As we are in Australia in the off-season, please call in the evenings from North America, or in the morning from Europe. Emails will be answered same-day.
Availability & Skill Level
We recommend that you check our availability calendar in order to select the appropriate day or group. It shows which seats are booked, and what ability level each tour is targeting. We can run up to 4 cats a day. If you book yourself into a group which is obviously stronger than your own ability, you may be asked to sit out a couple of runs so that the rest of the group can enjoy their day. You will have a better time if you are grouped with others of a similar speed, ability, and level of fitness, so please tell us a bit about yourself and your group when you are booking.
All guests are required to sign a liability waiver and assumption of risks document on arrival. It essentially eliminates the ability for you to take legal action on anyone for any reason, so it is important to be aware of that. Click here to read the waiver
Deposits, Refund Policy
A 30% deposit is required at time of booking to reserve your seat. The remainder will be billed to the card you authorized 90 days prior to your trip. There are no refunds. You may change the date of your reservation any time 90 days or more in advance of the trip, provided that space is still available. After that time, date changes are only permitted if we subsequently fill the cat.
Your payment is for a cat skiing or package RESERVATION. It is NOT REFUNDABLE IF YOU CHOOSE TO CHANGE PLANS, IF YOU ARE OFFERED, AND ACCEPT TO CHANGE DATES DUE TO HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS, OR IF SOMETHING OUT OF THE CONTROL OF BIG RED CATS, SUCH AS AN INJURY, CANCELS YOUR TRIP. Your reservation is NOT locked in until after we have received your payment. Once payment is processed, you have the reservation, and the payment is irrevocable.
In the event that the weather renders the skiing conditions hazardous, you may be given the option to reschedule to another date in the same or following season. If you evaluate your options and do not want to opt for a rain check, that is fine, we will take you cat skiing, though the terrain on offer may be limited, and the experience may be less than desirable. However, if we do offer a rain check, it is transferable, and it is likely that is a good choice to ski at the resort instead, and return another day. We understand that when there is a widespread melt/freeze crust, skiing on groomed runs is a better use of your time and money. Please understand that we cannot control the weather and we will always try to operate, but the option to ski at the resort instead and change your date is the best "ski guarantee" we can offer.
If you have a full cat booking, and you would like us to consider moving your whole group to another date, and running 5 cats to maximize a powder day or avoid a weather disaster, ask us. It may or may not be possible, depending on our staffing, but it is worth asking, if you're in the area anyway. We normally don't schedule 5 cats in advance so that such changes can be possible.
When conditions are deteriorating, we may be going day by day, or even hour by hour, but as long as it is safe to ski, we will make every effort to do so. Full rain cheques aren't generally offered until the night before - or sometimes the morning of - the trip. If you need clarity several days before the trip, in order to change flights, we will sometimes grant rescheduling in the SAME season, or the following low season, several days in advance, so that you don't have to travel here. Note that in most cases, lodging will NOT be rain checked into a separate season - it is usually possible to come and ski at the resort on groomed runs if cat skiing is not safe. So be aware that if you choose not to come because of conditions, the lodging payment may be forfeit if you don't come in the same season. Ask your lodging provider at time of booking for written clarification.
In the event that conditions deteriorate DURING the day, here is the policy: If you ski 1-3 runs, and the entire group is offered, and chooses unanimously to depart, there is a 50% credit for a future day of cat skiing. 4-5 runs and there is a 20% credit. If the group skis 6 runs or more, there is no future credit. If the group isn't unanimous, it will keep skiing.
There is a 4-person minimum in high season and a 5-person minimum in low season. If there are fewer than that booked on a day in all cats, Big Red Cats may not run that cat. In that case we will ask if you can go out on another day, or if not, this is the only case when we will refund a booking, as it is a business decision. (ie if there are 2 people in one cat and 3 people in the other, the group will be merged and we will operate. If, however, there are only 2 people booked in total, the day will be cancelled and refunded). The easiest way to avoid this, especially in low season, is to book a group of 5.
We do not require deposits for any expressions of interest in cat skiing before Christmas, until the snow is actually on the ground and conditions look favourable, as it is 50/50 whether we can take you out in mid-December.
We strongly recommend that all guests from outside BC have in place their own travel and medical insurance, including trip cancellation and evacuation. If you don't have your own, it can be purchased online at Sanderson Travel Insurance, as their coverage does include off-piste skiing. Remember that YOU are the only one who is responsible for your safety (and you'll be signing a waiver to acknowledge that), so if you fall over onto a buried tree stump and need to go to hospital, if you don't have insurance, or if you have a huge deductible, the buck stops with you. We try to keep you safe and manage risks as best as we can, but some accidents are unforseeable, and accidents do happen. Click here for more info on medical evacuation and its associated costs. Hospitalization can quickly run into the tens of thousands of dollars. It happens very rarely, but it can happen.
Note: Cancellation insurance will generally NOT cover if we recommend that you reschedule your trip due to unsafe conditions or mechanical, but it will help if you need to cancel due to health issues, etc. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO RESCHEDULE YOUR TRIP WHEN THE WEATHER IS BAD WE WILL STILL TAKE YOU. In that case we may ask you if you would like to mix things up with things such as on-mountain BBQ and bonfire, and airboarding, if the skiing is sub-par, but we will not cancel the day if you don't want to reschedule. It is meant as an optional courtesy, and is not mandatory.
Average Vertical & Vertical Guarantee
On most days, intermediate groups will get 6-8 runs, advanced will ski 8-12 runs, and experts 9-15 runs. There is no daily maximum, so you'll get more runs in in March than in January because the days are longer.
There is a vertical guarantee of at least 6 runs: A $30 future credit will be placed on your account for each run less than 6 if we need to cancel due to mechanical failure to help to lower the cost of a future trip. If the day is slowed because someone is lost or injured, the vertical guarantee does not apply, as our safety focus cannot be compromised. If you are asked to sit out runs because you overestimated your own ability and booked yourself into the wrong ability group, this will not apply.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are strictly forbidden while you are still skiing and riding, and you will be "benched" if you are found to be drinking from a flask or toking up behind a tree. There is a $50 fee if you need to return you to the resort early. Safety is our first priority and we want all of our guests to have all of their faculties while out on the mountain, and we don't want anyone putting the rest of the group in danger, or disregarding instructions, getting lost, and ruining the day for the rest of the group.
If you are prone to motion sickness, we strongly discourage you from drinking very much the night before cat skiing, as the cat ride can be quite uncomfortable for the hung-over.
You are quite welcome to bring some cans of beer or a plastic bottle to enjoy after the last run of the day while the cat is heading back to the staging area. A cool beverage after a hard-charging day in the pow can be a beautiful thing - but do remember that there are 12 people in the cat...