On April 3, 2022, I found myself standing on Cloud Nine. Literally. Deep in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia, I was standing on top of Cloud Nine peak for Power To Be’s annual Power To Ski event.
Each April, a group of 36 skiers come together for a backcountry cat ski trip in support of Power To Be, based out of the Mustang Powder lodge. This epic weekend boasts big powder, amazing food, and access to an outstanding mountain landscape.
As the snow cat that delivered us to the top of Cloud Nine pulled away, our group of twelve kicked the snow from our boots and stepped into our wide powder skis. We peered over the edge in anticipation – we were finally dropping into one of the most popular runs in Mustang Powder’s vast mountain tenure. Boasting over 30,000 acres of terrain and 443km of snow access road, Mustang Powder is perfectly situated for powder skiing.
As I stood watching the guide and group disappear into the fog, I felt a combination of excitement, anticipation, and a touch of nerves. This was my first cat skiing trip, and certainly the most powder skiing I have ever done. The group hooted and hollered as they blasted through thigh deep powder, and I glanced to my ski partner – it was our turn to drop in and with a quick smile, we took off. Just two days prior, I’d first met my ski partner as we arrived at the remote mountain lodge. Fast forward 48 hours, and we had an unspoken communication system and a strong bond. Time spent outdoors has a profound way of forging deep connections in a short period of time.
As we started down the mountain, everything fell into place. Even though this was the middle of our second day skiing, the feeling of floating down through perfect, soft powder was still leaving me awe-struck. Time stood still – it was just me and my partner, gliding down through glades of untracked snow. There were two other snow cats with twelve people each skiing in the region, but we didn’t see any sign of them.
At the bottom, we loaded back into the cat for another ride up. As we settled in, we snapped some group photos with ear-to-ear smiles. Bonded by cold air, remote back-country terrain, and shared experience, our group of twelve strangers was now a cohesive snowcat tribe with a catchy nickname “The Mustang Generals”. A sense of community, comradery, adventure, and challenge resonated within our group and reminded me the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone, connecting with other humans, and spending time in nature. With all those elements in place, I truly was on the top of Cloud Nine.
Between runs and at the end of the day, stories are shared, and relationships are built. Everyone is there for the same reason – to support inclusive access to nature and to do some incredible skiing. Opportunities like this help us understand the profound impact that time spent outdoors, connection, and a sense of community can foster in a short period of time. Check out the video for some awesome footage of this incredible adventure.