Possibly the Tastiest Cat-Ski Experience in the World
The Little Nell Powder Cat Experience with Aspen Snowcat Powder Tours is new to our programme this winter. I went to try it out in February this year as part of our new Colorado Cat-Ski Safari and can honestly say this is a flavourful cat-skiing experience like no other.
Introducing The Little Nell Powder Cat
En-route to The Little Nell, our day started with the best coffee and pastries for hundreds of miles in Paradise Bakery in Aspen (rumour has it that it’s Jon Bon Jovi’s favourite breakfast haunt, so that alone was enough reason for us to head there!).
Fully stoked, we made our way to The Little Nell Ski Concierge to meet our guides for the day's cat-skiing. Hosted by The Little Nell exclusively for guests of The Little Nell, Limelight Hotel in Aspen and Limelight Hotel Snowmass, The Little Nell Powder Cat experience combines the Aspen Snowcat Powder Tour with food and wine you would expect in a fine-dining restaurant or, as the Little Nell's Managing Director, Simon Chen, describes it simply, "recreational skiing at its finest".
Finding the Pow
We took the Silver Queen Gondola from the base of Aspen Mountain where we summited with fantastic views towards the legendary Highlands Bowl. After a few choice pics we were met by our luxury snowcat and 15 minutes later found ourselves atop a stunning snow-clad alpine meadow, well off the backside of Aspen Mountain. The meadows at the back here are plentiful, and with a maximum of twelve people, the powder stashes you can access are endless.
Easy Does It...
Three runs in, it became apparent that this was going to be one of my best ever days in the white stuff. We welcomed knee-deep Colorado blower powder as we arced wide turns through immaculately well-spaced aspen trees, meadows and cruisey slopes. The pitch is mellow with the occasional steep section, but this is a day designed for maximum powder and effortless fun.
After a mid-morning fuel-up on piping hot burritos in the comfort of our snowcat, we tackled a new area that allowed for some faster riding.
This was perfectly timed now we were all warmed-up and confidence was at a high, although my colleague Luke still managed to fall in the worst possible place and had to learn how to swim on his board in deep powder for 100 metres... By 2pm (and 12 runs down) we were toast and it was time to head to the stunning little wood-fired backcountry cabin for our gourmet lunch.
Wood Stove-Heated Gourmet Cabin
Making our way off the cat, it was such a delightful treat to arrive into the comforting smell of delicious food that had been prepared especially for our group by The Little Nell. We enjoyedslow-cookedd meats, warm salads, rustic vegetables and a mouthwatering stew. The food was all beautifully paired with fine wines from The Little Nell's legendary wine cellar, Element 47. With time to relax in the cabin afterwards, we all took advantage of the chance to soothe aching muscles courtesy of the in-cabin chair massage therapist.
Perfect Round-up to a Perfect Day
It really doesn’t get much better than this! At mid-afternoon we made our way back into the snowcat for the 15 minute drive to the summit of Aspen Mountain where we took the gondola back to the base, enjoyed some amazing truffle fries (yes we are always hungry) in the Ajax Tavern before heading out for the evening to enjoy the après in Aspen Town.
Having experienced this incredible cat-skiing day for myself, I can vouch for Simon Chen's opinion 100%. For our guests staying The Little Nell, Limelight Hotel in Aspen and Limelight Hotel Snowmass, this experience can be yours too, either as an add-on day for your stay in Aspen Snowmass or as part of a Colorado Cat-Ski Safari.
A one-day The Little Nell Cat-Ski Experience with Aspen Snowcat Powder Tours costs £475pp. Price includes snacks, water, gourmet lunch, wine, massage and gondola ride.
For further details, along with advice on accommodation, flights and transfers, call Andy on 01273 224060 or email [email protected].
Snowboarding since age 16, instructor for 4 years in Canada and New Zealand, four seasons in Whistler, one season in Banff and one season in New Zealand.