Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Snow Grooming in North America

Most NZ skiers are surprised how easy it is to ski on our wide groomed runs. Groomers in Canada and Colorado are spoiled when compared to their NZ counterparts, as ice is almost unheard of. Our runs are groomed every day, leaving 2-4 cm of soft surface which means control even on steeper runs. There are very few surprises when it comes to cruising down the 'groomed' and you will be surprised how much of the mountain is groomed. Some Kiwi skiers call it “Hollywood snow” as it makes even novices look like pro’s!

Over the past 10 years, grooming equipment has improved tremendously. The introduction of winch cats has enabled North American resorts to groom very steep runs to perfection. NZ doesn’t have winch cats: these groomers have a huge winch on the front which drives and winches the groomer up steep black runs. SO even some steep black runs get some t.l.c each night. The high speed variable pitch tillers can lay down 'corduroy' that is so smooth and even, intermediates can tackle the advanced trails first thing in the morning and novices are soon zooming down the intermediates runs after only a few days in the resort.

The best grooming can be found in the destination resorts where 35% to 45% of runs are usually groomed each evening. Grooming to perfection is easy as most Canadian and Colorado resorts don't experience any thaw/freeze cycles during the day. Snow that stays powdery all day can be perfectly re-groomed even at quite high grooming speeds so in most of our resorts more of the wide slopes can be groomed each night.

Talk to us. We've skied there. Your North American Ski Holiday Experts

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Ski in North America

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