Bob’s Bits for January/February 2023

Bob’s Bits for January/February 2023

I will rate the past holiday season a success as it seems that ski areas did well with visits no matter the conditions.  Albeit the weather was harsh no matter where you were.  However, the West faired dramatically better than the East or Midwest. The extremes were dramatic – see the photo. The extremes sure demonstrate the effects of climate change.


I am happy to share that MountainOffice announced a new product designed for small ski areas and Adventure Centers, MountainOffice LITE; see the details below.

To every Lift Maintenance Manager, Director of Lifts, and VP of Mountain Ops, I encourage you to enroll your new lift maintenance hires in Oregon State University’s Level 1 Lift Maintenance Training program.  As I wrote back in November, the program is excellent, intuitive, and engaging.  The cost is very reasonable, and it is all online.  New hires can start now, and the new hires can be much better trained to be more productive during the summer maintenance season.  The great news from OSU is that they have a pilot program for lift operators being tested at three Northwestern ski areas this winter. NO excuses for not getting your new lift mechanics schooled in the OSU-Core program.

I made it to both the West and East NSAA Winter Trade shows.  It was great to see many of you in person. The skiing conditions at Palisades Tahoe were fantastic.  For an Easterner, seeing that much snow in such a short time was an education.  I have a whole new respect for the effort ski areas have to deal with when dumped on with that much snow.

Presidents’ week is coming up – let’s all think snow and enjoy the middle of ski season.

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.