It’s More Than A Pretty Paint Job. It’s The World’s First Hybrid Snow Groomer.

Up the hill goes the PistenBully. Quietly. Credit: PistenBully

On the outside, it looks pretty much like all the others in a resort’s fleet. It has a fierce-looking blade up front, a cab in the middle, and a corduroy-making tiller behind. What’s “under the hood” makes the green groomer special.

The PistenBully 600 E+ is on the forefront of environmental kindness. It uses 20 percent less fuel, and its carbon emissions are reduced by 20 percent. In addition, there’s a major reduction in particles released. And it’s also quieter.

Those are major factors because grooming operations go on all night, every night, all season long, manicuring the snow into fresh corduroy for skiers every morning.

The green groomer is called the E+ because it makes its own electricity. That electricity powers its work-horse equipment including its tank-like tracks and its huge corduroy-making tiller. It’s a hybrid!  It’s the world’s first diesel-electric snow groomer.

Alta got one of the very first PistenBully 600 E+ in the country. “The 600 E+ is a step towards the future just as we are seeing with electric cars,” said Buck Boley, Alta’s Director of Equipment Operations. “It’s a great snowcat, and we are happy to have one.”

Other resorts that have a 600 E+ include: Bromley, Cranmore, Jiminy Peak, Park City, Heavenly, Alpine Valley, WI, and Crystal Mountain, WA.

The groomer has joystick and lots of knobs and dials. A steep learning curve. Credit: Harriet Wallis

Taking a snow groomer for a test drive and getting it delivered is more complicated than buying a new car. Alta’s came from Peterson Equipment, the regional, Utah-based PistonBully dealer that’s been in the groomer business for nearly 60 years and was named the top snow groomer dealer in North America. Alta, now in its 82nd year, has earned many awards for its environmental commitment and leadership, so its 600E+ fits right in as a strategy to reduce environmental impact.

Looking to the future, total electric groomers are being tested, but they’re not yet ready for production, said Eric Kircher, a PistenBully Trainer and Technical Advisor. Kircher is an expert who travels to resorts to teach the fine points of groomer operation.

Nitty Gritty Specs About The PistenBully 600 E+

Where Manufactured: Germany

Engine: 6-cylinder, in-line Mercedes Benz

Fuel and Tank: 73 gallons, diesel

Speed: 12 mph, continuously variable depending on the work it’s doing

Torque: Its electric motors have full torque as soon as  they start to turn at very low engine rpm.

Turning Radius: On the spot

Weight: About 10 tons

Cost: About the same as a large house.

One Comment

  1. Alicia Schilder says:

    Interesting story! Is that Craig Wallis in the cab in the picture?

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