No Sea to Sky Gondola this winter

sly_karma

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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.
 

MarzNC

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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.
 

sly_karma

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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.
 

robbo mcs

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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.

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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MarzNC

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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.
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.
 

sly_karma

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skifree

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

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.
 

Legs Akimbo

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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.
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.
 

Bogong

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Possible motive?

Ballsy as hell to cut one with a grinder!!
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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gareth_oau

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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.

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

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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.
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.
. . ."
 

cruisin along

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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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gareth_oau

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Fantastic place to visit

C5D75518-60D8-4AEC-BB1D-8BD38CCD0563.jpeg
 
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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.

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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Legs Akimbo

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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.
 

gareth_oau

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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.

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
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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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
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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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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main street

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Was it ever established why it was cut? Environmental activism? pissed off ex employee was bandied around for a while.
@sly_karma or @main street or @Chalkie are closer to the ground and may be able to help.

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/cana...down-to-earth-again/ar-BB192k1u?ocid=msedgntp

The gondola was re-opened in February, but then closed in March because of COVID-19, then reopened in late May. The gondola company put in place a “world-class security, surveillance system” that detects movement 24/7 in all conditions, following the first incident.

“But this individual moved swiftly and moved with great knowledge to the exact location that they needed to conduct this act as quickly as they did,” Brown told the CBC.

The RCMP responded within minutes, Brown said, and had cars on the highway looking for a getaway vehicle, and a dog team on the ground in the dark looking around. “We responded and were able to get out there quickly,” Brown said.

“We have lots of surveillance information that the RCMP are working with right now,” Brown said.

In a Monday statement, the RCMP said they are investigating it as criminal mischief.
 

Chalkie

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https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/cana...down-to-earth-again/ar-BB192k1u?ocid=msedgntp

The gondola was re-opened in February, but then closed in March because of COVID-19, then reopened in late May. The gondola company put in place a “world-class security, surveillance system” that detects movement 24/7 in all conditions, following the first incident.

“But this individual moved swiftly and moved with great knowledge to the exact location that they needed to conduct this act as quickly as they did,” Brown told the CBC.

The RCMP responded within minutes, Brown said, and had cars on the highway looking for a getaway vehicle, and a dog team on the ground in the dark looking around. “We responded and were able to get out there quickly,” Brown said.

“We have lots of surveillance information that the RCMP are working with right now,” Brown said.

In a Monday statement, the RCMP said they are investigating it as criminal mischief.

WTF????

This is truly unbelievable.
 
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sly_karma

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When I heard the news on the radio yesterday, I gasped. Fark me, what is going on in Squampton?

No published result from first investigation, let alone charges. One would think there is some strenuous checking of alibis for key suspects at the moment.
 

gareth_oau

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The article stated that a lot more surveillance security had been installed including motion detectors, and that the RMCP had immediately been notified as it was happening.

But under the circumstances that does seem totally inadequate
 
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sly_karma

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Makes you think funding will be tough to get for another 10M rebuild, given the measures in place didn't prevent this second attack. Hw do you assure the bank you can keep it secure? Fences? Unsightly won't cut it when you're selling scenery. And the attacker/s won't be stopped by a fence if they are capable of cutting a 54 mm steel cable.

What then? Security payrols 24/7? Dogs? Trained bears?
 

sly_karma

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Every time a bear is transported away from a residential area, relocate them to the area under the lift line. Discreet fencing in the bush well back from treeline. Pretty soon there will be too many in that relatively small corridor and competition for food will be intense. Black bears almost never attack humans, but make em hungry enough and they'll nail anything that crosses the fence.
 

gareth_oau

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Makes you think funding will be tough to get for another 10M rebuild, given the measures in place didn't prevent this second attack. Hw do you assure the bank you can keep it secure? Fences? Unsightly won't cut it when you're selling scenery. And the attacker/s won't be stopped by a fence if they are capable of cutting a 54 mm steel cable.

What then? Security payrols 24/7? Dogs? Trained bears?

motion sensing automatic machine guns
 
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