Kassbohrer/Pisten Bully

After a slow start in Australia in the mid 1970s, possibly due to the predominance of the locally manufactured Bombardier oversnows, usage of the German Kassbohrer PistenBully range has grown significantly since the mid 1980s. While they have continued to be challenged by the long running Bombardier/Prinoth, they remain in regular and widespread use across the Australian snowfields. If you're interested in Pisten Bullies further, their site is here:
http://www.pistenbully.com/en.html

An undated but perhaps early-mid 1970s postcard of an early model Kassbohrer towing skiers out on the main range.
Picture: Manfred Gregg, Capital View Cards Canberra


 c.1990 Mt Blue Cow's 270DS model going about it's work.
Picture: Damien Breitfuss

A nice panoramic shot taken by Damien Brietfuss on top of Mt Blue Cow c.1993 with one of the resort's Pisten Bully 270DS in the foreground left and the top of the Blue Cow ridge chairlift just visible in the right centre.
Picture: Damien Brietfuss

ASB donated this shot of the passenger transport equipped Pisten Bully used for several years to transport skiers from Falls Creek to Mount McKay and Rocky Knolls for skiing beyond the resort, believed dating from the mid 2000s.
Picture: ASB via ski.com.au

Above picture taken at Falls Creek, Spring 2002. Photographer Kathy Wheeler. This appears to be a 200 series fitted out for snow grooming.
Picture: Kathy Wheeler

Below is an excellent series of three pictures taken by Lance Birch during a 2007 ride on one of Mount Hotham's snow groomers, in this case a 300 Series Kandahar.

Picture: Lance Birch http://thezone.firewave.com.au/

Picture: Lance Birch http://thezone.firewave.com.au/

Picture: Lance Birch http://thezone.firewave.com.au/

An account of Lance's trip can be found on his site at: http://thezone.firewave.com.au/thezone/?Year=2007&Month=10

A stunning picture by Charlie Brown of two of Falls Creek's fleet of Pisten Bullies heading out for night grooming work during the 2008 season. The first is a 300W series and the second appears perhaps to be the same.
Picture: Charlie Brown www.mountainside.net.au    

Another great shot by Charlie Brown during the 2008 season, this time of two Pisten Bullies, that on the right being a 300 series and the left appears to be a similar type.
Picture: Charlie Brown www.mountainside.net.au

Nikolas Geyer has kindly submitted this picture he took of a groomer equipped Pisten Bully moving into Front Valley during the 2008 season at Perisher, noting it may be unique as Perisher has typically recently been a Bombardier/Prinoth shop as far as grooming equipment goes. Perhaps another reader can advise on its presence there? Perhaps it was a demo/trial?
Picture: Nikolas Geyer

A terrific action shot of a Pisten Bully passenger carrier by Paul Prieditis at an unknown location in the 2009 season, perhaps Perisher Valley as this looks similar to the PB used for Barakee Lodge shown a few pictures below.
Picture: Paul Prieditis

A Pisten Bully in later life, still apparently ready for grooming work with both blade and sweep, however by this time she may have been the back-up. Picture taken toward the end of season in 2009.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A good start to the 2011 season sees Mt Buller deploying one of it's Pisten Bullies for some grooming, looks to be perhaps a 300 series Kandahar. An article including this picture is featured on ski.com.au at: http://ski.com.au/cgi-bin/admin/news/vnews.pl?ad=-102265-&year=2011
Picture: Andrew Railton

Being one of Australia's larger resorts, Mt. Buller has over a dozen Pisten Bullies of various marques together with quite a few other oversnows, some of them are pictured below following the 2011 season:

A 200 Model at one end of the line-up outside the workshops.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Part of the current fleet, all Pisten Bullies here.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Next along is this pristine 400 series.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A 300 "Kandahar" series, another 300 and the people carrier shown better below.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A 400 series with winch crane.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Amongst the modern Pisten Bullies is this older model still ready for service.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A 300W again with winch crane.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Some of the Pisten Bully grooming equipment fitted to the Buller fleet.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Another older model again ready for service.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A 240D fitted with snow clearing fittings at the front.
Picture: Andrew Collier

An older model again, interestingly fitted with what appears a locally built people carrying body, and also a fork lift attachment at the front.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A younger people carrier based on what appears to be a 200 series, with again what may be a locally built rear body.
Picture: Andrew Collier

I think this is another 200 series, on the mat outside the Mt. Buller workshops.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Also in the line-up was this quite interesting and immaculate Pisten Bully 2009 model Scout with an interesting decal seen in the bottom picture.

Picture: Andrew Collier

Picture: Andrew Collier

Picture: Andrew Collier

During my late 2011 out of season visit to Hans Oversnow's Jindabyne depot, the following two early model Pisten Bullys were seen:

A passenger carrier operated for the Peer Gynt Lodge in Perisher Valley.
Picture: Andrew Collier

A more recent passenger carrier operated for the Barakee Lodge, also in Perisher Valley, which appears to have been recently fitted with a new set of tracks/cleats.
Picture: Andrew Collier

Lance Birch has kindly provided the above picture of a 400 Series Pisten Bully at Mount Hotham during the 2012 season.
Picture: Lance Birch http://thezone.firewave.com.au/

 
Picture: Ambulance Service of NSW via Facebook
 
Australia is blessed with one of the world's best ambulance services, consistently rating in the "most trusted professions" and providing a sterling service. This service includes a good presence at Australia's major resorts including the Kassbohrer/Pisten Bully ambulance conversion seen above in July 2013. On the Ambulance Service of NSW's site, the following comments were made:

".......here's a profile of our snow operation's mighty Kassbohrer. The Kassbohrer is a piston bully 170DR snow groomer which has had an enclosed module fitted to function as an oversnow ambulance. Brought into operation in 1988, paramedics from Jindabyne and Cooma provided input into the design. Affectionately known as "Mumma Kass', the vehicle is left hand drive, with the driver able to communicate with the treating paramedic and patients. The power supply for the vehicle is a turbo charged Mercedes Benz 6 cylinder inline water cooled diesel (152hp) with direct injection. The fuel consumption is approximately 11 litres per hour and has a 130 litre fuel tank. The vehicle can carry two stretcher patients - one stretcher is an Akja modified to be winched into the vehicle; the second stretcher is a sled design to facilitate being dragged over snow if required. Eight metres long and weighing in at 4.4 tonnes, the Kassbohrer's large blade at the front can clear a path through snow, as well as build snow bridges on gullies, creeks or rivers to allow access to most areas of the Kosciuszko National Park. In an emergency, the blade can also be used as a breaking system on steep slopes. The design and width of the tracks allow the vehicle to “ride high” on the snow, minimising sinkage into the snow. The transmission and steering of the vehicle is achieved through hydrostatic and electronic control. On full turn, the tracks contra-rotate, which allows the vehicle to pivot on the spot. This is only performed on good snow and not hard surfaces. It's the vehicle of choice when responding to cases outside the Perisher Valley Resort area when travelling oversnow and to the main range. The changing environment and snow conditions will determine where the vehicle can go. The operator needs to be mindful of the vehicle height during good snow conditions, considering overhanging trees, power lines and ski lift lines as the snow depth increases."
 
With thanks to the Ambulance Service of NSW (via Facebook) for a great outline.
 
Also taken in July 2013 at Mount Baw Baw in Victoria is this nice atmospheric shot of a smaller model Kassbohrer awaiting its next job. I have few records of Mount Baw Baw's fleet so this one was a happy find.
Picture: Joao Tam, Passion Creations, www.passioncreations.com.au
 
A Pisten Bully goes about its grooming work at Mount Selwyn during August 2013
Picture: Andrew Collier