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SNOWsat at Timberline, Oregon, USA

30 June 2016

Perhaps the best known dormant volcano to the North American ski and snowboard community is Mount Hood. What makes Mt. Hood unique is the Palmer Snowfield which enables the resort to stay open year-round. Throughout the summer it is home to snowboard camps, freestyle ski camps, ski racing camps and general skiing for the public. Thanks to SNOWsat, the Timberline Mountain Operations team can better prepare and market their snow for the busy summer camp season.

As many as 100 camps will take place on Palmer Snowfield during a typical summer season. Coaches and athletes flock to the Timberline Lodge & Ski Area every year to continue enhancing their skills in winter sports on snow. Terrain parks, mogul fields, race courses and half pipes are all part of the equation on the Palmer Snowfield. Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is charged with building and maintaining the features for each camp. Snow management is critical. After facing one of their lowest snow seasons to date last year they made the important decision to install the professional fleet management and snow depth measuring system from SNOWsat.

Highlight: measuring snow depth
Timberline's primary incentive for installing SNOWsat was measuring snow depth, but also to more effectively manage its grooming fleet and to track the fleet for efficiency purposes. For a resort that operates during the warm, summer months, it is very important to manage snow resources effectively. Timberline currently has SNOWsat fleet management installed in its entire grooming fleet, while two of those machines are equipped with snow depth measurement capabilities.

Good snow management is vital
When asked if SNOWsat has changed Timberline's day-to-day operations, Marketing Director, John Burton explained that it has allowed for "Better mapping of freestyle runs, knowing where we have snow and where to push it." Mr. Burton says that the depth measurement technology provided by SNOWsat is Timberline's favorite feature. He elaborated that "We can be sitting on 2 feet of snow in one spot and move just a few feet to the left and be on 20 feet of snow. Knowing where those drop offs are is vital."

SNOWsat as a Marketing Tool
As a Marketing Director, Mr. Burton and his team use SNOWsat to back up their snow depth claims. Customers can look at visual representations of snow depth that are generated by SNOWsat with their own eyes when Timberline publishes the data in a blog post, email, or storm report. They can see exactly how much snow is on the runs at Timberline or on Palmer Glacier with an accuracy of plus or minus 1.5 inches. The Timberline Marketing Team has found the snow depth reports especially useful for their summer business. Mr. Burton explained that "For our summer business we can use the snow depths mid-winter to pump up our summer pre-camp bookings. The greatest snow depth that we found this year was 64 feet!"

SNOWsat pays off
Utilizing the numerous tools that SNOWsat provides is becoming a more regular occurrence at Timberline as they continue to familiarize themselves with the system. Timberline now has the ability to create a snow depth database for the acreage it grooms on the Palmer Snowfield. Over time this database will assist the Timberline grooming crew in identifying natural snow caches and low snow problem areas. All to more effectively manage its snow resources for the summer camps. As Mr. Burton summarized "It [SNOWsat] will pay dividends down the road, and I would recommend it to other resorts, especially those who run late into spring/summer or are on a glacier."

PistenBully and SNOWsat for an optimum snow management
Display in the driver’s cab
As many as 100 camps will take place on Palmer Snowfield during a typical summer season
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