SKI TRAIL GROOMING EQUIPMENT
STILL THE FAVOURITE
The snowmobile is still the most effective and appreciated vehicle
for trails grooming, even if the market does not offer a wide range
of specialized work-snowmobiles suitable for such demanding and tough
task. Snowmobiles are being used to tow a variety of implements designed
for grooming, levelling, compacting and setting tracks, either on
fresh or old hard snow.
The experience gained in the last years has been shared by users and
manufacturers, thus reaching a grooming quality level close to the
snow-cats. Alpina is currently the only manufacturer offering twin-track
heavy-duty snowmobiles and thanks to its 20 yrs. experience, it has
gained an important reputation in this field offering innovative and
clean machines and trail grooming equipment at an affordable price.
Many groomers forums do mention Alpina's machines as the best trail-grooming
solution. Also the organizationw of Oslo 2011 WM Championship and
of the Masters World Cup in Asiago recently chosen the Sherpa 1.6
VCT for the cross-country ski-trails preparation, and this is a clear
signal that despite of the constant technology and technique changes,
the snowmobile is always an essential machine in ski trails preparation.
F-250 SKI TRAIL GROOMING EQUIPMENT
Today Alpina's snowmobiles can be equipped with a brand new implement
engineered for xc-ski trails, small alpine-slopes, sleight-slopes.
The Alpina F-250 is the new advanced ski trail grooming equipment
with technical features on the fore-front of the modern grooming technique.
Some features of the new F-250 have been inherited by the F-One model:
the grooming width is still 180 cm (7.1") or 250 cm (9.8") including
the side flaps. The grooming blades system too is derived by the F-One,
with the adding of a 3rd row of blades (+50%) for a more accurate
The Flexi-Blade system keeps the blades in contact with the snow surface
without damaging the soil in case of low snow conditions. The new
twin-stage flexible finisher developed by Alpina is made of a new
flexible and wear-resistant compound, extremely resistant to ageing
and UV exposure.
The track-setter with electric lifter and gas pre-load is another
innovation introduced by Alpina in Nordic grooming: the tilling blades
with Alpina Vibra-Cut electric system set an even and compact track
with every snow condition. The track-setter plate is lined with gliding
plastic layer, and can be shifted from side to side of the trail,
or coupled with a second track-setter to set dual tracks.
The F-250 is run from a smart keyboard with LED illumination installed
on the Sherpa; from the same keyboard you can control work-lights
and additional devices, all through a by-3-wires system (Alpina Digital
Control Network) similar to a Can-Bus system.
Differently by the F-one, the F-250 has not an on-board gasoline power
plant and hydraulic circuit: it's all driven by electricity supplied
by the Sherpa. The F-250 has therefore much lower purchase and operation
With single or double pass, according to the trail's width, the
F-250 sets a track and corduroy quality close to a snow-cat. The snow
is levelled and worked by the 3 rows of blades, and the finishers
produce a firm corduroy with a rifling thinner than snow-cats, for
a better "feeling" with the ski. The cutting depth can be adjusted
from the snowmobile with a very high precision, and this feature is
very important when grooming at a competition event. For example,
at Oslo 2011 XC Ski Championship, the Sherpa was used to restore the
trails between each relay.
The use of any other vehicle would have plough the snow in the lowest
layers too, making impossible to continue the competition before the
snow could freeze and harden again. The Sherpa was able to cancel
the skiers traces and renew just the top layer of the snow, keeping
unchanged the base.
The F-250 must not be seen only as an integration to an existing snow
grooming fleet but a primary trail grooming equipment too. With the
current changes occurring to the world's economy, the availability
of cheaper snow grooming machines is a welcome opportunity.