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Getting close

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Scag48, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    The weather here is driving me nuts, but it's getting better for snow. Winter is off to a slow start this year, about 2 weeks behind normal. We recieved about 12" of snow last Thursday and Friday at the hill, another foot and I'll be working. We can get that pretty easy here on the west coast. Driving me nuts though, I'm ready to roll my winter ride.

    Here was the view as of today late in the afternoon. Just another foot, that's all we need.

    I found a couple videos on youtube for those who haven't seen a snowcat in action. I've run quite a bit of iron, just about everything except for scrapers, and these will be more fun without a doubt. The first video I'll throw up is more or less to show the dimensions and how they run around. Plus, the audio is good and they sound awesome. I know the new BR350's are running Cat C9's putting out 345 crank horse at 1,800 RPM's. The red one coming through the shop area is a Bombardier/Prinoth BR350. I believe the BR350's were running Mercedes diesels up until last year I think it was, so the one in the video probably has the Mercedes power going from what it sounds like. We have 5 of those bad boys where I'll be working and that's probably what I'll end up running. We have a couple older BR275's as well, and 2 brand new Prinoth Bisons that my boss and other supervisor will be running.

    Can't get over how awesome they sound.

    Here's a video from Squaw Valley in a Pisten Bully. Pretty decent video, hats off to this guy. Give it a second when it starts up, for some reason it's about grooming but he put footage of the wire rope for the gondola rolling through the sheaves. I'm going to guess this was early season track packing, could be wrong, but the description said they're working 4-6 feet of fresh snow. Tough to get 4-6 feet of fresh overnight. Once the season starts, grooming crews run every night. My crew runs 7 cats every night, 10 hour shifts.

    Another decent video. This guy apparently works up at the other resort easily accessible from Seattle.

    The cab, almost like the space shuttle. Speed control is a dial on the left side of the joystick. Blades are 12 way, which is super nice. Directional control is via 2 levers on the left hand armrest, you can kinda see them in the picture. F-N-R's is what they call them, fairly simple system. These machines have a top speed of 12 MPH, will climb 100% slope and traverse 75%. When things get real gnarly, we have a BR350 with a winch.
  2. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    That must be a blast driving a Snowcat.

    I worked briefly as a snowmaker at Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. There is nothing like racing snowmobiles on a ski hill at 2AM and getting paid.:canadaflag:

    Setting up the air water guns was the worst part of the job.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    We don't have any snowmaking, but I'd like to learn how to do it. The hill I used to teach skiing at while I was in high school had a little snowmaking back in the day, now almost all the groomed runs have snowmaking plumbing easily accessible. I always thought about doing snowmaking or even working on lifts. Half the snowmaking guys were nuts, just as crazy as the guys in the cats. I knew 2 guys that did snowmaking at night and taught snowboarding during the day, talk about a crazy schedule.

    Some of the guys from other resorts I've heard will take the cats out and build jumps off the snow whales where the guns pile up the fresh. Line up a couple cats for lighting and jump sleds and tubes off the whales in the early hours. That would be rad.

    I'll have to get my kicks in other ways. There are a couple single blacks that are pretty steep that we groom and are on the grooming checklist. So steep in fact that you can't go up them, only down. On a fresh snow night, what a sledding ride that would be all the way to the bottom. I guess they'll cut loose pretty easy and will straight take off if you're in a lot of fresh snow.

    How is the skiing at Grouse Mountain? Never skied there, I just know it's a smaller hill. Been to Whistler a couple times, been out east to Big White, Red Mountain, want to go to Fernie, I hear Revelstoke is pretty good, done Apex a handful of times.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  4. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Cypress is probably the best skiing for local hills then Grouse and Mt Seymour.

    Revelstoke is world class skiing, heliskiing is about $800 per day. The new resort is booming.

    I have some work scheduled this spring in Whistler. One of my landscape customers is bringing me in as a sub, the job involves landscaping an estate home. We get five star accommodations with a nice travel allowance.:clapping:

    I was looking to buy a sled to take up to the Pemberton ice fields this winter but ended up buying a 21' Sea Ray:dizzy:
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Can't beat a Sea Ray. My old man has a 22' he's had for a long time. It's older than dirt, but they don't build 'em the same anymore. Old Ford inline 6 with an OMC inboard/outboard. It's on the small end for any serious water, but it's pretty worthy of rough straights.

    Whistler is insane, I'd totally go up there and work for a winter running a cat or something. Just so damn expensive to live there is the only problem. Pemberton is sweet, I went up there a couple times while at Whistler. Some good sledding to be done up there.

    I had heard Revelstoke was having financial problems with the resort, I suppose they tried to get too big, too fast outside of the heliskiing operations. But, the skiing is awesome I hear. Fernie is one of the best kept secrets I think and Red Mountain is a pretty rad place to drop in. Canada is by far my favorite place to ski, however I've never made it south to Utah or Colorado to do any skiing, so I guess I better not sell this country short of good skiing too quickly.
  6. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Yeah this weather we've had is boring. Skiing is usually an option by now or at the very least by Thanksgiving time. I hope we get some good systems coming out of the Gulf of Alaska...with some cold air out of Canada. That would be snow for all of us! Not just the mountains. But at the very least, the mountains need an ass load more snow.

    Scag, just don't let this happen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6echOlWDxw&feature=related:hammerhead:
  7. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    My Sea Ray is a bow rider powered by a 350 with bravo one stern drive, 50 MPH. It only has 160 hours and is like new, there are some good deals on boats lately.

    You should check out Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. I drove through those states on my way back from Texas back in March. In Laramie Wyoming I stayed at a hotel that was like a ski lodge, If I had more time it would have been nice to do some sightseeing.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Winter is a little slow this year. I heard on the news Whistler might be open this weekend. I don't ski never really interested then some people I know can't get enough. Ski resorts are going to find it tough in B.C. because people just don't have any extra money to spend. Whistler is too expensive for most people. The other mountains are more reasonable in prices.
  9. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Messages: 214

    AH Gracel Rat are mountains will be fine, and are economy will bounce right back
  10. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,581

    How is the visibility in those snowcat things? I bet that is where John Deere got the idea for that forward dozer..

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