AI is Closer than You Think

AI is Closer than You Think

I am a strong believer that data is needed to make good decisions and the more data the better. I qualify that there is still the need for a review of the data and exploration of all the possibilities.

Data is something that is needed to migrate from preventive lift maintenance to predictive maintenance. I am definitely not advocating the elimination of preventive maintenance but if we can predict the need for maintenance from how a ski lift is running the better are chances are of improving the performance of a ski lift.

There are a few ski areas I am aware of which have or are planning on using SCADA software to begin the accumulation of data feedback from their ski lifts.  Making this step is a big one and many ski areas don’t have the IT staff or the infrastructure to enable making this move or even exploring it.

This article,  Industrial-LoT made fast and easy, might be the answer on how to make this leap in raising the bar in the lift maintenance world.  The oil and gas industry, which has many of the same obstacles that ski areas have, has utilized the two software programs to develop a data-gathering system to enhance their field performance.  Having a telemetry program that’s designed for constrained devices, lifts, and low bandwidth, high latency, or unreliable networks and an open-source software specification with a framework to integrate data, is a framework for ski areas to develop the ability to collect data from a ski lift and build the database needed to institute predictive maintenance.

Complete data sets the stage for machine learning and artificial intelligence.   The article details how to implement IIoT – Internet of Things – with these two programs.  I hope some of the tech-savvy lift technicians enjoy this article and expand beyond to explore the possibility of installing at their ski areas.

I believe theisis the future of ski lift maintenance.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.