Getting Catty on the Cat Track

As a very beginner skier I have yet to stumble upon a cat tracks.  While in conversation with my mountain dwelling friends, I grew quite curious as to knowing what is the purpose of these cat tracks. At first, I thought they were related to animal prints in the snow but I was very wrong.

A cat track, as defined by is a “relatively flat paths used by Snowcats to move around a mountain. These are often used by skiers and snowboarders as well to reach different areas within a resort.”

Cat track image belonging to

Cat track image belonging to

From my understanding, there is a slight incline so that you still have momentum. A friend of mine recently witnessed a serious accident on a cat track so this blog is dedicated to sharing some rules and pointers to avoid injury and bloody faces.

I reached out to  my friends and here is what I have come up with:

  • Don’t make big turns
  • ”Don’t use a cat track like its run…new skiers tend to make big turns, and cause everyone behind them to have to figure out how they’ll be able to get by them.” -Phalyn
  • “Always leave room between yourself and the edge, in case someone needs to pass you on that side. Even if you’re going fast…someone is probably going faster.” -Max

Moneca shared, “If u are getting on to a cat track, make sure u slow down and check uphill for people. Be prepared for the new terrain, sometimes it’s a jolt from what u were just on. Skiers, please keep ur poles close, nothing is as annoying as poles flying around expectantly.
  • “Look uphill before stopping abruptly (uphill may be behind you).” – Max
  • Never flat base
  • “If passing close to somebody, shout “on your left/right.” -Max
  • Steve’s tip is, “I’d say just remember that boarders can see much better one way vs. the other so avoid cutting close to them on their heel side…also, warning people with the ‘on your left/right’ is cool if you’re really close but if you’re going to make a clean pass anyways there’s no need to yell at people. I hate that!
  • “Don’t pass people going Mach 10 RIGHT next to them.” -Max

So, if you find yourself on a cat track, try and follow some of these tips. I hope to one day be good enough to make it on a cat track. If someone else isn’t following these rules, don’t get catty. Meow.

To follow my mountain life journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

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