Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grooming?? What's that??

I can't say that I remember how many winter seasons Fun Valley was in operation with no grooming..........well, no grooming as we know it today. Generally there was more grooming done in front of the bathroom mirror each morning than there was on the ski trails..........but over time that changed.

First the ski conditions were what ever mother nature provided and the skiers created with their own skiing and falling. Then there was a snowmobile or the "cushman" with it's rubber tracks and hydrostatic drive........dragging either old bed springs, a section of rotary hoe (from the farm field) or even a section of hoe (again from the farm field)..........up and down the trails in an attempt to: a) relocate some of the snow to thin spots.......b) break up hard pack .......c) level some of the terrain ..........or maybe it just made us feel better. But then came the real McCoy.........a steel tracked machine , I believe it was a Thikol that we would pull a specifically designed snow grooming tool called a powder maker. This powder maker would break up, crush, smooth out, relocate snow ........all in a single pass. Until groomers as are used today were introduced to the industry and specifically to Fun Valley. Quite the transition.

So you can see that the industry went from 100% natural snow......or none at all.......with no grooming and then crude attempts to make the snow more skiable......to todays standard of making snow on a very regular basis to augment whatever mother nature gives us and grooming every day with equipment that has enough features, options, buttons and gauges to rival a jumbo jet.........

what a change........what an improvement......

2 comments:

Nick Dell said...

Its amazing what has happened to this industry in the last 50 years. I am glad you were there to share this history with us all! Now perfectly groomed runs and a deep base are to be expected, these blasts from the past should give us all a new appreciation for the changes that have been made and progress in the industry. Keep them coming Rick!

Anonymous said...

nice..