Overall Rating

Monashee Powder

Monashee Powder4.9/52
Monashee Powder4.9 out of 5 based on 2 reviews

Monashee Powder

Monashee Powder

Overall Rating

Monashee Powder4.9/52
Monashee Powder4.9 out of 5 based on 2 reviews

Monashee Powder Cats

Monashee Powder Cats, officially known as Monashee Powder Snowcats (MPS), is located in the heart of the Monashee Mountains in British Columbia where they receive an average of 18 meters of fluffy BC powder per year! The second highest snowpack ever recorded in Canada was on a neighbouring peak.

In addition to all this powder, the passion and dedication of owners Carolyn and Tom Morgan are what makes the Monashee cat skiing experience one of the best snowcat skiing destinations in Canada. They came to MPS 16 years ago when it first opened. They loved it so much they bought it and have been running it for the past 15 years. With son Gary working as both lead mechanic and tail guide, there is strong evidence of a powder hound gene - further study is warranted!

Where is Monashee Powder Cats Located?

Monashee Powder Snowcats is located in the western Monashee Range in British Columbia. The best access is from the town of Kelowna and transportation is provided from Kelowna airport at 12pm on your check-in day. If driving yourself, you should arrive to the River Ridge Golf Course in Cherryvillle, 70km from Kelowna, at 2pm. The drive from Kelowna to Cherryville is approximately one hour fifteen minutes.

From Cherryville, the Monashee Powder Snowcats bus takes all guests 50km north to meet the snowcats. From here, cats transport guests and gear 1 hour up to base lodge situated mid mountain. Total time from Cherryville to MPS Lodge is approximately 2 hours.

Departure flights on the day your package ends must be AFTER 8pm as you will arrive at Kelowna airport at approximately 7:10pm.

Monashee Cat Skiing

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Terrain

The Monashee Cat Skiing area is pretty big with 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares) and 8 different zones with both alpine and tree skiing. It typically takes 15 minutes from the lodge to the first run, and the end of the day is typically a 30 minute ride to return.

The MPS terrain has something for everyone ranging from high alpine bowls and chutes to gladed trees with all levels of steepness. MPS caters mostly to the advanced intermediate powder skier, but don’t let this fool you as there is also plenty of challenging terrain and all the air you might be looking for. The guides like to make sure everyone is happy!

Monashee Powder Snowcats Terms & Conditions

ReservationsTo hold your reservation, a deposit will be paid upon reservation with the remainder of the fee due October 31st.

CancellationsIt is important to be aware of Monashee Powder Snowcat's poor weather policy: Please accept that we have no control over the weather - and with our limited number of guests and short season - we must operate even in poor snow conditions. Monashee Powder Snowcats does not provide replacement ski days, refunds, or rain checks for down days lost to weather or snow conditions (e.g. unusual torrential rain, unskiable crust, etc.). The lodge will remain open throughout the ski season, even in poor conditions.

If you are unable to attend your trip and need to cancel we will only refund if we are able to fill your spot. There will be an admin fee deducted from your refund.

Assumptions of RiskWilderness skiing and snowboarding involves certain risks, dangers and hazards in addition to those normally associated with downhill skiing and snowboarding at a ski area. These risks, dangers and hazards are outlined in our Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks Agreement which guests will be required to sign at the lodge prior to skiing with us.

Monashee Powder Snowcats Review

Monashee Powder Snowcats is an outstanding outfit, yet no cat skiing company is ideal for everyone. Our review covers different features of the operation so that you can establish if MPS is the right cat skiing for you. As a guide to the ratings below, a 5/5 equates to truly phenomenal, 4/5 is excellent, and 3/5 is very good. You can check out our cat ski ratings to see how MPS Adventures fares against other cat skiing operations.

Pros

  • The amazing powder is a highlight.
  • The experience is incredibly well tailored to those new to cat skiing or new to powder and strong intermediates.
  • No shuttle trip is required each day to get to the goods, just a short snowcat trip.
  • The meals are delicious.
  • Excellent staff.
  • Guest safety is a very high priority.
  • A separate guide team looks at snow conditions daily.

Potential Con

  • This cat skiing probably isn’t the best pick for hard-core experts. 
Powder Snow
The snow was great and even though it hadn’t snowed the day before we arrived and the first two days of our trip, we were always skiing fresh lines. The last two days it snowed and we loved the long days of continuous face shots. These guys get a ton of snow at 18 meters per year on average and it is some of the driest and lightest we’ve ever skied.
Overall Terrain
MPS have 17,000 acres of pretty decent terrain, which is about average for a BC cat skiing outfit so they have enough to leave an entire zone untouched and save it for dry spells. However we got the impression that they have a very conservative approach to safety, so they don’t actually use a lot of their terrain unless avalanche risk is very low.

The runs felt a little short but these are probably perfect for the main clientele that MPS attracts. Similarly, with approximately 12,000 vertical feet per day, this isn’t as much as many other BC cat skiing operations, but is probably just right for strong intermediates.
Alpine Terrain
The alpine terrain is very good, but our sense was that these guys play in on the conservative side and don’t venture into alpine very often. 
Tree Skiing
On the plus side MPS has great variety of terrain in the woods with lots of different features. There are endless amounts of tree skiing with a variety of terrain from steep to mellow and both tight trees and open glades. The tree skiing provides plenty for advanced riders and strong intermediates, and usually the guides could provide the right mix to satisfy all levels in a group during a run.

Strong Intermediate Terrain


Monashee cat skiing has lots of intermediate terrain. The trees were not particularly tight and not too steep, and the guides were good at providing tips for persons new to powder and tree skiing.

This is MPS’ niche market and it tends to attract lots of strong intermediates, so chances are you won’t hold people up if you feel you’re not a super fast rider.
Advanced Terrain
The Monashee Powder Snowcats terrain provides good variety for advanced riders in the trees.
Expert & Extreme Terrain

They have expert terrain, but the combination of keeping it safe and catering to strong intermediates meant that we didn’t really tackle any particularly steep terrain or much with challenging features for air time.
Guiding
The guides provided great explanations on where to ski and all guests felt confident that they weren’t going to get lost. The guides also doubled as instructors and provided powder skiing tips to guests who sought it. The fun natured approach of the guides also added to the enjoyment of the cat skiing.
Snowcat
Monashee cat skiing have two snowcats for guests and one as a back up. All three had new motors and the two main cats had new cabins with nice heating and ipod connectivity. The snowcat cabin was comfortable. The only limitations were that one row faces backwards so there was a tendency for guests to fall into the laps of others, side-loading on the cat tracks, and the handle placement of the door made it rather awkward to get in and out. Some bigger windows for soaking up all the incredible BC scenery would have scored them additional points here.
Avalanche Mitigation Strategies
Safety as the utmost priority was very evident, much of which stemmed from the leaderhsip of the chief guide. In addition to his full time job at MPS, he also works as a forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Association. Karl holds two meetings per day to review weather and snow conditions with his guides, and all guides actively participate in assessing risk and developing the daily plan. Each day, one team of guides spends the day in terrain digging pits and evaluating snow safety. Like many other BC cat skiing outfits they extensively utilise the CAA infoex system and provide daily guest briefings regarding the weather and risk level.
Safety Briefing
The safety training was very comprehensive and covered off many aspects of backcountry hazards and what to do in the event of an avalanche. The only aspect that could have been improved was that guests all practised the beacon search training together as a group in the one location.
Frills
The MPS staff take their job seriously and you get what you pay for. That is impressive in itself. We didn’t sense they wanted to wow or pamper us. For more relaxed vacationers the format will be sufficient, but for those with luxury service expectations might be left a bit disappointed.

We really loved the staff at Monashee - a great team always with a smile who made us feel at home. This philosophy comes straight from the top where the owners are always present and no task is too small for them. We heard from many of the staff about the great work environment and the limited turn over. We’ve already submitted our applications for next season!

The meals were very good which started with a complete breakfast buffet every morning. The lunch was also a do-it-yourself buffet each morning with a wide range of sandwich fillings, salads, fruits and delicious cookies. Take as much as you want. Lunch was definitely a highlight of the meals offered. The après ski seemed to be the low point of the meals with simple cheese and crackers and nachos, etc. Perhaps they don’t put much effort as no one really comes back hungry after snacking all day on the great lunches. Dinners were sit down and served by staff, delicious and well presented.

MPS has a wide range of powder skis and the guides are great at making sure guests have the right equipment. The lodge staff brought skis up on a snowmobile a couple times to improve the experience for several guests.

Accommodation

The new lodge with all the details was reasonably well thought out to make it fantastically practical. The lodge is a little basic but it was very functional and had everything you needed. The only exception was not much in the way of common areas to hang out. When we gathered to watch the daily video there seemed to be a lack of chairs for everyone to relax and some people had to stand. The wifi worked in the rooms and was fast and reliable.
Value for Money
This was a great overall experience! Value for money was superb because you didn’t have to pay for things that you didn’t need and had the option to pay extra for an airbag, powder skis etc.

Notes Regarding Review
The review is largely based on our experience, but also on discussions with staff, former guests, and information available on their website. Our review has some limitations as it’s not possible to ski every run and in all possible snow and weather conditions. Every guide is somewhat different and we acknowledge that everyone’s experience will be slightly different. The still images are not filmed using professional riders, but rather aim to show an example of a real experience.

Written by: Brian Pearson

 

Powder Delights

Brian Pearson03/04/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Ability
    Expert
  • Country
    USA

Powder Delights

Brian Pearson03/04/2015
Pros
The amazing powder is a highlight.
The experience is incredibly well tailored to those new to cat skiing or new to powder and strong intermediates.
No shuttle trip is required each day to get to the goods, just a short snowcat trip.
The meals are delicious.
Excellent staff.
Guest safety is a very high priority.
A separate guide team looks at snow conditions daily.

Potential Con
This cat skiing probably isn't the best pick for hard-core experts.

See our full review for more detail.

Down Home, Deep Powder feeling!

Bob Legasa03/12/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    51-65
  • Rider Ability
    Expert
  • Country
    USA

Down Home, Deep Powder feeling!

Bob Legasa03/12/2014
Monashee Powder cats proved to be the perfect retreat for our reunion of long time friends. We were greeted with over 2ft of fresh upon our arrival, another 10ft the first day and two more days of blower bluebird. You get the picture, our adventure to Monashee was EPIC! The snow was off the charts good now mix that with awesome terrain and you get the mixings for one incredible cat skiing adventure at Monashee. Our guides showed us the goods run after run, day after day.

The food, the lodging, the amenities are perfect. Hard to believe you get pampered like this so far away from civilization.

The skiing is only part of what makes Monashee so damn fun, the hospitality there is second to none. Owners Tom and Carolyn Morgan are in this business because they love skiing and the people involved with the sport. This is a true down home experience. One of our skiers hit it perfectly describing Monashee's homey feeling, and it's so comfortable, it's like going home for Thanksgiving!

See our video recap of our trip to Monashee....
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Monashee Powder Cats Packages DETAILS
Price p/p From price is per person for 3 day/3 night package in lowseason
base/invoice currency is CAD
Displayed price many vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 1,708

CAT SKIING PACKAGES
3 Day / 3 Nights OR 4 Day / 4 Nights

Location: Canada | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price is per person for 3 day/3 night package in lowseason
base/invoice currency is CAD
Displayed price many vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 1,708
MPS offers two package options. Either 4 nights & 4 days of skiing/riding (starting on Sundays) or 3 nights & 3 days of skiing/riding (starting on Thursdays). Tour dates sell out very quickly so get in before it's too late. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Dec 20 - Dec 23, 2018
Days: 4
Price: USD 2,275
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 11 - Feb 14, 2019
Days: 4
Price: USD 3,552
Availability: Almost Full
Fixed Date(s): Mar 01 - Mar 03, 2019
Days: 3
Price: USD 2,665
Availability: Almost Full
Fixed Date(s): Mar 11 - Mar 14, 2019
Days: 4
Price: USD 3,552
Availability: Almost Full
Fixed Date(s): Mar 18 - Mar 21, 2019
Days: 4
Price: USD 3,552
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Mar 29 - Mar 31, 2019
Days: 3
Price: USD 1,708
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Apr 01 - Apr 04, 2019
Days: 4
Price: USD 2,196
Availability: Filling
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
DETAILS
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