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With every turn skiers and snowboarders make, snow is pushed downhill and to the sides of runs creating moguls or piles of snow across the mountain. Each night, our grooming team are hard at work flattening out these bumps and by morning, the runs are coated in a smooth, corduroy finish.
Groomers operate large grooming machines or “snow kats” which travel up and down the slopes, moving, flattening and packing the snow into a uniform finish to produce the best skiing possible.
Grooming machines have two large rubber and steel tracks that disperse the weight of the machine evenly across the snow surface and cut into the snow to assist with climbing. Mounted on the front is a multi-directional blade that cuts and levels the snow surface before driving over it. A power tiller on the rear churns the snow to an even consistency before a large, heavy comb then drags across the surface leaving a corduroy finish on the snow.
Mt Buller’s fleet of machines are capable of performing varied tasks. A range of attachments are available for these machines that increase the performance of various tasks. Some of the machines have a large winch attached to them and when anchored at various locations around the mountain are able to groom some of our steeper runs, such as Men's Downhill and Cow Camp. In 2016, we invested in a brand new Winch Kat which will further improve our ability to groom some of our favourite advanced terrain.
We also use a track setter attached to the rear of a machine to prepare our cross-country ski trails located around the Village. This unit sets two lines in the snow for cross-country skiers to place their skis.
The snow grooming team also performs many other tasks around the mountain, including preparing lift stations and access areas as well as Ski & Snowboard School beginner teaching areas, building race courses, terrain parks, transporting goods and clearing snow for access to buildings. Another vital function is snow farming, which involves pushing snow into piles that are stored and used as required in high wear areas, access trails and to repair slopes.
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