Not paying attention highly probable as people are stupid.
This. How many people, some very intelligent ones, just check their brain at the door when they go on a ski trip? It's freakin' time to go play at Disneyland and let all common sense fly out the door. Every time I go to a resort during high season I see it in spades. Doctors acting like 3 year olds. It's ridiculous. Pretty hard to think the snowcat driver is at fault, but there are instances where they could contribute to the accident.
Even though this is a sad incident, I still cant figure out how the hell do you not miss a big hulking, noisy ass cat... you could see AND hear that thing from the next freaking mountain let alone the same damn run! I'm sorry for losing her leg, but was she sleep snowboarding??
I used to do this thing when I was a noob where i'd head towards an object i was trying to avoid because i was looking at it. Pretty bad habit in trees, bad with a patrol on a sled, really really bad in a head on with a cat?
I almost ran into a snowmobile this weekend. He was going up the left side of a trail where the trail goes around the corner, he was blinded by my view due to the hill and when I came around I thought for a second I was going to dive out of the way but realized he was going super slow otherwise it would have been a close dodge.