It was during his tenure with Leitner-Poma that Pombo saw
the challenges which came along with steep slope excavation
such as building costly roads to transport equipment, benching
that equipment into a hillside and then restoring the landscape
when all the work was done. What if you could do that same
work in a more cost-effective and environmentally-conscious
way, he wondered? That question helped him realize there
was room for a “niche” player in the excavation industry and
inspired him to start up his own company.
Steep slope excavation
A huge chunk of the work All Mountain does is steep slope
excavation that is beyond the capabilities of conventional
equipment. All Mountain can safely access slopes of up
to 45 degrees without the need to build costly roads or
How do they manage that? The key, according to Pombo,
is the equipment his company deploys. One of the vital
pieces of machinery All Mountain uses is a Spider all-terrain
excavator manufactured by Menzi Muck that can traverse
nearly any kind of terrain. It’s hydraulic “legs” operate level to
any slope and can easily be controlled by the operator on any
kind of terrain. It is ideally suited for tight spaces that larger
machines can’t access. Paired with a Wimmer AB2300 T20
drill attachment, it can provide top hammer, down hole and
injection anchor drilling.
All Mountain has also done a lot of slope stabilization
and restoration work in areas where larger equipment can’t
access steep slopes and the work has to be done with minimal
environmental impact. One of its most recent projects in that
regard was some landslide reparations and prevention work
for the U.S. Department of Transportation in North Carolina.
The company also provides environmental clean-up services
to a number of private companies and government agencies.
It did work in that regard at the Los Alamos National Laboratory
in New Mexico – the site of the Manhattan Project – and also
did some recent environmental remediation on behalf of the
U.S. Navy in Hawaii.
One of the most ambitious projects All Mountain has been
involved in was a massive expansion of the Arapahoe Basin
Ski Area in Dillon, Colo., located about 70 miles west of the
city of Denver. The expansion included the addition of 468
acres of terrain and offers 34 new runs and a brand-new
Pombo’s company was involved throughout the two years
it took to complete the project. All mountain worked closely
with Leitner-Poma to excavate the soil for each of the chairlift
system’s towers as well as its bottom terminal. All Mountain
also did all of the site prep and grading for the system’s bottom
terminal and ground most of the remaining tree stumps using
a masticator or brush cutter.
No easy undertaking
As one might imagine, this project was no easy undertaking.
Pombo says cement had to be flown in by helicopter and
crews had to hike about four miles each day to access the site.
It wasn’t the first time Pombo has done work on behalf of
Arapahoe. As a project manager with Leitner-Poma, he was
involved in the ski area’s last major expansion back in 2007
when it constructed the Montezuma Bowl. Management
was so impressed with the work he did then and the working
relationship the two sides shared, they were anxious to have
his expertise on its most recent expansion.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Brian…and we spent
some time (before this project) talking with him and he really
instilled confidence in us that he could do this project in a way
we would like,” said Arapahoe COO Alan Henceroth.
“We really wanted to have as light an impact on the ground
as possible. All the stakeholders that are associated with the ski
area want us to be gentle on the land and be very sustainable.
They don’t want us tearing things up. We tried to do this in
such a way…that it doesn’t look like a bunch of bulldozers
have been all over the place tearing everything up.
“It wasn’t an easy project. Co-ordinating what everybody
was doing took a lot of work. It took a lot of communicating,
a lot of patience, a lot of understanding the outcomes. Brian
and his team did a great job. We were extremely happy with
the work they did.”
“They want more natural terrain
compared to just leveling the
mountain and pushing dirt where
they want it to go.”
– Brain Pombo, All Mountain Construction
10 April/May 2019 | snowopsmag.com