HELENA – The snow has been a boon for ski hills across the state and keeping runs in top shape requires daily maintenance. At the Great Divide Ski Resort, mountain crewmembers wake up at 4 a.m. to groom Great Divide’s 1,600 acre resort area.
Snow cats used about 8 gallons of gas per hour.
Sever Olson, one of Great Divide’s crewmembers said the hardest part about his job is making sure not to go over the same section twice. He added, “I mean its flat so you know it was there you can’t see the ripples anymore.”
“Focusing on the finished product and that you are doing a good job, it’s only just a drive over the terrain but you have a big HD camera in the top of the snow cat and you got to be watching,” said Olson.
It takes about 15 hours to completely groom the ski resort; three employees have 5-hour shifts.
Olson says his favorite part of the job is, “Definitely the snow, being in touch with it, literally shaping it, I just like snow, it’s fun, and getting to ski at the end of the day is definitely part of it.”
The snow is what brought Olson back to Montana; he was living in Arizona for a while.
He enjoys making sure the resort is in pristine shape for skiers and snowboarders.
The Great Divide is having half price passport sales that will end Sunday. The new season passes go on sale March 1.