Bob’s Bits for May 2023

Bob’s Bits for May 2023

What a beautiful stretch of weather we have had in Vermont this past week.  Even had three ski areas offering skiing the first weekend in May; two are the result of snowmaking and the third could stretch the natural snow phenomenon but snowmaking played a role. In the West on the other hand mother nature provided a very bountiful winter extending the season for many.  As I write this, I believe there are 20 ski areas open in North America – remarkable.

As we move into summer, many of you will begin the full days of tending to lifts and equipment for the next ski season, others will juggle your lift maintenance to accommodate mountain biking, scenic lift rides, and weddings.  Scheduling is always a challenge trying to balance the mentioned activities during the summer, vacations, and the schedule of vendors and parts.

I hope many of you attended or attend either RMLA or LMS, SAVMI, and yet-to-be-held LOME and Inter-Mountain.  All are great programs with the purpose of technical training.  Also, a shout-out to Steamboat and Colorado Mountain College for their first session of Ropeway Maintenance Technician Certification for Level I mechanics and Oregon State University as they work towards wrapping up their Lift Operators online training program.

It is a bit late for one of my posts, Strategy and Staff Alignment, but I feel it is really an important topic for ski areas across the country. This month’s issue of the Harvard Business Review has two very relevant articles for the ski industry, The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers, and The Obstacles to Creating Good Jobs – both can help address the labor shortage many ski areas are facing.  I encourage you to seek them out or drop me a line and I can share them with you. I will also be promoting MountainOffice LITEfor mountain operations, both large and small ski areas as I have now seen how helpful it is to ski areas that have been working with it here in North America over the past several years. And I continue to share SmartMountain for ski areas that want the very best in their dispatch and ski patrol incident and workflow management.

Enjoy the summer but spend some time thinking about how to make the winter easier for you.

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.