The New G2
What is it about a Kässbohrer Pisten Bully that skiers love? It has to be one of the most ungainly looking vehicles ever made. Coming down the trail, the pisten bully sounds like a space ship has just landed, and especially in the twilight or darkness, it can look like a prop from "Mars Attacks."
The McCloughan family actually owns 3 pisten bullies. Dave and Barb Tuttle originally bought this one for Bearskin in 1987:
And in the early 1990's, little Quinn McCloughan used his allowance money to buy 2 pisten bullies like this:
There are times when it would be nice to have all 3 pisten bullies out grooming our trails, but unless you are a plastic Playmobil guy you wouldn't be too happy skiing in the track left by the ones Quinn bought.
So recently, after attending a very informative grooming clinic with some of the top names in cross country ski trail grooming, Bob and Quinn made a decision to buy an additional new piece of grooming equipment for Bearskin's trails It's called the Tidd Tech G2 and is pulled behind the heavy duty grooming snowmobile.
Maplelag, ABR, Birkie Trail, Afterglow, Sugarbush and Lutsen are some of the Nordic ski centers using this equipment now and their groomers give the G2 excellent reviews.
It so happened that the company brought the G2 out for us to try on 3 days last week when many hours of rain followed by subzero temperatures made grooming very difficult. Once our groomers got the hang of using the G2 (after a bit of, ahem, "user error") they were amazed at how well it renovated the trails, even in very undesireable conditions. They especially appreciate that it's not as great a time and money commitment to take it out to improve just a section of a trail that is no longer top notch. They also like the idea that both the Pisten Bully and the G2 can be out on the trails at once, which could speed up the time it takes to groom Bearskin's section of the system. Overall, we've had very positive feedback about the Bearskin grooming this year but the skiers who have been out on the trails set by the G2 this week especially had rave reviews for the results.
But don't worry–we certainly won't be giving up on our beloved Pisten Bully anytime soon. It's been out before sunrise many mornings recently, chugging along the trails like some weird unexpected apparition. It will continue to be our primary grooming equipment. The G2, though, should give Bearskin additional options for creating great skiing conditions on some of the most beautiful ski trails in the Midwest as well as help keep Bearskin at the forefront of current grooming technology.
If you visit Bearskin, be sure to ask Bob, Quinn or Andy about the new G2. They love talking about it and as they perfect their grooming skills with this new equipment, they will really appreciate your input and opinions on how well the G2 is working.