Safety is one of the few things we take seriously


Safe ski holidays at Great Northern start with safety training. Before you set foot in the snowcat, we’ll teach you how to avoid the hazards you’ll encounter on the slopes, like trees and tree wells. We’ll also provide you with, and train you how to use, an avalanche transceiver and rescue gear. When you’re on the mountain, our guides will continually monitor the snow conditions, choose safe runs and give you a hand whenever you need it.  

Here are some of the ways we keep you safe:

  • Lead guides are Professional Members of the Canadian Avalanche Association

  • Guides are trained in avalanche operations, ski guiding, risk management, first aid and mountain rescue, and carry extensive rescue gear

  • Annual in-house staff safety and guide training program

  • Groups always accompanied by two guides

  • Guides don't work shifts — they are on the mountain every skiing day – no guest appearances

  • Snowcat carries emergency medical equipment, rescue equipment and spare ski equipment

  • Radio communication between guides, snowcat driver, mountain base lodge

  • Guests equipped with avalanche rescue transceiver; backpacks, probes & shovels, trained in transceiver search techniques

  • Guest safety briefing on cat skiing procedures, avalanche safety, snowcats, lodge/fire safety

  • A comprehensive snow and avalanche information management system for collecting observations, evaluating snowpack stability and evaluating terrain safety and selection

  • Safety program is monitored and adjusted continually, according to changes in conditions and avalanche risk

We take the safety of our guests and staff seriously. Although we continuously strive to minimize the challenges inherent to backcountry cat skiing, there are many risks associated with wilderness skiing. Guests are asked to sign the release form, “Assumption of Risk and Waiver” prior to their trip, which acknowledges that they are aware of these risks, dangers and hazards.


Great Northern is a long-time member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. The members of this association strive to achieve the highest degree of professionalism and safety that is required in the helicopter and snowcat industry. For more information, please visit