Cat Clowder returns to Big Powderhorn



Ironwood Township — Vintage Sno-Cat machines will once again journey to Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort Saturday as the ski hill plays host to the third annual Midwest Cat Clowder.

As closed-cabbed, tracked vehicles, Sno-Cats and other groomers have been used from Alaska to Antarctica for jobs ranging from building pipelines to grooming ski hills.

The clowder — the name of a group of Cats — is one of four shows in the country for those who collect the vintage machines, according to Powderhorn General Manager Bruce Noren.

“It’s (people) that are into these … vehicles, they collect them like people collect tractors or antique cars,” Noren said. “They’re always looking for a reason to get together, show them off, drive them and talk to other people who have them.”

People will be bringing machines from as far away as Oregon, Noren said.

Noren said he is interested in the vehicles and started the show after talking with other enthusiasts online.

The collectors will go for a backwoods ride Friday night, Noren said, with the public event set for Saturday.

The day will feature the machines on display, as well as various games with the machines — including races and an obstacle course.

Even though many of the machines are designed to be used on ski hills — including one of Powderhorn’s original groomers that has been restored — it’s relatively rare for their current users to get a chance to drive them on hills.

“They never get a chance to run their machines on a hill like this,” Noren said. “It’s really unique for them.”

The machines will be available for public viewing around the lodge from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Noren, after which they make a parade over the ski hill.


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