Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing operation, the San Juan Ski Company, turns 15 this year and is ready to rock and rip this season.
To celebrate its anniversary, the independently-owned, Durango Mountain Resort-based catskiing outfit, is offering monthly discounts on snowcat tours, guided backcountry trips and specials on and around the 15th of every month through April.
The 15th anniversary revelry kicks off Dec. 16 when a crew from IcelanticBoards joins the SJSC on its first trip of the season. One person has a chance to join the Icelantic ski animals (the Denver ski company’s graphics are animal-themed for 2012). Visit www.sanjuanski.com for contest details. IcelanticBoards and the SJSC have partnered this season to provide a demo powder quiver for snowcat skiers.
In conjunction with the Backcountry Experience-sponsored and DMR-hosted BrewSki Demofest, Dec. 17-18, the SJSC is offering discounted snowcat seats through the weekend and a special kid’s cat Sunday, Dec. 18. And while most of the action will be at the base of DMR where skiers and riders can mingle with industry reps and beermeisters to sample a smorgasbord of winter sport demos and local craft beer, the real party will be miles away from the resort – out on the snowcat.
Free Demos and $25 off seat price December 17-18: All regular snowcat seats are discounted 10 percent and include free Icelantic demo skis (a total savings of over $50). In addition, industry reps are joining snowcat groups to give on-the-snow clinics.
Child and Adult catski for $275 December 18: The SJSC debuts its newest trip, Family Powdercats, with discounted seats for both children and adults. Trips are $50 for children and $225 for adults (a savings of $25 per seat). A full-paying adult must accompany each child. Price includes hot chocolate, a special appearance by a Snow Monster character, goodie bags for the kids and photos of your day. Families on this trip will be featured in promotional pieces for the SJSC.
The San Juan Ski Company resumes its anniversary celebration Jan.14-16, which also coincides with another Backcountry Experience-sponsored and DMR-hosted event - Winterfest. The third annual Winterfest offers an extended weekend of ice-climbing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing clinics, dog-sledding, ski races, igloo making, ski movies and more.
Twenty-five percent discount off Learn-to-Ski Powder Snowcats and other deals January 14-16: In the spirit of Winterfest, which originated to encourage people to experience new winter activities, the SJSC is offering a 10 percent discount on regular seat prices (a savings of $25) and a 25 percent seat discount (a savings of $100) on its Learn-to-Ski Powder Snowcat. Price for the Learn-to-Ski Powder Snowcat is $300 and includes ski instructor and powder skis.
In addition to snowcat trips, the SJSC is also guiding back-country ski tours that emphasize skinning techniques, avalanche beacon use, backcountry protocol, terrain selection, and powder and tree skiing tips. Skis, AT boots and climbing skins are not provided; however, this gear can be rented, but must be reserved in advance. Price is $175 per person (a $50 savings). Guide to client radio is 1:4.
Romantic Ski and Stay Package for $600 February 14: The SJSC slows down the party beat for Valentine’s Day with a special romantic catskiing package that includes lodging. Couple packages start at $600. Price includes lodging, snowcat skiing and photos of your day. Gift Certificates are available; with or without lodging.
SJSC’s opens the doors to “gnarvana” with a discounted Steep Clinic February 15: The SJSC ramps it up with a discounted steep clinic ‘cat (skiers/riders will be filmed for a video) and a discounted private snowcat. Conditions and weather permitting, the SJSC will officially open its doors to “gnarvana,” and take skiers/riders down some of the steepest lines in its 36,000 acres of terrain. Skiers/riders who join the steep clinic will also be featured in a new video for the SJSC’s website. Seats are $250 (a $25 savings).
In addition to the steep clinic, the SJSC is also offering a private snowcat for $2,000 Feb. 15 (a savings of $500).
Four continuous days of discounted trips March 15-18: The SJSC’s own version of March Madness offers four days of discounted trips and private snowcats, including a 10 percent discount on private snowcats (save $250) and on regular seats. Discount also applies to Family PowderCats, Steep Clinics, Learn-to-Ski Powder Snowcats and Guided Backcountry Ski Tours.
Round up a posse of skiers/riders for the Graysill/Grayrock Chute Out April 6-7: In April, join the SJSC for its wildest ride of the season - the Graysill/Grayrock Chute Out. Weather and conditions permitting, SJSC guides will take skiers/riders into the steepest, gnarliest lines and chutes off of Graysill and Grayrock. This trip is for advanced-to-expert skiers/riders and offers steep spring skiing at its best. Skiers/riders will also be filmed for a SJSC video. Trips are subject to change based on weather and snow conditions (groups may be skiing powder at lower elevations). Price is $275 and includes a southwestern barbecue lunch and snowmobile ride to the snowcat rendezvous.
The SJSC offers private snowcats for $1,800 beginning April 10. The snowcat operation wraps up the season with discounted private snowcats priced at $1,800.
Some specials cannot be booked through the SJSC’s online reservation system. For information or reservations, call 1.800.208.1780.
The Bootdoctors/Paragon Sports of Telluride has partnered with the SJSC to provide a shuttle from Telluride to DMR for catskiing guests throughout the season.
In addition to anniversary specials, the San Juan Ski Company is offering a multi-day package that include three days catskiing, one day lift skiing and five nights lodging starting at $950 per person, based on 12-person occupancy.
Renowned for challenging terrain and endless powder lines, the San Juan Ski Company was started by owner and lead guide Bob Rule in 1997 to write off his powder skiing addiction. Since then, Rule has single-handedly held the helm, and today the SJSC is one of the longest-running, independently snowcat operations in North America, as well as one of the largest, with almost 60 square miles of terrain.
The San Juan Ski Company is based at Durango Mountain Resort. For reservations or information, call 1.800.208.1780.