Bob’s Bits for March- April 2023

Bob’s Bits for March- April 2023

This might be Mammoth in August

In the previous Steep newsletter, I commented on winter weather being split between the East and West, but now the East has a winter and the West, especially California, and Utah, is getting an overload of storms.  It is easy to blame climate change and the warming of the Earth for the wild swings in the weather, but I would love to see an analysis of snowfall and temperature going back to the beginning of weather record-keeping till now to see if there are patterns to the dramatic impacts of weather.  I am sure it exists, but I have not been able to find it.  If you know of such, please share.  I am not a denier of climate change impact so, please no hate mail on that subject.

Upon seeing the crowds of February and March, I’d say the Covid upswing in skier numbers is real.  I had some doubt we’d see the level of visitation remain strong, but my doubts have been put to bed.  I hope the ski industry doesn’t become complacent and ignore the need to drive growth through diversity and expansion into new markets.  And most importantly, do not ignore the guest experience.

As we move into spring it is a time, especially in the lift maintenance arena for training conferences. There is LMS at Jiminy Peak in the East, 2023 Mountain Works in Wenatchee, WA, for those in the Pacific Northwest, RMLA in Grand Junction, CO for those in the Rockies, and LMOE Conference at Palisades Tahoe for those in California. Please ensure you are taking advantage of these great programs to train your lift maintenance staff. I will not be present at any of these, I have nothing to gain from your staff attending but YOU do -so send them.

Not to leave my organizational health or culture soapbox unattended in this issue, I thought the image below really demonstrates the plus and minuses of a dysfunctional organization. (Please enlarge to read)

In this edition of the Steep Newsletter, I am pushing MountainOffice LITE for small ski areas but I don’t want any ski area not to consider looking at MountainOffice, whether you are small or large or in between.  It is budget season now would be a good time to consider MountainOffice and SmartMountain and be ready for a great season of 2023/2024.

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.