Originally Posted by at_nyc
Horseshoe bowl steep?
I guess that's the part I don't quite get. The maps shows the cat just traverse along the ridge top. Is that right? Do they let people off along the ridge or drop off at the far end?
Not sure. I think I heard that average pitch is about 42 degrees, though the first few turns on some runs are a good bit more. Of course other runs are much less (Field of Dreams, Tickler). Some runs are cornice entrance. The Ridge Cat adds very little vertical, but goes a good way out. You can hike the distance, but the cat saves significant time. It doesn't actually go the full distance north, just most of the way. It picks up and one gate and drops off at another gate. No stops in between. Terrain to the south of the lift is still hike access only. Since you seem slightly familiar with the mountain, the cat serves the area above Chair 8 and Chair 4 (though you can get to most of the terrain above 4 without the cat). In general, the Ridge Cat only runs when there is adequate visibility. The ski patrol is very strict about closing the gate at the stated time (I think it's 2:30), so the last run on the cat could be much earlier than that. Best to try to get to it in the morning or immediately after lunch. While the cat opens up a lot of skiable terrain, it also opens a lot more area that the ski patrol has to bomb, which on a powder day can take a while, so often the best cat skiing is a day or couple after a storm.