Summer operations just wrapped up and we’re enjoying the gorgeous fall colors that have painted our canyon red, yellow, and orange. The mountain was bustling all summer as multiple major projects took place. We opened Phase 1 of Solitude Bike Park and our trail crew did an incredible job. We hope you were able to ride the trails and enjoy a taste of what’s to come for biking at Solitude.
One of the projects we focused on this summer was the installation of three additional Wyssen Towers. These Remote Avalanche Control Systems, or RACS, allow our patrol teams work more safely and efficiently when mitigating avalanche risk in our terrain. Nearly 75% of the terrain at Solitude is impacted by avalanches. Consequently, there’s a lot of work to be done by our patrollers to mitigate avalanche hazards before terrain can open. The addition of Wyssen Towers allows charges to be detonated remotely. As a result, fewer hand charges need to be thrown. Additionally, a level of safety is added for our patrollers working in these areas. When done solely by hand, this work is very time intensive.
These RACS are becoming increasingly mainstream for resorts with avalanche terrain. Last season, we had one Wyssen tower in place. There will now be four of these RACS on the Fantasy Ridgeline. The Wyssen Towers will deliver a larger charge than a typical charge thrown by hand. One blast will cover a larger area. This will speed up the mitigation process and lower the hazard for our workers in these environments. Given that the avalanche mitigation process will be more efficient, we can open terrain sooner for our guests.
A siren on the Wyssen Towers will alert those nearby that it is going to detonate. Additionally, there will be a flashing light. Signage will be present at nearby trailheads to inform backcountry users of these RACS. Some of the Wyssen Towers will be visible from the top of Summit Express. Be sure to keep an eye, or ear, out for them this winter.
To catch up on previous Amber’s Updates, visit https://blog.solitudemountain.com/category/ambers-updates/