Ski Area Late Summer Check List for Mountain Ops departments

Ski Area Late Summer Check List for Mountain Ops departments

Ski Area Late Summer Check List for Mountain Ops departments

As I commented in Bob’s Bits for Aust 2022, a simple checklist can possibly make your time between now and bull wheels turning for the public a bit less stressful.  I am sharing my generic checklist with you in hopes that it will assist and incentivize you to make up your own. The one I am sharing is very generic and simple but I think it gives you the idea.

I can’t ignore the opportunity to put in a plug for both MountainOffice and SmartMountain, as both programs would have much of the information suggested in the checklist in front of you on a daily basis.  MountainOffice would have your maintenance by each piece of equipment with start and end dates and hours to do the work if you include them in the work orders. Parts can also be assigned to work orders in MountainOffice to give you a list of what is needed.  Certifications can be tracked by each staff member to ensure all are in compliance.  SmartMountain can track on-hill work missions in advance of the season and who and when the work was done.  SmartMountain also record the stock of supplies and equipment needed so that the ski patrol is well prepared when the season begins.

(This is presented as a guide only and it is not presumed to be totally inclusive – each department at your ski area should build its own)

Staff related

Have I submitted to Human Resources all my staffing requirements by position?

Have I communicated to HR my attitude and personality traits the positions require?

Is my training program in place for bringing on new seasonal staff?

How many Employee Handbooks will I need?

How much funding does my budget support?

If uniforms are required, are there enough for all positions, are prior year’s uniforms clean, and where are the uniforms stored?  Is there is clear distribution process? Are there forms that need to be completed by each employee? If so, who is responsible for their creation?

If staff need desk space and access to computers, are these spaces and computers requisitioned or in place?

The onboarding process of new staff is extremely important in setting the culture and staff engagement for the future. If it is welcoming and encouraging, you end up with more staff issues in the future.


Take inventory of what have versus what you need.  Lead times may make this a bit late to have on hand by opening.

Are there new procedures for tool use or issuance?  If so, make sure inserted into training.


By lift, groomer, vehicle, snowmobiles, pumps, compressors hydrants, fan guns,  heavy equipment

and hand tools, make lists of maintenance requirements needed for by season opening.

Now that you know what needs to be done by a set date, answer the following:

How many hours are needed to accomplish the required maintenance?

What parts are known to be needed to accomplish the needed maintenance?

If there isn’t enough manpower available to do the level of work required, communicate that to management NOW and develop a plan on how to address the shortfall.  Be mindful of work that affects any regulatory requirement, like lift inspections, load tests, etc.

You will need to do the same with any parts that are required.  You may have more options to resolve than your manpower shortage if any.

Make sure whoever does your purchasing is aware of the importance of your need for the parts and remind yourself to keep checking on delivery status.


Are all certifications required for my staff up to date and are there any renewals that will come due during the season?

If there is ongoing training required during the season make sure that they are built into schedules and budget. Might be a bit late for budget but at least address it with management now rather than when you are over budget.


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.