b'the inside story behind windham mountain snow- continued from page 55 -coverage can be maintained with awinch cat.Those pretty red machines cost abundle at about $400,000 apiece. Because of the steep terrain on many of Windham Mountain trails, the machines suffer a lotFindof wear and tear. Davis told me that the groomers are serviced every 500 hours or about nine times over their five-yearlifespan at Windham. One groomingjoy.machine is traded out each year for a new one. Each new groomer incorporatesbetter climbing capability, morehorsepower, better flex tillers and multi-angle blades compared to previous models. The new machines are alsoversatile in that they can groom the features in Windhams terrain parks. The latest PistenBully Tier 4 machines areLocated on the 3 rdfloorrated at 400 horsepower yet operate cleaner than their predecessors, lowering Windhams impact on the environment.Fuel mileage has improved ingrooming machines but the cost in diesel fuel each night can run into manythousands of dollars. Experiencedoperators are as precious as themachines themselves, and some onDaviss team have 15 years undertheir belts.Davis and other senior staff huddleevery day for a snow plan strategysession to cover snowmaking andgrooming operations. Its like a war planning operation with the field officersJustweighing in on what Mother Nature is forecasted to throw their way and how best to deal with it. They also consider upcoming events, terrain parks, racing trails and extremely busy holiday periodsRelax.and how best to allocate the snowmaking and grooming resources.After that exhilarating and effortless run down Whistler you head back up the Westside Six to tackle double-black diamond Wolverine. Its been groomed but theres a soft three-inch layer and perfect machine-made snow on top. As you glide through and see some of Davis snowmaking team tending to the gunsBook your treatment at on the sides of the trail, you give them a thumbs up as you cruise by on the wonderfully wintry surfaces that they laid down during the night before.518-310-2729AlpineSpa_AboveandBeyond_2019_Winter.indd 1 8/22/19 1:30 PMwindhammountain.com800-754-9463 57'