How to Groom Different Types of Runs and Terrain
— Posted by Travis on March 30, 2012
Every run at Park City Mountain Resort is groomed a bit different than the next run. Depending on the trail and fall line, a run will get groomed from one side to the other. Passes up and down are standard and are made on all runs. Some runs get sections of them groomed at a time. What it comes down to is how to groom a run the most efficient way possible while still making the finished product the best for skiers and snowboarders.
Our signature runs are some of the steeper, more noticeable runs at the resort. A lot of these runs are the steep ones in the front of the resort. All of our signature runs get winched because of how steep they are. We are one of the few resorts that I know of that will groom runs this steep. It takes a lot of time and a very good operator to do these runs but when they are done they stand out and give the guests the opportunity to ski a steep groomed run. Make sure to check the trail report in the mornings to see what signature runs were groomed that night!
The adventure alleys are some of the most popular trials for both kids and adults at the resort. Every time we groom them it is a challenge because of how beat up they are from so much use! We have 5 adventure trails and when it snows, we try to groom them at least once a week. This year has been a bit tricky because of the lack of natural snow. You really need a lot of snow to be able to groom the adventure trails out. We have a special cat for a few of these trails too. This cat is a small cat, almost half the size of a normal cat. With the small cat we are able to shove it down in some of the tight spots of these trails. Some nights it gets pretty interesting in there. You are in the middle of the woods, in deep snow, in a tiny cat. It is fun, scary, and frustrating all at the same time. If you want to ski the adventure trails when they are groomed make sure you check the trail report and get out there ASAP for them because by late that day they will not looked groomed due to so much use!
PCMR’s Terrain Park department is separate from our trail grooming department. Terrain Parks has their own department, manager, snowcats, and team members. Terrain Parks and Grooming do work with each other and help each other out from time to time but for the majority of the year the departments are both doing their own things separate from each other.
Terrain Park Grooming also has their own fleet of cats. Terrain park cats have a few extra options usually built in to help make jumps and move features easier. These extra options include forks built into the blade to pick up and move features and more movement in the blade and tiller to help reach up high or down low to groom jumps and landings. Our Terrain Parks departments also has the Zaugg halfpipe cutter. This device is on the front of a cat and is used to go up and down the halfpipe to groom out the walls of the Eagle superpipe.
Scary Stuff, Risks and Conditions
There are many times we go out to groom in crazy conditions or we have to go somewhere that gets a little scary. One place that is known to be a bit scary is going out the West Face road to get to the top of Jupiter Lift. This is a narrow cat track that always gets drifted in with snow. Most times the cat track is gone and you have to “cut the road in” just so you can travel on it.