How it all started
Snowcat skiing freeride was pioneered in Canada. It all started in 1965 when Alan Drury. An Ontario native working in Aspen, Colorado, noticed that snowcats were being used to transport skiers up an unfinished ski area whose lifts weren’t yet running. He immediately got the idea to start a snow-cat operation back in Canada’s wilderness. After searching for the perfect spot they moved to British Columbia and opened Selkirk Wilderness Skiing. Snow-cat skiing showed a less expensive and more accessible alternative to helicopter skiing. To this day the industry is growing and now this kind of freeride operations are scattered around the world.
The snowcat skiing in Europe and in Macedonia
In Europe the cat ski freeride operations started in the 2000’s. When in Italy and Macedonia the first snow-cat machines equipped with cabins began to transport people high in the mountains. Powder Catski Italy is located in the Piedmontese Alps of north west Italy and Eskimo Freeride started its operation in Macedonia.
Dane Freeride based in Kosovo at the Brezovica ski center, on Shar Mountain is also one of the European snowcat freeride pioneers. LYNX freeride is another snow-cat operator in Kosovo. Operating the Gjeravica mountain from 2017. Sharoutdoors was born in 2017 at Popova Shapka. Founded by the UIMLA licenced guides and friends Mihail Solakov and Metodi Chilimanov. Together with Hotel Scardus as partners they started the Sharoutdoors Freeride story. It is oriented not only in Snow-cat skiing but also in Ski touring in Macedonia and the neighboring countries Albania Kosovo and Bulgaria. One unique product that Sharoutdors offer is the Snow-cat assisted ski touring and splitboarding. This product is for those that want to reach the furthest and most hidden powder stashes. Also for those willing to do virgin lines on this still not whole explored mountain range. Shar Mountain gives amazing opportunities for beginner freeriders to advance in their level of freeride skiing and freeride snowboarding while the experienced ones can descend quite steep and more difficult terrain.
Cat ski freeride in Europe is also available in Georgia and Ukraine. In Ukraine the Dragobrat freeride team is operating in the Carpatian mountains. In Georgia there are multiple operators doing cat ski freeride and they operate in the lesser caucasus mountains. Powderproject is the pioneer operation in the Bachmaro area. They discovered this place in 2016 when they bought their first machine and in 2017 they were already running with clients.
If you are looking for a new place for your next snowcat skiing in Europe ski holiday and you are a passionate freerider then picking some of these places for sure will lead you to new adventures on the snow.