Bob’s Bits for July 2023

Bob’s Bits for July 2023

Not sure what to think about the national weather – heat, tornados, and flooding. Thoughts and prayers go out to those suffering from the impacts of these violent acts of nature.

After three years of La Nina’s influence on the tropics, conditions transitioned to El Niño in June 2023. The warmth shows up first in the far eastern tropical Pacific and steadily moves westward to engulf the Galápagos Islands and overtake the cool waters in the key El Niño-monitoring region.  This year’s El Niño is expected to keep building and remain strong through the 2023-2024 winter. This year is predicted to be the inverse of what we’ve seen the last three years, in which we have had back-to-back La Niña seasons. (from NOAA) Weather is the ski industry’s largest challenge in my opinion – see graphic.

It is up to all of us from lifty to CEO to do what we can about climate.  Don’t be a denier but do whatever you can.  As an industry must make changes in our operations so we can move forward, but our strongest effort is one of advocacy with skiers and riders, many of whom can make a difference from their professional positions.

Steep Management in recognition of the reality for most ski areas on the dependency of snowmaking, and the energy-consumptive nature of snowmaking has become a North American rep for Arena Slope Maintenance.  Steep is amidst training with Arena on the Slope Maintenance product/program.  The ultimate goal for a ski area using Arena Slope Maintenance is to significantly reduce their energy consumption via managing their snowmaking by trail and trail location (a very high-level summary).   There will be more to come in next month’s Steep Management Newsletter. We are excited to be able to do our small part in helping ski areas go forward with snowmaking yet further reducing their climate impact.

Stay cool and dry and be safe.

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.