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Chair down on Gunbarrel, Thredbo?

Discussion in 'Thredbo' started by azzski, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The TGR forums thread on the Squamish gondola makes for fun parallel reading https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/329091-Gondola-cable-snaps

    The armchair conclusion over there so far seems to be that

    1. the Mounties are very tight-lipped and don't like to say anything, and definitely not anything inaccurate they might have to take back, so if they've come out and said it was sabotage, it almost certainly was.

    2. It seems like the most likely method really was someone literally climbing up a tower with an angle grinder and going to town. Which means

    3. They either had no idea of how insanely dangerous it is to cut a cable under that much tension, or they were insane. It was suggest the search for the perpetrator should begin by following the crows to see if they've found any severed limbs caught in the treetops.
     
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  2. fenrir

    fenrir One of Us

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    Thermite would also do the job, and maybe give them time to get clear?
     
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  3. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That was discussed too. But then the question was, how to get the thermite to stick to the cable long enough to do the job? Some sort of homemade steel or ceramic cable-hugging receptacle that can stand up to the heat for just long enough?

    I thought the oxy torch mounted to a drone was a more likely plan.
     
  4. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    So, it's been a while now and we've been through some weather cycles. Is there a sense (from the regulars) that KT has changed any loading protocols for the Gunbarrel since the chair fell? Are they closing for wind hold any earlier? Are they enforcing a 'full chair' policy on windy days? I would hope they're enforcing 'sit in the proper spot' more closely on windy days.
     
  5. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    yes i have been very reliably informed that investigations are definitely ongoing.
     
  6. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    That was my conclusion too when I started thinking about it
     
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  7. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    There were very clear signs on how to load 1, 2, 3 or 4 passengers when I was there last week, but I do not know if they were new or existing signs.

    On Friday almost everything was closed due to wind (Snowgums & Merritts excepted) and I heard some old hands say, whilst pondering the huge queue for Snowgums, "back when we started skiing they would have been running Crackenback in this wind".
     
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  8. kiter

    kiter One of Us

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    They often did . Fixed grip . Rams head was never closed due to wind and they pulled it down and didn’t replace it .
     
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  9. Alleve

    Alleve Addicted

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    They should install the snowgums double from tower 10 to the current ramshead top-station when they eventually replace the snowgums. KT wouldn't do it though. It doesn't help beginners
     
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  10. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    my car is packed and I am excitedly looking forward to a weekend of deathbarrel
     
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  11. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am planning on risking my life on Tuesday. Hope it’s not too freaky windy.
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hoping I can convince my inters to take Gunbarrel tomorrow. Was salivating over HN today!
     
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  13. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They closed kosi and gunbarrel last friday in reltively low NW winds.
     
  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Okay If they're going to over react and blame "wind" for everything and close chairlifts whenever there is a light breeze, then they really should install some fast top to bottom surface lifts for people to use when the chairlifts are closed.

    No, not some wonky T-bar that struggles to run at 2 metres a second, but maybe a 5 metre a second Poma lift. Personally I'd like a couple of fast nutcracker tows to keep the riff-raff away, but that is probably pushing things a bit far, so Poma lifts will do.
     
  15. db2567

    db2567 One of Us

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    I was on Merritt's yesterday afternoon after the wind picked up(and after the blackout) and all bar one ride I was on my own.
    I could see the other chairs ahead of me with only 2 riders were have a decent swing going on.
    All the chairlifts now have professionally printed bright yellow where to sit signs.
    All the hand down white boards are gone.
     
  16. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Smiling at the icy winds walking into the office today. A few hours of work and then it's time for the drive again. Thinking it might be worth picking up some skis this weekend - good cover but will likely be quite firm, so maybe few hours on board and then work on this skiing thing. Any alternative assessment of the playing surface?
     
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  17. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    If SafeWork NSW really is still investigating (as seems to be the case) I could imagine KT being under strict instruction to put chairs on wind hold at lower wind velocities for the rest of the season, or at least until the report is finalised. I can't imagine them being allowed to just continue with the exact same approach. That would explain chairs closing at relatively lower wind speeds.

    If they had the capacity (and that's a big 'if' ... wishful thinking really) the way to build for windy conditions would be to install a funitel - cabins running on twin parallel haul cables. That's a much bigger investment altogether, requiring much larger top / bottom stations, but wind hold would become less of a problem.

    https://www.doppelmayr.com/en/products/funitel/

    By the way, click on the link at top right on that page to check out the operation of the Galzigbahn Funitel in Austria. That's a mind bender. Let's have one of those :D
     
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  18. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    I've ridden the Galzigbahn, an amazing piece of design.
     
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  19. fenrir

    fenrir One of Us

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    Cost benefit analysis would probably say it's cheaper to pay out the odd serious injury than it would be to install and operate one of these sadly.
     
  20. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You're not wrong, but **** that's depressing.
     
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  21. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

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    I've always wondered if a funitel would provide a solution in Oz winds, acknowledging there are very few if any scenarios where the scale of the operation and commercial returns would make the cost viable. The only scenarios I can think of would be a top to bottom at Thredbo or a reawakening of the old Thredbo valley to Charlottes Pass lift, the Charlottes offering could potentially link Thredbo village to Charlottes with a restaurant and mid near top of twins valleys. Both would have to be about a lot more than skiing, taking in significant tourist and summer offerings. On other words for standard is skiing operations probably way too much $$ involved!
     
  22. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you factor in a loss of reputation, ticket and accommodation sales into that?
     
  23. fenrir

    fenrir One of Us

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    What loss? They've dropped a guy from 10m this season in what could have been a fatal accident and there has been barely a blip due to none of the media applying any serious scrutiny.
     
  24. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Insurance company


    here is your new premium

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

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    Does it make a difference? Most of us willingly do risky activities everyday knowing it could end badly. I think most people treat it a bit like driving. You know there is a chance it could end badly but you also know the odds of you being the one in the wrong place at the wrong time are slim, so you don't worry and do it anyway.
     
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  26. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    But if it happened twice in a year, the media and the opposition would have feeding frenzy.

    While it might not affect the diehards there will be some impact on the fencesitters
     
  27. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good! We are full!
     
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  28. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Had dinner with someone involved in the investigation, including interviewing the victim and physically inspecting the chair, pylon and cable with assistance from local Dopplmayer engineer. To quote the victim "the wind sounded like a train coming and then the chair swung past horizontal, hit the pylon, then it fell". This was corroborated by fresh witness marks on the pylon and chair, plus other witnesses saying the saw what looked like a mini tornado sweep through the area. Neither the chair in front nor the one behind experienced anything. So yes it was a freak wind gust, probably caused by turbulence due the terrain around the top station.

    The victim had only minor injuries, and wanted to keep skiing for the week, until convinced to go home and get checked out by their own doctor.

    Chairs are running slower and seating positions enforced for rest of the season when additional anemometers will be installed.

    I'll take my source well above any rumours on social media or in the press.
     
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  29. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh dont go posting stuff.

    Ruins conspiracy theories that these thread thrive on LOL
     
  30. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    But ... but ... what will the headless chooks do?
     
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  31. art

    art One of Us

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    Unfortunately the rest of us have only heard from your source weeks latter second hand through social media.

    That's a great bit of info pity KT didn't put it in an official statement at the time. Would have made them look on top of it and professional.
     
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  32. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thredbo's "official statement" was that it was a freak gust of wind. The headless chooks refused to accept that. Unfortunately for the decapitated fowls Thredbo seems to have been correct.
     
  33. Alleve

    Alleve Addicted

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    So the freak gust is confirmed... But is the chair falling from the cable a problem with the Gunbarrel Express itself making it more susceptible to wind, or the terrain around it which influences wind? Or could it just be a coincidence that it's the same lift?
     
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  34. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Probably the terrain and hence procedural fix until additional wind sensors fitted around the mountain to identify when the turbulance may occur and hence automatically slow or stop the lift.
     
  35. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It amuses me that certain people think it's the behaviour of headless chooks to ask questions in the absence of any semblance of detailed information. Sounds like a recipe for being taken advantage of. The whole industry of investigative journalism has been wasting their time! Good thing the legal industry never uses investigators.

    Not that I'm a journalist mind you. Internet scepticism is just that. You ask questions until someone fills in the details.
     
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  36. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for posting this.
     
  37. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or you acknowledge that you have NFI and stop being guillotined poultry.

    Internet scepticism is an interesting synonym for unbridled imagination. Why should anyone respond to every cockamamie theory that erupts from the nether regions of an uninformed mind?
     
  38. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Personal attacks aside, I asked questions when I didn't understand how "a gust of wind" could be responsible for what we saw. I felt further explanation was required. If that's headless chookery, someone in your line of work owes an awful lot to guillotined poultry. I don't pretend to know it all, and I will ask questions when I want to know the answers. Someone knowledgeable about the scenario shows up to clarify the situation, I listen.

    I'm very glad your career in the legal industry has led you to unconditionally trust the word of any corporation, regardless of the level of detail provided or your level of knowledge about the situation.
     
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  39. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    You didn't ask questions. You made statements.
     
  40. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reaching for semantics? Really?

    I explained my point of view, which questioned the statement we had. I asked how there could be a person-sized dent in the chair when the rumourmill said the poor guy had jumped clear (that hasn't been answered - but was always secondary to what actually caused chair to fall, and isn't so important now). I asked questions about FOIs. I made statements about how poorly KT handled the social media and press statement situation. I expressed skepticism about "freak gust of wind" being the full story. I acknowledged I was speculating.

    Moving on. Now we have some more information through a 2nd hand source, which is great - not sure skinavy would have bothered posting it if there weren't people still talking about it here. Details about the freak gust - a mini tornado. Something that given the 2016 incident, may well have happened before. That happens once, you may be able to write it off as unlikely to ever happen again. Now we have a second incident... that's a tougher argument to make.

    How will installing additional anemometers actually help in a scenario like this? I get that it will give more accurate representation of the wind conditions on each tower, but freak gusts of wind being what they are, won't all that do is tell what the windspeed was if another incident happens?
     
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  41. Alleve

    Alleve Addicted

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    Well no, because they'll have a more accurate idea of when to shut the lift down
     
  42. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm sure you believe this.
     
  43. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    But the very nature of "freak gusts of wind" - like a mini tornado - means that they aren't necessarily that predictable. They come up out of nowhere - like they reportedly did in this incident, where the chairs either side were unaffected by wind.

    If turbulence around the top station area was likely responsible, you'd think they'll need to do some work to mitigate the possibility of this happening again in the off season (they may well be planning to do this already, we don't know).
     
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  44. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doppler radar.
     
  45. Alleve

    Alleve Addicted

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    Presumably new wind sensors aren't the only new upgrade. New grips wouldn't be an unlikely investment
     
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  46. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm with Legs on this. Thredbo issued a (correct) statement, but the feeding frenzy of the conspiracy theorists chose not to believe.

    I'm pretty sure Thredbo had lawyers, saftey experts, government investigators and public relations experts crawling all over it, advising them what can and should be done.

    If there really was an issue, I doubt very much that GB would continue to operate - their insurance wouldn't pay up if they continued to operate under those circumstances and someone was injured.
     
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  47. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Sensors may not actually be on the lift itself, but around the features causing the turbulence so that there is some warning of when to stop the lift.

    If that isn't feasible then then current procedural fixes will have to remain (run slower, enforcing seating positions, windhold more often)
     
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  48. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting I heard that Doppelmayr only very recently got involved. Certainly not on the day.
     
  49. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Somebody would have been asking Mr Doppelmayr some questions quite soon.
     
  50. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ... and Leitner-Poma may be hiring an extra sales rep in Australia if Doppelmayr is found to be partly responsible.
    While Doppelmayr replaced that grip on their new lifts a couple of decades ago, a finding against their grip will still probably dent Dopps image a bit.