While our guests are snuggled up for a long winter’s dream, the ranch hand crew are bustling around like little elves on snowy mornings. Here is a quick behind-the-scenes look at all that gets done on a snowy morning.
The snow removal begins around 4:00 am, with the potential for six operators running our fleet of snow moving equipment. After the machinery is warmed up and the operators geared up, they head out into the storm. Here is a rundown of each piece of equipment and its job on a snowy day:
Bobcat 5600 Tool Cat – This is the newest addition to our fleet, and its job is to blow the snow on the walkways, lodge parking lot, bone yard, and the staff homes down the driveway.
Caterpillar 246C Skid Steer – This nimble machine blows snow in the corral, around the Ranch Hand/Housekeeping building, indoor riding arena, and one of the horse trail loops.
John Deere 6100 Tractor – The big green tractor blows the snow along the main Ranch driveway to the owner’s house and on the main horse trail past Homestead, Sunday pasture, and the Boneyard loop.
2 Honda hydrostatic track drive snowblowers – The operators bundle up and push these small blowers to remove snow from the smaller walkways leading up to each cabin.
Prinoth Bison Groomer – The huge groomer heads out to groom the 15 km of ski trails around the ranch, but also is used to groom 75 km of snowmobile trails in the Routt National Forest. Typically, the grooming of the snowmobile trails starts late afternoon and continues into the wee hours of the morning.
The shovel brigade – Right after staff breakfast, the ski guides grab shovels and hit the decks and any stairs of each cabin so when our guests get up for breakfast, they have a clear pathway down to the Lodge. Just another reason to keep ski guides filled up with plenty of calories!
Most snowy days, the first sweep is done by late-morning, but keep in mind when there is a big snowstorm, we might have to do this huge job a second time later in the day!
Two takeaways from this?
- If you live in a warmer climate, just think of how much time you save in your day!
- Thank goodness for our team of ranch hands who take on this huge task each winter at the ranch!