As with ski lift technology, the evolution of slope grooming machinery and slope maintenance practices has profoundly affected the ski industry. As numerous ski industry customer service surveys indicate, snow conditions are a primary determinant of skier satisfaction. Thus, slope grooming technology and operations play a major role in providing a high quality skiing experience and creating high levels of skier satisfaction.
In SROM 173 you will study the basic design and functioning of slope grooming vehicles and implements designed specifically for the ski industry, particularly the slope grooming machines supplied by the two major slope grooming vehicle manufacturers, Kassboher and Prinoth. You will examine the main components and general maintenance requirements of a slope grooming vehicle, including the engine and its various systems, the tracks and suspension system, and the drive system. You will also study the main slope grooming implements including the blade system, snow tillers, and half pipe grinders. You will review grooming operations, including snow properties in relation to slope grooming, slope-grooming objectives and functions, slope grooming methods and techniques, slope grooming operating plans, and slope grooming expenses and budgeting. Slope grooming human resources management topics include operator training, motivation, and compensation.
Practical sessions will allow you to examine grooming equipment in the field, and you will have the opportunity to participate in on one or more “ride-along” sessions at Whitewater ski area. By the end of the course, you will have gained some understanding of how slope grooming personnel can run efficient and cost effective grooming operations.
The Park Building curriculum includes industry trends as well as an on-snow portion participants build a terrain park and cross track features from the ground up. The intention is to allow participants to learn through guided discovery while maintaining an aspect of creativity in the design.