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Do the bashers still bash?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Late at night last night I was lying in bead and looking at the masses of snow falling in the alps, I just had a random thought - in France with the lifts shut, and essentially pistes empty, do the piste bashers still go about the nightly work maintaining the pistes and bashing all the new snow. With resorts still having a chance of opening I assume they do? And what impact does the lack of ski traffic over the past month have on the piste quality, especially thinking whether it maintains it's base better later in the season?

And finally.. is this a stupid question?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Handy Turnip, here around two thirds of lifts/pistes are open, but snowmaking and piste bashing is clearly evident on other pistes too. Whether this is because these pistes might subsequently open, or to preserve snow quality, or to make the area safe for tourers or simply to give the piste workers something to do is not entirely clear.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Piste basher does a loop in the morning here.
It does the hiking & XC trails, the sledge slope and the ONE ski slope.
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Must be expensive to make snow and piste bash with no ticket sales, and just those free loading tourers using the pistes. Toofy Grin


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 14-01-21 14:12; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I thought this was going to be about the EOSB.
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I'm waiting for a snowHead called Bishop to turn up onna bash . . .
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@ster, there were a reasonable number of day ticket sales over the Christmas/NY period and on sunny weekends, together with the season ticket sales of course. But I'm sure it's a long way short of a normal season.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@queenie pretty please, thats Austria? OP was talking France and I think their resorts were shut at Xmas and are still shut.

So assume they aren’t/can’t sell day tickets.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@ster, sorry I looked at the heading of the thread only.
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Aren't the government making furlough payments anyway?

So they may as well get something done for it.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
queenie pretty please wrote:
@ster, sorry I looked at the heading of the thread only.


NP and its good to hear that at least some places are open and are doing ok.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@ski3, it's a slightly different scheme in Austria. Hotels, retail and gastronomy (and in reality any affected businesses) can put permanently contracted staff on "Kurzarbeit" (short time working). They still have to work, but on reduced hours, and the government subsidises a portion of the loss in pay. For business owners there are hardship funds and compensation payments. I'm not sure if the lift companies are included in this. Ski schools certainly are, but most have very few permanently contracted staff. Clearly the lift companies have employed fewer seasonal staff this year, but fixed costs such as rental of the land are still there.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I guess there's a lot of the 'mountain maintenance' work that still has to take place, regardless of the resort being open or closed. You'd still need to be doing avalance checks/controls - OK there shouldn't be any people for one to hit but they can cause expensive damage to chair lifts, mountain restaurants, etc if they hit them.

So you have to have those people, and they have to be able to get up/around the resort efficiently, so you're going to be running some bashers. And if you're running some you might as well run them all, keeping your staff employed/in the area so they are still there when you want them next year. Plus if your leader pops up on TV tonight and says "Ski resorts can re-open from Saturday" you're good to go, not running around panicing.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
From watching the webcams in Les Gets pistes have been bashed and artificial snow made. Not as frequent or as much as normal.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mjit,
Quote:

And if you're running some you might as well run them all, Not really!! Why spend money doing things that won't get you any return at all? Exactly, you won't.

keeping your staff employed/in the area so they are still there when you want them next year. This isn't how seasonal employment contracts typically work in France, at least, as explained to me.

Plus if your leader pops up on TV tonight and says "Ski resorts can re-open from Saturday" you're good to go, not running around panicing. Assumes you want to "go". Considerable talk round here that with xmas/NY gone it's increasingly unattractive to open for the remains of the season.


All that said, there's definitely some activity up on the hills round here.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I suppose Covid could be regarded as a dry run for climate change. Eventually a season will come where it is just too warm to make snow and there won’t be enough skiing to attract customers into an area. What would happen then?
With Covid this year there is plenty of snow but no customers. Presumably this year will test the financial resilience of the ski lift companies to endure a really poor year?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Here anyway, it depends. Leading up to Christmas they were preparing things for opening. Several pistes further up the mountain were open for ski clubs as were the lifts. Over Christmas up to last weekend there were several pistes prepared, control up the mountain, etc ongoing. However as of last Monday this has been pared right back as imminent opening is less and less likely. A couple of pistes above the resort are used by ski clubs and the glacier is open as necessary for elite athletes. However yesterday as I skinned up I realised that the blue run down to town from 2100m was in fact pisted. It isn't today. I think it may be a biproduct of the stade being pisted down here for a competition yesterday. I'm not sure exactly where the machines all are but suspect they are all up the mountain so pisted the blue on the way down and back after pisting the competition pistes.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Peter S wrote:
I suppose Covid could be regarded as a dry run for climate change. Eventually a season will come where it is just too warm to make snow and there won’t be enough skiing to attract customers into an area. What would happen then?


Climate change won't be a sudden thing like that. It'll be a case of opening a week later and closing a week earlier, and making sure you can get back from the higher pistes when the lower ones don't have enough snow.

Quote:
Presumably this year will test the financial resilience of the ski lift companies to endure a really poor year?


Just because a resort has got through covid, it doesn't mean it is financially resilient afterwards. Covid will be damaging the balance sheets of most companies (not just ski area operators). Those who previously had lots of debt will go bust. Those who previously were in good health will have more debt.
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