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Of course, given the time, there are many changes to the practices and protocols that will make the cat ski program at Island Lake Lodge as safe as possible. For starters, the maximum capacity in the lodge is only 20 people, roughly half the usual capacity. Although the dining room is spacious, the meal times for guests are staggered. Also, the cats (think grooming machines you see in the ski resorts) have been fitted with special air filter systems that completely replace the air in the cabin every minute and a half. And of course, social distancing is rarely an issue when you’re skiing on 7,000 acres of terrain with just 20 people! (Masks are mandatory at all times except when you are sitting at your table or skiing.)
“In general, backcountry skiing is more secluded, with far fewer people and interactions, than most other activities,” says McPhee. “With all of the additional protocols, we can offer a socially distant program.” (For more information on health protocols, pricing, available dates, lodge amenities, etc., please visit www.islandlakelodge.com. Day trip price is $ 599 per person and 3 day trip price starts from $ 3,368. Fee includes all accommodation, meals, skiing, safety equipment and skis or snowboards.)
Whether you want to take a test drive with a day trip or take a multi-day tour with your bladder, you are in good hands with the exceptional guides at Island Lake Lodge. They know the area like the back of their hand. And given the terrain – expect some inclines, plenty of lovely clearings, and private alpine bocce – strong skiing skills are required.