Snow groomers

Dis­cover how these ma­chines help keep the slopes ski-ready

How It Works - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter snow­board­ers and skiers have packed up their kit and started to head home, it’s time for the staff of a snow sport re­sort to start their daily main­te­nance. One of the most im­por­tant tasks is snow groom­ing; the smooth­ing of the pistes that is dili­gently car­ried out ev­ery night. To do this a trac­tor or truck is nor­mally used to carry specialist tow­ing equip­ment. They op­er­ate by mov­ing, flat­ten­ing or com­pact­ing the snow to im­prove the con­di­tion of the sur­face, re­mov­ing accumulated snow piles and re­dis­tribut­ing them to cover icy patches or ar­eas that have started to be­come bare. They also play an im­por­tant role in main­tain­ing the slopes by keep­ing snow depth even in high­traf­fic ar­eas, con­struct­ing cour­ses and creat­ing ter­rain for tougher trails.

The ma­chine runs on two large tracks made from rub­ber and steel that dis­perse the weight of the ve­hi­cle evenly across the sur­face. Fit­ted to the rear is a power tiller that churns the snow be­fore a heavy comb or smoother pulls across the sur­face. This tiller is re­spon­si­ble for leav­ing be­hind the dis­tinc­tive striped pat­terns of a groomed slope.

When you see the pistes be­fore hun­dreds of skiers and snow­board­ers have taken to the slopes, you will no­tice lots of thin, uni­form lines in the snow. These have been left be­hind by a snow groomer af­ter the small cogs inside the ve­hi­cle have bro­ken up the sur­face. The comb­ing of the slopes of re­sorts in this way en­sures a safe sur­face for users ev­ery day of the ski­ing sea­son.

“The comb­ing of the slopes of re­sorts in this way en­sures a safe sur­face for users”

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