WHISTLER, Canada, December 14, 2004: Ten new gleaming red Pisten Bully's are ready to tame whatever the snow gods dump in their path as Whistler Blackcomb welcomed the new snowcats to its grooming fleet for the 2004/05 season.
The ten new snowcats - carrying a combined price tag of $3.1 million - mark another step toward Whistler Blackcomb's goal of environmental excellence as they reduce emissions by 80 per cent compared to snowcats used five years ago.
The Whistler Blackcomb fleet now totals 29 snowcats entirely dedicated to grooming. The fleet grows to more than 40 when adding in transportation vehicles.
The new Pisten Bullys feature the latest in grooming technical innovations, including state of the art engine technology, allowing the machines to do more work while using less fuel and reducing emissions. These vehicles are meeting emissions standard Euromot 2, one of the strictest off road emissions' standards in the world.
"We are committed to reducing emissions at all levels," says Dave Hennessey, Fleet Maintenance Manager for Whistler Blackcomb. "Grooming machines are by far the biggest users of fuel in our fleet, so the 80 per cent reduction in emissions represents a huge improvement."
Whistler Blackcomb grooms more than 1,200 acres per night. When winter terrain is fully open, that acreage translates to an average of more than 120 runs per night groomed to corduroy perfection. And thanks to the vertical tenacity of winch cats, Whistler Blackcomb boasts the steepest grooming in North America on the Shale Slope of Whistler Mountain.
"We groom the most terrain of any ski resort in North America, so we need the largest fleet and the best models of snowcats to ensure our groomers can help make a corduroy lover's day," says Hennessey. "Grooming is critical for many skiers and riders to have an exceptional on-mountain experience."
"These machines, like the groomers who run them, have to be hard working," says Hennessey. "If you look at the mileage these machines put in over a season, the entire fleet of snowcats could have traveled around the earth about 18 times."