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No Sea to Sky Gondola this winter

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't think this was posted when it occurred a fortnight ago. The main haul cable of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish was cut during the night; police say it was a deliberate act. Almost all of the cars were destroyed and have to be re-manufactured by Doppelmayr. The gondola's operators say they won't be able to re-open until next spring. No one has claimed responsibility and the investigation is ongoing.

    This is an eye-opener for owners of other such lifts around the world. A malicious person with a cordless grinder could literally shatter your operation in a few minutes.
     
  2. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Here's the latest report I can find. Hurts revenue more in the summer and fall than during the winter. There were many weddings and other events, including a concert series, that had to be cancelled and moved to other venues. Almost 100 employees are out of a job unexpectedly. RCMP has confirmed it was a deliberate act but no named suspects yet.

    Aug. 23, 2019, Global News
    Deliberately cut Sea to Sky Gondola cable caused 'damages reaching into the millions'
    https://globalnews.ca/news/5806331/sea-to-sky-gondola-cut/

    I read somewhere that people behind a proposed gondola somewhere else have noted their plan is for a gondola with a triple cable. The Sea To Sky gondola has one cable that holds up the cars and moves them. Cars are not parked indoors overnight as is often done for gondolas at ski resorts.
     
  3. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just wonder how the person who did it wasnt killed or injured by the backlash when the cable parted. Forces involved are immense.

    Most ski resorts only barn gondola cars at night if icing conditions are expected. The additional work required to unload and reload them onto the cable each day adds a fair chunk to the labour bill over a season.
     
  4. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you have a bit of spare time on your hand read this

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/329091-Gondola-cable-snaps

    A few crazy conspiracy theories, serious discussion and some interesting info. Quite funny at times, one guy will just not let go ....
     
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  5. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Got mentioned a little bit in Thredbo chair fall thread
     
  6. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    True.

    From what I've read about Sea To Sky, the situation is a bit different from ski slope gondolas. Closer to what are being called "urban gondolas." Even the ones that are also used during the green season for weddings and other events. There are several new gondolas in the U.S. northeast that have been built in recent years that are clearly meant to be revenue generators when there is no snow. Although some might be able to use an access road to ferry people up the mountain if necessary. I would think those resorts are paying attention to this story as it unfolds.
     
  7. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Possible motive?

    Ballsy as hell to cut one with a grinder!!
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can't understand many of the people in this world....
     
  9. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still trying to decide which one of our ski.com.au conspiracy theorists owns the TGR login "puregravity".
     
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  10. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Your first choice for a suspect would be a disgruntled employee followed by a crime of passion.

    But that is a completely nutso over the top crime. Unkind in the extreme.
     
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  11. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or a monkey wrenching greenie.
     
  12. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Possible, what do the stats say about that possibility?
     
  13. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    perhaps it was "90"% cut and then just let gravity do the rest as you are walking away
     
  14. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Having been involved in cutting post tension-ed cables while demoing concrete structures that is very very difficult to judge. The starting point is to do the numbers on the cable and the load, which is a lot of numbers in this instance. And then it is still hit and miss.

    Edit, the trick would be to make the cut somewhere like say just close to the pulley wheel set or the emergency brake set so that when it lets go it is sucked into the machinery long enough to make a retreat.
     
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  15. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    With absolutely no expertise at all, I thought that if you did it on a tower in the middle of guidance pulleys that would control the direction of the severed ends to some extent. Still cray cray.
     
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  16. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well if gondolas and aerial trams in Australia are a guide, it might be the 'protest lobby'.

    Way back around 1990, when the Cairns to Kuranda gondola was being proposed, protesters threw everything they had at the project in an effort to stop it. They had rallies, they had sit ins, they lobbied politicians and they funded lawyers to contest every finicky detail in multiple planning appeals. The legal stuff delayed the project and cost a lot of money to combat. Bizarrely, almost 30 years later, this project regularly wins all sorts of eco-tourism awards.

    The same protest and clog up everything with lawyers approach was also tried when it was proposed to replace the 1960 vintage Arthurs Seat chairlift in Victoria with a gondola. The gondola was eventually built and opened in 2016, but the protest lobby delayed the project by a fair bit and the extra lawyers fees added a lot to the final cost.

    Now the same demographic are using the same tactics on the Mt Wellington aerial tram project in Hobart. Getting a few politicians to oppose it, protests, and probably in the near future, futile (but expensive) litigation.

    Assuming that similar people exist in North America, perhaps one of them may have gone beyond what his peers were prepared to do and deliberately destroyed a gondola that he and his chums had tried to stop being built in the first place.
     
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  17. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If there was opposition to the Sea to Sky gondola, it was local to the point where it didn't make provincial news media.
     
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  18. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    the person doing it either knew what to do, or was stupidly lucky
     
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  19. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    There was mention of opposition when the gondola was being planned, but the implication was that it faded quickly after it opened. With 200 jobs, that's a pretty big impact on the local economy since more than half are year round. The 75 seasonal employees who had to be laid off are the ones paying a big price. Read somewhere that other local companies have hired some of them.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/2400898/sea-to-sky-gondola-cable-cut

    https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2019/08/15/ski-areas-vigilant-sea-sky-gondola/
    ". . .
    With a robust criminal investigation underway, the search for answers into the suspected intentional downing of Squamish’s iconic gondola is underway. While limited in what he can discuss given the ongoing investigation, Sea to Sky Gondola General Manager Kirby Brown suggested that whoever carried out the brazen act would have needed a fairly specialized skillset.

    “I’ve got to stay away from speculating on the classification of the type of person who would be able to do this, but I would just say [that] this is a unique individual, just in terms of [having] the wherewithal to do this,” he said.

    The cord was cut somewhere “mid-span,” he added, not wanting to publicize the precise location.

    “There are a couple routes they could have taken,” Brown said. “[That’s] the tricky part of being in the middle of wilderness. It’s not like there’s only one way in.”

    After scaling one of the gondola’s massive towers, the suspect (or suspects) would have then been faced with cutting through a 52-millimetre-thick cable engineered to handle “incredible weight, under extreme tension,” for years, said Brown.

    He believes the line was cut straight through and then fell immediately with the individual still on the scene.

    “It was instantaneously catastrophic,” said Brown. “We know exactly when it happened—to the minute.”

    While the incident took place when the gondola was closed, Brown suggested that someone still could have been hurt, whether it was someone who was hiking underneath the line or a worker in one of the terminals.
    . . ."
     
  20. cruisin along

    cruisin along A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It is just such a willfull destructive act on something that allowed folk to get to a most spectacular viewpoint without having to hike for hours up a mountain. It gave access to anybody and everybody no matter their fitness level.
    I hope they find those responsible.
     
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  21. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  22. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    what a crazy bastard to do this..... Must have been a massive grudge
     
  23. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fantastic place to visit

     
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  24. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think I first read about this in an Instagram post of Unofficial networks (not 100% sure) but wherever it was, there were a LOT of posts that were very opposed to the S2S gondola which applauded the destruction as neccesary environmental activism I thought was interesting, given the torism it brings to Squamish. We rode it down several times in the 2 summers we were ther after having done the various hiking options to get up, then had lunch on the deck. It's a real shame if it actually was vandalism.
     
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  25. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  26. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Is it known for sure that it was an angle grinder? Surely there are other ways to cut a cable. Again from a position of complete ignorance, but would thermite or shaped charges work? They would potentially give lots of time to get away.
     
  27. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure if police have confirmed the cutting method, but I presume thermite would leave a specific residue that could be identified and the damaged cable would look different if cut versus explosives.

    A battery operated angle grinder would be very simple to use
     
  28. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wouldn't you cut it at the back of the bull wheel?
    The 2 ends and cabins then fly downhill
    Theoretically
     
  29. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ropes and cables unravel unless cut clean fast. Could get reeeeal messy
     
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  30. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    So if you're law enforcement you'd be looking for someone who knew their way around a tensioned tramway cable
    The suspect pool just diminished somewhat
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Case closed.
     
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  32. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL

    That scene was very plausible