Originally Posted by comprex
The ~10 degree sidehill would be an operational limit for the cat itself as it cuts the cat road ab initio, I take it.
I was thinking of 10 degrees max as finished product again depending on snow conditions and such. You can build a road as you go on a much steeper sidehill than that depending on the amount of snow available up hill or you can grab at one end and take in with you. Is it crossed by a groomed run so is there more incentive to slope away to accomodate that? Or is it the only easy way down for beginners so more reason to keep it dead flat? Again I'm guessing at angles as it is hard to look at and judge when everything else is sloping around it. I never actually measured... it either needed to be flatter or could do with more slope.
A cat track where I ski has tall poles beside it early season with a 4' snowfence attached. By Xmas or january you can ski over the fence and jump off the drop, by mid season they need another 4' high of fence which you still may be able to get over by mid season and then they give up on the high poles and just start putting bamboo in the snow. A lot of this is wind load due to prevaling winds, mountain contours, the fence etc. In this case the track widens a great deal through the season but due to the constraints of the fence it largely widens to the uphill side as the snow level rises.
I mostly groomed at Lake louise and 2 cat tracks there had runs pretty much starting at the cat track. I used to love (especially with a ride-along) putting the cat out half way over the edge and using the blade lift as a balance point to teeter and see saw the cat at the top before dropping in. I used to also launching the air off of the cat track into the run to test the finished product in the morning. Neither is groomed from the top any more and one is usually fenced off largely due to law suits of people irresponsibly launching the air onto it. ( I always got a clear view of my landing before any launch occured.)
The liftee that hit the tourists at the end of the day in Colorado resulting in a large lawsuit (settlement?) put an end to a lot of that sort of grooming on many hills I believe. That involved blind air straight into and off of a cat track I believe.