A fantastic day of skiing draws to a close. Most skiers are already enjoying their well-deserved refreshment or getting ready for the après-ski ahead. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon.
For our slope crew, this means the start of their shift. The first step is always to walk around the 523 horsepower beasts equipped with the latest technology. “We do this to spot any minor damages right away,” reports Matthias, one of the seven snowcat drivers responsible for perfectly grooming the slopes in the Ratschings ski area every day. Step two is to oil the many delicate mechanical and hydraulic points.
After all, everything needs to be well oiled when the 5.5-metre-wide blade penetrates the slope to redistribute the snow that has slid down. After the lifts have closed, everything starts right on time, the engines roar, flashing lights illuminate the mountain, and the cutters claw their way into the snow. “All drivers have their own route, preventing the vehicles from crossing each other several times and enabling efficient work without additional routes.”