Wildlife abounds in the high country of Colorado. Deer, elk, marmots, foxes, bears and more roam freely through the thousands of pristine acres on Colorado mountain properties. Although summer is the prime viewing season for most of the animal denizens, winter invites some rather unique visitors as well.
Why use a snowcat on your mountain ranch in the winter?
One of the rarest and most fascinating of these creatures is the fabled ‘Snowcat.’ Larger than its feline brothers the cougar and lynx, it leaves a distinctive track. Wide belts of corduroy follow it wherever it goes, grooming out the imperfections in piles of Rocky Mountain snow surfaces.
Rumored to be a matched pair living on the property, snowcats create hours of winter fun. Sometimes they encourage cross-country skiers, out for a relaxing morning or evening tour of the property. Other days, the more adventurous alpine skiers will hitch a ride on the ‘cats’ docile backs to link some perfect turns on the way back down to their private apres’ in the lodge. These snowcats are so versatile, they even pave the way for herds of high-octane snowmobiles.
They are truly an indispensable part of winter adventure ecology.
Through a simple process, the snowcat uses its powerful rotors to turn over the snow, loosening the structure and breaking apart any icy chunks. It then smooths the disturbed snow with its drag tail to leave that iconic ridged corduroy trail. Whether softening and smoothing a freeze/thaw icy patch, or firming up the deep shoals of loose powder after a big storm, the groomed path opens up hundreds of incredible opportunities for both residents and their guests.
Caution: After prolonged exposure to the private snowcat experience, many people refuse to return to crowded resorts and long ski-day commutes.