SNOWBIRD — Instead of skiiers and snowboarders, it was the drivers of heavy-duty snowcats competing on the slopes of Snowbird on Tuesday.
Professional snowcat drivers showed off their skills on an obstacle course as part of the Phat Cat Challenge, the winner of which got a $1,000 prize.
"What it does is it tests the operators, their attention to detail, their skill set as operators," Jim Larson of Grand Junction, Colo., said.
The groomers had to push an inner tube up a slalom course and back their snowcat into a loading ramp, staying within marked boundaries. The goal was to show off their ability to maneuver the blades of the snowcat.
"Obviously we all love to ski powder, but there are times where we get periods between snowfalls and without these groomers, the skiing experience wouldn't be the same," Larson said.
Video contribution: Winston Armani