Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort’s new Avalauncher, the Falcon GT will ease the opening of Delirium Dive and will help uphold Sunshine’s stringent safety standards.
Purchased in the 2011 season from Avalanche Mitigation Systems for more than $30,000, the Avalauncher Falcon GT will bolster Sunshine Village’s existing avalanche control program.
“We decided we’d have an easier time getting Delirium Dive open,” said Tim Ricci, Assistant Snow Safety Supervisor.
“The Avalauncher makes avalanche control more efficient and enables us to get those lower pockets of snow. It’s better for our own safety.”
Delirium Dive, one of Sunshine Village’s big mountain areas, can open anywhere between November and March, depending on conditions, and avalanche control is an integral part of a safe opening.
“Once you’re in the Dive you’re committed, there is no traverse out. It’s challenging terrain,” said Mountain Operations Manager Al Matheson.
“They [the snow safety crew] are dealing with snow pack all season. They are intimate with the terrain so they are comfortable.”
The Avalauncher GT Falcon is mounted on Hays Hill and, according to the manufacturer, the machine places a 1.4-kilo payload 2080 metres.
Matheson said that while the Avalauncher provides a powerful tool for avalanche control it doesn’t compromise Sunshine Village’s commitment to environmental conservation.
“The towers the Avalaunchers are mounted on are designed to create minimal impact in the area,” Matheson said.
The Snow Safety’s existing Avalauncher “Snuffy” takes care of the South Side Chutes, including Fat Boy and Pocket Rocket.
Avalanche control at Sunshine Village begins when the snow reaches threshold and continues throughout the season.
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