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Hi Everyone.  As you can imagine, this year's trip filled up VERY quickly.
Or, we were full, until we had a serious and unfortunate ice-related injury
to one of our attendees.  So, as of tonight, we have one spot on the basic
trip open again!
 
Just to add an extra incentive, in the time since I posted the original trip
notice, the Canadian dollar has dropped about another three cents, so the
cost in US dollars is now even slightly less - in fact the trip now costs
less than US$1,600.00!   If anyone is interested in stepping into the
opening, let me know asap - I have attached a copy of the original email in
case you missed it the first time around. 
 

LEIGH 


WELCOME TO THE 13th ANNUAL BRITISH COLUMBIA SNOWCAT AND HELISKI-VT MARCH
12-20, 2016! - SIGNUP AND INSTRUCTIONS

*THE "BACK-TO-THE-FUTURE" TOUR* 

Why mess around with perfection, you might ask.  When you can improve upon
it, that's when!  So we have again tweaked and improved our 2016 trip,
offering you more options, more fun, and - thanks to the very favourable
Canadian exchange rate, THE LOWEST TRIP COST (in U.S. dollars) SINCE 2005!!!
And, this year, nearly EVERYTHING you need for the week is included in that
low, low base price including AN ADDITIONAL 5th DAY of snowcat skiing.  Yep,
your catskiing, lodging, resort ticket, food costs, catering, and of course,
all that great powder skiing -are ALL INCLUDED in this year's price!  The
only thing you need to do is get yourself up to Valemount.  So, why not join
in the fun when we head west on March 12-20, 2016, where we will celebrate
thirteen incredible, fun-filled years in British Columbia's best backcountry
with a week of crazy and amazing powder sking with the "little group of
skiers that could".  

I know we are about a month later than normal posting the trip details this
year, but there is a reason for that.  It took two solid months of planning,
it wasn't until yesterday that this year's trip was locked in. I am very
pleased to announce, that after all that begging, phone tag, and some help
from above, we have once again assembled a magnificent snowcat and
heliskiing week for less than the price of a typical four-day snowcat trip!
These trips are without a doubt one of the ultimate HELI/CAT SAFARI
experiences and it should be on every powder skier's bucket list.  At a time
when the going rate for lodge-based, all-inclusive catskiing usually ranges
between $550.00 to $800.00 per day, and a week of heliskiing  can easily set
you back as more than a whopping $10,000.00, I can state with absolute
confidence that our fifteen (15) lucky guests will experience the best
package for  their hard-earned dollar in the entire industry.   We continue
to offer way more fun - at way less cost - than ANYONE else. We offer so
much more value for your dollar, it's crazy.  How can we continue to do
this?  It's not magic and it's certainly not cutting corners.  It's just a
lot of smart, hard negotiation.  It also helps that we are not a
professional, profit-driven tour company.  Instead, we are a great group of
black diamond, diehard skiers and riders, male and female, that have been
attending these group trips to British Columbia for more than a decade.  Our
big group offers an attractive, full-capacity option to the operators,
especially since we "ski hard and ski smart",  the operators (and the
guides) like our return business.

So, I extend a huge welcome to everyone to come join our group for an
action-packed nine days and eight nights in beautiful Valemount, British
Columbia.   On five of those days, we'll plunder the powder at our favourite
catskiing resort in all of B.C., CARIBOO SNOWCAT SKIING.  And that's not
all; because as an extra-special treat this year, you'll have a final-day
option to plunder the vast, untracked steeps at one of our our favourite
heliskiing partners, the legendary MIKE WIEGELE HELICOPTER SKIING!   Yes -I
pulled out every stop to ensure we will be the ONLY group of heliskiers
granted single-day access this season to this usually all-inclusive,
heliskiing paradise located a short 45 minute drive south of our Valemount
base.  Alternatively, guests can opt to participate on the final day in the
sweetest, cat-assisted, fully guided backcountry ski-touring on the planet.
After you read what this year's trip offers, you'll see why you should make
it YOUR trip of a lifetime.  However, for a start, check out these photos
from actual past EPIC ADVENTURES!

                                           

Come join in the fun as we lap powder runs all week long in the gorgeous
Cariboo and Monashee Ranges of eastern British Columbia in a carefully
planned itinerary which DOES NOT INVOLVE ROAD-TRIPPING.  On Saturday, March
12, 2016, as we arrive and settle in to our luxurious accommodations for the
next eight nights in beautiful Valemount, British Columbia, you can't help
but notice that the mighty white peaks towering over the quaint and
unspoiled town regularly receive some of the heaviest daily dumps and
snowiest winters in the entire central mountain region of B.C.  Relax and
enjoy the fully catered, decadent array of gourmet meals served up the
entire week.   And what about that itinerary?  After a warm-up day skiing at
Marmot Basin Resort in Jasper National Park, we ride the snowcat for FIVE of
the next SIX days.  Catskiing can occur any day between Sunday and Friday to
coincide with the best powder conditions, because we have the whole mountain
ALL TO OURSELVES.  Cariboo Snowcat Skiing offers a GUARANTEED HUGE INCREASE
in challenging, new skiable terrain for 2016.  There is even an option to
catski for the entire six days - assuming mother nature cooperates  - for a
modest surcharge.  Then, as a spectacular finish to our week, 10 lucky
guests will welcome the arrival of spring by traveling down the highway on
Saturday, March 19th, 2016 to nearby Blue River, where they will spend the
day ripping up the powder with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing and, later on,
enjoying a gourmet spread of fine dining in their main dining chalet.   And,
lest you be worried about El Nino, record snow is pounding hard already this
season, and your snowcat and heli charges are fully refundable on any day we
are unable to ski because of conditions.  No 2017 rain checks required!  Try
finding that offered anywhere else! 

I will offer one caution, however.  While we are not all skiing rock stars,
if you are not a reasonably competent and confident powder skier, stop
reading now. This trip is not for you. This trip is about lots and lots of
powder skiing and riding, not resort chilling and shopping. On the other
hand, if you are interested in participating in what will be the best ski
trip of your life, read on for the details!

AIR TRANSPORTATION, RENTAL CAR TRANSFERS AND THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER:

This package does not include air transportation and shuttle transfers to
and from Valemount because there will likely be a multitude of arrival and
departure arrangements and travel dates among the group members.  As usual,
I will assist in coordinating rental car transportation based on the group's
travel dynamics.  This will require some further coordination (with my
assistance, of course) once everyone's arrival date and airport is dialled
in.  As usual, my goal is to place about four persons per vehicle to
minimize expenses.  Please note that renting a 4WD VEHICLE IS VERY STRONGLY
RECOMMENDED, as the access roads to the ski areas as well as the provincial
highways in March can be extremely challenging to navigate.  After your
airport flight arrival and transfer in from either Calgary (5.5 hours) ,
Edmonton (5.0 hours), Kamloops (3.0 hours) or Kelowna (4.5 hours) (these are
all major AirCanada and WestJet hubs)  we head to Valemount.  Please note
that scheduling, vehicle/cost sharing and your drive times will be long and
difficult through anything other than these airports. Also, be aware that
while arrival times are fairly flexible, you should not plan on tackling the
Icefields Parkway after dark if flying in and out of Calgary.  As well,
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR FLIGHTS ARE NOT SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE LATER THAN
APPROXIMATELY 2:00 P.M ON SATURDAY, MARCH 12th, 2016, OR DEPART PRIOR TO
APPROXIMATELY 2:00 P.M. ON SUNDAY MARCH 20th, 2016.  Ignoring this advice
will most likely incur the wrath of your rental car co-passengers, or
alternatively, find you paying for your own rental vehicle.  Please book
your airfare and let me know your air itinerary as soon as possible so this
can all be set up well in advance.  We will set up a communal google-docs
spreadsheet online to assist in this regard.  Some attendees often fly in a
day or two early to ski in the Banff/Kicking Horse area before heading up.
That option is feasible for those travelling in and out of Calgary airport,
as Lake Louise and Sunshine Village are directly on the way to Valemount.
Accordingly, I will require that you forward your likely airport and
arrival/departure times as soon as possible. Remember, the only
documentation accepted by the Canada Border Services and the United States
INS is an official passport to ENTER OR RE-ENTER either country by air or by
land. Please ensure that all passport documentation is in place in advance
of the trip dates.  As well, please be aware of the requirement that all US
airline tickets must bear a name that is *exactly* as set out in your
passport!

THE LODGING:

When I say we have POSH accommodations booked for 2016, I'm not joking!
This year, we are again very pleased to announce that our lodging partner
will be Whisper Creek Cabins of Valemount.  Once again we have reserved not
one, but TWO adjacent, fully-private, luxury chalets, known affectionately
as "the Cranberry" and "the Raven".  Both of these large units are less than
five years old and fully outfitted with all the luxury touches that a group
of ski-bums could ever desire!  The lodges offer large great rooms, full
cooking facilities (for our chef, of course), and free satellite and wi-fi.
Our gracious hosts, Diane and Shawn Fowler, are again excited to have us
back.  Together, these clean, spacious and modern lodges are perfectly
tailored for a group of 15 skiers, offering us a huge amount of room to
stretch out our legs and to dry gear.  There are multitude of sleeping
configurations spread over three levels, including large lofts.  No dorms,
bunks and waiting for bathrooms at these lodges!  Please note that we will
be assigning room preferences based on a complicated priority system, using
a mix of "attendance seniority", spousal requirements, and "first to pay"
bases, with your group leader (me) having final say in any case of dispute.
I think is the fairest way to do it, and trust me, no one will feel
short-changed.  The Whisper Creek website is here:

http://www.whispercreekcabinrental.com/properties.htm
<blocked::blocked::http://www.whispercreekcabinrental.com/properties.htm> 

THE ITINERARY:

As I indicated, this is a nine-day/eight night package providing up to seven
days of powder skiing or snowboarding, tailored to your interests and
advanced ability level.   Your week will begin with a warm-up day at Marmot
Basin Resort in Jasper, Alberta.  Attendees will then enjoy to five (5) out
of six (6) of the following days (Monday through Friday, wit the Marmot
Sunday also being an option) of snowcat skiing at Cariboo Snowcat Skiing in
Valemount.  And, weather permitting, we are pleased to offer an optional 6th
day of Catskiing for a very modest tax-inclusive surcharge of $300.00 per
person (based on not less than 15 people signing on to fill the Cat).  If we
have less than 15 signups, the surcharge will vary accordingly.  

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 21st (NEW THIS YEAR):

Option #1:

Guests now have the option of choosing their mode of skiing on the final
Saturday, March 20th, 2016.  The first ten (10) guests to sign on can opt to
enjoy five hours of  heliskiing at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing.  Mike
Wiegele Helicopter Skiing boasts nearly 1,000.000 acres of untracked runs
spread across two mountain ranges.  After a training walk-through beginning
at 6:30 a.m., guests depart by not later than 8:30 a.m., for five hours and
25,000 to 30,000 vertical feet of untracked cold smoke.  We will be
utilizing their large Bell 205s helicopters,and a two-shift turnaround.
Wiegele's advises that we will ski as much vertical on this single day than
we ski during two typical Cat skiing days. The day concludes with the
chopper whisking you back to base to a waiting spread of gourmet grub (which
will not interfere with ski time).   It's enough to make to make you think
you are part of the 1%! 

Option #2:

Guests on a budget (or simply needing to work off the week's gluttony) will
want to check out the very-best in British Columbia guided backcountry
touring which may be cat assisted on request.  Our itinerary that day is
highly flexible.  Perhaps we will get a first hand look at the newest
Cariboo expansion terrain on the south end of Mica Mountain. Or, maybe we
will be the first guided group to experience the spectacular terrain at
Valemount Glacier Resort, a full two seasons before it is set to open to the
public.  Guests electing this option will be required to be equipped with
telemark or alpine touring gear, which  may be rented in Jasper at a very
modest cost.  Just so you know, many guests participated in our touring day
last year, with the consensus being absolute rhapsody enjoying the serenity
and grandeur of the Cariboos. I guarantee, the views are simply
mind-blowing, and the low altitude is easy on the lungs.    

 Here is a more detailed look at our nine-day itinerary:

Saturday March 12, 2016:

Latest recommended travel/arrival day at Whispering Pines in Valemount.
Our chef will have a nice spread of finger food (and much more) awaiting our
arrival.

Sunday March 13, 2016:

Sunday starts early.  An hour drive brings us to Jasper National Park and
Marmot Basin Resort, where we grab a quick lift to ski over 3000 vertical
feet of its high alpine terrain.  We'll rip some wicked steeps, powder,
trees and high bowls on over 3,000 acres of newly expanded terrain. Expect
to have rubber-legs after yo-yoing off the new high-speed summit quad by
shutdown.  Check out the official Marmot Basin website here:

 <blocked::blocked::http://www.skimarmot.com/> http://www.skimarmot.com/

Monday March 14, 2016 through Friday March 18, 2016:

First thing Monday morning, Terry Cinnamon, proud owner of "Cariboo Snowcat
Skiing" since 1996, welcomes us back for a sixth year.  Like usual, it will
be tough to top the last five years of deep powder and epic views, but Terry
says he'll try his best!  Enjoy the on-hill pizza oven (a very nice perq!).
Cariboo Snowcat Skiing operates on more than 13,000 acres of tenure on the
upper slopes of Mica Mountain, just northeast of Valemount and in the shadow
of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.   Once again, he
has reserved his modern, newly renovated snowcat and his best terrain for
our lucky group for four (4) solid days of untracked skiing, with an
optional fifth day at the ready.  The reason we have booked four of five
days is to build in some flexibility for the occasional down weather day and
to maximize our untracked powder - a feature that very few operations will
offer their guests.  Cariboo's tenure contains steep, varied and interesting
topography (both north and south facing), with some runs topping out at
8,500 feet in elevation.  That's high for this part of the world, meaning
excellent powder preservation.  For those of you who travelled out with us
last year, be prepared for a real surprise.  After many years of work and a
lot of promises, new gladed acreage and a newly completed snowcat road  have
finally opened a new steep, north-facing drainage and has expanded the
already considerable terrain by a whopping one-third, in the process
creating more monster 3,000+ vertical steeps big enough to service many
consecutive days without overlapping tracks.  Here's the link:

http://www.cariboocatskiing.com/
<blocked::blocked::http://www.cariboocatskiing.com/> 

Saturday March 19, 2016:

Option 1: The Mike Wiegele website is here:        

http://www.wiegele.com/

Option 2: Here's just a small sample of the guided touring terrain
available:

http://valemountglaciers.com/

Sunday March 20, 2016:

Sunday finds us arising for a final breakfast and the drive back to our
departure airport, taking those fantastic life-long memories with us! 

THE BASE PACKAGE:

Cost in Canadian Funds for this amazing 2016 package is CAN$2,275.00 + 5%
GST (WOW - This is only approximately US$1,665.00 at the current Canada-US
exchange rate on December 10th, 2016!)   

The base package INCLUDES ALL of the following:

* eight (8) night's accommodations at Whisper Creek Cabins, Valemount,
British Columbia, 

* on-site chef with fully catered meal plan and daily on-hill lunches

* five (5) of six (6) days of catskiing at Cariboo Snowcat Skiing,
Valemount, British Columbia, 

* your food costs for the week (please note that menu will be approved in
advance)

* day ticket for Marmot Basin

The base package DOES NOT include:

* airfare and the pro-rata cost of your rental car

* optional cost for a 6th day of catskiing (CAN$300.00 surcharge including
taxes,  based on a minimum of 15 signups)

* your "beverage" requirements for the week  

* gratuities for chef and ski guides, due on final day of applicable service
in Canadian or US cash only

* any charges for returned cheques, US Fund exchange fees, as well as
paypal/wire transfer service fees (please speak to me in advance of making
any Paypal transfer to avoid this fee being applied to your paypal payment)

* optional heliskiing injury/evac insurance (available if purchased in
advance - please speak to me directly if you wish more information on this
option) 

* 5% federal GST  

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS:

Option #1:  Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing 

Note there is a maximum of ten (10) guests (priority will be on a first to
sign and pay basis, so be sure to act quickly):  CAN$970.00 pp
(approximately US$710.00 pp at the December 10th, 2016 exchange rate)     

Option #2:  Guided backcountry ski touring 

This is an amazing deal!  The cost is variable and will depend on group
size, terrain, and level of snowcat assistance:  CAN$75.00-$100.00 pp
(approximately US$55.00-$75.00 pp at the December 10th, 2016 exchange rate)


YOU MIGHT THINK I AM GOING TO CONCLUDE BY ASKING YOU THIS QUESTION: "WHERE
ELSE CAN YOU BOOK A LUXURIOUS ALL-INCLUSIVE *SNOWCAT/HELI SKI WEEK* FOR
US$2,375.00?"

BUT I'M NOT GOING TO ASK YOU THAT QUESTION - I'M GOING TO YOU ASK THIS
QUESTION:  "WHERE ELSE CAN YOU BOOK A LUXURIOUS ALL-INCLUSIVE *REGULAR SKI
RESORT WEEK* FOR US $2,375.00?" 

What you must bring:

Passport, good layered & waterproof ski outerwear, small ski backpack
containing avalanche probe and shovel (we REQUIRE that all guests bring this
gear for safety reasons, although it is becoming more common to have guest
packs provided by the operations), cash for optional cat day & gratuities, a
great attitude, avalanche transceiver* (*for optional touring day only)

What we highly recommend that you bring:

Phat skis or a powder-specific snowboard, camelback, ski helmet, good vented
goggles, digital camera 

What you will not be required to bring: 

Avalanche transceiver (both operations use only their own beacons),
superphat powder skis (there are rentals available at a modest per diem
cost), illegal substances  

PAYMENT TERMS AND DATES:

 To secure this incredible deal, I had to front MAJOR deposit advances upon
confirmation.  Accordingly, this year's payment terms are as follows:   

Step 1:  To secure your spot, your non-refundable deposit of CAN$1,000.00 is
due upon sign-up, payable by Paypal (MUCH preferred, and made payable to
<blocked::blocked::mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] , money
order, bank draft or approved cheque (in Canadian funds only!) made payable
to "J. Leigh Daboll".  Note that if you are paying in US funds or by Paypal,
a 3.0 % service charge must be added to all payments unless you know the
secret Paypal service code. Speak to me about this before wiring funds via
Paypal.

Step 2:   To retain your spot, your non-refundable balance of CAN$1,275.00 +
5% GST on the complete base package (meaning, a total payment of
CAN$1,388.75), must be received by me by not later than FRIDAY, JANUARY 15,
2016 on the same terms and conditions as above. 

Optional Step 3:  To secure your spot at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing,
your additional non-refundable deposit of CAN$500.00 is also due upon
sign-up on the same terms and conditions as in Step 1 above.  To retain your
spot at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, your additional non-refundable
deposit of CAN$470.00 + 5% GST on the complete optional package (meaning, a
total optional payment of CAN$518.50, and also meaning your all-inclusive
final payment will be $1,388.75 + $518.50 = CAN$1,907.25) must be received
by me by not later than FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016 on the same terms and
conditions as above.  

Sorry - there is no deviation permitted from the above. Any default or late
payment means forfeiture of your reserved spot!  It was impossible to make
this deal work with other than a full 15-person Cat, and there IS ALREADY a
waiting list for the 2016 season. Unfortunately, it is not possible to
expand our group size beyond 15 persons because of snowcat capacity - so we
are restricted to the first 15 paid attendees, . 

NEW - SKIING WITH TEENS UNDER 19:

Due to a number of requests, I am also pleased to confirm that both
operations permit teens under 19 to ski with a parent or legal children,
provided that they "ski maturely and will obey the Guides".  

OTHER LEGAL STUFF:

GROUP LEADER (ME) RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE LAST MINUTE ADJUSTMENTS TO
ITINERARY AND TO PRICE ON ACCOUNT OF WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE USUAL FORCE
MAJEURE FACTORS, AND FINAL GROUP SIZE.  WHILE THIS PACKAGE HAS BEEN PRICED
BASED ON 15 ATTENDEES, YOUR GROUP LEADER HAS EXPENDED CONSIDERABLE EFFORTS
IN ENSURING A SUB-OPTIMAL GROUP SIZE OF LESS THAN 15 ATTENDEES WILL
EXPERIENCE ONLY AN INCREMENTAL COST INCREASE. IF WE DO NOT REACH AN
ATTENDANCE LEVEL OF 15 ATTENDEES BY THE FINAL PAYMENT DATE OF JANUARY 15,
2015, GROUP LEADER HAS THE RIGHT , IF NECESSARY, TO ADJUST PRO-RATA PRICING
BY UP TO 10% OF PACKAGE PRICE.  ALL ATTENDEES WILL BE ADVISED OF THEIR
OPTIONS PRIOR TO ANY INCREASE IN PRICE ON ACCOUNT OF THE EXPECTED WAITING
LIST.WE MUST ENFORCE A 'NO REFUND POLICY.' ACCORDINGLY, WE STRONGLY
RECOMMEND PURCHASING TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE . IF YOU FIND YOU ARE
UNABLE TO ATTEND, YOU MUST ADVISE ME IMMEDIATELY. IF WE HAVE A WAITING LIST,
I WILL ENDEAVOUR TO RE-SELL YOUR RESERVED SPACE. ALL FUNDS ARE OTHERWISE
NON-REFUNDABLE. ALL GUESTS MUST SIGN A STANDARD "WAIVER OF LIABILITY" UPON
THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE CAT SKIING AND HELI SKIING OPERATIONS AS WELL AS FOR
THE GROUP LEADER ON LODGE ARRIVAL. NO EXCEPTIONS.  GROUP LEADER ASSUMES NO
LIABILITY FOR ACCIDENTS OR LOSS. ALL DEPOSITS MUST BE RECEIVED IN MY OFFICE
BY NO LATER THAN THE ABOVE DUE DATES.  I ALSO REQUIRE THAT ALL ATTENDEES
SUBMIT, WITH THEIR DEPOSITS, AN INFORMATION PACKAGE, INCLUDING FULL NAME,
MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER(S), AND EMAIL ADDRESS.

PLEASE SEND ALL INFORMATION TO MY SECURE EMAIL AT
<blocked::blocked::mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]  OR
CALL 905-892-0569 AND PROVIDE ME WITH THE INFORMATION DIRECTLY.  MY MAILING
ADDRESS FOR PAYMENT IS:  J. LEIGH DABOLL, 1991 HANSLER STREET, R.R. 1,
RIDGEVILLE, ONTARIO, L0S 1MO.

I hope to see you all back in 2016!

J. LEIGH DABOLL 

 

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