GPS Slopes and Fleet Management
Klaus has been part of Kitzsteinhorn's slope preparation team for 30 years and knows every square millimeter of his slopes. However, the exposed position of the glacier ski resort challenges even the most experienced grooming managers. He explains: "You get lost easily when a snowstorm brings a sudden whiteout and contours become invisible. That's where SNOWsat comes into play. The GPS-based slope management system supports the driver by showing him on the monitor, where the edges of the slope are and which areas have already been groomed." SNOWsat's snow depth measurement system also allows super-efficient grooming, for drivers see on the monitor where there is sufficient snow and where adding snow might still be necessary. Klaus knows: "That helps us save resources as far as snow making is concerned, since it allows us to specifically say where snow is needed."
Nightly mission 'corduroy'
When grooming slopes, the keyword is snow, for each type of snow has to be groomed differently, as Klaus knows: "Fresh snow has to be handled differently than artificial snow or firn snow. Before I start work, I check the detailed weather forecast. In case of heavy snowfall, we head onto the slopes after cable cars have stopped operating to clear the tracks of the day. Afterwards, we'll let it snow and restart our snow groomers in the early morning hours to groom the fresh snow in time for the first skiers."
Klaus has been on duty during approximately 2,300 nights and therefore knows exactly what it takes for a perfect slope. He laughs: "Slope preparation is highly complex. You need great finesse and time. In the end, it's all about the outcome and the pleasure skiers find on our slopes. It doesn't matter that you have to sit in the cockpit for two more hours when weather conditions are bad."
Cabins of modern snow groomers really do resemble plane cockpits. Comfy, air suspension seats, heated windows and wiper blades as well as intuitive control of the shovel and cutter via monitors, joystick and touch control. "That makes night shifts even more fun. And knowing that slope preparation with the PistenBully 600 E+ reduces our carbon footprint."