The snow management business is also influenced by digitalisation, and the urge for technology to drive a ski resort’s productivity is on demand. Leica Geosystems is investing in technology that enhances snow management. Keeping in mind that snow saving, allocation and maintenance are important tasks to keep a ski resort running the entire season, we are proud of delivering a machine control and snow management solution to help you create the perfect slope and terrain.
Leica Geosystems knows a snow park is a large investment that requires heavy maintenance. The new Leica MC1 offers a revolutionising one-for-all 3D machine control software platform to guide snow groomer machines on site – the Leica iCON alpine snow management. This comprehensive 3D snow measurement solution includes a suite of tools delivering real-time data on an in-cabin display, showing exact snow depths under the blade. The assistive technology, with wizard-help functions, enables the operator to respond to snow conditions immediately and perfectly prepare slopes according to a 3D reference model.
Tip: Use Leica AlpinePRO to accurately calculate the snow volumes and allocate of saved snow or technical snow. Import 3D files from snow park designers directly into the iCON alpine solution to precisely build any course. AlpinePRO can boost your productivity and quality by helping you to build and maintain snow parks.
Johannes Gögele is a snow park designer and snow groomer operator at F-TECH Snowparks in South Tirol, Italy. With more than 10 years of experience in planning and building snow parks, Gögele shares his professional experience and gives tips to improve concept development, preparation and maintenance for snow park projects.
There are 4 steps to build a snow park:
After defining the best location and inspecting the terrain, there are cases where terrain needs to be prepared.
“There’s a lot that comes into play along with making sure you’re pushing the boundaries and continuing to innovate. For this reason, time, snow saving, efficiency, quality, security of snow management is really important,” said Gögele.
Thanks to GNSS technology, Johannes and his team can make accurate design terrain models and quickly transfer it to the 3D program. The 3D model designs of the snow park can be presented to the clients.
It is important to successfully design and plan to produce the right amount of technical snow and avoid snow waste. In some cases, excavating is also required before the winter season starts.
“The fun part comes when I’m able to get into the 3D modelling software to see how different concepts come together and what it will actually take to make it happen,” said Gögele.
The iCON alpine intelligent snow depth measurement enables to effectively plan resources before building the snow park. Through accurate snow depth management and control during operation, iCON alpine allows snow park designers to accurately monitor the allocation of snow while building a snow park.
“Before using Leica iCON alpine, allocating the amount of artificial snow was not always modelled in the right way and at the right place. Now, I can use all the resources in the most efficient way and I can avoid artificial snow waste,” said Gögele.“For this task, AlpinePro comes really handy because it can accurately calculate the snow volumes to create and allocate the technical snow.”
Tip: Import the final 3D model from the snow park designer directly into to Leica iCON alpine and build the course precisely by measuring the exact heights of the jumps and turns while minimising the manual work.
There are many people involved in a snow park project, such as snow groomer operators, shapers, snowmaking operators and sometimes also excavator operators. Depending on how big a project, there are between three to 10 people involved in the construction stage.
“There’s a lot that goes into a snow park design. You need to know; how much terrain you have to work with; the pitch; how much snow is there or can be made; and then balance that with the amount of time you actually have to build,” said Gögele.
Building accurate snow parks is important for a ski resort to guarantee high-quality slopes and slides over the ski season. Curves, radiuses, angles and obstacles are often difficult to build in a precise way with the snow groomer.
Thanks to iCON alpine solution, it is possible to display complex courses in an easy, self-explaining way in real time. This enables the operator to build a course in less time and to the exact specification of the course designer. In this way, obstacles can be built in the most accurate and economical way.
“I can visualise the geometry needed to be built in different colours to concentrate on the task at hand. This lowers the level of fatigue while handling the groomer making the construction process faster and easier,” said Gögele.
Tip: iCON alpine solution saves you time and costs when preparing a snow park or a course for competitions. The use of Leica GNSS technology and advance sensor technology permits to optimally position the snow groomer with the terrain model.
“I am satisfied because I can build obstacles and slopes in a more automated way with higher accuracy, according to the plans. Now, by using the Leica iCON alpine system efficiently I can save about 30 per cent of built uptime and boost the quality of the entire snow park,” said Gögele.
Maintain high-quality slopes and obstacles
Daily and rigours care of ski slopes and snow parks are key to a successful ski resort. The maintenance during the winter season is a big challenge for ski resorts because of snowfall and deterioration of the slopes.
“It has never been an easy task for a snow operator to maintain the original build of shapes and obstacles and to keep them up to the standard the whole season,” said Gögele.
Maintenance can be done more accurately with the use of the iCON alpine technology. The two antenna GNSS system gives you an exact position and direction of the machine. Furthermore, Leica alpinePRO mobile app can support you to manage and assign tasks to your team.
“As snow park designer, using the latest technology in my daily tasks is key for saving time while ensuring quality. The use of Leica iCON alpine is time saving because it helps me to get the right shapes of radiuses and angles. Thus, I’m confident that obstacles are always as designed and I can maintain high-standard snow parks during the ski season,” said Gögele.
Tip: The use of alpinePRO mobile app can help you to create, manage and assign tasks to the team, and synchronise all data with the alpinePRO server. By using the alpinePRO app you can fast communicate between site and office, create reports, and attach pictures from the ski resort for documentation of repair work, issues with the lift and other tasks. For this reason, more projects can be followed simultaneously and high-quality ski resorts can be easily maintained.
“Thanks to the remote support – alpinePRO mobile app – of Leica Geosystems machine control solutions I can guarantee high-quality snow parks,” concluded Gögele.“I am excited working with iCON alpine because it allows me to work with more projects simultaneously.”
Solution Manager Alpine
Machine Control Division, Leica Geosystems