11.19.21 – New Winch Cat
November 19, 2021
Christmas came early for the slopes team. A brand-spankin’ new Prinoth Bison-X winch cat arrived on the trailer this afternoon. Carrying a Caterpillar C9.3 engine, this machine is designed for high-level grooming operations, maneuvering and shaping features and etching perfect corduroy on steep slopes.
The good folks over at Prinoth also set us up with their fleet management software, which enables all sorts of data-analytics that we’re eager to use, including fuel efficiency and pass management — or, how we groom patterns on the hill. It’s not only a great tool for new team-members or operators that need additional development, but also improves the surfaces out on the hill for our guests.
But that’s not all. Prinoth has loaded their Leica software and an array of sensors on this puppy, which combined with our LIDAR maps calculates snow depth live on a screen in the cabin. Our teams will be able to better monitor and adjust our grooming to maximize snow coverage, using more or less in places where previously we might’ve not been using our snow-water resource effectively enough. It all means better snowmaking, grooming, and efficiency on the hill.
Why a winch cat, you ask? At a max grade of 54%, West Mountain’s Desperado and Cornfield — where we’re incorporating higher level alpine and freestyle training in the near future — require a winch to properly till their steep aspects. We’ll be working to install winch “pick points”, or those locations where the winch attaches to mounted towers, in the coming months.
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