The snow making team worked a long shift through the night to train new staff, test systems and began the layering process of piles that will make up our base.
There were lots of improvement and additions made to the underground snow making lines and pipes. A dress rehearsal is always the best way to make sure everything is ready to go. Once the temperatures and humidity are right, the entire area will be buzzing with the sound of guns. A handful of new folks joined the snow making crew this year so this was a great chance for them to get their feet wet. Well, hopefully not wet. Once everything was clear to go they waited for a small window of optimal temps and then dropped the hammer. They didn’t get to make the epic whales of snow we all hope for but they got a great start and the system ran without a hitch. It’s great to know that HoliMont has the infrastructure to support Mother Nature and Old Man Winter when they don’t hold up their end of the bargain.
New GPS mapping and technology is going to help us cover all of our slopes even better. We recently hired Calspan to create a 3D model of HoliMont so our groomers and snow makers can continue to provide one of the best skiing surfaces in the east.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane….
It’s a drone! While drones are not allowed at HoliMont during ski season, there was one circling the area on Friday November 17th. The HoliMont Hill Committee initiated the decision to hire Calspan to do a drone survey of the HoliMont property.
This wasn’t your average hobby drone. With a price tag of $250,000, this drone does more than take Facebook videos. The unmanned aircraft is capable of flights over 20 hours. The UAV is fixed wing, and unlike its multi-rotor cousins, this unmanned aircraft has the ability to cover large amounts of land and collect data to produce detailed tilted image that allow for immersive views of the land covered. It’s time to stop thinking in square feet, and start thinking in square miles. The UAV is also connected with point-to-point GPS, which allows for pinpoint accuracy and detailed mission planning. For more than 70 years, Calspan has been providing research and testing services in the aviation and transportation industries and is internationally recognized for research and innovation.
The operator piloted the drone for 63 passes over the slopes and terrain. Millions of points were gathered to generate a complete GPS model of HoliMont. With all of this new data, our snow making and grooming efforts can be executed more accurately than ever before. GPS systems in the groomers can use this higher resolution data to know exactly how much snow is under our feet. The goal is to maintain a more even and level coverage over all of the slopes. This will keep us from over-making snow in some areas and under-making in others. Our already premium, snow surface just got better and we will save time and money while we’re at it.
This is just another example of the behind the scenes work that adds value to your membership at HoliMont.