The electric snowmobile wasn’t the first joint project linked to Greg’s job at Aspen Snowmass. As lift maintenance director, he also oversees Snowmass’s Alpine Coaster. One day, says Connor, his dad came home with a problem he wanted his son’s help with: People were going too fast in the coaster cars. Working together, the pair came up with a system to sense, measure, and, when needed, slow down the cars. Connor, then 13, wrote the code for the system. “He got it right instantly,” says Greg. “It worked the first day — that’s just amazing.”
Fast forward a couple years, and the father-son duo pitched the idea of building an electric snowmobile after Greg worked with Taiga Motors, testing its electric-sled prototypes at Aspen Snowmass. On their own aside from Ski Co. funding, they planned, designed, and built the machine — using mostly recycled parts — over much of last winter. Testing in the spring revealed a few minor issues, and after tweaking a few parameters in the battery management system, the snowmobile should be put to use in the winter of 2021–22, either hauling supplies for on-mountain restaurants or pulling young children in ski school programs at Buttermilk.
Both Connor and Greg say they learned a lot from their biggest project to date.
“It feels good to see all the work that we put in go somewhere,” says Connor. “It’s always a process to fine tune, and I’m excited to see where this can go.” Adds Greg: “With what we know about batteries now, I know we can build the next electric car.”