Band on the snow: Tahoe’s Alpine Meadows unveils movin’, groovin’ musical snowcat
ALPINE MEADOWS, Calif. and#8212; Call it a giant boombox on tracks and#8212; or something like that.
and#8220;More or less that’s what it is, but with a few more bells and whistles here and there,and#8221; said Mike Fallon, the co-designer and builder of Alpine Meadows’ newest, most groovin’ creation.
Fallon, clutching a celebratory 40-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon after its official christening Thursday, spoke proudly over the live music blasting from the rear end of the and#8220;band wagon.and#8221;
and#8220;This was definitely out of the norm for us. But now we hope to expand it, make it bigger and louder,and#8221; Fallon said as people mingled toward the sound of local band Truckee Tribe. and#8220;You’re not going to see a 250-square-foot stage on the back of a snowcat anywhere else.and#8221;
That’s right: A 250-square-foot stage, attached to the back of an eight-ton Bombardier BR 275 snow grooming machine. It was Alpine owner Todd Chapman’s idea, Fallon said, explaining how he and his vehicle maintenance crew converted the cat into a crawl-anywhere concert.
To make it happen, the crew removed the original articulated lift frame and replaced it with an aluminum channel platform, added a steel sub frame, installed piano hinges, and removed the grooming tiller to accommodate stage panels and#8212; among other modifications. Then they installed two, 200-watt amplifiers inside the cab, and four, 100-watt speakers to the roof.
It’s a potential party wherever it goes. And it can go anywhere.
and#8220;The way I feel right now is that it’s not fully completed,and#8221; Fallon said. and#8220;I want people to look at it and their jaws drop.and#8221;