Why SnowGage? Snow Depth Technology…Satellite Based vs. Ground Based Systems


Over the past several years new technologies have come to market that are clearly starting to benefit the snow business. The high efficiency snow wands and control systems of HKD Snowmakers are a good example of this and so is Vail Resorts’ EpicMix application. Various new technologies have proven their value to us all by now.
The next technology to come on the scene for resort operators is snow depth monitoring.      Why is this important? By knowing snow depth you can avoid making more snow than is needed in the early and late season. You can also move snow from areas that have excess snow to precise locations on the slopes that need more snow. No more guess work. Once they implement the right snow depth monitoring system ski resort operators can expect to save 10%-20% in overall snow making and grooming costs. A ski area with a $1,000,000 annual budget for snow making and grooming can expect to save $100,000-$200,000 year. That is a substantial savings whether you operate a small-to-medium-sized ski area or a major operation with multiple resorts and an annual budget of 5 to 10 times that amount.
Are they worth the cost? Let’s take a look:
First, some background information: All snow depth monitoring systems require the use of satellite GPS to plot the location of each snow groomer, but there are key differences between what is commonly referred to as a “sat based” (comparative elevation) system versus a ground based (snow penetrating) system.
Effectiveness: A satellite based system compares the surveyed altitude of a given point/location to the current altitude that a snow groomer is at once snow is covering the slope. It is claimed that this technology will provide snow depth data to an accuracy of 1-2 inches. A ground based system pings through the snow surface and measures the distance to solid ground using wide band radar to an accuracy of 2-4 inches.
Complexity: Sat based systems require a detailed aerial survey map be made of every run on the mountain. In many cases a system of signal repeaters must be installed and maintained in several locations to boost the satellite signal in deep canyons or certain slope aspects. This is costly, often $100,000 or more just to set up the infrastructure for the system. For a ground based system such as SnowGage, no such surveys or added infrastructure are needed. A relatively simple and compact wide band radar unit (about the size of a shoe box mounted on the bottom of each snow groomer) sends signals through the snow every few seconds to get an accurate reading of snow depth in real time, without the need for costly repeaters and satellite relays.     
Cost: Satellite based systems such as Leica (Prinoth) and SnowSat (Pisten Bully) can range from $75,000-$100,000 or more for initial mapping and set up, plus a per unit hardware cost of at least $50,000 per groomer. A ground based system such as SnowGage has no up-front mapping or set up costs and is under $20,000 per groomer to deploy.
More about SnowGage: The units are designed to withstand the rigors of the cold and harsh alpine environment. A rugged Juniper Systems Mesa2 tablet is installed inside the cab and paired with the SnowGage sensors. A GPS receiver mounted on top of the groomer provides real-time data accessible to resort operations staff through a secure cloud based app. The visual data includes accurate snow depth, illustrated in color on a high resolution Google Maps base layer. The system can also display snow groomer fleet locations and performance data. Using this information, resort operators can develop and implement better coverage strategies, manage snow resource allocation and improve overall snow making and slope grooming efficiency. The cost is affordable and the savings are significant.
Contact Information:
Daniel Osborne
CEO, EcoTecSnow
(970) 331-1365
www.EcoTecSnow.com

SnowGage Sales Representative
John Siewierski
(303) 829-1699

We are proud to join the EcoTecSnow team representing SnowGage and mountain related services to North American resorts as the need to manage snow making and related costs affect the bottom line and guest experience more and more each year. 

Welcome to Jim Morris Environmental & Wildlife T Shirt Company

Siewierski Consulting wishes to welcome a new client Jim Morris Environmental & Wildlife T Shirt Company, based here in Boulder. For the last 37 years Jim Morris has led his team of passionate activists and associates have produced high quality t shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and more that feature environmental, species survival and wilderness causes with unique and distinctive art and designs. Looking for organic t shirts? We have a collection of these.



The catalog is mailed twice a year and is updated with new designs.Jim Morris T Short company specializes in creating custom t shirts that can utilize our art/designs and yours as well. These are often part of fundraisers for specific causes.


We are working with them on database organization and management for b to b and consumer facing. We will be managing and providing strategic direction for new email efforts on wholesale, custom and consumer sides of the business as well as an expanded and refined digital marketing efforts.

World Violence needs to stop

This is a real simple post. We are living in a world that is losing respect for life and basic principles of respect for life. Ideologies and religions(questionable some of them IMHO) now are endorsing the executions of those who do not share the same beliefs. The concept of dialog and tolerance has been lost.

If we wish to survive on this planet as a species and actually thrive we must re learn tolerance and an acceptance for differences.

Please lets get beyond this senseless violence.

Welcome The Vortex Group from Alaska

We recently have had the pleasure of meeting and on boarding a new Lyris email client, The Vortex Group. A specialist in health care placement in Alaska for over a decade Jim Wilke and his nimble team make sure the remote regions are staffed with good and reliable health care professionals.

I must admit their approach to content is the most authentic non sale.promotion content I have ever seen in regular emails. Jim has done a great job building a loyal following by showing his authentic care and love of the land they live and work within.


Images showing how dry and snow starved the region has been and is this winter


The initial emails were an update and narrative on the Iditarod during this warm and snow less winter. Performance in terms of open rates and engagement is excellent and much above most performance benchmarks.


Thanksgiving Update 2014 for Siewierski Consulting

Thanksgiving is upon us and another year is soon to come to an end. Each year I am amazed at how fast another year seems to go by. It has been a busy and full year to date with much to give thanks for.  As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend we want to thank all our partners and clients for their business, time and consideration. The abundant snow bodes well for our snow clients and partners. The following is an update from this year to date on what is going on at Siewierski Consulting and with our clients.

1. Alpine Replay/Trace - The worlds most popular app for measuring performance and sharing your days skiing, snowboarding anywhere on the planet. This year we have started to re-brand the company as Trace. The app formerly known as AlpineReplay has been re-branded as TraceSnow. More and more resorts has selected TraceSnow as there platform for an app - resorts partners include Intrawest Resorts - Winter Park Resort, Steamboat Mountain Resort, Snowshoe, Stratton, Mt Tremblant, Blue Mountain Resort. Canaan Valley, China Peak, Mont Sainte Anne, Stoneham and Ski Vermont are independent resorts/association using the platform for custom medals, contest and to engage their mountain guests.

2. Wishlist - experiential gift giving like you have never seen. Categories include: Urban Living, Adventure, Relaxation, Charming Getaways, Adrenaline, Premium Getaways. Real estate agents from companies like ReMax, 8Z, Coldwell Banker, Fuller Soothby's are using Wishlist for closing gifts and referrals. Companies are using Wishlist for employee incentives and rewards and client thank you gifts that are memorable. Call us to find out more. This past year we added new categories like Premium Getaways, continued to add new vendors and Colorado companies as well as recent launch and expansion into California.

3. Email marketing and digital marketing solutions. - new clients we wish to welcome Include Wishlist, Golf Ball Droppers.

4. Mountain Sports Club - new partnerships with Bring a Friend to ski/snowboard, Learn to ski/snowboard month and Master Fit Enterprise/America's Best Bootfitters. The number of ski areas participating continues to grow as does our membership. The email list we reach out to is now just over 89,000 and growing.

5. Mountain Action Network - Continues to offer digital reach of skiers, snowboarders and mountain sports enthusiasts in our network of site partners. Reaching millions through targeted content site partners.

Please reach out to us with any questions or projects we can help with.