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Christian Murdock/ The Gazette Adam Christopher of Denver skis the double black No. 4 Headwall Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at Loveland Ski Area.

Powder hounds could delight in a new dimension next ski season.

The U.S. Forest Service this month approved Loveland Ski Area's plan for guided snowcat tours in the Dry Gulch area north of Interstate 70.

Loveland's "Ridge Cat" already shuttles pass holders up high along the Continental Divide on a first-come, first-served basis. This guided option at a yet-to-be-announced price "helps ensure a quality experience for those who are either unfamiliar with the area or lack the skill or equipment," the Forest Service's Scott Haas said in a news release.

About a third of Dry Gulch's 580 acres are outside of the ski area's boundary. That terrain will be available to all backcountry travelers, the release said, so long as avalanche control isn't ongoing.

The new option will help Loveland "remain competitive within the ski industry," Haas said. Monarch Mountain, Ski Cooper and Aspen Snowmass are among other Colorado ski areas offering snowcat service.

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