What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

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What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby admin on 20 Oct 2015, 10:13

You know - in dry cycles, or thaw/freeze cycles, when the base becomes rock solid, and you can't effectively carry a blade of snow (the teeth don't even want to bite, and when they do, you dive in and dig up huge chunks). How do you rejuvenate that surface?

If time permits, I like to do a full rebuild. Tiller up, just rip in hard and carry a full blade windrow to one side, then back to the other. Give it a little time to set up, then till it out, carrying a blade as usual. It might come out a little chunkier than desired, but at least it's not boilerplate.

Other ideas?
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby PB400Fan on 21 Oct 2015, 19:14

Tracking is key. If you can get out and track the surface before it sets up you'll actually be able to get into it with the blade, keep a roll going and in the end you'll have a softer loose granular ski surface..... if you don't get on it at all until it sets up, it's likely going to be bulletproof until you can either refurface it with snowmaking or you get some natural snow..... and staying off it when its wet makes a huge difference too!
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby snowizard1 on 22 Oct 2015, 18:41

Aerate the snow surface. Renovators and Mt. Tiller.
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby admin on 23 Oct 2015, 00:13

snowizard1 wrote:Aerate the snow surface. Renovators and Mt. Tiller.


Fair enough. But what if your resort doesn't have those implements, and buying them isn't an option? Equipped with blade, tracks, and tiller, what do you do?
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby snowizard1 on 24 Oct 2015, 13:01

admin wrote:
snowizard1 wrote:Aerate the snow surface. Renovators and Mt. Tiller.


Fair enough. But what if your resort doesn't have those implements, and buying them isn't an option? Equipped with blade, tracks, and tiller, what do you do?


To me the root of all evil is the power tiller continuously compacting the sub surface. If you are just going to rely on the above tools you will get what they give you. A loose 3" or 4" of surface and then below that surface is compacted. Once the snow has be compacted the air is gone. (As you know) Have to think outside the box today to improve the types of over compacted snow surfaces. The manufactures have not addressed this issue for years. The only other method I've used is reverse tilling uphill and forward tilling down hill. It does help but have seen many rear windows broken when not done correctly. Use this method when I could not even get a blade of snow from the edge to work across. Good luck my friend frozen compacted snow sucks to ski and ride and even worse to groom.
The Mt. Tiller is about the least expensive tool to get. If you got a good shop you can buy the pieces and put one together, but then again if they have to put together right and set up right you will have problems.
Started grooming 1978
1st Snowcats to operate Thiokol 2100 Packmaster/Tucker
Fav Snowcat PB 320
Still doing it.
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby admin on 25 Oct 2015, 17:09

snowizard1 wrote:
admin wrote:
snowizard1 wrote:Aerate the snow surface. Renovators and Mt. Tiller.


Fair enough. But what if your resort doesn't have those implements, and buying them isn't an option? Equipped with blade, tracks, and tiller, what do you do?


To me the root of all evil is the power tiller continuously compacting the sub surface. If you are just going to rely on the above tools you will get what they give you.


+10000000000000000

I've been making this same argument for ages. I even grilled the manufacturers about it when I wrote the 2014 groomer roundup for SAM Magazine. They were generally annoyed that I would suggest that their current products aren't already perfect, and offered very little in the way of outside-the-box thinking for the future.

My reason for this thread is simply that most areas only have blade/tracks/tiller to work with, and we've all dealt with these conditions at some point or another. Always good to have an arsenal of ideas and methods, even if you don't have an arsenal of implements.
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby snowizard1 on 26 Oct 2015, 20:12

I've worked on the East coast with Bombardier/Prinoth and the same with Pisten Bully. Showed them things that were put together at areas I've worked at. PB actually told me about the renovator they had with the blade and the renovator that is used for a track setter (forgot the actual name), which works the best when used at the right time. Have spent a lot of time and effort to make better snow surfaces over the years with any thing I could find. Tools from yester years to the newer ones to achieve a better surface than hard pack frozen crap. One of best power tillers I've used was the tri-flex tiller on the LMC that had the hatchet tooth on them. It was aggressive, but slow. You can always make more snow to resurface, but if you can't take care of what you have it becomes costly and you end up with the same thing when another event comes through. Good luck and what ever I can do I am more than glad to pass on what I know. I'm getting ready to retire from the ski industry and move on. Have spent over 35 years grooming which I took great passion in doing it. Would like to thank you Patrick for putting this forum together and will always follow it when done grooming.
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Fav Snowcat PB 320
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Re: What to do with a seemingly impervious surface?

Postby Yukon on 17 Feb 2016, 12:21

snowizard1 wrote:One of best power tillers I've used was the tri-flex tiller on the LMC that had the hatchet tooth on them. It was aggressive, but slow.


Yep, the tri-flex tiller on those LMC's was such a great tiller, especially when you wanted to renovate the surface. It was definitely slow, though.
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