Thanks for your interest in booking with us for the 2017-2018 season! If you would like to make a reservation for next season, please email or call us.
Online booking is temporarily unavailable, but will be available again soon.
2017-2018 Season Preview
Services offered by High Sierra Snowcat is al-a-carte based on the clients’ needs of the following:
- Guided multi-day backcountry skiing/snowboarding, snowcat transportation, with human powered climbing based on snow conditions.
- Guided 1 day backcountry skiing.
- Avalanche education courses
- Stand alone self-guided yurt lodging
The following sections detail the services for each option identified above.
Guided multi-day backcountry skiing/snowboarding
Customers will meet at the Conway Summit staging area just off Hwy 395 on Virginia Lakes road between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. (In the event the seasonal road is open a shuttle will be provided to Dunderberg Meadows Road Staging Area). Clients will be safety briefed and board the heated snowcat to begin a 30-60 minute journey into the heart of the Sierra’s best ski and teaching terrain. During the initial ride up the mountain, the lead American Mountain Guide (AMGA) in the snowcat will test digital avalanche transceivers, check gear and discuss safety procedures. By the time the guide/instructor has finished explaining HSS safety procedures, the snowcat will have reached the yurt. Clients will be able to drop off their non-skiing gear and practice using avalanche rescue devices such as transceivers, shovels, and probes.
Daily terrain choices are determined by the snowpack stability, weather conditions, and the experience level of the group, all assessed by the guides.
The group including the guide(s), after deciding on a travel plan, will then proceed to the first ski run of the day. The snowcat may be used for all, some, or none of the runs for the day depending on the clients and what package they have purchased. Lunch may be out in the “field” or be back at the yurt again depending on a number of factors including: the desires of the clients, the weather, and the physical conditions of each client. The option to return to the yurt will always be made available to the clients and that decision may be made by the guide.
After skiing for the day the group will return to the yurt well before twilight where they will be treated to a meal prepared for them by the guides. Customers will have the opportunity to relax while reliving the day’s experiences and discussing the next day’s adventures. All meal preparation and cleaning will be done by the guides. Before retiring to bed the guides will discuss with the clients the next day’s plan always keeping in mind that those plans could change due to weather and snow conditions.
The next day customers will wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and a light breakfast before preparing to head out into the mountains for another day of skiing. If it is the final day of the trip clients will pack up their non-skiing gear while the guides clean up the morning dishes. All bags will be complied into one area to be picked up by the snowcat for transportation back out to the trailhead. Clients will be able to ski a few more runs before returning to their vehicles and the trailhead by the early afternoon.
Guided one day backcountry ski/snowboard
Daily guided ski trips will be run in a similar manner to the multi-day trips with a few differences. Clients will meet at the Conway Summit staging area just off Hwy 395 on Virginia Lakes road between 8:00a.m. and 9:00a.m. (In the event the seasonal road is open a shuttle will be provided to Dunderberg Meadows Road Staging Area). Clients will be safety briefed and board the heated snowcat to begin a 30-60 minute journey into the heart of the Sierra’s best ski and teaching terrain. During the initial ride up the mountain, the lead American Mountain Guide (AMGA) in the snowcat will test digital avalanche transceivers, check gear and discuss safety procedures. By the time the guide/instructor has finished explaining HSS safety procedures, the snowcat will have reached the bottom of the first ski run where the group will practice using avalanche safety equipment.
The day will be filled with studying the snow conditions, proper route finding, transceiver searches, weather and “Leave No Trace Practices”. Clients will then ski to the Yurt and warm themselves by the fire while eating lunch. Those who feel too tired to continue skiing in the afternoon may choose to sit by the warm stove and enjoy a book from the library or ride with the snowcat operator in the front of the vehicle. In most cases, clients will have finished skiing by 4:30 p.m. and will arrive at the staging area by 5:30pm.
Avalanche Education courses
Customers will also have the opportunity to enroll in an avalanche course taught by a certified AIARE instructor, The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. These courses range from one day refresher courses up to 5 day advanced level courses. These courses will be based out of the yurt and will be comprised of both classroom and field work. The snowcat may or may not be used to facilitate these courses. All meals will be cooked by the instructor/guides. Timelines will follow closely that of our multi-day backcountry ski option.
Stand alone self-guided yurt lodging
Backcountry enthusiast of all types will be able to reserve the yurt in advance for self-guided trips. Minimum reservation includes reserving the entire yurt for as many nights as they would like limited to Monday-Thursday nights during peak season. Clients will have access to the yurt as early as 9:00am on the day of the first night’s booking. The morning of check out groups are asked to have the yurt cleaned and their non-skiing gear packed and stored in one area of the yurt if the group is wanting to get a few more last ski runs in before heading back to their vehicles. This allows a new group to be able to drop off their gear before also heading out for a day of ski touring.
The yurt can be accessed from Virginia Lakes Road or Green Creek Rd., which includes a 5 mile or 10 mile approach depending on which access area is chosen to approach from. Once a party books the yurt a detailed map, forest use guidelines, “care of the yurt” guide, and waivers will be sent to them so that they can better plan for their trip. High Sierra Snowcat & Yurt staff are always available to answer questions and provide information to all users.
Contact Us For More Info
Tim Robinson – (916) 494-9979
Mike Deacon – (530) 412-1509