Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing company guarantees untracked powder

Press Release: Although the ski industry and economy may be in for a ride as bumpy as a mogul run this winter, Colorado’s largest snowcat operation, the San Juan Ski Company, hopes to weather out the stormy financial forecast and attract new skiers and snowboarders by guaranteeing powder and keeping its rates low.

Independently owned and operated, the Durango Mountain Resort-based catskiing company dropped its price 25 percent last year and will continue to offer the reduced rate again this season. In addition to being one of the least expensive snowcat skiing companies in the North America, it also offers a powder guarantee. Skiers/riders are guaranteed untracked powder or their snowcat trip will be refunded. The San Juan Ski Company is the only snowcat operation that makes this guarantee.

In an unsettled economy, owner/lead guide Bob Rule hopes this powder guarantee will give clients peace of mind before and after booking a trip.

“If you come skiing or boarding with the San Juan Ski Company, you won’t be skiing or riding on snow that was tracked up by clients before you got here. You will get to ski on that rare commodity – untracked powder snow,” said Rule.

With almost 60 square miles of terrain, the San Juan Ski Company has more area than all Colorado ski resorts combined. From steep, cliff-riddled tree runs to 2,000-foot descents that drop down from 12,500-foot peaks to high-speed cruiser glade runs punctuated with face shots, the San Juan Ski Company’s powder playground includes miles of steep-treed slopes, glades, open bowls and sick chutes spread throughout 10 major drainages.

Since its permitted area is so enormous, it is almost impossible for the snowcat operation to run out of fresh snow; even if it hasn’t snowed for weeks. The same holds true when there is a major wind event in the Southern San Juans and the high-alpine terrain gets wind hammered. When this happens, guides move skiers below timberline to the thousands of acres of tree and glade skiing.

“With so much terrain, we have a huge inventory of powder and we document each run every day so we know what is fresh and what isn’t,” said Rule.

Renowned for its challenging terrain and endless powder lines, the San Juan Ski Company has added new trips for 2012, including steep clinics and guided backcountry ski tours (skinning with snowmobile access) for advanced to expert skiers, and half-day trips. For intermediate skiers, the San Juan Ski Company has added family powdercats and learn-to-ski powder snowcats to its trip lineup.

Full-day trips start at $250. Price includes avalanche safety gear, souvenir water bottle and water and a one-ride lift ticket to the top of DMR.

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