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Guided multi-day backcountry skiing & snowboarding

High Sierra Snowcat and Yurt offers a unique guided experience for backcountry skiing and riding in the legendary Eastern Sierra. Our Yurts are situated in the backcountry for prime access to great skiing and riding. To get to the Yurts, we shuttle our guests and their gear with our snowcat. Guiding, food, and yurt lodging is all provided. See below for a typical guided trip itinerary.

How it Works

A Typical Guided Trip Experience

Getting to the Zone

Our snowcat gets your group and all your gear to the Yurts.

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.

Ski and Ride the Day You Arrive

Use the snowcat for assisted access or earn your turns by using touring skis or split boards and skins.

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 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 snow conditions, weather and client abilities. 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.

Home Sweet Dome

Enjoy on-mountain accommodations in our backcountry yurts with meals prepared by our guides and (almost) all the comforts of home.

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 compiled 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 Trips

High Sierra Snowcat also offers single day guided trips (Call to book One-Day Trips)

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. In most cases, clients will have finished skiing by 4:30 p.m. and will arrive at the staging area by 5:30pm.

“Safety and fun are our top priorities. We’re proud to offer the unique experience of staying in modern and comfortable backcountry yurts, providing nearly immediate access to some of the best backcountry skiing and riding in the Sierra Nevada.”

Mike Deacon & Tim Robinson
Owners/Operators

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