Off-Season Updates - 2023
When the last remnants of winter melt away and the snow-capped slopes become a distant memory, ski resorts undergo a remarkable transformation. Contrary to popular belief, these mountain havens do not sleep during the summer months; instead, they awaken with a flurry of activities. Beyond the serene landscapes and outdoor adventures, ski resorts bustle with summer activities, events, maintenance projects, and preparations for the upcoming winter season.
Maintaining Snowmaking Infrastructure
While winter is the primary season for many of us here in Vermont, the groundwork for a successful winter begins in the summer. Snowmaking is an essential part of modern skiing, ensuring reliable snow coverage even during milder winters. This summer we have relocated piping on Spring Trail, to make snowmaking easier which will allow us to get the trail open faster and covered more effectively. We also replaced over 1,000 feet of snowmaking pipe on Pabst Panic! "It was one of our more unreliable lines, but now it will be our most robust with new hydrants and snow gun locations making that trail much easier to get open," said head of snowmaking, Matt Folts, who also took the images above.
The Sun Mountain Express has been spinning, leading skiers and snowboarders to the summit of Bromley Mountain since 1996. In 2020, it underwent over $1m worth of upgrades and was essentially given a new heartbeat, which you can read about in a previous blog post. This summer Doppelmayr USA has been contracted to complete a project with the Bromley Lift Maintenance team to replace the bottom bullwheel bearings. You may be thinking, "Bearings? That's it?" but these are no ordinary bearings. These bearings are massive, precisely manufactured pieces of engineering. The haul rope needs to be de-tensioned. The drive shaft has to be removed and placed off to the side along with the two service brakes, two emergency brakes, and the rollback brake so nothing interferes with the bullwheel. Once the gear box is removed, the mechanics can lower the bullwheel to begin the installment of the new bearing. The new bearing will need to be placed in dry ice, so that it contracts and creates the perfect seal. This is a large project that requires a lot of time, effort, planning and precision from our team. This is being done as a part of routine maitenance. Bromley places safety above all. We are in great hands when it comes to our lift maintenance crew and Doppelmayr USA who are all experts in the matter. Come fall foliage season, the Sun Mountain Express will spin once again. Once this is complete, we will release a more comprehensive blog post about the details of the project.
New Groomer - Pistenbully 400
Groomed terrain is something Bromley has been complimented on for decades. Being a family-friendly mountain, a lot of our guests are children and those who may be new to the sport. Having a nicely groomed surface is essential to the resort skiing and riding experience. This winter we are excited to share that we are adding a brand new PistenBully 400 Snow Cat to our aresenal. For the gearheads out there, this is a massive upgrade. The 400 keeps operator comfort and convenience in mind with a redesigned ergonomic cockpit and smart automatic assistance systems. It can overcome any slope with its’ 6-belt KombiPlus track which offers an optimized belt pitch, high resistance, and optimum force transmission, ultimately resulting in the best pushing performance on the market. Lastly, being stewards of a mountain, upgrading machinery means considering what is best for the environment as well. The engine is clean, long-range, and economical. The new 400 is HVO ready and armed with a larger tank combined with a lower fuel consumption resulting in a longer range.
New Buildings at the Summit
A new building is currently under construction on the summit. Ski Patrol is building a new storage shed for their sleds and other equipment. In the event of an injury or an emergency on the mountain, Ski Patrol needs to be able to access their equipment swiftly so they can attend any situation.
Green Mountain Club Observation Tower
The Green Mountain Club has decided to rebuild the observation tower that sits atop our summit overlooking miles upon miles of the peaks and valleys that make up the Green Mountain National Forest. Work has not yet begun on the Observation Tower. But the photo above is what it used to look like. It stood 40 feet above the summit and drew thousands of hikers over 50 years. The structure was deemed unsound and was torn down in 2012. This tower served as a staple of the Long Trail that runs up the side of our mountain. We hope that construction can begin soon, ultimately making it’s debut in summer of 2024.