Bob’s Bits for June 2024

As I pen this under a heat dome, I remember summer’s diverse experiences. Just yesterday, I was surprised to learn that several inches of snow had fallen in northern Montana and Idaho. Weather, a topic we all can relate to, is a constant source of conversation, even if we can’t control it. This spring has […]

An introduction to ARENA Slope Management System for Groomer Drivers, Terrain Park Builders, Snowmakers, Snow Surface Managers, Mountain Operations Directors, and Vice Presidents.

From the Groomer Perspective. The ARENA Slope Management System is a game-changer from the groomer driver’s perspective. It provides a comprehensive overview, enhanced efficiency, and effective cost control. Its sophisticated 3D map, which displays the snow depth for each slope section in a color-coded grid, is like having a superpower. Suddenly, you’ve got this amazing […]


The following article/podcast answers some questions and shares facts about our leadership in many facets of our work and life. Identifying the problems and issues is the first step in improving.  I really hope you’ll take the time to listen. May 1, 2024, | Podcast Narcissism, overconfidence, low EQ—why do we persist in selecting for leadership […]

What Is Slope Management and What Should You Pay Attention To?

Ski areas face various challenges today, including climate change, rising energy prices, and increasing competitive pressure. To be successful under tougher conditions, ski areas need a mix of data analysis, resource-saving strategies, and clear communication—in short, modern slope management. Winter sports today face various challenges, from the rise in temperature to the energy price crisis […]

What’s New with MountainOffice?

Over the past five months, MountainOffice has released two updates; another is in the works. The transition from a Windows-based to a Web-based system has been the driver of the updates over the last 18 months, but the latter has features that weren’t available in the Windows version. I thought sharing a reasonably short video […]

Innovation for Next Season

As we close the 2023/24 season and gear up for the next, Steep Management urges you to consider the ARENA Slope Management system. This innovative tool, especially beneficial after the warmest winter on record in North America, promises to reduce costs and ensure a consistent and high level of slope quality, setting the stage for […]

The How of Leadership Teams

After reading Katie Brinton’s article “Following the Leader” in the March 2024 issue of SAM, I wanted to raise my hand and say I agree with everything she wrote, but will state it more simply. Like most people who have held leadership roles in business, especially in the ski industry, I had no leadership training. […]

Bob’s Bits for March 2024

Recently, I intended to send a personalized letter to the upper-level management of ski resorts across North America. The effort did not go as planned. Many of you received multiple emails. and some with an incorrect salutation. For those of you who were affected by my mistake, I want to extend a sincere and personal […]

Bob’s Bits for February 2024

Well, I missed doing a December and January Steep Newsletter, and no one complained. Not sure how to take that. The 2023-2024 season ski season started well in some areas and some areas not so well, and December was a bust across the US and Canada. January proved to be decent in Northern New England […]

Leadership Thoughts – Harvard Business Review

The January/February 2024 issue of the Harvard Business Review’s main thrust is about the leadership mindset.  The table of contents runs the gamut from Leading in the Flow of Work, Leaders Must React, Why Real-Time Leadership is so Hard, How to Sustain Your Empathy in Difficult Times to Lesson About Choosing a CEO.  A lot […]

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.