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Lightning Ridge Tour

Powder Mountain

Skip the cat skiing reservation by skinning to Lightning Ridge on your own power.

Resort Ski Touring Difficult

5.3 km
242 m
656 m
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.7 km
Lightning Ridge Tour Map

Lightning Ridge is the top sidecountry zone at Powder Mountain, known for steep and deep chutes with few tracks. Most people get there via reservation-only snowcat rides, but you can instead go on your own power (though a lift ticket is still required). See the resort’s uphill policy for more information.


To get there, simply skin up the cat track from the main lodge area. Stay to the side to allow vehicles to pass, and keep in mind that this uphill access is only allowed when Lightning Ridge is open for cat skiing. On-mountain signage should indicate the status. Follow the well-traveled cat track up to a broad pass with scattered trees. There it turns and goes straight up a ridgeline, where views get really good over the whole resort.

Where the cat unloads at the top of Cobabe Peak, Lightning Ridge drops away to the east. The north side is riddled with tight trees and chutes, while the south side is a wide-open bowl. The route mapped here goes more or less straight down the ridge on the line called Big Middle. But you could choose to drop anywhere and on either side of the ridge, as it all eventually funnels out to Paradise lift.




2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between December and April

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area