WATCH: Ski Resorts Used To Groom With Death-Traps Attached At The Waist

WATCH: Ski Resorts Used To Groom With Death-Traps Attached At The Waist

Skiing

WATCH: Ski Resorts Used To Groom With Death-Traps Attached At The Waist

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People like to reminisce about the ‘good ol’ days of skiing’, but I think there’s one thing we can all agree on- the technological advancements in grooming equipment made over the last half-century are a GOOD thing.

The video below shows ski patrollers at Winter Park Resort using Bradley Packer-Graders to groom trails back in 1950s.

The device was revolutionary, at the time, for it’s ability to flatten moguls, chew up loose snow, and create a flat surface for skiers.

Check it out:

Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame: This 1950s footage shows Bradley Packer-Graders in use at Winter Park. This invention, by Stephen Bradley, was a human powered and hand controlled slope grooming machine.

They were of a “slat roller” design. It had the effect of packing half the snow and powdering the rest for a soft, skiable surface. In front of the roller Steve put an adjustable steel blade, spring-loaded to shave the tops off moguls.

Originally filmed on 16mm, this footage shows the pilot’s technique: go straight down the fall line. The drivers were completely dependent on the blade for speed control.

This device ultimately revolutionized this facet of the ski industry and led to Steve Bradley’s nickname, “Father of Slope Maintenance.”

Ski resort employees would probably file more lawsuits than you could count if any resort used something like this today.

I mean seriously, can you imagine? Straight-lining steep slopes with a device that weighed hundreds of pounds attached to you at the hips…Nuts.

It had to be a recipe for disaster, and I can’t imagine how many people were hurt and/or killed before these death traps were replaced by snow cats.

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