Sunday River Terrain Parks Benefit from GPS Technology

If you’re like the rest of the Sunday River family, you’re amazed by not only the quality of our terrain parks this year, but also, by how quickly the park crew has pulled everything together. T72 has been a huge hit for skiers and riders alike since its “First Drop” in early December—it’s almost as if the Parks Crew had a trick up its sleeve. Well, in some respects, they did.

Sunday River T72

Photo shot on Feb 7 of the full-length T72 rebuild.

Along with T72, a brand new GPS technology made its debut here at Sunday River this year, and was actually developed by one of our very own resort Team Members. Caleb Hamilton, the owner and operator of Destoy Terrain Parks Lab and a member of Sunday River’s Terrain Parks Crew, developed the GPS tool alongside Raven Industries, an agricultural technology company. The GPS technology, which is usually used for farming, has been modified for use with snow.

Sunday River Terrain Parks Manager Morgan Rudd says that the uses and benefits of the technology are “limitless.”

“It allows us to see real-time snow depth where we’re sitting, as well as plot out straight coordinates,” he explains. “We can lay out a straight line within the trail to line up all of the features.”

The tool can also be used for measuring the distance between features, such as rails and jumps, as well as the pitch of the trail.

The technology has also improved efficiency immensely for the Sunday River Terrain Parks Crew, allowing them “to build Trail 72 quicker, with less snow” than ever expected, since the GPS system allows detailed, accurate measurements of snow depth.

“We’re able to see exactly where the snow is and [move it to] the exact spots [in which] we want [it],” Rudd says.

This also allows the system’s user to operate grooming machines in a safer, smarter manner.

The whole process begins during summer months and involves mapping out the terrain when there’s no snow on the ground. Rudd says that while this technology has an obvious value during the busy winter season, including that of increased grooming and snowmaking efficiency, it can be very beneficial to summer work, too. So far, T72 is one of very few trails on which the GPS tool has been used and Sunday  River is proud to be the first resort to adopt this game-changing new technology.

For more information on parks, updates on terrain, and special park events, visit the Terrain Parks page at sundayriver.com.

*This story appeared in Sunday River This Winter. For more stories, pick up a free copy on stands now.