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Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Packages

Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Packages4.5/53
Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Packages4.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
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Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Packages Enquire
Price p/p From price based on 4-day package which includes 3 days cat skiing & 3 nights lodging in high season (Jan 20 to Mar 20)
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 840

ESKIMO FREERIDE CAT SKIING PACKAGES
4 Days | 3 Nights | 3 Days Cat Skiing

Location: Europe | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on 4-day package which includes 3 days cat skiing & 3 nights lodging in high season (Jan 20 to Mar 20)
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 840
Eskimo Freeride in North Macedonia offers fully customised cat skiing & snowboarding powder packages including guided cat skiing, safety equipment, accommodation & all meals. Choose your own dates & duration to get the best conditions. You can add ski hire & transfers...
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Custom Booking Period: Dec 14 - Apr 25, 2020
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Eskimo Cat Skiing Packages Overview

Eskimo Freeride is Europe's longest established cat skiing operation. Located in the Sar Mountain Range in North Macedonia, the generally high annual snowfall combine with great terrain to create a powder skiing & snowboarding nirvana the envy of any Eskimo!

Operating out of Macedonia's largest ski resort, Popova Sapka, Eskimo Freeride has up to 7 snowcats to prowl the expansive terrain and enough seats to ensure groups are well matched to ability and terrain. Whilst in no way a 5-star luxury experience, cat skiing in North Macedonia is best for those with an open mind & provides an adventure you are unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Cat ski packages are fully customisable - you can choose how many days and dates. Powderhounds recommend a 4-day package to make the most of the journey between January & the start of March. ‘Last minute‘ bookings are possible to guarantee premium snow conditions!

When you cat ski with Eskimo Freeride, once away from the ski resort, you are in one of the last European wildernesses – no mountain huts with disco tunes serving beer here. The land still has bears (they are seen in early Spring!), wolves, and the ghosts of the forest, lynx. Despite this, you can expect great culinary and local cultural experiences.




Snow & Terrain

The Eskimo Freeride terrain is mainly high alpine meadows with few base obstructions, meaning even in poor snow seasons (or poor snow weeks!) (let’s face it, happens everywhere in the world!) the skiing can be great. But with the region’s highest annual snowfall, chances are conditions will be awesome. We found the snow varied greatly over a 6-day period. From the most perfect powder day ever (& we have seen a few!) to the worst wind-stripped nastiness imaginable. A few days later it was perfect powder again. Such is the nature of freeride in the backcountry.

The terrain includes beautiful mellow terrain for intermediates through to steeps and chutes for experts, plus tree skiing in the lower reaches. There's a whole spectrum of options available - wide open terrains, tree riding, couloirs, cliffs, banks, natural pipe canyons placed on total of 32 square kilometres. From adrenaline rides down the 50° bowls, or chilling in a safe fluffy 30° slope, there is terrain for everyone.

Locally called Shar-planina or Shar (Sar) mountain, the cat ski area spreads for an amazing 1600 square km, raising up to 2747 m at Tito's peak. Pine wood forest extents to about 1700 m, and above that lie approximately 550 square km of high pastures. This is the largest compact area covered with pasture on the European continent, making it a perfect playground for backcountry addicts! Shar Mountain is by evolution considered "old mountain" as opposed to the European Alps which are "young mountains". Because of this, Shar Mountain is the perfect shape for safe, fun and unlimited freeriding.

Eskimo Freeride's operation extends onto the best part of the mountain range from Tito's Peak (2747m) to Jelak and Popova Sapka base at 1687 m. The average daily vertical covered is 4000m per day, which can be dependent on conditions, daylight hours, and the speed and ability of the group.

Skiers and snowboarders must be at least an intermediate level skier or snowboarder. Lower intermediates can be catered for, if part of a larger family group.




Safety

Eskimo Freeride cat skiing puts some emphasis on safety. As an associated member of HeliCat Canada, one of the world's finest associations of mechanized freeride operations, Eskimo follow their standards & procedures. The guides are experts in the local terrain and snow conditions. Terrain options exist for every type of snow and avalanche risk condition. Packages include full avalanche gear (with airbag).

Cat Ski Camping & Night Riding

During Spring, if snow conditions allow, a unique adventure at Eskimo Freeride is to experience cat ski camping. Far from your hotel, you get to ride new terrain and camp where the night sky can be seen in its true brilliance, unlike anywhere in western Europe or the big cities of the world. Cat ski camping also includes night riding sessions with illumination from the snow-cats and powerful headlamps.




Typical 4 Day Package Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day

From Skopje, travel to Popova Sapka and arrive at the hotel. Greeted by a local host. If you requested ski equipment, you will need to be fitted out. Meet with your local mountain guide for a safety briefing & then adjourn to the hotel bar and discuss the coming days of powder skiing.

Day 2 to 4 - Powder Ski Days

Every morning, meet your guide at the hotel and depart for the days adventure directly from outside in your designated snow-cat with your group of new friends! Your guide will choose the day's skiing based on the group’s ability, snow & weather conditions, avalanche risk and of course........ the group's wishes! Ski and ride up 4000m vertical each day.

Opportunity to return early if required. Each day ends with a ski back down to the hotel. At the hotel, get a massage or have a beer on the sun terrace. Enjoy a fantastic dinner to finish the day.

Afternoon Day 4 - Departure

After a day's riding, departure is in the afternoon of day 4. Return transfer to Skopje can be arranged. Option to have Eskimo Freeride book an all-inclusive package for a great final night in Skopje including accommodation, local host, a traditional meal and night life or you can arrange your own further adventure.

NOTE: This itinerary is a guide. The tour is dictated by the weather each day and your guide will fit around where the best conditions are. That’s the beauty of a guided tour!




Eskimo Freeride Lodging & Dining

Popova Sapka Hotels

Eskimo Freeride has its base at Hotel Tetaks where the guides and cats stay as well. The hotel is located in the Popova Shapka ski area (a crumbling remnant of its former self), so it is possible to ski-in / ride-in comfort at the end of the day, for lunch or early home. Hotel Tetaks has a great restaurant, well stocked bar and a hang-out room. Most of the rooms are either twin or two bunks with a few rooms for larger groups. The rooms are simple, but we found them clean & adequate for a stay of 3 nights. Food and drink in Macedonia is top-notch and Hotel Tetaks is no exception. It provides a great culinary experience for all guests.




Dining Experience

Experience local Macedonian cuisine. Delicious food, part of a rich local tradition, that is fresh, tasty, hearty and different when compared to places most guests spend their ski holidays. Meat based or vegetarian meals are available. Some of the fabulous meals you try are below.

Vegetarian options:
Gravce tavce - oven baked beans mixed with onion, peppers, tomato and oil in clay pottery;
Ajvar - local red paprika prepared in a bath of spices and oil;
Pindjur - mixture of local red paprika in perfect mix with aubergine;
Biberke - hot, or very hot local green papers matched with garlic;
Sirenje - white brine sheep cheese made on Shar mountain;
Sopska salata - salad of local tomatoes like you never tasted before mixed with cucumber and topped with "sirenje" white cheese, often served as oeuvre, with cabbage, lettuce and other vegetables.

Meat eaters shouldn't miss the:
Mixed meat "plata" is a 'must do' made of Chevapchichi, Pljeskavica with kajmak, (mixture of lamb and beef, grilled with onions) Raznjci and Vesalica. It is so good you'll not mind putting a few extra pounds during you're stay.
Selsko meso - clay dish, oven baked with 3 kinds of meat and mushroom, cheese and spices;
Chorba - mix between soup and goulash, of course batter then either of them;
Oven baked Lamb that actually runs around this mountain on 2000 m elevation;
Turli tava - Turkish influenced meat, oven baked dish;
Sausage - hand made with cut chops of meat rather the minced - really nice!
Sarma - cabbage rolls of meat and rise stew;
Polneti Piperki - stuffed capsicum filled with rice or rice with meat;
Musaka - Since Macedonian food has a lot of Turkish influence you will find a lot of Burek - a pie made mostly with cheese, potato or meat.

On special occasions a most amazing traditional meal can be organised that only a few locals still have the complex knowledge to prepare. "Jagnje vo dupka" was made by local fighters that rebelled against the Ottomans in the old days. It is a lamb cooked in a hole dug in the ground. A huge fire is made that needs to burn for around 5 hrs. Lamb is skinned and placed back again in it's skin, filled with different vegetables and completely layered in a special kind of clay. The lamb is placed in the ground and covered completely by soil and stones. It is in the ground for around 3 hours with the burned wood. When taken out, the clay has formed kind of a pottery around the lamb. If prepared well, the lamb is cooked without oxygen and when pottery is broken... well this part is left for a surprise! Believe it - this is art as food!




Rates & Inclusions

Rates

High Season (Jan 20 to Mar 20)
4 Day Package (3 ski days, 3 nights all incl.) - €750
8 Day Package (7 ski days, 7 nights all incl.) - €1750

Mid Season (Jan 1 -19 & Mar 21 -31)
4 Day Package (3 ski days, 3 nights all incl.) - €675
8 Day Package (7 ski days, 7 nights all incl.) - €1575

Low Season (December & April)
4 Day Package (3 ski days, 3 nights all incl.) - €600
8 Day Package (7 ski days, 7 nights all incl.) - €1400

Single days available - Price on application
Inclusions
  • 3 days guided cat skiing (4,000 vert.m./day)(4 day package)
  • 3 nights accommodation (twin-share)(4 day package)
  • All meals
  • Use of avalanche safety equipment (including airbag)
Add-ons
  • Fat ski & powder snowboard rental (price on application)
  • Massages (price on application).
  • Alcoholic beverages (bar prices)
  • Cat ski camping plus night riding & skiing (€100/day - Spring only)
  • Return transfer from Skopje (price dependent on group size - enquire)
  • Skopje nightlife tour (€60 for accom, dinner in traditional restaurant, nightlife & guide)
  • Extra Cat Ski Days - €250 /day all inclusive (high season - Jan 20 to Mar 20)
Not Included

Booking & Cancellation Policy

The operator will inform you of the current terms and conditions related to bookings and cancellations upon enquiry.