Bob’s Bits for February 2024

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 and the parts of the Rockies but again not so good for other areas. What amazed me, given the poor conditions, was that a remarkable number of skiers and riders still headed to the mountains, albeit not the number all wanted but there certainly is a passion and a commitment to the sport. A good thing. January here in central Vermont was favorable for snowfall, the only downside is that it also rained, providing icy conditions under the snow. But that’s Eastern skiing.

I was able to attend the NSAA Conference and Trade Shows at Keystone and Mount Snow.  Kudos to NSAA for putting together these shows, both venues worked out well, albeit each had their unique idiosyncrasies. Keystone had road issues so getting a bit was challenging, and Mount Snow had a midnight fire alarm to gather us in our night clothes.  For STEEP the shows proved worthwhile, and it was great to talk to many new faces as well as those I have known for years.

This newsletter I have chosen to post about leadership as I did in November when I reposted an article by Matt Mosteller. This month my motivation to discuss leadership was created by the recent issue of the Harvard Business Review.  I know many of you are not regular readers, but this issue has several worthy articles. Granted they are not ski area specific such as you might find in SAM but the messages conveyed are appropriate for ski area executives and managers. I hope many of you read and try to utilize the information shared.

Let’s all hope the second half of the ski season is better than the first.

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.