Bob’s Bits January 2022

Bob’s Bits January 2022

I’d say from East of the Mississippi, we finally received a reasonable amount of snow. Granted, those in the Mid Atlantic got some earlier, but I’d have to say this is one of the worst natural snow years I have seen. Climate Change? Many of you have seen too much snow and now a bit of a dry spell to the West. All have suffered due to COVID. Staffing and the COVID spread amongst staff have created havoc. Some have managed better than others—more on this in an article below.

Have we seen the breaking point of consolidation and replacing people with technology? As one who advocates for using technology, I want to be clear I only do so as a tool to be used by boots on the ground to raise their level of proficiency and expertise. I suspect that too much emphasis has been placed on apps doing what good managers previously did. The apps may have the potential, but they will never replace good people.

Social media focused on long lift lines, lack of service, and terrain should not be taken lightly. With that much smoke, there is some fire for sure.  As we all know, there are very valid reasons for the situation that so many ski areas were in during the holidays and continue to be in. Leadership and a healthy culture seem to be lacking in some instances if you accept half the social media buzz.

As many of you know, Steep Management is a partnership between me and SEC G mbh, an Austrian company that developed MountainOffice.  SEC also publishes, a great online newspaper to keep you up to date on all the latest technology and business news in the ski industry globally. I have decided to depend on to keep you current both through their monthly newsletter; please subscribe and like their Facebook page. The Steep newsletter will focus more on sharing ideas on mountain operations management and, of course, the use of the best tool in the mechanics toolbox, MountainOffice.

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.