Village Terrain Park, snowmaking improvements for Diamond Peak


Courtesy Diamond Peak

Community-owned, fiercely independent and community-driven – those are the key differentiating factors that make Diamond Peak distinct in the Lake Tahoe ski resort scene.

As a community-owned ski resort, Diamond Peak stands out in the Tahoe Basin and greater U.S. ski industry as a beacon to skiers and riders looking for a friendly, non-corporate vibe. In addition, as the only Lake Tahoe resort to achieve STOKE Certified status, it’s a great choice for skiers and riders concerned about supporting environmentally sustainable resorts, according to a press release from the resort.

The resort is scheduled to open for the 2019-20 season on Dec. 12; conditions permitting.

Village Terrain Park

Terrain park skiers and riders who got a taste of the Village Terrain Park last year will be stoked to hear that the same crew that revolutionized the terrain park scene at Diamond Peak last year is back again and planning even more innovative features for year two.

Fresh off being invited to build at Snowboarder Magazine’s Superpark 22 event this past spring – an honor extended to only three of North America’s top terrain park teams – the Village Park crew has spent the offseason dreaming up new ways to fill the park with fun features for all levels of skiers and riders.

“Last winter, during the Village Terrain Park’s first season in existence, we received so much great feedback from the community of skiers and riders who had the chance to ride the park,” said Matt Melilli, Diamond Peak’s Slope Maintenance Manager and Lead Terrain Park Builder, in a press release. “This winter the entire terrain park crew is excited to take things to the next level – incorporating some of the great ideas our community had as well as some of the new concepts we’ve been dreaming up all summer long. We really hope everybody will come check out what’s going to be new this winter, and then let us know what they thought.”

Accessible from all areas of the mountain, the Village Terrain Park’s location allows park riders to explore more of the mountain before taking a lap through the park, or simply enjoy quick park-only laps via the Red Fox chairlift. The Village Terrain Park has created a comprehensive arena for Diamond Peak’s park staff to build features for all ability levels (from beginners to experts) and conditions.

The Village Terrain Park is the brainchild of Melilli and Assistant Slope Maintenance Manager Tim Hay, both of whom have extensive experience constructing boundary-pushing terrain park features for events such as the Burton U.S. Open, the Dew Tour and Snowboarder Magazine’s annual Superpark showcase. Both Melilli and Hay are excited to debut a huge selection of rebuilt and new progression-oriented boxes and rails in the Village Terrain Park this winter, as well as show off the shaping capabilities of Diamond Peak’s three PistenBully Park Pro grooming machines.

Upgraded snowmaking

Diamond Peak Ski Resort has purchased four new TechnoAlpin TR8 high-efficiency snowmaking guns designed to produce more snow during all types of snowmaking conditions with less noise.

The addition of these new snow guns will allow Diamond Peak to increase the probability of opening the ski area earlier and with top-to-bottom terrain, even during winters in which the resort is reliant on 100 percent man-made snow during the early season.

TechnoAlpin’s latest design, the TR8 snow gun is designed to require less maintenance and produce more man-made snow per hour, even during marginal snowmaking conditions. The new design of the TR8 snow guns requires just one electric motor to power the entire machine, making the units more reliable, more efficient and less noisy than previous models of snow guns.

The new TR8 snow guns also come equipped with TechoAlpin’s latest ATASSplus software system, which optimizes snowmaking based on weather conditions and forecasted snow needs. ATASSplus makes energy-efficient snowmaking easier and the software is able to communicate directly with Diamond Peak’s SNOWsat grooming management software (courtesy of PistenBully), which can provide the snowmaking system with real-time information on snow depths based on Diamond Peak’s snowcat grooming fleet.

The four new TechnoAlpin TR8 snow guns add to Diamond Peak’s snowmaking system of 14 existing snowmaking fan guns, and a broad array of HKD high-efficiency snowmaking towers and compressed air-water snowmaking guns, which collectively cover 75 percent of the developed terrain at Diamond Peak Ski Resort.

“We are super excited to add these new TR8 snow guns to our fleet of snowmaking equipment here at Diamond Peak,” said Diamond Peak General Manager Mike Bandelin, in a press release. “These guns will not only allow us to open the resort with more consistent and better snow quality during the early season, but they’re also a lot quieter than the older air-water guns and make a lot more snow for the same amount of energy, so they’re better for the environment too.”

New PistenBully 400 ParkPro 4F groomer

For the second time in two years, Diamond Peak has invested in a new grooming machine to stay at the forefront of slope maintenance in the Tahoe Basin. The resort’s new 400 ParkPro 4F grooming machine is the third ParkPro groomer in Diamond Peak’s fleet of five snow cats.

The PistenBully 400 ParkPro 4F comes equipped with PistenBully’s newest Cummins diesel engine technology, which burns cleaner and allows for more power when needed. The 400 ParkPro 4F groomers in Diamond Peak’s fleet also include PistenBully’s SNOWsat snow depth monitoring system, which allows the resort’s snow surfaces team to more accurately monitor snow depths on the ski runs and see where additional snowmaking is needed throughout the season.

The SNOWsat system also tracks all aspects of Diamond Peak’s snow cats operations including run time, gas consumption, GPS tracking on the mountain, and service maintenance, and communicates directly with the new TechnoAlpin snow guns when applicable.

While Diamond Peak’s ParkPro groomers will be heavily utilized in building the Village Terrain Park, these machines will also be used in grooming the Child Ski Center learning area and bunny slopes off the School House chairlift with new terrain-based learning features, and anywhere on the mountain that the advanced shaping capabilities of these cats will allow for greater efficiency and snow surface quality.

Passholders perks

Diamond Peak’s 2019-20 season pass holders will enjoy at least 58 complimentary lift tickets at 15 (or more) partner resorts across the country this winter – up to four days at each resort.

Participating resorts (as of September) include: Beaver Mountain (Utah), Beech Mountain (N.C.), Bogus Basin (Idaho), Boreal (Donner Summit), Brundage (Idaho), Cooper (Colo.), Homewood Mountain Resort (Tahoe), Lee Canyon (Nev.), Mission Ridge (Wash.), Moose Mountain (Ala.), Mt. Ashland (Ore.), Red Lodge (Mont.), Snow King (Wyo.), Tahoe Donner XC & Downhill (Truckee) and Whitefish (Mont.).

Every Diamond Peak passholder also receives four discounted Bring-A-Friend Tickets, which can be used to bring friends to Diamond Peak.

Guided snowshoe hikes

Join guides from the Incline Village Parks & Recreation Department for Moonlight Snowshoe Hikes to Diamond Peak’s Snowflake Lodge. The snowshoe hikes offer non-skiers the chance to enjoy the slopes of Diamond Peak. The 1.5-mile (3 miles roundtrip) hikes includes guides, exclusive after-hours access to Diamond Peak and Snowflake Lodge, s’mores and hot cocoa.

There will also be light fare available for purchase at Snowflake Lodge. Dates for the 2019-20 ski season include Jan. 10, Feb. 7 and March 6, 2020.

Diamond Cut video competition

Diamond Peak’s video edit contest is back for a second year of community-generated stoke. Last year’s inaugural video edit contest highlighted the incredible local talent we have right here at Diamond Peak with a live screening of the top video submissions at The Chateau at Incline Village.

For year two, we are looking to make the contest bigger and better in every way. Grab your GoPro or video camera, get your crew of friends together and go film yourself having fun at Diamond Peak. You just might win some fabulous prizes. |