SWS FAQs what our guests want to know
Below you will find a list of questions we’re commonly asked. Feel free to contact us if you’ve got any more!
- Why choose Selkirk Wilderness Skiing?
We are the original cat skiing company. Allan Drury, our founder, chose Meadow Mountain for its spectacular, varied terrain and incredible annual snowfall. We welcome only 24 guests per week with 15 staff to attend to your every need. Our unique 5 day, 6 night package means you can enjoy 5 full days on the mountain. Your last day is not shortened and you are not unceremoniously hussled out as you are with some other operators. And, as we don't operate on the weekends, the mountain has a chance to reset, resulting in some epic Mondays!
With 2 snowcats running and a back up cat on standby, you will never miss a day of skiing or riding. Our remote lodge is comfortable, warm and inviting. You can expect delicious, home cooked meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Our staff are second to none. Many of them have been with SWS for many years and take great pride in providing the best possible experience for our guests.
- Where are you located?
We are in the Southeast corner of B.C. in the West Kootenay Region. Our office and meeting place are located in Meadow Creek, just 100km north of Nelson on Highway 31.
- How do I get there?
You can drive right to our base station in Meadow Creek. We will then transport you up to our lodge by snowcat. Many of our US guests fly into Spokane WA and then rent a car and drive up to Meadow Creek. Our closest airport is Castlegar BC and can be accessed via Calgary or Vancouver. There is a shuttle service from Castlegar Airport to Nelson BC. Reservations are recommended. Please see "Links" for their contact information. Pick up can be arranged from Nelson with notice.
- How do I book?
Please contact our office to make a reservation:
- What is included in the cat skiing package?
*Five days of skiing
*Six nights accommodation
*Guide service: 2 or 3 guides per group of 12
*Safety gear including one guest pack with shovel and probe, a transceiver and a radio
Please note: Your package does not include rental equipment, alcohol or gratuities. If you feel you've been well taken care of, it is customary to tip between 5 - 10%.
- What is the elevation of the lodge?
1280m (4200’). What is the elevation at the peak? 2500m (8200’).
- How many runs do you average in a day?
8-12 runs per day varying in length from 1000 to 4000 vertical feet, totaling approximately 12,000 to 18,000 vertical feet per day.
- What is the annual snowfall?
Over 10 metres (400 inches) annual snowfall. Average Feb. daytime
temperature is -6 deg. C (21 deg. F)
- What is your terrain like?
Our terrain is as varied as it is spectacular. The towering summit of Mt. Cooper stands guard over it all and the adrenaline can’t help but run full throttle. From short, steep, cliff riddled tree runs, 4,000 foot descents that dive down through open faces into perfectly spaced glades then through towering cedar and hemlock trees older than Canada itself right to the front door of the lodge.
- Do you have to be an expert skier?
In order for each guest to get the most out of the Selkirk Wilderness experience, we recommend you:
- Be in strong physical shape
- Have skied in advance of your arrival (arriving early and skiing Whitewater or Red is always a good idea)
- Be comfortable skiing at minimum, a black diamond resort level
- Have previous off piste experience (this is strongly recommended!)
- Have prior experience and comfort skiing in trees (many runs have an alpine component combined with a treed or partially treed portion)
Wilderness skiing is not for everybody and deciding whether you are physically capable or have the necessary ability requires serious consideration. If you have any questions or concerns with regard to your ability and the challenges specific to our terrain, please call us in advance of booking your holiday.
- Do you have private rooms?
Yes. We have 10 single rooms and 7 double rooms.
- How can the lodge be contacted?
p: 1-800-799-3499, 250-366-4424
Our lodge can be contacted via our office in the valley. All messages and faxes are sent to the lodge daily.
In the event of an emergency guests can be contacted via radio on the mountain.
- Do you provide avalanche safety gear?
All of our guests are provided with a digital Barryvox Pulse transceiver and are trained in its use. Besides the avalanche safety gear that our guides carry, we provide each guest with sleek Dakine packs that contain a shovel and a probe, as well as a radio for emergency use. These packs must be carried by guests every run.
- What kind of certification do your guides have?
Our lead and rear guides are fully certified according to the standards set by the Helicat Canada Association (formerly BCHSSOA). Visit our safety page for more info on our guides and their certification.
- Are tips included in my tour package price?
No, tips have not been included in the package price. Tipping is however an accepted practice in the industry.
- What is the recommended amount for a gratuity?
We recommend around $50/day per person. Of course you can tip more for exemplary service.