GONDOLA REPAIRS TO COST MILLIONS
12th August 2019 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on January 15th, 2020
The Sea To Sky gondola in Canada had its cable cut in a criminal act. Most of the 30 cabins plunged to the ground.
The operators are still assessing the damage but they estimate that between 18 and 20 of the gondolas will need to be replaced along with the main cable.
They say the criminal investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is ongoing with damages reaching “into the millions”.
The lift in Squamish, north of Vancouver in British Columbia, was not running at the time and no one was hurt.
It’s thought that a cable was deliberately cut in an act of sabotage.
The gondola’s manager told the Canadian broadcaster CBC that maintenance had recently been carried out on the cable and it had been in good condition.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called in on Saturday morning after lift employees found the haul rope and several of the eight-person cabins on the ground.
It is believed to have happened at about 4.30am.
“We are thankful that no guests or staff were on the gondola and no injuries were sustained in the incident,” the Sea To Sky Gondola team said in a statement.
“Our efforts are focused on the well-being of our incredible team, working with the RCMP and determining steps towards reopening.”
It’s not clear when that will be.
The company is working with the lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr, to determine timelines for replacement equipment.
“Until such time as a cause has been definitely identified, Police are treating this as criminal in nature and have not ruled out that this was a deliberate act,” the RCMP said in a statement.
“We recognize the potential of what could have been and are thankful that no one was injured.”
Officers have since been working with safety officials and the lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr, and have been up on the pylons as part of their investigations.
“The RCMP is asking for anyone with information or anyone that was in the area at the time to please come forward,” the statement says.
“That includes hikers, climbers and campers who were in the areas of the Sea to Sky Gondola as well as the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park between 4:00 am and 9:00 am.”
Sabotage of lifts is, sadly, not unheard of, as we have reported:
The Sea to Sky gondola rises from Howe Sound to 885 metres in 10 minutes.
It gives access to hiking, climbing, mountain bike runs and, in winter, snowshoe trails.
There are viewing platforms, a suspension bridge and a restaurant at the top.
The gondola remains closed for the foreseeable future.