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Timberline Lift Failure 2/20
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Updated 10 months ago
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11 months ago

This will be hitting the news big time. 

From what I heard, no serious injuries. By now, all should have been belayed down off the lift. I was one of those riding the lift.

Around 9:15 today, lift tower broke on the main Thunder lift. Cross beam snapped off one tower; friend said looked like weld failed. I could see the tower, sans beam. I was told about 20 people fell to the ground, with apparently no serious injuries. I hope that is true.

Tremendous jolt when that happened. Never felt anything like that before, and I was far away from the failed tower.

Thanks to TLine Ski Patrol for a job well done evacuating the lift.

11 months ago
Was on the lift Thursday and told Better half ski that one of the towers was making a huge racket and something was wrong…..Wow…glad ur allright JL…..
11 months ago

glad I chose to go to the knob!

 

11 months ago

Tower that broke was under the natural snow trail on the head wall.

I was over the terrain park, so a good distance away. More inconvenient than dangerous for me. Glad I wasn’t closer to the failed tower.

11 months ago

Clearly this will be a big hit to Timberline. With only Silver Queen lift open, lines are horrible. I’m taking the day off.

11 months ago

Glad you are ok, John, and I hope those who fell are doing ok.  What a scary situation!   Definite kudos to ski patrol!

I was on that lift a good part of this past week, including yesterday.  I didn’t notice any particularly odd sounds, beyond its usual shake, rattle and roll, but I could of been zoning out.  The snow had been very nice this week.

Time to start climbing the mountain.  :)

11 months ago

Too soon to say no serious injuries.  I believe there were two chopper flights to Morgantown.  I know of others taken to Oakland hospital for evaluation.  Some people came flying off the chairs and slammed into the pumphouse, .

Accidents do happen, but the nature of this one should raise the most serious of questions.

11 months ago

Also would echo those who have said that ski patrol did a very fine and professional job with the evac.  I am told that Canaan Valley Resort sent several of their patrollers over to assist.

11 months ago

I just reported a story on this accident here:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/1485

Can anyone provide a reference on when the Thunderstruck lift was first installed, and who the manufacturer is?

11 months ago

Scott FYI.  Not sure if it is accurate.

http://www.skilifts.org/old/install_na1986.htm

11 months ago

Need to add a note to one of my posts above — apparently the chopper deployment from Morgantown was precautionary only.

11 months ago

From Timberline’s Facebook

“Early this morning Timberline’s Thunderstruck triple chairlift suffered mechanical failure, prompting the resort to shut down the lift. Due to this morning’s incident 9 people were evaluated for injury, 2 of which were transported to a nearby medical facility with minor injuries, the other seven were cleared in the field. All other passengers have been safely removed from the lift. We would like to thank Canaan Valley ski patrol, Timberline ski patrol, the local fire departments and emergency services for their prompt response to this unfortunate incident. Life Flight was on the scene as a precautionary measure, but thankfully was not needed. Timberline holds the safety of our skiers as one of our highest priorities.

The Silver Queen lift will continue operating to transport skiers to the top of the mountain. Because of the delays caused by this morning’s lift malfunction, Timberline will keep Salamander Run open until dusk for day skiers, and night skiing will take place as scheduled.

The cause of this failure is yet to be determined, pending a complete investigation by licensed engineers. All of Timberline’s lifts undergo thorough and rigorous inspection in a timely fashion and are in compliance with all applicable safety standards, including federal guidelines for maintenance and annual mechanical inspection and the strict safety requirements of Timberline’s insurance provider. Daily maintenance checks are performed each morning by resort staff, and ski patrol rides the lifts and completes a visual inspection of Timberline’s lifts before they are opened to the public. The resort maintains a mechanic on staff for routine service. In our 30 year history, Timberline has never had a lift failure resulting in injury or in any way comparable to today’s malfunction, and the resort will continue to investigate the cause of this incident to ensure the safety of our skiers.”

11 months ago
Holy crap. I’m glad everyone was for the most park ok. Ny wife is frightened by ski lifts. I regularly tell her nothing bad ever happens. Now this….
11 months ago

I wonder if the new owners will honor the Awesome Pass? 

11 months ago

“Mechanical failure”?  Uhhhhhhh, not quite.

11 months ago

Also the safety of their skiers is but ONE of their priorities!?  Yikes!

11 months ago

That is the most important question that needs answered.

 

David wrote:

I wonder if the new owners will honor the Awesome Pass? 

 

11 months ago
What makes you all think they are selling the farm. I have a feeling they will continue loading 1 out of 3 chairs on the silver queen next season. Think about how empty your ride down will be! KeithT, Im well aware driving is 10x more dangerous. Its why I wish I lived somewhere with public transit.
11 months ago
Will the snow mobile races come earlier than expected this season?
11 months ago

Kudos to the patrol and emergency services for getting everyone off the lift safely, and I hope those who were injured recover quickly. What a horrible thing to happen.

If Timberline’s current owners are in as much financial trouble as we think, then the lawsuits that are sure to come from this will probably put them out of business. Worst case, the mountain closes for good. But I’m looking for a more positive outcome, perhaps one that involves the sale of the ski area to a more professional organization that can install new lifts and fix the snowmaking system, among other things.

My immediate gut reaction was that the current ownership won’t survive this one.

11 months ago

Let me see if I have this straight, 23 folks fell from the lift to the ground…and a number of lawyer/skiers jumped from the motionless chairs to see if they could representXX err..help those injured!?

All joking aside, this was a tragedy for those injured, those stuck on the lift, those charged with rescuing all directly involved, those at Timberline but not involved and Timberline employees and the owners.  We all need to say a prayer for all affected by this incident, and give thanks that more were not hurt, this accident could easily have had much worse injuries if not loss of life!  I am curious as to the manner the chairs/riders fell to the ground, and how far.  Did they fall all the way in one motion, or did the chairs fall slowly, catching themselves on the lift cable before actually hitting the ground.?

11 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Let me see if I have this straight, 23 folks fell from the lift to the ground…and a number of lawyer/skiers jumped from the motionless chairs to see if they could representXX err..help those injured!?

Yeah. Especially if Timberline is found negligent in some way…lack of maintenance, inspections, or whatever. The ambulance chasers (with all due respect to any lawyers on this board) will be all over the victims. I’m not condoning it, but I suspect it’s inevitable.

11 months ago

I have some more information from Tline today.  I was there as well. Not on the lift, but close enough to it to hear the people scream when it broke.  When we got over there, all the excitement was over and there were people stuck on the chairs and laying on the snow.  Tower 12 is the one that broke off at the top. I have a few pictures from the base of the tower i’m trying to upload as well with little luck.

From what i can tell with my limited opinion….One of the pullys on the “Up” side either broke, came off, or somehow snagged the cable.  When that happened, the lift kept running and trying to pull the cable upward and the stress from that literally snapped the weld clean off and the top of the tower went flying towards the “down” side of the lift.  This in turn made all the chairs in the area between tower 11 and 13 drop towards the ground then shoot skyward from the weight of the other chairs on the lift.  This is when I think the people were kind of “launched” from thier seats.  The good thing is that the actual tower when it snapped was between 2 chairs at the time.  If a chair had actually been directly under the pullys, things could have been ALOT worse for those skiers.  I only saw one person that looked like they had a leg/knee injury.  Not sure how many people actually got hurt.  Everyone we skiied past said they were ok, just shaken up.

11 months ago

Kris wrote:

I have some more information from Tline today.  I was there as well. Not on the lift, but close enough to it to hear the people scream when it broke.  When we got over there, all the excitement was over and there were people stuck on the chairs and laying on the snow.  Tower 12 is the one that broke off at the top. I have a few pictures from the base of the tower i’m trying to upload as well with little luck.

From what i can tell with my limited opinion….One of the pullys on the “Up” side either broke, came off, or somehow snagged the cable.  When that happened, the lift kept running and trying to pull the cable upward and the stress from that literally snapped the weld clean off and the top of the tower went flying towards the “down” side of the lift.  This in turn made all the chairs in the area between tower 11 and 13 drop towards the ground then shoot skyward from the weight of the other chairs on the lift.  This is when I think the people were kind of “launched” from thier seats.  The good thing is that the actual tower when it snapped was between 2 chairs at the time.  If a chair had actually been directly under the pullys, things could have been ALOT worse for those skiers.  I only saw one person that looked like they had a leg/knee injury.  Not sure how many people actually got hurt.  Everyone we skiied past said they were ok, just shaken up.

I’ll toss this bit of second hand opinion out. Friend who works with metal saw the cross arm on the ground. Evidence of rust and degradation on part of the weld. Insurance/accident investigators will get to cause(s); don’t expect them to release it to the public.

11 months ago

It is amazing no one was killed.

The real lawyer battle will be among the ski area, insurance company and inspector(s).

The lift won’t open the rest of the year, if it ever opens again. It may be deemed end of life. All the welds on every tower now have to be treated as suspect. With this catastrophic structural failure, I doubt visual inspection will suffice. X-ray inspections?

The failed lift was the more reliable of the two main lifts. The Silver Queen lift has had all sorts of starting and stopping issues the past few years. It can’t be loaded fully.

This is an absolute mess. One lift can’t get enough people up the mountain.

11 months ago

If anyone took photos that they would like to share, if you e-mail them to me I can include them in the story I published.  Please verify that you shot the photos yourself, and let me know how you would like them credited (e.g., “Photos provided by [name]”.)

In every lift failure accident I’m familiar with, the investigation results were made public, so I expect we will learn about any underlying causes once a thorough investigation has been performed, just as we would for any other transportation accident (trains, air travel, etc.)  That’s important for all ski areas, lift manufacturers, and skiers to know.  Ski resorts worldwide have adjusted their inspection and maintenance practices as a consequence of lessons learned from prior accidents.  For example, in December, 2008, a chairlift tower on the Excalibur gondola at Whistler Blackcomb snapped, causing multiple injuries.  The results of that accident investigation were made public in July, 2010 by the British Columbia Safety Authority.  Investigators determined that water had built up inside the lift tower, and then frozen.  That ultimately caused an expansion that led to structural failure.  Doppelmayr CTEC had designed the towers to prevent water intrusion, but investigators determined that a path of water may have been created during the installation of the tower.  As a consequence of this accident and resulting investigation, resorts began installing drain holes at the bottom of towers to prevent the accumulation of water.  They also increased their vigilance in checking for built up or frozen water in towers.

It’s very fortunate that injuries in Timberline’s accident are being reported as being minor.  I think a tremendous amount of professionalism was shown by the Ski Patrols of both Timberline and Canaan Valley Resorts, who responded to the incident and were able to quickly and safely rescue skiers stuck on the lift.  Ski Patrollers regularly train for lift evacuations so they were well prepared to respond to this kind of accident.

11 months ago

Wow, now weather is for rain not snow this coming week there. Will combo of just 1 unreliable lift to the top, an already poor season, and now what appears to be a week of warm with 100% rain today and Tuesday spell the end of this season? 

11 months ago

 

perhaps the current events will help make more converts to healthier, safer, and more rewardable skiing……..  :)

 

11 months ago

Scott wrote:

 

It’s very fortunate that injuries in Timberline’s accident are being reported as being minor.  I think a tremendous amount of professionalism was shown by the Ski Patrols of both Timberline and Canaan Valley Resorts, who responded to the incident and were able to quickly and safely rescue skiers stuck on the lift.  Ski Patrollers regularly train for lift evacuations so they were well prepared to respond to this kind of accident.

Fortunately (of unfortunately) Timberline’s patrollers have gotten lots of practice over the past year or 2. This isn’t their first busy weekend evacuation recently…

11 months ago

Scott wrote:

In every lift failure accident I’m familiar with, the investigation results were made public, so I expect we will learn about any underlying causes once a thorough investigation has been performed, just as we would for any other transportation accident (trains, air travel, etc.)  That’s important for all ski areas, lift manufacturers, and skiers to know.  Ski resorts worldwide have adjusted their inspection and maintenance practices as a consequence of lessons learned from prior accidents.  For example, in December, 2008, a chairlift tower on the Excalibur gondola at Whistler Blackcomb snapped, causing multiple injuries.  The results of that accident investigation were made public in July, 2010 by the British Columbia Safety Authority.  Investigators determined that water had built up inside the lift tower, and then frozen.  That ultimately caused an expansion that led to structural failure.  Doppelmayr CTEC had designed the towers to prevent water intrusion, but investigators determined that a path of water may have been created during the installation of the tower.  As a consequence of this accident and resulting investigation, resorts began installing drain holes at the bottom of towers to prevent the accumulation of water.  They also increased their vigilance in checking for built up or frozen water in towers.

Whether we get to see the report totally depends on jurisdiction.  States/provinces with active tramway oversight agencies issue reports as a matter of public record.  The BC Safety Authority is why we heard every detail of the Excalibur incident.

In states with no government oversight (like West Virginia) information will be limited to what the ski area and insurance company want to release.  Likely not much.

-Peter

Liftblog.com

11 months ago

And on top of the lift accident, there apparently was a major house fire in Winterhaven last night!  One of those huge homes burned to the ground.  Not a good day in the valley!

11 months ago

peter wrote:

Whether we get to see the report totally depends on jurisdiction.  States/provinces with active tramway oversight agencies issue reports as a matter of public record.  The BC Safety Authority is why we heard every detail of the Excalibur incident.

In states with no government oversight (like West Virginia) information will be limited to what the ski area and insurance company want to release.  Likely not much.

I’m guessing that it will be hard for Timberline (and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association) to remain silent about the results of the investigation, as that could raise safety and oversight questions that deter guests.  Along with other media outlets, I’ll be following this story, requesting information, and reporting what I find.

11 months ago

Special thanks to Ben Eisler, who was at Timberline yesterday and provided me with some photos.  I’ve updated DCSki’s story on this incident to include information provided by Ben.

11 months ago

Anyone at Timberline today, Feb 21?  I noticed that the Feb 21 lift-trail report indicated that “3 of 3” lifts were running; I assume this was an oversight and the Thunderdrsft chair was out of service?!

Anybody heard what TL management thinking is for the remainder of the season?  Obviously an over taxed single lift serving the top of the mountain is not going to support future weekend/event crowds and especially Snowy Luau weekend.

MorganB

aka The Colonel

11 months ago

Wow, glad there were not more people injured and pray those that were recover quickly. 

We have booked a slopeside house at Timberline next weekend for our first trip there in many years and were really looking forward to it.   First the weather forecast for a good bit of snow and cold temps was looking great, but now it looks like rain much of the week, many trails they managed to open have now been closed and now there will be just one lift likely opening to the top (or near top) of the mountain.     My optimistic side says that it may cut down on the crowds with just one lift and less terrain open so the lines won’t be too bad, but my guess is most that will be going there may not even know about it happening and if their snow report claims 3 of 3 lifts open nobody would think otherwise.   

My fear is that Canaan Valley will become packed due to the issues at Timberline.   

If any good can come of this it might be that if finally forces them to install a new lift there (and hopefully an express quad or six pack, though know that won’t happen). 

11 months ago

I arrived at the resort at 12:30 on the 20th well after the accident had occurred. I noticed huge lines at the Silver Queen and also noticed that Thunderdraft was not running. However, I did not learn about the accident until checked the resort Facebook page at 12:45. My wife and I waited until the lines died down at 6 pm before venturing out for some night skiing. I talked to a Boy Scout father who had been evacuated from the Thunderdraft earlier that day. He praised the Ski Patrol for their profesionalism in handling the rescues. 

Today, 21 February, I skied a good portion of the day and even made a few turns with JohnL and Jimmy from DCSKI. Everyone is still shaken up by what happened, but in decent spirits otherwise. It was Spring conditions today but most trails, except Thunderstruck were open. Winterset and Twister skiers had to hike a bit to get up to Silver Queen but other than that, everything was good and lines were minimal to non-existent. I was told by a lift attendant that the resort will be open this week.  As of today, you can ski top to bottom on everything except Thunderstruck, including Sally, Twister, Almost Heaven, Dew Drop, WL, OTW, and The Drop.

11 months ago

Wonder how many who fell or were dangling were riding with their bars up in the chairs… Sure it was a huge jolt, but can’t imagine staying in the chair if the bar was up.

11 months ago

David wrote:

I wonder if the new owners will honor the Awesome Pass? 

I’m guessing the people injured and their attorneys will be the new owners after all is said and done.  If there is a single i not dotted or t not crossed in their pre season load tests and other inspections they could be done.

11 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

And on top of the lift accident, there apparently was a major house fire in Winterhaven last night!  One of those huge homes burned to the ground.  Not a good day in the valley!

House fire was earlier in the week. It was still smoldering/smoking Friday around dusk.

Not the greatest week.

11 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Anyone at Timberline today, Feb 21?  I noticed that the Feb 21 lift-trail report indicated that “3 of 3” lifts were running; I assume this was an oversight and the Thunderdrsft chair was out of service?!

Anybody heard what TL management thinking is for the remainder of the season?  Obviously an over taxed single lift serving the top of the mountain is not going to support future weekend/event crowds and especially Snowy Luau weekend.

MorganB

aka The Colonel

Colonel, TL management and think should never go together in the same sentence. Shame on you.

I’ll guess they are hoping that somehow the lift can be repaired in time for Snowy Luau (2016.) That aint gunna happen, even if inspectors/insurance feel rest of lift is safe. New cross arm would have to be welded on, cable restrung (all chairs removed?), safety/acceptance tests run by relevant organizations. Not sure if lift tower would have to be removed for the weld or if the cross arm could be lifted up and welded ontop the tower. Regardless, lots of heavy lifting, possibly involving helicopters.

If people show up, expect long lines. Hope for rain; it kept most people away today.

 

11 months ago

Rain in morning did the same at Snowshoe, but by afternoon light rain made skiing possible.  Wow, what a wonderful afternoon it was: hero soft still firm snow l, no lift lines and most importantly, uncrowded slopes!  Little fear of being a ten pin or a bowling ball!  Skied until I felt the burn!   Looking forward to tomorrow on the slopes.

The Colonel

 

11 months ago

johnfmh wrote:

I arrived at the resort at 12:30 on the 20th well after the accident had occurred. I noticed huge lines at the Silver Queen and also noticed that Thunderdraft was not running. However, I did not learn about the accident until checked the resort Facebook page at 12:45. My wife and I waited until the lines died down at 6 pm before venturing out for some night skiing. I talked to a Boy Scout father who had been evacuated from the Thunderdraft earlier that day. He praised the Ski Patrol for their profesionalism in handling the rescues. 

Today, 21 February, I skied a good portion of the day and even made a few turns with JohnL and Jimmy from DCSKI. Everyone is still shaken up by what happened, but in decent spirits otherwise. It was Spring conditions today but most trails, except Thunderstruck were open. Winterset and Twister skiers had to hike a bit to get up to Silver Queen but other than that, everything was good and lines were minimal to non-existent. I was told by a lift attendant that the resort will be open this week.  As of today, you can ski top to bottom on everything except Thunderstruck, including Sally, Twister, Almost Heaven, Dew Drop, WL, OTW, and The Drop.


Hey John, good to ski with you and Darina today.

Mrs. johnfmh waits for no one, especially a bunch of guys yacking. LOL.

11 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Rain in morning did the same at Snowshoe, but by afternoon light rain made skiing possible.  Wow, what a wonderful afternoon it was: hero soft still firm snow l, no lift lines and most importantly, uncrowded slopes!  Little fear of being a ten pin or a bowling ball!  Skied until I felt the burn!   Looking forward to tomorrow on the slopes.

The Colonel

 

Some brief heavy rain this AM in the valley, but late morning and afternoon were pretty much dry. Afternoon was sweet.

11 months ago
Im on a mobile ao I cant make this a link. But this guy on reddit fell off the lift and provided more pics. He is on crutches currently. http://m.imgur.com/a/P8j5P
11 months ago
Kittenman8900 was on lift. He provided the pics above, this is gis description…. My friend and I were talking about concept albums and as I mentioned Kendrick Lamar, we heard a thud the ski lift dropped 10 feet and we were shook around in the chair. It kept shaking like that for 10 seconds while going back up and still moving and I had never been more scared in my entire life, then we were thrown out of the chair 15 feet up and I actually thought I was going to die. Luckily, I didn’t and at the time I was in shock and thought I was fine, so I skied down the double black to the lodge where I then realized how much pain I was in, then my dad took me to the hospital and now I’ve got crutches and a splint. My trip was refunded though so there’s that lol. I’ve got pictures if you’d like to see from my perspective. TL;DR I pretty much shat my pants lol
11 months ago

Link is not working for me!

11 months ago

Works for me. If you copy and paste.

http://m.imgur.com/a/P8j5P

11 months ago

A resort in Canada replaced a cracked crossarm with a brand new one in about a week earlier this season.  No need to remove chairs or haul rope, just lots of rigging.  http://liftblog.com/2016/02/06/replacing-a-crossarm-in-the-middle-of-winter/

Blackcomb’s gondola was repaired after the incident mentioned above in two weeks’ time and that was an entire tower.

11 months ago

peter wrote:

A resort in Canada replaced a cracked crossarm with a brand new one in about a week earlier this season.  No need to remove chairs or haul rope, just lots of rigging.  http://liftblog.com/2016/02/06/replacing-a-crossarm-in-the-middle-of-winter/

Blackcomb’s gondola was repaired after the incident mentioned above in two weeks’ time and that was an entire tower.

Interesting — sounds like a lot of groups pulled together to make that happen quickly.  If I understand correctly, the component at Blackcomb hadn’t failed yet — it was discovered to have cracks after a service bulletin went out and was replaced proactively as a preventative measure.  (Peter, do you know whether that replacement was paid for by Doppelmayr?)  In Timberline’s case, it won’t be known what caused the failure until a thorough investigation is performed.  According to Joe Stevens at the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, there’s no timetable yet for that investigation and no estimate on how long it will take to complete.

11 months ago

Hey Peter,

Thanks for joining in on the discussion. This is some interesting stuff.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that level of commitment and expertise here. (But I’m glad it can be done.) And, let’s be frank, W/B has a lot more pull with a lift manufacturer than does a small area in WV. And the T-Line lift manufacturer no longer exists, correct? (Sorry, I know physics, but I am not as well-versed in the lift industry.)

We were discussing this today. Who makes the lift towers? Do they come with the chairs, bullwheel, cable, drive train, counter balance, etc.?

11 months ago

Scott wrote:

peter wrote:

A resort in Canada replaced a cracked crossarm with a brand new one in about a week earlier this season.  No need to remove chairs or haul rope, just lots of rigging.  http://liftblog.com/2016/02/06/replacing-a-crossarm-in-the-middle-of-winter/

Blackcomb’s gondola was repaired after the incident mentioned above in two weeks’ time and that was an entire tower.

Interesting — sounds like a lot of groups pulled together to make that happen quickly.  If I understand correctly, the component at Blackcomb hadn’t failed yet — it was discovered to have cracks after a service bulletin went out and was replaced proactively as a preventative measure.  (Peter, do you know whether that replacement was paid for by Doppelmayr?)  In Timberline’s case, it won’t be known what caused the failure until a thorough investigation is performed.  According to Joe Stevens at the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, there’s no timetable yet for that investigation and no estimate on how long it will take to complete.

Mr. Stevens also described this incident as a derailment, which is entirely inaccurate if you ask me.  I don’t see the investigation taking that long.  A weld failed.  What else is there to do besides take pictures and get statements?

The crossarm incident at Big White I posted about was different from the tower failure at Blackcomb.  In Big White’s case, Doppelmayr issued a service bulletin asking for inspections due to problems with crossarms found elsewhere.  In the course of those inspections, Big White mechanics found cracks.  While there was no catastraphic failure, once the cracks were found the lift could no longer operate until the entire crossarm was replaced.  I have no idea whether Doppelmayr paid for the new crossarm or not.  In Blackcomb’s case, an entire tower broke apart during public operation.  Both these incidents were on lifts built by the world’s largest lift manufacturer at major resorts with the resources to get new components installed quickly.  I’m not sure Timberline and/or Borvig have the same capabilities.

11 months ago

JohnL wrote:

Hey Peter,

Thanks for joining in on the discussion. This is some interesting stuff.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that level of commitment and expertise here. (But I’m glad it can be done.) And, let’s be frank, W/B has a lot more pull with a lift manufacturer than does a small area in WV. And the T-Line lift manufacturer no longer exists, correct? (Sorry, I know physics, but I am not as well-versed in the lift industry.)

We were discussing this today. Who makes the lift towers? Do they come with the chairs, bullwheel, cable, drive train, counter balance, etc.?

Borvig does still exist under a different name.  Google Partek Ski Lifts.

Tower tubes come as part of the lift.  Sometimes they are re-used when a lift is moved from one location to another.  I believe two of Timberline’s lifts were bought used from other places.  Does anyone know for sure?

11 months ago

peter wrote:

Scott wrote:

peter wrote:

A resort in Canada replaced a cracked crossarm with a brand new one in about a week earlier this season.  No need to remove chairs or haul rope, just lots of rigging.  http://liftblog.com/2016/02/06/replacing-a-crossarm-in-the-middle-of-winter/

Blackcomb’s gondola was repaired after the incident mentioned above in two weeks’ time and that was an entire tower.

Interesting — sounds like a lot of groups pulled together to make that happen quickly.  If I understand correctly, the component at Blackcomb hadn’t failed yet — it was discovered to have cracks after a service bulletin went out and was replaced proactively as a preventative measure.  (Peter, do you know whether that replacement was paid for by Doppelmayr?)  In Timberline’s case, it won’t be known what caused the failure until a thorough investigation is performed.  According to Joe Stevens at the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, there’s no timetable yet for that investigation and no estimate on how long it will take to complete.

Mr. Stevens also described this incident as a derailment, which is entirely inaccurate if you ask me.  I don’t see the investigation taking that long.  A weld failed.  What else is there to do besides take pictures and get statements?

The crossarm incident at Big White I posted about was different from the tower failure at Blackcomb.  In Big White’s case, Doppelmayr issued a service bulletin asking for inspections due to problems with crossarms found elsewhere.  In the course of those inspections, Big White mechanics found cracks.  While there was no catastraphic failure, once the cracks were found the lift could no longer operate until the entire crossarm was replaced.  I have no idea whether Doppelmayr paid for the new crossarm or not.  In Blackcomb’s case, an entire tower broke apart during public operation.  Both these incidents were on lifts built by the world’s largest lift manufacturer at major resorts with the resources to get new components installed quickly.  I’m not sure Timberline and/or Borvig have the same capabilities.

Peter, thanks for your input, could you reconcile your statement above, with the two accounts in prior posts above:

“It kept shaking like that for 10 seconds while going back up and still moving and I had never been more scared in my entire life, then we were thrown out of the chair 15 feet up.”

“One of the pullys on the “Up” side either broke, came off, or somehow snagged the cable.  When that happened, the lift kept running and trying to pull the cable upward and the stress from that literally snapped the weld clean off …”

The impression in these two accounts is that something happened, the rope kept moving, followed by a total failure.

JohnL, did you feel two events?

11 months ago

Johnl:

It was great seeing you. Ms. Johnfmh’s rule is “talk all you want on the lifts, but ski when on the slopes.” ;-)

Found this via a Google News search. Tom Blanzy is quoted:

http://www.wdtv.com/wdtv.cfm?func=view&section=5-News&item=Timberline-Resort-Plans-to-Make-Lift-Safe-Again-28854

According to this article

Nine people were treated and two were taken by ambulance, but fortunately, there were only a few minor injuries. With machinery like this, safety is the first protocol. Timberline management began investigating the tower immediately but cannot determine the cause of the incident until consulting ski lift, manufacturers, and engineers.

I just hope all lift towers and other machinery for ALL lifts at the resort are examined. We can’t have this happen again. 

11 months ago
What’s the history of the Silver Queen lift? Was it built at T-Line, bought from someone else, etc.? One of the reasons I don’t go to Timberline is the absurdly slow lift for 1,000 vert. Like the mountain a lot otherwise, but the lifts are a real killer. When TL ran its kickstarter style campaign last year, they barely mentioned lifts as part of the plan until there was an uproar from the community. At this point, I almost hope an incident like this leads to a sale to someone with money and strategy. I don’t like to say that, as someone who would prefer mountains be run more like the TLs of the world than the Snowshoes, but — but yea.
11 months ago

NonstopSki wrote:

What’s the history of the Silver Queen lift? Was it built at T-Line, bought from someone else, etc.? One of the reasons I don’t go to Timberline is the absurdly slow lift for 1,000 vert. Like the mountain a lot otherwise, but the lifts are a real killer. When TL ran its kickstarter style campaign last year, they barely mentioned lifts as part of the plan until there was an uproar from the community. At this point, I almost hope an incident like this leads to a sale to someone with money and strategy. I don’t like to say that, as someone who would prefer mountains be run more like the TLs of the world than the Snowshoes, but — but yea.

Silver Queen lift was used at Crested Butte prior to getting sold to T-Line. I don’t know if the towers were used by the previous T-Line lift (assume cross arms came with the CB lift.) This happened just before I got introduced to T-Line.

11 months ago

One of the statements that I read said that the cable came off the pulley and got caught in part of the pulley support mechanism and the cable couldn’t move. The lift machine kept trying to pull and cable and it couldn’t move and as a result it pulled and broke the crossbeam. This has been a concern of mine over the years and I used to look at the mechanisms as I rode the chair. Some of them have sensors at each pulley that will shut down the lift right away, some of them are well designed and can’t come off.

If there were sensors and they failed that could explain why the cable kept jumping up and down for a short time till the machinery detected a fault. If there were no sensors then that is a design flaw IMHO.

If the cause was where the  cable got caught in the support mechanism and the lift motor kept pulling then I would image there might be some considerable strain on the cable at the point of the failure causing a weakness in the cable. In that case they might need to splice the cable if they can  or they might need to rerun a new cable.

This is just speculation based on what I read, but it is food for thought.

Joe

11 months ago

KeithT wrote:

peter wrote:

Scott wrote:

peter wrote:

A resort in Canada replaced a cracked crossarm with a brand new one in about a week earlier this season.  No need to remove chairs or haul rope, just lots of rigging.  http://liftblog.com/2016/02/06/replacing-a-crossarm-in-the-middle-of-winter/

Blackcomb’s gondola was repaired after the incident mentioned above in two weeks’ time and that was an entire tower.

Interesting — sounds like a lot of groups pulled together to make that happen quickly.  If I understand correctly, the component at Blackcomb hadn’t failed yet — it was discovered to have cracks after a service bulletin went out and was replaced proactively as a preventative measure.  (Peter, do you know whether that replacement was paid for by Doppelmayr?)  In Timberline’s case, it won’t be known what caused the failure until a thorough investigation is performed.  According to Joe Stevens at the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, there’s no timetable yet for that investigation and no estimate on how long it will take to complete.

Mr. Stevens also described this incident as a derailment, which is entirely inaccurate if you ask me.  I don’t see the investigation taking that long.  A weld failed.  What else is there to do besides take pictures and get statements?

The crossarm incident at Big White I posted about was different from the tower failure at Blackcomb.  In Big White’s case, Doppelmayr issued a service bulletin asking for inspections due to problems with crossarms found elsewhere.  In the course of those inspections, Big White mechanics found cracks.  While there was no catastraphic failure, once the cracks were found the lift could no longer operate until the entire crossarm was replaced.  I have no idea whether Doppelmayr paid for the new crossarm or not.  In Blackcomb’s case, an entire tower broke apart during public operation.  Both these incidents were on lifts built by the world’s largest lift manufacturer at major resorts with the resources to get new components installed quickly.  I’m not sure Timberline and/or Borvig have the same capabilities.

Peter, thanks for your input, could you reconcile your statement above, with the two accounts in prior posts above:

“It kept shaking like that for 10 seconds while going back up and still moving and I had never been more scared in my entire life, then we were thrown out of the chair 15 feet up.”

“One of the pullys on the “Up” side either broke, came off, or somehow snagged the cable.  When that happened, the lift kept running and trying to pull the cable upward and the stress from that literally snapped the weld clean off …”

The impression in these two accounts is that something happened, the rope kept moving, followed by a total failure.

JohnL, did you feel two events?

I haven’t seen anyone say they personally saw a derailment before the tower failure.  Even if it did happen, characterizing the accident as a derailment misses the much more serious event.

11 months ago

If there were sensors and they failed that could explain why the cable kept jumping up and down for a short time till the machinery detected a fault. If there were no sensors then that is a design flaw IMHO.

Basic physics. A tower collapse would cause the massive up/down motion of the chairs. Similar to dropping a rock in a pond.

My response to Keith got lost due to operator error. I’ll update after work today. Short summary: loud bang followed by immediate stoppage of forward motion. So one event. Followed by massive/updown swinging of chair for a bit afterwards. I was a ways away from the affected tower.

11 months ago

checking in

 

how is this thread still up??????

 

 

11 months ago

chaga wrote:

 

perhaps the current events will help make more converts to healthier, safer, and more rewardable skiing……..  :)

 

posting pictures of AT skiers, Im gonna tell mom

11 months ago

glad you ok John L

 

hows it hanging?

 

lol

11 months ago

this guy is a lawyer

11 months ago

Peter said:  “I haven’t seen anyone say they personally saw a derailment before the tower failure.  Even if it did happen, characterizing the accident as a derailment misses the much more serious event.”

Yes, I see where you are coming from now.  I agree it is a much more serious event.

Scott has facts in his posts and article that I believe are from this fact sheet.

http://www.nsaa.org/media/68048/NSAA-Ski-Lift-Safety-Fact-Sheet-10-1-2012.pdf

It is an interesting read, and shows that is an exceptional event in the industry with implications beyond the Mid-A  16 lift events in the US from 1973-2012. 

11 months ago

I am really bummed about this… I nearly got my wife and neighbors to head up and finally experience the Valley.  We would have been there or at CV when this occured;  she did ride that lift on a summer-time trip last year  but with great apprehension, don’t see me persuading her to ride any lift now (perhaps if ski lifts above the summertime surf she woulf be more keen, but anyway.) 

 

This article from wvmetronews.com had this remarkable quote:

according to West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman Joe Stevens.

“A lift derailment did occur causing the cables to drop and approximately 25 people came into contact with the snow underneath the lift,” Stevens told MetroNews. “Minor injuries were reported.”

 

What strikes me is how fortunate it is no fully loaded chair was in the immediate vicinity, i.e. under, that cross bar when it,apparently,  broke loose.   Ever tried to take a picture between chairs and time it during that “free” space, it’s not always easy.

I hope for the best on this, given that injuries were minimal I hope the same may be true of repercussions.  Replacing the lift with a high speed would be a great outcome for all of us who have long complained about T-line lift speed, but it’s hard to see that expenditure since all of this even in the best scenario will be a further financial hit in an already bad year.  I sincerely hope for the best and don’t see some major dislocation working out well for any of us.

 

———————  Oh yeah, and I still plan to be at timberline sometime in the next couple of weeks

11 months ago

I blame chair 60

11 months ago

One hopes that this is truly an accident and not due to negligence.  TL could use some good luck.  That said, we were considering a Wisp Friday,  TL Saturday and Wisp Sunday weekend with some friends in Deep Creek this coming weekend.  TL has been removed from the plans.

11 months ago

Even if they remain open, shouldn’t they be roping/fencing off ALL terrain directly under and around ThunderStruck?  Something else could possibly snap loose. That pretty much only leaves the Salamander side in play.

11 months ago

Ski Area Management seems to confirm no derailment: http://www.saminfo.com/news/timberline-chairlift-cross-arm-failure-injures-25

11 months ago

According to Blanzy, what caused the cross arm to fall is currently under investigation

I still think my original assessment is more practical than anything else that could have happened.

A pully had some kind of malfunction and the cable was then pinched or binded somehow and stress of the lift still pulling on the cable caused the whole top of the tower to literally snap off.  If you look at where its laying and how its laying, it doesn’t make sense for just the wieght of the skiiers to cause it to snap and land where it did. 

Hopefully they will release the exact cause to the public.

11 months ago

Kris wrote:

According to Blanzy, what caused the cross arm to fall is currently under investigation

I still think my original assessment is more practical than anything else that could have happened.

A pully had some kind of malfunction and the cable was then pinched or binded somehow and stress of the lift still pulling on the cable caused the whole top of the tower to literally snap off.  If you look at where its laying and how its laying, it doesn’t make sense for just the wieght of the skiiers to cause it to snap and land where it did. 

Hopefully they will release the exact cause to the public.

Age, possible moisture pennetration, then sub zero temps Friday followed by sudden warming Saturday morning could have exploited a small crack in to a huge problem literally overnight. 

11 months ago

The plot thickens…Borvig issued a service bulletin in 1987 calling for U bolts to be added as a second connection between tower and crossarm on certain lifts due to several failed welds.  Thunderstruck doesn’t appear to have gotten them.  Other 1986 Borvigs I’ve ridden do have them.  Only Borvig can say whether they ordered the fix for this particular lift at Timberline.

11 months ago

Anyone happen to know what agency (if any) would have to approve repairs to the broken lift prior to it being re-opened to the general public? What is the relationship of said agency to Timberline Resort?

11 months ago

I am not aware that there is a WV Board of Tramways or anything similar.  If there is no state government oversight, then the primary approval needed would be from Timberline’s insurer, I would think.

11 months ago

What caught my attention in Scott’s report…

“Accidents at Maine’s Sugarloaf resort in 2010 and 2015 also involved Borvig lifts”

Given the NSAA’s report of how infrequent lift accidents happen, doesn’t 3 accidents in 6 years involving one manufacturer make for interesting trend analysis?   I wonder if there are design similarities shared by these lift?  Borvig was quite active in the Mid-A and NE regions during the 70-80s with installations at many mountains we all share.  I bet insurers will be doing some serious pencil sharpening.  The best outcome is TL isn’t found neglible and lessons learned come out of this that resut in a change/fix to avert future occurences.

11 months ago

Actually make that four accidents (at least) in six years involving Borvig lifts:

http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=381

 

11 months ago

Kris wrote:

According to Blanzy, what caused the cross arm to fall is currently under investigation

I still think my original assessment is more practical than anything else that could have happened.

A pully had some kind of malfunction and the cable was then pinched or binded somehow and stress of the lift still pulling on the cable caused the whole top of the tower to literally snap off.  If you look at where its laying and how its laying, it doesn’t make sense for just the wieght of the skiiers to cause it to snap and land where it did. 

Hopefully they will release the exact cause to the public.

I lean toward this also. A bearing failure, cable bind, etc with the continued pull by the lift would produce lateral forces on the tower arms leading to initial weakening of joints, then collapse.  A visual inspection should not suffice, I hope they send parts to a metalurgist who is properly equipped to evaluate condition, stresses and failures.

11 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Kris wrote:

According to Blanzy, what caused the cross arm to fall is currently under investigation

I still think my original assessment is more practical than anything else that could have happened.

A pully had some kind of malfunction and the cable was then pinched or binded somehow and stress of the lift still pulling on the cable caused the whole top of the tower to literally snap off.  If you look at where its laying and how its laying, it doesn’t make sense for just the wieght of the skiiers to cause it to snap and land where it did. 

Hopefully they will release the exact cause to the public.

I lean toward this also. A bearing failure, cable bind, etc with the continued pull by the lift would produce lateral forces on the tower arms leading to initial weakening of joints, then collapse.  A visual inspection should not suffice, I hope they send parts to a metalurgist who is properly equipped to evaluate condition, stresses and failures.

And Scott’s photo supports this.

The service deck is the uphill side of the crossbar to match the ladder on the uphill side of the tower.  The sheave wheels laying on the slope are the uphill, not the return wheels, so this was the weighted (skier) side of the lift.  The important thing here is this shows that the weighted side of the crossbar travelled uphill during the fall, which supports some upslope movement of the crossbar as part of the failure.  Also the tower has some downslope angle.  But who knows.

 

 

11 months ago

Didn’t fishnski say he was on the lift and heard screeching coming from the wheels on the tower?  That would be an important clue to help armchair QB this but inspecting the bearings in the pulley wheels will tell all there.  I don’t think the direction the parts fell would prove either way if the wheels were or weren’t  turning.  If the crossbars broke free it would still swing towards the direction of the weight bearing side even if the wheels were spinning freely due to the higher load on that side regardless.  If it was still stuck to the cable for quite sime distance that would be more telling.

11 months ago
I did Cdart…every tower but one was smooth and quiet as we went by but one tower was making a racket that would vibrate down and thru the hollow post……I told my wife to listen to it when we went by it on the next pass and she agreed that it didn’t sound right. As the day wore on I would remark…”here comes the noisy tower”……we are feeling guilty that we didn’t alert anybody about it……we are really glad it wasn’t any worse than it ended up being….
11 months ago

Mr. Fish, Do your remember the general location of the squealing tower?  Bottom third, middle third or top third?  And within each third, early or late?  Or can you remember any ground, trail or building identifiers near the squealing tower?

11 months ago

peter wrote:

The plot thickens…Borvig issued a service bulletin in 1987 calling for U bolts to be added as a second connection between tower and crossarm on certain lifts due to several failed welds.  Thunderstruck doesn’t appear to have gotten them.  Other 1986 Borvigs I’ve ridden do have them.  Only Borvig can say whether they ordered the fix for this particular lift at Timberline.

In the words of Deep Throat, follow the U bolts. Some interesting gossip floating around…

Peter, what are the typical requirements to follow service bulletins? Are there levels of criticality? I assume insurers/inspectors would know about them? If one was issued for this type of lift.

11 months ago

johnfmh wrote:

Johnl:

It was great seeing you. Ms. Johnfmh’s rule is “talk all you want on the lifts, but ski when on the slopes.” ;-)

Found this via a Google News search. Tom Blanzy is quoted:

http://www.wdtv.com/wdtv.cfm?func=view&section=5-News&item=Timberline-Resort-Plans-to-Make-Lift-Safe-Again-28854

According to this article

Nine people were treated and two were taken by ambulance, but fortunately, there were only a few minor injuries. With machinery like this, safety is the first protocol. Timberline management began investigating the tower immediately but cannot determine the cause of the incident until consulting ski lift, manufacturers, and engineers.

I just hope all lift towers and other machinery for ALL lifts at the resort are examined. We can’t have this happen again. 

Word on the street is that the inspectors did not examine any other lift today. If this is not true (and we are not talking about past inspections since the broken tower lift passed them), I’m sure Timberline4SR will correct this statement. For the record.

John, you and I noticed some loud noises coming from Tower 15 of the Silver Queen lift on Sunday. Given the tower failure on the other lift on Saturday, it was a bit unnerving.

10 months ago

JohnL wrote:

peter wrote:

The plot thickens…Borvig issued a service bulletin in 1987 calling for U bolts to be added as a second connection between tower and crossarm on certain lifts due to several failed welds.  Thunderstruck doesn’t appear to have gotten them.  Other 1986 Borvigs I’ve ridden do have them.  Only Borvig can say whether they ordered the fix for this particular lift at Timberline.

In the words of Deep Throat, follow the U bolts. Some interesting gossip floating around…

Peter, what are the typical requirements to follow service bulletins? Are there levels of criticality? I assume insurers/inspectors would know about them? If one was issued for this type of lift.

A typical service bulletin identifies affected models, action to be taken and has a deadline for compliance.  For example, the Doppelmayr service bulletin that Big White got required inspections of crossarms by Feb 1, 2016.

Lots of towers on lots of lifts make noises.  An experienced mechanic knows what types of noises are normal vs. abnormal.

 

10 months ago

Lots of towers on lots of lifts make noises.  An experienced mechanic knows what types of noises are normal vs. abnormal.

Agreed. Provided an experienced mechanic does the inspection and an inspection is done. Given the failure of the other lift, I know I’d feel a lot better if the presumably very experienced mechanics who investigated the collapsed lift investigated the other lift (of similar age and maintenance.)

 

10 months ago

http://wvmetronews.com/2016/02/22/timberline-skier-says-lift-derailment-was-frightening/

10 months ago

10 months ago

scottyb wrote:

http://liftblog.com/

Very informative, thanks for posting!

The Colonel

10 months ago

Regular inspections SHOULD keep things like this from happening.

BTW, the worst North American lift accident happened 27 years ago at Keystone. The top bullwheel on the Yang bult lift on the backside of Keystone Mojuntain snapped off sending a shock wave down the cable towards the bottom. People and chairs went flying. If memory serves me 4 were killed and about 30 were seriously injured. Shortly thereafter, Yang went out of business.

 

10 months ago

scottyb wrote:

http://liftblog.com/

The blog is not entirely accurate. The American Skiing company did not create the Canyons in 1997..

The area was in existence long before 1997. It was first known as Park West, then Wolf Mountain, then the Canyons, and now it’s part of Park City.

10 months ago

bob wrote:

scottyb wrote:

http://liftblog.com/

The blog is not entirely accurate. The American Skiing company did not create the Canyons in 1997..

 

The area was in existence long before 1997. It was first known as Park West, then Wolf Mountain, then the Canyons, and now it’s part of Park City.

Scroll down Bob, the story about Timberlines lift chair is what needs to be read.  Below the Canyons story.

 

10 months ago

bob wrote:

Regular inspections SHOULD keep things like this from happening.

BTW, the worst North American lift accident happened 27 years ago at Keystone. The top bullwheel on the Yang bult lift on the backside of Keystone Mojuntain snapped off sending a shock wave down the cable towards the bottom. People and chairs went flying. If memory serves me 4 were killed and about 30 were seriously injured. Shortly thereafter, Yang went out of business.

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20101215/NEWS/101219899

 

10 months ago

Does anyone know if there is any hope at all for the Thunder lift to be operational again soon (like as in this Friday)?   I imagine the answer is no, but holding out hope.  

10 months ago

We would like to thank everyone for their support and well-wishes. Here is a press release that has just been made public. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions regarding the plans going forward.

 

Timberline Four Seasons Resort - Update

Davis, WV, February 23, 2016 – Saturday morning Tower 12 of Timberline’s Thunderstruck triple lift experienced a mechanical malfunction. The cross-arm which supported the cables along which the lift chairs travel detached from the tower structure, causing a derailment. This occurred after the lift had passed visual safety inspection and was cleared for operation.

Thankfully the lift malfunction caused no serious injuries. Timberline remains open with 2 functioning lifts in operation capable of transporting skiers to the top of the mountain.  Until we determined the exact cause with our team, it was agreed that we would cancel the USSA Championship Races that were scheduled for this past weekend. This weekend’s Wendy’s Race and Telemark Festival will continue as planned. We are making all repairs based on the engineer and ski professionals’ recommendation. Although we are working diligently to undertake lift repairs quickly to restore access to mid-station and lessen the wait in our lift lines, our concern for skier safety at the highest levels supersedes our desire for a swift resolution.

That said, we have taken the following measures to ensure the safe re-opening of Thunderstruck.  We have assembled a world-class team of manufacturers, engineers, and safety inspectors who have been working diligently since the event took place to assess and repair the lift, with multiple levels of oversight at every step in the process.  Partek Ski Lift Enterprises and Beitzel Corporation are working together to complete the job at hand. The initial tower work is expected to be completed by Wednesday.  Exceeding industry standards, every lift tower and weld has had NDT inspection performed by Ariel NDT, and all welds on the new modifications will be inspected prior to lift reopening.  Tower 12 will receive a new cross-arm installed by Ropeway Construction with anticipated completion by Thursday.  Ropeway will also perform a haul rope inspection to be completed by Friday (after the tower has been repaired).   

We are requesting that these same experts do a thorough inspection of our other lifts as well, even though they are performing properly. We anticipate all inspections and load testing to be completed, and for Thunderstruck triple lift to be fully operational by Saturday morning, February 27, allowing skiers to enjoy the rest of ski season in confidence.

We would like to thank our skiers and our community and expert first responders for their support and professional responses. We will keep you updated throughout every aspect of this process as we complete these steps.

 

 

10 months ago

So are we confident that the Borvig lift tower cross arm U-Bolt upgrade reccomendations did not apply to lifts like Thunderstruck?  Can we get a confrimation on that?  Just making sure whether or not all towers’ cross arms should be redone..

10 months ago

mdr227 wrote:

Does anyone know if there is any hope at all for the Thunder lift to be operational again soon (like as in this Friday)?   I imagine the answer is no, but holding out hope.  

Yeah… You can stop hoping now. 

10 months ago

Well done Timberline!!  A few days ago I would not have imagined Thunderstruck lift safely reopening this season, much less by this coming Saturday, Feb 28. HOWEVER,…

I think it imperative that TL and the assembled team of experts provide an explanation of what exactly went wrong and caused the accident; this will go a long way to help re-establish public confidence in TL lifts and operation.  In addition to the accident, TL skiers have noticed several other lift anomalies during the past months:  the other triple lift t(Silver Queen?) to near-top of the mountain frequently is deliberately only loaded two riders per chair and often there is a non-loading of every third+- chair even when folks are waiting in line.  Given the accident on Thunderstruck, why the obvious caution loading the other chair, both before and after(?) the accident.  There needs to be full disclosure about the strange operating regimen of the Silver Queen lift if restoring full customer confidence is the TL goal!

The Colonel

 

10 months ago

Public information or Ambulance chasing?

10 months ago

David wrote:

Interesting read out of Charleston 

And so it begins…

10 months ago

Wow !  I will be mightily impressed if that lift runs on Saturday.   First, it’s a really impressive response to a bad situation.  Second, it’s a huge statement about finishing the season strong and not giving up.  Third, it shows the resort is still operating like a business rather than a hobby.  Just wow.  

10 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Public information or Ambulance chasing?

The final line of the article reads: “Individuals with questions about injuries and potential claims may contact The Bell Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss them.” 

10 months ago

Misguided ambulance chasing.  There were no serious, lawsuit-bait type injuries here.  

Agree with The Colonel.  Explanation of why and how the accident happened is essential.  The swift repair is impressive and the report of testing of all the other welds on the lift is good to hear.  However, until TL explains why and how the accident happened, repairing the lift and inspecting the welds is merely restoring the state of things before the structural failure and hoping for a different result.  

And of course, because the public is now justifiably sceptical of safety at TL, it is also essential that management finally explain what is wrong with the Sliver Queen lift, and why running it below capacity solves that problem.  Seems to me that’s fine, so long as they can offer an explanation better than “when we don’t load it up, it doesn’t shut down as much.”

10 months ago

Norsk wrote:

And of course, because the public is now justifiably sceptical of safety at TL, it is also essential that management finally explain what is wrong with the Sliver Queen lift, and why running it below capacity solves that problem.  Seems to me that’s fine, so long as they can offer an explanation better than “when we don’t load it up, it doesn’t shut down as much.”

It’s hard to imagine that the Silver Queen passes any legitimate load test if they can’t run it fully loaded..

10 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Well done Timberline!!  ……..if restoring full customer confidence is the TL goal!

The Colonel

 

I’d like to see a picture of Fred, Tom, & Doc riding the new and improved Thunderstruck lift as well as the Silver Queen lift before I take a ride on them.  That would be great PR and would restore confidence in the lifts.

10 months ago

I will take first chair.

You folks are a little crazy if you think that their insurer will allow the Thunderstuck lift back in service until it is fully inspected and repaired to THEIR satisfaction. They also say in their press release that the remaining lifts will be inspected and full load tested before the professional engagement concludes. 

IMO those of you calling for some kind of confession are just piling on; yes, Timberline’s owners were lucky that no one died or was very seriously injured. Yes they really need to prepare to bring uphill transprt at the resort into if not the 21st century, at least into the late 20th. I work at Timberline but as most of you who follow DCSki know I am not afraid to criticize them on this forum.

A lot of people are going to be busting their ass to attempt re-open this lift for the weekend. I think this is a good time to give props to everyone involved for getting this done; as Pagamony said above it would have been very easy to just say fuck it and close for the season. 

10 months ago

Jimmy,

I’ll ride with you!!!!

MorganB

aka The Colonel

10 months ago

Must be an election year…got to keep the Mayor’s seat warm!

10 months ago

Very cool, I look forward to riding it next friday,  I am surprised they pulled this off so quickly, bodes well.

10 months ago

The Vermont Tramway Board closed a 1975 Borvig double chairlift at the Suicide Six ski area on Sunday, after finding cracks where a support arm met the tower head.

 

http://www.vnews.com/news/21205665-95/safety-concerns-close-suicide-six-ski-lift

10 months ago

I think a lot of this is passive aggressive “I told you so”.. with all of the complaints about TL4S not having any high speed lifts.  Personally, I prefer the longer ride that fixed grips provide.. but the mickey mouse loading of the Silver Queen were/are indicative that there are huge problems with the equipement there that warrent further inspetion all around.

 

I hope for the sake of passholders and folks that rented property there for the remaining days that things can get opened back up and fully oprational and as safe as any other US resort.  If there is any doubt, I am for saying fk it!

10 months ago

Jacob wrote:

The Vermont Tramway Board closed a 1975 Borvig double chairlift at the Suicide Six ski area on Sunday, after finding cracks where a support arm met the tower head.

 

http://www.vnews.com/news/21205665-95/safety-concerns-close-suicide-six-ski-lift

from the article

Stephen Monahan, director of workers’ compensation and safety at the Vermont Department of Labor, said the state requested all ski towers be inspected after a weekend ski lift derailment in West Virginia. When inspectors visited Suicide Six, he said, they found cracks where a lift’s support arm meets the tower head.

 

10 months ago

in pa the state chair inspections would not find something like this, most of the inspections I was involved in were based

on drive train starting and stopping, and roll back protection. sometimes they checked the brittle bars that break when a wheel goes bad. we had to sign thaat we had visualy inspected all towers and components, which we always did.

imp

10 months ago

Jimmy and the Col together on one chair is a load test!

10 months ago

crgildart wrote:

So are we confident that the Borvig lift tower cross arm U-Bolt upgrade reccomendations did not apply to lifts like Thunderstruck?  Can we get a confrimation on that?  Just making sure whether or not all towers’ cross arms should be redone..

I posed this same question on Facebook but didn’t get an answer. It’s great that they have been working so hard to get things going again. I truly appreciate the effort but it would be nice to know the answer here. If they reopen it this weekend I suppose we can assume the modification was determined not to be necessary. That is afterall why they hired the experts. 

10 months ago

No way, you obviously have us mixed up with some other DCSkiers!!!

10 months ago

On the mountain today and u-bolts reinforcements are being installed as I type this.  They are having dificulties getting the crane on moutain just above the pump house with all the snow in place.  Thay had wanted the new cross arm in place by this evening but will keep working to get this done.  Anything to the contrary will be announced.  BTW, inspections are happening.  

I’ve never seen t-line so intent on correctiing a problem as they are with this.  

10 months ago

Good for them!!!  Wonder what the future holds?’

10 months ago

Only 29 years after the 1987 Borvig Crossarm Retro-fit Advisory….

 

kwillg6 wrote:

On the mountain today and u-bolts reinforcements are being installed as I type this.  They are having dificulties getting the crane on moutain just above the pump house with all the snow in place.  Thay had wanted the new cross arm in place by this evening but will keep working to get this done.  Anything to the contrary will be announced.  BTW, inspections are happening.

I’ve never seen t-line so intent on correctiing a problem as they are with this.

 

10 months ago

teleman wrote:

Only 29 years after the 1987 Borvig Crossarm Retro-fit Advisory….

 

 

Their phones were down today, maybe they didn’t get the call

10 months ago

“Timberline; it out Blue Knob’s Blue Knob.”

 

Just kidding.  Love both places.  Wishing T-Line a quick recovery.  Very glad injuries from this event were minor.  You T-Line people got some stories to tell!

10 months ago

Are the U-Bolts going on ALL the lift towers?

10 months ago

I just posted an updated news story on Timberline’s lift repairs here.

10 months ago

It’s good to hear that things seem to be going well with the repair/inspection of all the lifts and towers. What a scary incident, I’m glad no one was injured more severely. This is quite a reality check, I hope that it can help resorts refocus on not just lift safety but also other aspects of slope safety, including enforcing safe-skiing on the crowded slopes of the Mid-Atlantic (cough-cough… Snowshoe)

10 months ago

Probably the best thing to come out of this is other resorts are conducting inspections on similar lifts and finding issues that need addressed. 

 

http://liftblog.com/2016/02/24/fallout-from-timberline/

 

Learning from others mistakes.

 

 

10 months ago

Speaking of politics and Detente.

Jimmeh and The Colonel in the first chair?

 

10 months ago

Room for one more there John boy

10 months ago

JohnL wrote:

Speaking of politics and Detente.

Jimmeh and The Colonel in the first chair?

 

With or without the helmets?

10 months ago

jimmy wrote:

Room for one more there John boy

That’s John boy sir to you, Mr. Swann. ;)

Just called Charlie; likely out for the weekend. Not because of lift issues, foot problems have resurfaced. Have to see doctor.

10 months ago

So any official updates on the lift repair progress?

10 months ago

TL just published pic of completed weld on broken tower; states that the lift will be running on Saturday!

 

10 months ago

We won’t know until they hare half way done, because that’s when they plan to open the lift back up.

10 months ago

JohnL wrote:

So any official updates on the lift repair progress?

There sure are there John Boy. Opening Tomorrow!

10 months ago

Yeah, do wot you want, its your internet cat box.

Im not the one taking $$ am I?

 

Goin out with a phunny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zeCG8_zPpQ

may also save your life, haha

10 months ago

With just the Sliver Queen lift operating today the lines were not bad at all, never had more than a few minute wait, though the lift did stop several times each trip up.   Don’t know why Thunder couldn’t be opened today as it looked like they were not working on it and all was ready to go.  

10 months ago

Tode the s-queen all afternoon and watched as they finished the structural repairs, got electrical fixed and pushed back all the snow they had to move to get the crane up the hill.  It also snowed all day with somewhere around 8” of fresh (which we all skied off).  They have done one hell of a job getting this lift running again and I look forward to riding it.  

10 months ago

scottyb wrote:

Yeah, do wot you want, its your internet cat box.

Im not the one taking $$ am I?

 

Goin out with a phunny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zeCG8_zPpQ

may also save your life, haha

Scottyb, 

I doubt that Scott (The DCSki provider and owner) will respond to this email, at least not in public.  So I will respond for myself and hopefully all the other DCSki posters, many of whom I now call friends thanks to this site and our common snow sliding bond.

DCSki has been provided free to the Mid-A skiing community for many years by the somewhat anonymous “”Scott”.  It provides a much appreciated niche service to the skiing public and local ski areas, and frequently an even broader geographical content.  One of the joys of this site is that the owner takes a personal interest in keeping posters reasonably truthful,  and more so he enforces, albeit reluctantly, the members a sense of politness and clean speech not often found on public open websites.  This allows a users of all ages to utilize DCSki.  There have been times when Scott has had to step in and police DCSki and a user, but these are not too often.  But one area that Scott must enforce is when users accuse or negatively  brand other users,  non-individuals and  companies and organizations, without providing compelling facts or real proof, rather basing their comments on rumors, social media info, etc..  Such posts could result in lawsuits for defamation or loss of business against DCSki.

DCSki is abfunvand informative site which has helped many sliders to get info about local skiing, has forged friendships and local skier get togethers, and provided a platform for aspiring ski reporters and authors. DCSki has even served as a facilitator in the saving of a local ski area. 

I personally object to your sarcastic attack on Scott and this site. I think you owe him and my fellow DCSkiers an apology. 

The Colonel

PS: sorry about spelling and spacing errors, I am thumbing this while I am watching a tech fix my computer

10 months ago

Back to the lift topic.  Looks like TL is going to reopen the lift without publicizing a root cause analysis or explanation for the accident.  That’s their business of course (could it possibly be that they have not determined the cause fully at this point?).  But without it, they are basically saying to their customers “trust us” and/or “trust our insurance company and their inspectors.”  Personally I plan to ride the lift today because I do think that the insurer is probably a pretty good outside check at this point, but all the talk of “transparency” from TL seems a bit overdone to me.

10 months ago

I’d ride it, but then I used to climb water towers for fun.  I’m not sure I’ll let my kids ride it until we get an explaination of why all the towers on that lift aren’t also getting the U-Bolt upgrade.

10 months ago

Congrats to TL for safely reopening Thundraft chair!!

BUT I noticed that the TL Saturday snow report indicated that 4 lifts were operating out of a total of 3!!!  Was that you Jimmy carrying skiers on your back up the mountain?!😀

10 months ago

All cross members were bolted and the fallen cross member was mounted to the tower by a different method.

10 months ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

All cross members were bolted and the fallen cross member was mounted to the tower by a different method.

Thanks.  Good to know they reinforced ALL of the towers, assuming per the 1980s warning and recommendations.  Would be nice PR for TL4S to have responded directly to acknowledge the extra steps you say they have taken to ensure Thuderstruck is fully up to code and extra recommendations now.  We only asked about it three or four times in the past two weeks.

10 months ago

Every cross member that I checked had a large u-bolt over the return side arm. Tower 12, the failed tower, was reattached by welding flat flange on the tower facing skyward and a simmilar plate to the bottom of the crossbar. The two unites were then bolted together. Crowds were real light Sunday mid-day when we were there.

10 months ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Every cross member that I checked had a large u-bolt over the return side arm. Tower 12, the failed tower, was reattached by welding flat flange on the tower facing skyward and a simmilar plate to the bottom of the crossbar. The two unites were then bolted together. Crowds were real light Sunday mid-day when we were there.

Is it possible that the U-Bolts were already there before the failure, perhaps with the exception of tower 12?

10 months ago

crgildart wrote:

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Every cross member that I checked had a large u-bolt over the return side arm. Tower 12, the failed tower, was reattached by welding flat flange on the tower facing skyward and a simmilar plate to the bottom of the crossbar. The two unites were then bolted together. Crowds were real light Sunday mid-day when we were there.

Is it possible that the U-Bolts were already there before the failure, perhaps with the exception of tower 12?

 

They could have been. I never looked before and I am by no means a “regular” but they look grey/new to me. Perhaps jimmy or JohnL or another regular lift rider will chime in.

10 months ago

Considering it costs $180 to buy a copy of the ANSI B77.1 Standard - I would be impressed if Timberline even has a copy.  TL complying with the mandatory code requirements; you are joking – right???

 

…….Thuderstruck is fully up to code and extra recommendations now.  We only asked about it three or four times in the past two weeks.

 

10 months ago

Regardless of complying with the ANSI B-77. The question should be: do we need a separate regulatory body for up hill transportation in the US?  I truly believe ALL resorts could do more when it comes to safety for their guests and have better standards when it comes to material and maintenance.  We have too many falls from chairlifts and break downs.  In many cases resorts can be proactive and install “safety bars”, kid stops and better loading stations.  There are many more areas we could improve.

10 months ago

As reported by the Inter-Mountain on 2/29/16

DAVIS - Community leaders, elected officials and ski enthusiasts gathered early Saturday morning at Timberline Four Seasons Resort to celebrate the reopening of the Thunderstruck triple chairlift. The lift was closed one week earlier after a derailment that involved about 25 skiers and left approximately 100 others stranded.

 

10 months ago

As a regular rider at Timberline it appears to me that the U-bolts are new. The repair crew welded clips to each tower for the U-bolts attachment except tower 12. Tower 12 looks as if it was fitted with a new crossarm. the crossarm is attached to the tower with a substational thicker plate and bolted with double nuts. On T11 the rider side crossarm support was re-inforced with a welded knee brace. I can tell you this in the 17 yrs I have been going to Timberline the Thunderstruck lift has never sounded or riden as smooth as it did Saturday. I for one feel it is probably the safest lift to ride currently in the Mid-Alantic ski region.

10 months ago

I too rode both lifts this weekend.  However, since I’m not an engineer and haven’t seen a report I have no idea if the lift infrastructure is operating correctly or not. Especially since I have no idea why the failure occured in the first place.  All I can say is none of the infrastructure fell to the ground and both lifts operated smoothly on Sunday although the upper lift never was operating fully loaded so it is impossible to say if the issue that requires loading alternating chairs has been fixed or not.  Of course, the same statement could have been made the day before the accident.

10 months ago

I guess it’s fair to say that there may have been a different operations manager back in the late 80s when the tower top upgrades were missed.  So, the blame may not fall entirely on the current operations manager for the failure to upgrade back then.  Good to see that it is all good to go now.  Everyone go ski there and buy food and stuff to help them recover the costs.  I doubt their insurance will pay the full cost of something that should have been done long ago.

10 months ago

You must have a lot of faith in TL’s management.

And I’ll pass on TL’s food.

I will not be riding that lift until engineering information is publically available.

I will hold my applause until TL can explain why a manufacturer’s retro-fit advisory issued in 1987 was not implemented until after they experienced a structural failure in 2016.     

 

crgildart wrote:

 ……..Good to see that it is all good to go now.  Everyone go ski there and buy food and stuff to help them recover the costs…….

 

10 months ago

Did you notice that most, if not all of the Timberline owners and their family members were in the first chairs as the Thunderstruct lift reopened on Saturday!

The Colonel

10 months ago

teleman wrote:

You must have a lot of faith in TL’s management.

And I’ll pass on TL’s food.

I will not be riding that lift until engineering information is publically available.

I will hold my applause until TL can explain why a manufacturer’s retro-fit advisory issued in 1987 was not implemented until after they experienced a structural failure in 2016.     

 

crgildart wrote:

 ……..Good to see that it is all good to go now.  Everyone go ski there and buy food and stuff to help them recover the costs…….

 

Much easier done by someone that skis with defective heels that make self powered uphill transport easier :-P  If I wanted the best modern amenities I’d be spending more time at Vail resorts instead of the rustic mom and pops I tend to prefer.  I’ll take my chances as long as the obvious problems are rectified. Wasn’t going to bring the family had they not fixed ALL the towers though..

10 months ago

crgildart wrote:

Is it possible that the U-Bolts were already there before the failure, perhaps with the exception of tower 12?

Nope, they are all new.  Also some additional reinforcements on towers that won’t accept the u-bolts.

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