The Life of a Groomer: The Graveyard Shift
— Posted by Travis on March 21, 2012
Photo: Jacob Hinton
Some people refer to groomers and snowmakers as a different breed of person/employee. They say we must be crazy to work those hours and be out at night all alone in a snowcat. But to be honest, almost everyone that grooms or makes snow loves what they do and doesn't mind the hours or shifts at all. Snowmaking can be quite tiring and long; especially with long hours on cold nights. The few snowmakers that come over to grooming mid-season really enjoy the warmth and comfort of a snowcat all night. Being in a snowcat all night is not boring or lonely as some may think. We have CD/MP3 players to play music. We have CB radios so we can be in contact with all the other snowcat operators. Late at night the groomers tend to get a bit “free” on the radios but it is all in good fun and it keeps the spirits up and vibe happy.
The graveyard crew (midnight – 9:30 a.m. shift) is made up of a crew of younger guys, most under the age of 30. A lot of them have come back year after year and they are all friends. Any new crew members seem to fit right in with them and they all get along great and are always smiling and joking with each other; even at 9:00 a.m. after a 10+ hour shift.
A lot of the graveyard guys are also die hard skiers and snowboarders. On nice days and powder days they all have their gear with them and are ready to get out and get first tracks on the stuff they groomed or the fresh powder. That's the beauty of working the graveyard shift...you'll never miss a powder day.