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September 2018

Idea Files :: September 2018

A useful surveying app, snowgun tower ladder, and men’s-room baskets.
Written by Sam Geise | 0 comment


surveying applicationNeed a tool to measure the proper grading of a trail, or the takeoff and landing angles of a jump? There’s an app for that, says Brendan Ryan, Peak Resorts VP of projects. It’s called Theodolite, after the eponymous surveying instrument. The app uses augmented reality to provide users with accurate measurements. Users simply point the camera on their mobile devices at the area to be measured. Ken Gaitor of Snowshoe, W.Va., and Elia Hamilton, Peak Resorts VP of terrain development, use Theodolite to determine the pitch of jump landings and takeoffs in terrain parks. To help contour intermediate trails on the relatively steep terrain of Hunter North, Hunter Mountain, N.Y.’s expansion project, Ryan took measurements with both the app and a construction-grade GPS. The app was accurate within one percent of the GPS. Even more, Ryan and his team can take screenshots of a measured area and text them to each other. So, Ryan will use the app to layout Hunter North’s new snowmaking system. All that, and the app costs just $6.


sep18 idea files 02A tower-mounted SMI Polecat needs maintenance periodically to unclog or change nozzles, but some are not equipped with an onboard ladder to access the barrel. So snowmakers at Crotched Mountain, N.H., used to climb on the on-board compressor and the control box, which could cause damage or lead to a fall. Additionally, if they were four feet or more above the ground, they were subject to OSHA’s walking/working surfaces standard, which requires use of fall protection. Their solution? A lightweight, sturdy aluminum ladder, which fixes to the yoke of the gun. The ladder eliminates the requirements of the surfaces standard, provides a stable base to perform maintenance work, and vastly reduces the potential for damage to other components. Plus, it’s light enough that one person can move around the mountain and perform service work with it. The ladder was constructed from lightweight aluminum box tubing, which the team had on hand, in an afternoon in the shop. They cut the pieces to length and welded them together. Total cost of parts and labor: less than $200. —Ryan Lavoie, VP risk management, Peak Resorts


bathroom baskets for ski gloves and hatsGuys come in from the slopes and are ready for relief, but what to do with gloves and goggles? No one wants these pieces of gear to end up in the urinal. Canaan Valley, W.Va., solved this problem by adding amply-sized baskets. Notice, too, that the baskets are not directly over the urinals. This positioning reduces the chance that an item ends up in the drink if it’s dropped, and, perhaps even more importantly, makes it less likely a guest might bump his head. Yes, go ahead and laugh, but an unlucky—or just awkward—skier at one ski area got injured hitting his head on just such a box, and sued the area. —Sam Geise