While Island Lake Cat Skiing strives to provide you with a legendary powder experience, our number one priority is safety. Our mountain team is experienced and well trained in risk management and rescue techniques. All guests are equipped with a transceiver and receive a safety briefing, which includes rescue training. We strive to continuously maintain our safety record by ongoing training and professional development.
The Cat Skiing Safety Program
All guides and snow cat drivers participate in daily meetings where snow stability and weather are assessed. Check out our Current Weather page for the latest updates. Island Lake subscribes to the Canadian Avalanche Association Information Exchange (InfoEx). This daily exchange of technical avalanche, terrain, snow and weather data, along with detailed hazard assessments improves the team’s awareness of the local conditions and conditions across Western Canada. Learn more, visit the CAA InfoEx. Each day a snow safety team, consisting of two guides, gathers field information and assesses snow stability. They work together with the road builder to open new terrain. All guides, cat drivers and lodge staff carry radios during operating hours and maintain regular communication. Each guide carries rescue and first aid equipment and each snowcat is equipped with extra rescue equipment. As part of the safety program the Island Lake team uses explosives. By artificially triggering snow instabilities on a regular basis, the risk of large-scale avalanches is reduced. This maximizes the amount of safe skiing terrain that we have to offer our guests. Island Lake is a member of HeliCat Canada. As a member we are required to meet a strict set of safety standards and operating procedures.
The Mountain Team
At Island Lake, a guide, a tail guide and a cat driver accompany each group. All guides have been trained and certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and / or are members of the International Federation of Mountain Guides. The tail guides have advanced first aid training and, at a minimum Canadian Avalanche Association Level One certification. Both guides and tail guides participate in ongoing training sessions, and remain current with practices found elsewhere in the industry. Island Lake cat drivers take part in pre-season training that includes basic avalanche awareness and first aid.
Snowcat Skiers Responsibility Code
- Actively listen to and participate in all Safety Training
- Never participate in catski activities while impaired from drugs or alcohol
- Listen to and follow your guide’s instructions
- Always stop above and as directed by your guide
- Ski and ride close to tracks set by your group
- Always keep spacing between each skier and rider as directed by your guide
- Always ski with a partner unless directed otherwise by your guide
- Always approach a stopped group slowly and cautiously
- Electronics: Keep all electronics turned off. Keep all electronics, metals, magnets and battery packs a minimum distance of 20 cm from your avalanche transceiver. Don’t impair hearing with music devices
- Always stop above a snow road. Ensure the road is clear of vehicles prior to crossing
- Never ski or ride up to a moving snowcat
- Always approach a parked snowcat slowly, in control and only when the driver is outside of the snowcat