Bob’s Bits for November 2023

Bob’s Bits for November 2023

The ski season has begun, but some resorts are facing delayed openings due to the less-than-optimal snowfall. Others are opening with limited terrain. However, additional resorts are set to open in the coming weeks, with most planning to be open by mid-December. As we look ahead, I hope this season will be as successful as the last one, but I have concerns about sustaining the momentum. It’s difficult not to think about broader macro issues like climate change, income inequality, housing, staffing, and leadership in DC. Despite these challenges, one of my mentors once told me, “Only focus on what you can control.” The ski industry is trying to take steps to address these issues as they relate to the industry, and it has the opportunity and ability to have some control over these challenges. Leadership in the ski industry is key to addressing all of these issues. The leadership of today and tomorrow is what has me concerned.

In this edition of the Steep Newsletter, you’ll find a piece by Matt Mosteller, Sr. VP of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, directed at ski industry leadership. I’ll also share some of my latest video work, an exaggerated piece on why ARENA Slopemanagement is more than just a snow measurement system like SnowStat and Leica-geosystems.

MountainOffice has released its latest version, v1.5.3, of its web app. The tool is a significant step forward, as lift operations staff can now plan for multiple days across different lifts. Meanwhile, technicians can automatically access important data points showing trends in the lift maintenance area.

SmartMountain has developed a tiered pricing package that makes this robust dispatch and incident management tool affordable to all ski areas, big or small. This has been achieved by standardizing some features while retaining the program’s basic integrity.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and let’s all hope for snow and consistently turning bullwheels.

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.