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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Kids see PistenBully snow groomer at Brighton and they learn to ski too.

Jan 17, 2019 12:06PM ● By Harriet Wallis

These big machines work all night / photo: Harriet Wallis

This year, kids and adults who enjoyed the Learn to Ski and Snowboard program at Brighton got a bonus. They could get up close and see a huge, bright red snow grooming machine -- a PistenBully -- that works all night to fluff the snow and smooth the slopes to make them perfect for skiing.

Ski Utah started the learn to ski and snowboard program 30 years ago. The goal is to introduce children and adults to the sports by offering a low cost package that includes everything: rental equipment, group lesson and lift ticket. Many resorts offer the program in January for $49.

Riding the Magic Carpet up the hill / photo: Harriet Wallis

The Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month program runs through January at nearly all of Utah's resorts. There's still a lot of January, so this is prime time to get outdoors and learn a new sport. It's very exciting to participate and hopefully it will encourage some new, snow sports enthusiasts.

The instructor shows kids their skis / photo: Harriet Wallis
Kids having fun and learning to ski and snowboard / photo: Harriet Wallis

This year, Peterson Equipment, a snow equipment dealer in northern Utah, brought a brand new PistenBully snow groomer to Brighton just so the kids could see it up close. Skiers and boarders rarely get to see the groomers because they work all night. They start as soon as the lifts close and they work all night moving snow around, smoothing the slopes, and making the snow look like "corduroy."

What's more, PistenBully and Peterson Equipment have teamed up with Ski Utah to cover the costs of the Learn to Ski & Ride Program for the 2018-19 season. PistenBully sponsors numerous other campaigns to encourage the next generation of athletes.

Show me a PistenBully

It is nothing like a car. It takes 3 or 4 giant steps to climb up into the driver's seat. There is no steering wheel. Instead, there are gauges, dials, levers, knobs, buttons and a multi-directional joy stick. It takes all that to make it move and to tell it what to do. Driving a PistenBully is not easy -- but the crew that operates the groomers make it look easy.

Watch an exciting video of a PistenBully in action:

This huge machine does a huge job /photo credit PistenBully
It takes all these controls to make it do the job / photo: Harriet Wallis