Over the next few years we plan to completely replace all of the old style fencing on the slopes with the new post and rail fencing that you may have seen starting to appear over the last two summers. This new type of fencing has already been proven to capture and retain much more snow than the old chestnut fencing and will therefore aid us in improving snow-holding and potentially extending the snowsports season.The team are currently focusing on the M2 and West Wall Poma up-track.
Below you can see some of the old chestnut fencing being dismantled and bundled, ready for removal in the winter. In this picture you can also see the bundles of new posts that will be installed this summer. These posts were dropped off at key locations around the hill by helicopter.
As part of this process we have recently developed a post driving unit that can be mounted on the front of a piste machine. The piste machines can reach areas in the winter that cannot be reached during the summer months by conventional means, so with this new equipment we will be able to address areas (such as the M1 and the Day Lodge Ridge) much more efficiently that we have in the past. This new unit has been designed by our technical maintenance team in partnership with a post driver manufacturer and is thought to be the first of it’s kind, anywhere in the world! This prototype was developed by utilizing the parts and functionality of the extra Pipe Magician we purchased last summer. It has been tried and tested already and will be widely used this winter season.
Above you can see a picture of our existing pipe magician (blue) and the other one that was purchased to develop the new post-chapping unit described above (red). The yellow item is a log grab that was also purchased to assist with the fencing projects. This is also mounted on the front of a piste machine and will be used to move fencing around the hill and remove more of the old chestnut fencing. Below you can also see the finished prototype that we are now able to attach to the front of the piste machines.
The fencing team are making good progress, with a lot of time being spent dismantling and stacking the old chestnut fencing. The old fencing will be removed by piste machine when snowcover allows during the winter. The main areas we are addressing this year are the M2 run and West Wall Poma up track.