Mount Snow Groomers Win First at NSAA PhatCat Challenge

By AlpineZone News |
Feb 13 2014 - 05:54 PM

Snowmaking at Mount Snow

Mount Snow, Vt. (Feb. 4, 2014) – Grooming machine operators tend to be the unsung heroes of the Eastern ski industry with most their work being done overnight while the people who plan to enjoy the results of their efforts the following day are asleep. It takes a lot of skill to properly maneuver these high tech machines, and once a year the East’s best operators can show off those skills at the PhatCat Challenge, a competition held during the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Eastern Conference at Mount Snow Resort.

On Tuesday, February 4 the all-day competition tested the skills of most major Eastern resort’s best groomer pilots, but it was Mount Snow’s operators who impressed the judges most and swept the top three spots in the event. Steve Slivinsky took first and brought home a check for $1,000, Elliot Hughes was second and Deb Bernstein, the only female in the competition, came in third place.

According to the NSAA, “The PhatCat Challenge was created to enhance driver skills, promote professionalism and give recognition to the most talented grooming operators in the country. Operators will be judged in four disciplines – Straight Pass, Slalom Run, Blade To Grade and Pre-Op Check.”

“I’m just really proud of my team’s showing at the PhatCat,” said Mount Snow’s snow surfaces manager, Tom Kendrick. “I think grooming is one of our distinguishing characteristics and this performance really speaks volumes about the talented people we have taking care of our snow here at Mount Snow.”

This is the third straight year a Mount Snow grooming operator has won the PhatCat, with Elia Hamilton taking the top honors at the 2012 NSAA conference in Killington and Dan Cherkis winning the 2013 competition at Mount Snow.

The PhatCat Challenge is supported by grooming machine manufacturers Pisten Bully and Prinoth, which also supply the snow cats used in the competition.

The National Ski Areas Association is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 325 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. The association’s primary objective is to meet the needs of ski area owners and operators nationwide and to foster, stimulate and promote growth in the industry. Find out more at

Mount Snow is a premier four season resort located in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont featuring four mountain faces of downhill skiing and snowboarding – including the East’s Number One Terrain Park, Carinthia – slopeside lodging and golf at the acclaimed Mount Snow Golf Club as well as flexible wedding and conference facilities. Other activities include snow tubing, ski lessons, snowboard lessons, downhill mountain biking and a full schedule of festivals and events. Mount Snow is a part of the Peak Resorts family.

For more information about Mount Snow, visit