do is more fun when you are good at it. Kate is a huge proponent of pushing your boundaries... but believes that you are moving the boundaries yourself through skill aquisition. Rather than just being more ok with feeling more scared and more out of controll as you test yourself on steeper and more technical terrain, Kate belives strongly in bringing skill set up, giving you a solid foundation that you know you can trust so you can truly rip with a sense of freedom, compitence and joy in terrain you could only dream about previously.

Kate is an examiner for PSIA-RM, a trainer for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, a WFR, holds an AIARE Avalanche Cert 2 among other numerous qualifications. She is also a certified Yoga instructor and worked as the assistant to Saraswathi Jois (Ashtanga, Mysore, India), as well as a certified Massage Therapist who specializes in neck, back, and shoulder pain, manual therapies for sports excellence, and asian therapies.


Fly into Spokane, WA  by  4:00 pm.

Meet Kate and Jennifer at Spokane Airport and load gear for the 3 1/2 hours drive to Nelson, BC

Bring your passport, we are DRIVING TO CANADA

Move into lodge, 8:30 pm Welcome dinner and logistics for the trip. 

6:15 - 6:45 am - Stretch for skiing 

6:45 - 7:30 am - Breakfast

7:45 am - Meeting at Big Red Cats (walk across the street), rent gear, sign waivers if you need it. 

8:00 am - Beacon training and practice

9:00 - 3 pm - Ski all day, we will shoot video and photos of you to go over in the cat and again during the tech talk. 

4 pm - Stretch and roll at the lodge

5 pm - Après at the lodge and tech talk

6 pm - Dinner out, prize giveaway from our sponsors!

8 - 10 pm - Massage, relax, bed

6:30 - 7:00 am stretch for skiing

7 - 7:45 breakfast

8 am meet at Big Red Cats, Ski all day, we will shoot video and photos of you to go over in the cat and again during the tech talk. 

3 pm finish skiing

4 pm stretch and roll at the lodge

5 pm apres at the lodge and tech talk

6 pm dinner out, trip to Ainsworth Hot Springs


11  pm bed

6:30 - 7:00 am stretch for skiing 

7 - 7:45 breakfast

8 am meet at Big Red Cats, Ski all day, we will shoot video and photos of you to go over in the cat and again during the tech talk. 

3 pm finish skiing

4 pm stretch and roll at the lodge

5 pm apres at the lodge and tech talk

6 pm dinner out, Prize give away from our sponsors!

8 - 10pm massage, relax, bed

6:30 - 7:00 am stretch for skiing 

7 - 7:45 breakfast

8 am meet at Big Red Cats, Ski all day, we will shoot video and photos of you to go over in the cat and again during the tech talk. 

3 pm finish skiing

Shower and pack

Quick bite for the road

5:00pm drive to Spokane, check in at airport hotel 

8:30 ish pm farewell dinner in Spokane FINAL Prize give away from our sponsors!

Catch flights home!


  • Helmet
  • Warm ski hat, baseball hat
  • Helmet (highly reccomended)
  • Goggles (high and low-light lenses)
  • Sunglasses
  • Outerwear (ski jacket and pants)
  • Mid Layers (wool)
  • Down pants and mid-weight layer
  • Ski boots
  • Skis (105-120 under foot) (no Dynafit Bindings, please)
  • Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Boot Heaters, batteries, charger
  • Ski socks
  • Gloves or mittens (heavy and lightweight pair)
  • Bathing suit
  • Slippers for lounging around the lodge
  • Computer (but recognize wifi is limited and there is no ability to access Apple News, any streaming services and is limited to public spaces in the lodge.) and chargers, wall wart, phone charger as needed.
  • Jeans and a few Aspen Casual tops for dinner if you want to clean up and you have room in your bag
  • Medium sized duffel bag
  • For the happiness of your feet we highly recommend electric boot heaters and or electric sock heaters. (The cat is not heated)
Cost:  $4,320 USD per person.

  • 4-Days of Skiing
  • Yoga every morning
  • Real-time coaching from Kate and Jennifer
  • Local guides showing you the best terrain
  • Tech talk in the afternoons from Kate and Jennifer
  • Great food and lodging at Red Cat
  • Trasport to Ainsworth Hot Springs
  • Transport to dinners out in Nelson, BC
  • Transfer from Spokane to Red Cat
  • Taxes

  • Airfare,
  • Alcohol
  • Spa services
  • Airbag rental
  • Ski rental
  • Gratuities 
  • Dinners in Spokane on the last night
  • Dinners in Nelson or out of the lodge
  • Entry into Ainsworth Hot Springs
  • Ski Rental additional $39 USD as needed.
Single rooms are not available on this trip.

50% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot. Because of the special nature of this trip, the balance of trip cost due 120 days prior to departure and will be non-refundable unless we can find a replacement person to fill your seat.

Trips are absolutely non-refundable 90 days prior to departure for any reason.

We recommend Travel Insurance.
We carry liability insurance for our trips, and additionally, we highly recommend our guests purchase trip insurance.

We recommend World Nomads for your trip insurance, they are affordable and offer incredible coverage! While things rarely go wrong, it is important to be covered just in case something happens.

You can find World Nomads here: https://www.worldnomads.com/


For travelers 70+ please contact:
Allianz Insurance

Allianz Insurance offers policies with no adult age limits. The following contact information below will get you to an agent:

Direct Customer Service: 800-284-8300 
Online: customerservice@allianzassistance.com

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