Bob’s Bits October 2021

Bob’s Bits October 2021

Snow’s falling, a few lifts are turning – let in begin. Great to see that most ski areas are moving forward getting close to normal operations and dealing with COVID in a responsible manner.

The labor shortage will impact the ski industry for sure It was great to see Mike Solimano of Killington address the issue in a very responsible manner. He shared the Killington was aggressively trying to fill positions yet Killington g=has a plan that would address being 30% short-staffed. I’m sure the Killington customers and staff appreciate the Killington leadership plan for what is realistically ahead. I know others are doing the same, but I’ve heard instances of leadership saying staffing won’t be a problem or we’ll do the best we can. I’d say that isn’t a plan and not very fair to the customers and the staff. Let’s all hope for the sake of the skiing and riding public that everyone has a plan to address being short-staffed – last year should have taught the industry something. Operations can’t be put on the back of our frontline workers, there will just be fewer next year if we do.

This issue of the Steep Newsletter launches the MountainOffice new mobile app with Operations Logbooks, see the video. Culture and retention of staff are also discussed in this short labor market. I talked with a ski resort this week that I had not spoken to within a couple of years, and I was impressed that there had been no change in the leadership team, and they were upbeat – a unique scene in today’s world and one I was not surprised to see at this resort as it has excellent leadership and a healthy culture. The piece is a couple of pages with links, but it is really worthwhile reading.

I do go out on a limb in addressing vibration and how to monitor it. To some, it is old news to others in may sound out there, but I believe it can be a game-changer for those who take the step.

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.