January 31st, 2015 in High Camp Happenings
Well, if you don’t know by now we have a new snocat! It has been all over Facebook (check out our Scottish Lakes page) and I think it was on the front page of the Sunday New York Times. Anyway we are giddy with excitement since this is a much newer machine and a lot more powerful.
We bought the PistenBully 240D from a helicopter skiing company in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada. Joe, the former owner, is fastidious when it comes to maintaining machinery which has made the transition absolutely seamless for us. Ryan from Elden Dattage Specialized Hauling (out of Logan, Utah) transported the snocat from Elko, Nevada to our parking lot with the tracks, blade and compactor bar off, so the truck was super long. It arrived in our parking lot on Tuesday, January 20th at noon. We had a wonderful crew helping us Steve Allen handled the complicated reassembly of the cat, which entailed putting the tracks back on and reattaching the blade in front and the compactor bar on the back. He is a mastermind when it comes to problem solving. Rick Youngers operated the front loader. He used it to take the tracks, blade and compactor bar off the truck bed. Even better he was able to manipulate the extremely heavy tracks to help us put the them on the cat, which was awesome. His sidekick Donnie helped also. Matt Meyer, our mechanic, worked with Steve on the project aided by Matt Fields (who drives snowmobiles for us and does our website) and Eric Messerschmidt (our mountain manager). By 5:30 the cat was ready to go!
On Wednesday Matt and Eric “walked” the snocat up the S-road to Mid-Mountain. They then proceeded on up all the way to High Camp grooming and setting track the entire way! Matt brought the cat back down to Mid-Mountain, where it will live and Eric skied down the beautiful snow track with a huge smile on his face. We are hoping to be able to groom some ski track to Glacier View and maybe even Bonnie Brae. Matt will take it slow as he gets to know the machine and what it can do.
This past weekend Kirsten Jewell brought her group up for a three-night stay, a trip they have made for 15 years. It was the perfect group to help us celebrate the new machine. Years ago during a storm our old snocat went down and they ended up staying at High Camp an extra (fourth) night since we were unable to open up the track to camp. This group has great spirit! There were over 20 adults and over 20 kids spending that unscheduled 4th night. We gathered last Sunday afternoon and with champagne and sparkling cider toasted the new PistenBully Snocat and the bright future of Scottish Lakes.
Visit this link to view the Scottish Lakes SnoCat photo gallery.